Winter layers

HOT.  COLD.  FROZEN.  THAWED. 

You may think I’m about to share my mom’s favourite chicken recipe with you … but I’m most certainly not, as I cannot cook. Just ask my fiancé and he’ll vigorously nod in agreement. 

If your body is anything like mine, you are well aware of the frustration of getting dressed for the colder months. Brrrrrrrrr followed by pant-pant-pant. It’s all very annoying and uncomfortable.

So how do we dress for weather that varies from 3 degrees in the morning to 22 in the afternoon? 

Layer Layer Layer! 

But please do so with well fitted garment pieces to prevent you from looking like a puffer-fish. Chunky layer upon chunky layer will do you no favours in terms of look. And no, comfort is not a look!

Start with a basic T-shirt (short, medium or long sleeve). Add a cardigan. Add a jacket. Add a coat. Add a scarf. This way you’ll be able to peel off the layers as the day or air-conditioning warms up.

Alternatively, a vest followed by a top (shirt, blouse etc.), chunky jersey and coat … but make sure you’re wearing something more streamlined on your lower half. A chunky top with volume requires reduced volume at the bottom. And vice versa.

Create a Look 

Don’t just get dressed for the sake of getting dressed. I dress according to my personality on the day. It’s not a medical condition so much as it is me being creative and multi-faceted! Am I feeling preppy? Corporate? Classic? Trendy? Is my personality today feeling colourful or monochromatic? It makes sense in my head and, hopefully, you get the notion.

Coat Yourself Literally. Coats are possibly the best defence against the chill of winter. Coats that keep your derriere toasty will keep you warmer for longer. No-one appreciates an exposed bottom. There are so many versatile options from trench coats, pea coats, swing coats, single breasted, double breasted etc. – in leather, tweed, wool, mohair and so much more.

We lose most of our body heat through our head and neck areas so make sure the jacket or coat openings fit snuggly. A detachable hoodie is a great versatile option.

Insulation. Make sure you have a few unique, functional accessories in the form of scarves, gloves, leggings and hats. Look for attention-grabbing prints, textures and trims to add interest to your outfit. This is where you can adopt trends in small quantities and at a budget, be it in a dash of colour, detail or trim. Vamp up the glamour associated with the 1940’s with sleek gloves, usher in Mary Quant’s opaque stockings with dresses or the vogue of the 70’s with oversized, floppy hats.

Hidden layers

Ensure the initial layers are long enough to tuck in so as to prevent them creeping up as soon as you inhale. Most retail fashion buyers clearly suffered the same torment and are now (thankfully) supplying longer-length t-shirts and vests. Yay for humanity!

Now, don’t snigger as there is merit in my next suggestion: the unitard with the press-studded-crotch.  Yip, like the ones my mom wore when I was little. Some styles offer cut-away bottoms for comfort. What I love about them is that there’s no pulling and tugging as it stays in place the whole time. Yay for sanity!

Embrace Your Inner Equestrian 

Love love love boots! Flat riding boots, high-heeled, sleek, cowboy, shuffled, red, brown, black and, yet to find, tan coloured boots. This is an activity in its own – finding the absolutely perfectly fitted length of boot. I trawl the malls for weeks to find my glass slipper.

Team them up with a pair of thin long socks underneath a big, thick woolly pair of socks and your feet stay snuggly and warm until I start overheating and need to remove the woolly mammoths.

Boots definitely add a sense of sophistication and tie an outfit together. They’re versatile under or over jeans, certain pants, under skirts or dresses and can be teamed up with plain, or textured, thick, opaque stockings or leggings. Go for leather where possible – they are more comfortable, prevent your feet from sweating and of course, last longer.

Make a Statement

Winter is great for expressing yourself through your clothing as we wear so much more. For conservative dressers, play a bit. Albeit with the above said accessories. Why be average when you can, holistically, be intriguing?

Chillaxing

Now, for a fun one whilst slouching around the house. Wear a Onesie (an adult babygrow) over your pyjamas. It’s a big trend in my circles at the moment. My dancer and performer friends wear sleeveless and footless versions to rehearsals but wear the full Onesie at home in the evenings. Admittedly, you’ll resemble a Telly Tubby, but this is the one time I say that ‘comfort can be a look’. At home only!

Like any season, winter comes with its pros and cons. Let’s embrace it … seeing as it is here to stay for a few months. Encourage your friends and family to do the same and once all are in agreement, the process of staying stylishly warm will start (apologies as I can’t resist) a snowball effect.

Here’s to enjoying the journey and making the most out of each season.

Written by Petra Laranjo

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