Is there really an art to layering? I don’t know, is it lost? no, probably not. But it is the time of year when you have to think about your layers. Some days it’s still not really cold enough to bust out the big winter coats. The winter coats that you bought last month in a frenzy of ‘It’s getting a bit cold, must buy coat before all coats in the world sell out’.
While we await that inevitable cold snap, I’m practising the art of layering. It might be chilly first thing in the morning but could be warmer come lunchtime, blazing hot on the tube and arctic in the evening. This calls for clever clothing. Items that can be added or shed as needed without the need for a bulky coat you are going to have to carry around most of the day. Here’s my list of things you need for layering.
My top tip for dresses or skirts as I have mentioned many times before, is the secret leggings. Now, I must stress at this point that ‘Secret Leggings’ are not an actual thing. I’m just talking about any old leggings to wear under things so they don’t show. Primark sells them for around £2.50, which is frankly obscene, how can you buy an item of clothing cheaper than and egg and cress sandwich?, but at that price, you could buy 4 pairs and chop the hem off in varying lengths to fit whatever dress or skirt you want to wear.
Or spend around a tenner and get some decent quality ones. Either way this keeps you warm without the commitment of tights and you can take them off completely if you get a hot flush around 4pm (or is that just me?). Dresses or skirts above the knee are obviously the exception this rule, dresses above the knee deserve at least a 50 denier in my opinion.
This is a no brainer in terms of layering. A large jumper. Get one that’s either an intentionally oversized style or size up slightly. You could even do as I do and go for a mans sweater. whatever you choose, you’ll be wearing this over something else so you don’t want it to be all tight. Wearing a jumper over a dress is a perfect day to night solution. It dresses something fancy down for daytime, then all you do when out to trip the light fantastic is whip off the jumper and, bingo, it looks like you’ve made a big effort. Magic.
Cardigans can work in a similar way to the secret leggings. If you don’t want to admit to a cardi, no-one need know. Personally I love a good cardi and am happy to break them out when required, but they can be used under your jacket just to add warmth on your journey outside. Take it off when you get to your destination. I’ve had my Viv Westwood one for about 7 years and it’s paid for itself 5 times over by the amount of times I have worn it. But, word to the wise, TKmaxx often sell Westwood Cardigans for 1/4 of the price. Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re having a rummage in there.
THERMAL BASE LAYERS
If you’ve got a nice frock that, but you don’t want to ruin the look with either a jumper or cardi over it then thermal layers are what you need. You’ll be surprised how a simple thermal vest will really heat you up. Pair it with secret leggings and you’ll be golden. Warmth without ruining the look. As most thermal vests or tops are thin, you can take it off if you get too hot and it takes up minimal space in your bag.
SOCKS & WOOL INSOLES
You want to wear your cropped trousers but you fear a chilly ankle? No problem get yourself to M&S and pick up some black knee high socks. I swear by them, the only ones I have found that don’t fall down half way through the day. Same goes for their pop socks and their secret socks. Don’t be afraid of a pop sock by the way, they have a bad rep, but I like them. Stick to black though, Flesh colour is still not cool. Also, don’t be afraid to show off your ankle socks with your ankle length trousers. Go for a contrasting colour or even a pattern. My favourites are by Genevieve Sweeney and Happy Socks.
If you insist on baring your ankles, or if you want extra warmth in your shoes. Get some sheepskin insoles. One of my best winter tips. I get these ones from Amazon as they are not too thick and not too thin, like Goldilocks porridge, they are just right.
1. Uniqlo JW Anderson Reversible Puffer Jacket
2. H&M Green Fine Knit Jumper
3. Whistles Button Fly Straight Leg Jeans
4. Veja V10 Leather Trainers
5. Genevieve Sweeney Wool Linen Socks
6. Amazon Lambswool Insoles
Let me know if you have any layering tips, I’m all ears!