First up, I’m no expert at outdoors outfits, but what I can do is share the things that I have that keep me warm and dry and, YES, there are some items out there that do this without making you look like you’ve been shopping for your clothes in the garden centre. Please don’t do that. I know the temptation is there. You’ve just popped in for a bag of topsoil and a browse of the Christmas lights and then you find yourself veering towards the Cotswolds Outdoor department. Before you know it, you’re eyeing up some plastic garden shoes and a ‘jazzy’ rain jacket. Step away. We can do better than that, ladies. Same goes for the Yankee Candle section. Leave them there, walk away.
Let’s start with my favourite outdoor clothing brand, one that knows how to move with the times while still retaining its classic, timeless appeal…
BARBOUR IS BRILLIANT
It’s the ultimate outdoor clothing brand. A classic, waxed Barbour jacket will literally last you a lifetime as they can repair and re-wax it for you when it starts to wear out. I had to have my old one fixed last year when I discovered it had been left on the floor in the cupboard of doom and a mouse had eaten half the pocket. Don’t judge. We live in an old house with a cat that likes to bring in live mice on a regular basis. I think it cost £60 for the repair and re-wax and it came back looking as good as new. This year, I bought another Barbour for no other reason than I just really liked the new, shorter shape of this one. They are properly waterproof too. That wax really works.
Side note: the Barbour Wilton wellies are still my top dog-walk boot recommendation. They’re comfortable, true to size and will keep your feet dry, so long as you’re not wading through deep water. In that case, get a pair of full-length Hunters.
- COS chunky pure cashmere turtleneck sweater
- Ganni x Barbour waxed cotton jacket
- Frame Le Jane cropped straight leg jeans
- Uniqlo mini drawstring bag
- Free People Jackson cozy stripe socks
- Dr Martens 1460 smooth leather boots
This is me most days. Why does it ALWAYS rain during the only window you have to take the dog for a walk/pick up the children from school? The afternoon-dog-walk window is getting shorter as it’s now practically dark by 4pm. It can be perfectly nice all day and yet the moment you leave the house and go outside, the heavens will open. Then, as soon as you get back, the sun will come out again. So I make sure I always wear a waterproof, just in case. And I take my bucket hat. More on that later. If I’m not in my Barbour, I’ll be in my Protected Species jacket as it’s fully waterproof too. I’ve also heard great things about Rains, Ilse Jacobsen and Stutterheim. I tend to steer clear of jeans when it’s really wet and wear my Spanx leggings. I love those leggings. Yet to find a better pair.
- Anine Bing Smiley T Shirt
- Black ruby red cashmere fingerless mittens
- Stutterheim lightweight raincoat
- Spanx Look at Me Now black leggings
- Barbour Wilton shirt wellie boots
- Ivy Ellis Cotton socks
- River Island red graphic oversized sweatshirt
SUNNY SUNDAY STROLL
The forecast says cold and sunny. Do we believe it? Probably not, but we’re going to chance it without a waterproof. Just some good, comfortable boots for walking, a warm chunky-knit sweater and maybe a fluffy gilet for both extra warmth and extra pockets. You know my feelings on pockets. You can never have enough.
- Arket navy cable knit wool jumper
- Mabel Sheppard eyes leather gloves
- Monsoon Luna cord cargo trousers
- Wyse London Ginny borg gilet
- See by Chloe leather Chelsea boots (use code KATE for 25% off)
MIGHT RAIN, MIGHT NOT
If it’s one of those days where it could rain at any minute but you’re not stomping around a field in your wellies, then you might need a stylish rain-resistant jacket. Doesn’t have to be fully waterproof, but something that will keep you reasonably dry, should there be a shower. You could also pop your brolly in your tote bag.
- Monki soft stripe long sleeve top
- Uniqlo olive quilted lightweight down jacket
- Fat Face Keswick cord trousers
- Black & Beech Feminist fingerless gloves
- La Redoute cable knit cardigan
- Timberland fleece lined lace up boots
Fleeces are having a moment this season. I mean, they have a moment this time every year, really; it’s not groundbreaking, is it? With winter looming, you know they’ll keep you toasty-warm on a walk. If you go for a less bulky one like this from M&S, you can always layer your waterproof over the top, if need be.
- M&S dark burgundy fleece zip up jacket
- Ganni cable knit beanie (use code KATE for 25% off)
- COS oversized mohair blend scarf
- Levis ribcage straight ankle jeans
- Boden oversized merino wool turtleneck jumper
- Whistles burgundy leather Chelsea boots
EMERGENCY BUCKET HAT
Do not discount the bucket hat. It is a wet-weather hero. I keep a hat about my person at all times from around now until about May. It’s easier to carry than an umbrella and, unlike a hood, it won’t fall off your head if there’s a small breeze. You can just pop it in your pocket and you’re covered if there’s a shower. Your bucket hat should be nylon or waxed cotton to keep your hair dry. Let’s be honest, it’s our hair we worry about most when it comes to the rain, isn’t it? Just tuck it all into your hat. Job done
- COS hooded padded cape
- Ganni x Barbour waxed cotton leopard print hat
- H&M oversize rib knit jumper
- La Redoute wide leg crop jeans
- Wardrobe 44 cashmere leopard print fingerless gloves
- Grenson Blair hiker style boots