Layer Like An Onion…Someone commented this brilliant expression on my Instagram this week when I wore a jumper over a dress. It has totally inspired this blog post. It’s that time of year when it’s still not really cold enough to bust out the 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’. I have yet to even take the tags off that Whistles fake fur number that I was so desperate to buy, but I know her time will come one day soon.
In the meantime, 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. Primark sell them for £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. 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.
Ideally you need a nice thin merino or cashmere jumper. Size up slightly, or do as I do and go for a mens sweater, (this John Lewis one below is a cashmere/merino mix, so best of everything!) 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. THOSE Topshop boots are also now back in stock. They look just as good in real life too!
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. These two cardigans though definitely deserve to be seen. 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.
1. & Other Stories Red Floral Maxi Dress
2. Vivienne Westwood Classic Logo Cardigan
3. Vivienne Westwood Balmoral Shoulder Bag
4. Office Studded Buckle Amsterdam Boots
5. & Other Stories Wool Cardigan
Now, I have to admit this is not something I have tried just yet as I don’t have a thin enough rollneck sweater. I am planning on giving it a go soon though. If you want to wear a dress but you don’t feel it works with cardi or sweater, then why not try a lightweight roll neck underneath? Warmth without ruining the look. Again, you can take it off if you get too hot and it takes up minimal space in your bag.
KNEE HIGH SOCKS
This is like the exact opposite of the leggings trick, but for your cropped trousers. 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 for anyone under 70.
Let me know if you have any layering tips, I’m all ears!