As we observed last week, winter presents all kinds of problems when it comes to getting dressed AND staying stylish, and all too often we end up putting warmth before fashion (as we should, of course) and stumbling through the season looking like we’re contestants in some strange kind of Supermarket Sweep gameshow, the aim being to pile on as many items of clothing as we can, in the shortest time possible.
People, it doesn’t have to be this way. There ARE ways to stay stylish in cold weather. Here are just a few of them…
1. Wrap up
Now, before you go sighing loudly and closing down the browser, berating us for telling you things that really should go without saying, stop for a minute and think. Think of all of the women you see every winter, tottering around with blue, goosepimpled flesh and totally numb fingers and toes, all because they refused to dress for the weather, and tried to go out with bare legs and no coat. It’s not stylish, is it? And yes, you’re right: it SHOULD go without saying, but it apparently doesn’t, so we’re just going to say it and get it out of the way: please, people, wrap up. Don’t try to pretend it’s still summertime, with your bare legs and your flimsy dresses: you’re not fooling anyone, and not only do you feel uncomfortable, you look uncomfortable too, and that’s never a good look. No one is looking at you and thinking how fabulous and carefree you look in that tiny dress and strappy sandals: they just think you look stupid. Yes, we know it’s harsh, but it’s true. WRAP UP.
2. Pick your winter coat wisely
We’ve spoken a lot about winter coats lately, but with good reason. A good coat isn’t just the only thing standing between you and frostbite: it’s also the main thing standing between you and good style. You can go for a gigantic down coat, of course, and look like a walking sleeping bag (and in some weather conditions, that’s exactly what you SHOULD do, too. Remember, kids, your health and safety is more important than style!), OR you can choose something that will always look stylish, no matter what you’re wearing with it. For this reason, and unless you have unlimited funds to buy unlimited coats with, we recommend going with a neutral colour which will work with every single item you own. You’ll be wearing this coat every day, so make sure you’ll actually WANT to.
3. Protect the extremities
Hands, feet, head. If they’re warm, the rest of you will be… well, it won’t necessarily be JUST as warm (especially not if, like the girl with the puppy, you wear a huge hat and scarf, but leave your arms bare), but you’ll have a much better chance of keeping yourself at a decent temperature. Like most things, hats, scarves, gloves and socks can be ugly, or they can be stylish. Invest some time in seeking out the stylish ones, which look good with the winter coat you bought in step 2, and which fit your own personal style. As well as keeping you warm, and being relatively inexpensive, cold weather accessories like these can be a great way to add a bit of individuality to your outfits.
4. Thermals. Buy some.
The most commonly cited winter fashion advice we hear is that you should wear layers, because lots of thin layers are warmer, and more versatile than one thick one. What, exactly, should you layer WITH, though? Well, there are lots of options here, but we’ll tell you our favourite: thermals. Vests and leggings. No, they’re not sexy. Not in the slightest. But it doesn’t matter, because no one will see them, and they’ll allow you to continue wearing more or less whatever you want to, without having to bundle yourself up like a badly-wrapped parcel.
5. Leggings are not pants. But they make excellent tights.
You’ll never convince us that leggings make great pants. But we do think they make excellent tights: they’re generally thicker, warmer and with a better lycra content than the real thing, which means you don’t have to worry about laddering them, or finding the crotch hovering somewhere around your knees by mid-morning. They make shorter dresses much more wearable and warmer, and can be layered under trousers too, if you’re really cold. Just don’t wear them as pants…