In winter, it seems like we’ve got much more to think about when it comes to getting dressed and our winter fashion. Not only do you need to think about how you look, but you also need to consider comfort and warmth, thinking about how you are spending your time, whether it’s going to be wet, how muddy the ground is, and often, planning for the unpredictability of winter. Even a bright and fresh morning can have deteriorated into storms by lunchtime.
Making the mistake of putting style above warmth means that you could be freezing (picture me watching my daughter watch football in the winter months in a vintage skirt!). It can also mean that you can’t enjoy your days and stay safe. But, dressing for warmth and comfort doesn’t mean that you can’t also look fantastic. It might just take a little more thought than it would in the summer months. Here are some tips to being stylish and warm!
Layering up like crazy in Krakow, Poland – I’ve had this coat since the late 90s!
Start at the Bottom
When it comes to keeping warm, what you wear underneath your clothes is exceptionally important. You’ll want your underwear to be comfortable and well-fitting. This doesn’t mean that you can’t wear nice lingerie sets, which could boost your confidence and help you to feel fantastic. But, you might also want to add tights or thick, long socks, and a cami or vest.
Wearing underwear and socks made from soft, light materials like cotton can help you to trap in hot air while preventing sweat and any rubbing from any scratchier outer layers. Socks made from merino wool can be perfect for long days out in the cold, or long winter walks.
Utilise Light Layers
Several light layers are often warmer than one thick layer. Layering helps to trap hot air in and can be less restrictive than much thicker items of clothing. Layering also means that you can take something off if you get too warm, which can often happen in the winter when you are walking, and your blood is pumping faster.
After your underwear and socks, add a vest, long sleeve t-shirt. Add skinny jeans and a chunky knit jumper or a thick winter dress and finish off with a smart jacket or waterproof coat.
Another benefit of layering is that you can mix and match. A chunky jumper looks fabulous with jeans and boots but can go over a dress to create a skirt/top combo. A long sleeve t-shirt is warming under a jumper or shirt but could turn your summer dresses into cool winter wear. I do this exactly this – teaming up that vintage skirt with a chunky knit, tights and long boots.
Wearing warm winter clothing under a summer dress – this one is Orla Kiely
Invest in Key Items
Some of your base layers and lighter items can be bought cheaply from supermarkets. But, some things are worth spending more money on. Long, waterproof boots keep your feet warm and dry, offer great grip and protect your trousers.
A coat is also a worthwhile investment. A good quality coat will keep you warm and dry and offer protection from the wind – whether it be vintage or modern.
These key items might cost more, but they will last for a long time if you look after them, making winter dressing easier for years to come. And if you’re like me who has A LOT of coats to choose from, it is worth it! If you are shopping on a budget, look online for second-hand or vintage options, and in charity shops.
One of my fave 1970s vintage coats
Don’t Underestimate Thermals
Thermals have never been particularly fashionable, but they are certainly beneficial. Adding a thermal vest and even leggings can keep you warm, and no one needs to know. Thermal base layers trap warm air near to your body, helping you to stay warm, no matter what you are doing.
If you are outdoors, thermals can stop the cold air getting close to your body and prevent your body temperature lowering while you are out.
Thermals can also be very useful if you work in a cold office, or spend your days in a particularly large space that’s difficult to keep warm.
Make the Most of Chunky Jumpers
Chunky jumpers are both stylish and warm. For many people, chunky knit jumpers, scarves and cardigans are their favourite parts of their winter wardrobe. Chunky knits work well with leggings or jeans, but also dresses and skirts. An oversized chunky jumper can even look great over pyjamas for a chilled out day at home.
Invest in chunky knits in bold autumnal colours like mustard, or winter shades such as plum or navy which are comforting and warm all season long. You could even knit your own.
Wearing a new jumper from Next A/W 20
Have Some Fun with Hats, Scarves and Gloves
Hats, scarves and gloves are essential winter accessories. When it’s cold, we lose a lot of our body heat through our heads, so covering up with a hat is crucial. Shop different prints and patterns, and experiment with different hairstyles, like braids, which will look cool and help you to avoid hat hair.
Gloves work well to keep your hands warm, help your circulation and even keep your skin softer. If you have very cold hands, you might find that mittens keep them warmer, as the body heat from your fingers will spread to the rest of your hands.
Scarves give you options. When it’s very cold, you can add a scarf to a thick jacket to add an extra warming layer and give your face and neck some protection. On less chilly days, a scarf can work well with a lighter jacket to provide extra protection and add some fun to a basic winter outfit.
Wearing a vintage thin blouse under a very warm faux fur coat!
Don’t Forget Your Waterproofs
Waterproofs are a must in the winter when the weather is wet. A waterproof coat, or a light rain jacket that you can pack in your bag, just in case, could be ideal. Then, while leather boots can look great, in very wet or snowy weather, wellies are often a better option. The best news is, wellies can be bought cheaply, in a range of fun prints and patterns to cheer up a dull winters day.
Winter fashion can be great fun. Why not try layering your favourite summer dress, wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and tights underneath, and a chunky cardigan, scarf and hat on top. Add some long winter boots, and suddenly that summer dress is perfect for all weathers. Just remember, when it comes to dressing for cold weather, layering is key. You can wear pretty much anything, as long as you add warm layers and sensible shoes.
This is a collaborative post