By the time we get to January & February in the UK, I’m pretty fed up with Winter dressing but there are some style ‘rules’ that I tend to stick too, to get me through:
1. Invest in great coats and knitwear.
Now is a great time to add coats and knitwear to your wardrobe if you need to. You can pick some amazing pieces up in the end of the sales at hugely discounted prices. (I have bought the majority of my ‘forever’ coats this way.) Also it’s really nice to give your existing wardrobe and mood a boost with a new purchase that you can wear straight away.
I rarely buy coats that are in fashion but tend to go for either really unique pieces or classic styles that will stand the test of time. I am really obsessing over the black and white Saks Potts jacket and pink and blue printed Rianna & Nina coat.
2. Dress for warmth first and master the art of layering.
When I was younger I was always cold in the Winter. I refused to wear thermals and didn’t own a really warm coat – I am so grateful for these things now!
I nearly always look at the weather forecast and try and dress appropriately for the weather. Wearing heels when it’s icy or beautiful suede boots when it’s raining is no fun!
I tend to wear Marks & Spencer’s long-sleeved thermal vests and opaque tights under everything in the Winter but they’re definitely not the most sexy things! Other people I know swear by Uniqlo’s Heattech pieces but I’ve yet to try them.
I also swear by N Peal’s cashmere polo necks (true to size). They’re not the cheapest cashmere but they last and are nicely fitted around the neck (sometimes they can be found reduced at The Outnet) and are therefore great for layering.
Buy a down coat that is long enough to cover your bum! The longer length definitely helps keep you warm. I also love over-the-knee boots for this reason – just steer clear from a really high spike heel or platform so they don’t look like you’re on your way to a strip club!
3. Don’t wear too many dark colours (particularly black and grey).
Although I think it’s important to have some staples in dark colours (see above), I think it’s all too easy to buy everything ‘to match’ and I think as a result people get stuck in a rut and tend to migrate to the ‘easiest option’.
If I’m wearing a black coat I tend to go for a brightly coloured knit or scarf to stop me looking washed-out. In truth though I don’t tend to buy many things in black anymore as I think navy is a lot more forgiving but just as chic.
At this time of year I’m sick of seeing a sea of black and grey and long for Winter whites and more uplifting colours. They really do wonders for my mood. This week I’ve bought some more cashmere:
I’ve sized up in both of these. The orange Marks & Spencer one is a lot more forgiving and softer in real life. The Pure Collection one I already own in this colour but is probably one of my most worn knits so I panic-bought a second one!
4. Accessories can make all the difference.
If I’m wearing a more bland coat/jacket or just want to complete a more pulled-together look, I love a good hat. Also they’re great for keeping you warm which is another bonus.
Over the years I’ve collected quite a few (usually in the sales). Unfortunately I have a very small head so tend to have to buy more expensive ones (as they tend to come in different sizes) but you can get some great ones at shops like Accessorize or other High-Street stores. (The more expensive ones do tend to last longer though.) My favourite ones are by Etro and Maison Michel (although they’re a lot more expensive than they used to be) and tend to be fedoras (for Winter beanies I go to Brora). The trick is to find the style/s that suit you (which is a bit like finding the right jeans – tiresome but so worth it in the end!).
5. Start holiday planning (and looking at your Spring wardrobe)!
We started our holiday planning in December as it takes so long and with two kids in tow is a surprisingly frustrating process. However now the accommodation and flights are booked we can relax and start digging deeper into what should be some beautiful places. (This and vitamin D spray really help me get through the dark days.)
If you love fashion you’re probably aware that the first of Spring/Summer has already hit the shops and wow, there are some nice things! I’m still trying to be good but have already preordered a dress which I fell in love with when I first saw it last year. I’ll save the details and other things on my wishlist for another time.