What do you need more than ever this winter? You need layers. Lots of them. The nights are drawing in, literally, it will be dark by 5pm today here in the UK now that the clocks have gone back. I’m not a fan of this. I don’t need to herd my cattle at 6am, (or whatever the reason is we do this clocks thing twice a year) I would much rather have an extra hour of light in the evening. But tis not to be.
Meeting indoors is also not to be for everyone in tier 2 or 3, or if you’re in Scotland or Ireland or Wales then whatever the bloody restrictions are for you. I’ve seriously lost track, but I’m pretty sure they involve not meeting anyone anywhere indoors, except maybe the supermarket to have a chat with the lady on the till and stock up on eclairs and Custard Creams to get you through the winter. Unless you’re in Wales, by the looks of things you can only buy ‘essentials’ in your supermarket, so that’s just the wine and the cheese for you…
If you want to see any of your family and friends in the foreseeable future, you’re going to have to do it outside and it won’t be warm. So layers are the order of the day. I like to think my years of going to football matches in all weathers has set me in good stead for layering. But before I begin, there are a few essentials you will need:
- Smart Wool Hiking Socks (these will keep your feet warmer than any other)
- Sheepskin Insoles for your Boots (because it doesn’t hurt to double up)
- Thermal Vests (essential)
- Thermal Long Sleeve T Shirts and Polo neck Tops (for under dresses)
- Thermal Leggings (for ‘secret’ now and for under anything later on)
These are your base layers that will work under any of the outfits I’ve rounded up below.
LEATHER JACKETS & OVERSHIRTS
Starting with one of my favourites, plus the checked over shirt is very much the look of the season this year. Your overshirt should be oversized, most of them are made to be like this now, so no need to size up on any of the jackets I’ve picked out. I assume you all have a leather biker jacket by now, as I’ve mentioned before they are an absolute wardrobe classic and work just as well as a layering piece in the winter as a cool girl vibe in the Spring. Wear under your check jacket, or indeed your overcoat or your puffer if it gets really cold. Leather is an excellent heat generator. Try it, I promise it will work a treat. P.S. These Ganni boots are sheepskin lined. I have them from 2 years ago. Perfect winter boots.
DRESSES, THERMALS AND OVERCOATS
Under your nice Cord dress you will need all of your thermal layers. You know I’m a big fan of ‘secret leggings’, they will be great until it gets really cold and you need to break out the 100 deniers. For those of you new to the group, ‘Secret Leggings’ are not an actual item, they are are just regular leggings that you can’t see worn under your dress or skirt. So you get the warmth, but also are able to flash a bit of ankle if you so desire. I usually just fold over the bottom of my leggings, or if they are cheapo ones from Primark then I cut them off to the desired length.
I realise I should have added a cardi in here, they are perfect for layering over dresses, but I forgot. Check out the most recent Cardi blog for inspiration. I often get asked what coat to wear in the winter with maxi dresses, no really, I do. I say go for the longest coat you own. Doesn’t have to match the hem of your dress, but as close as you can get looks best in my opinion.
SHORT PUFFER JACKETS
I have 2 puffer jackets that I would wear to the football depending on how cold it was. A shorter one when it was ‘cold, but not too cold, I can still feel my feet’ and a long one for ‘it’s fucking freezing tonight, pass the blazing hot Bovril’. Can I take a moment to say I actually cried when a football ‘Timehop’ came up on my phone this week. The pure joy of a huge crowd all cheering for the same purpose, hugging each other, singing, shouting, being together. I miss it so much.
Anyway, I can’t do that, but when I meet a friend in the pub garden I shall be wearing this Puffer from & Other Stories over my layers. It says it’s oversized but I don’t think it really is. If you fancy it, go for your regular size.
LONG PUFFER JACKETS
The long puffer is for when it’s REALLY cold. I should maybe have left this until November or December but I know a lot of you like to plan ahead and wouldn’t be best pleased if all the best big puffers were sold out by the time we get a cold snap. Also look out for wool trousers. These from Cos are Cashmere blend, the ultimate queen of all the wools. Once you’ve gone cashmere, all other wools pale in comparison. Same goes for gloves. Cashmere gloves are one of life’s little luxuries.
I found my Brora fingerless pair in a coat pocket this week. I love it when that happens as I was just thinking ‘Where did I put all of last year’s gloves and scarfs? Still don’t know the answer to this. Probably in a ‘safe place’ somewhere in the ‘Cupboard of Doom’ under the stairs. never to be seen again. I might do a full-on winter accessories post soon as I’ve seen quite a few good gloves and scarves recently and the chances of me finding that bag is remote.
PRETTY BLOUSES AND CASHMERE
Talking of cashmere, this jumper from Cos is my favourite cashmere jumper ever. I bought it last winter and it’s the perfect loose shape and style, and the softest sweater I own. They are selling it again this year. I wholly recommend it if you’re in the market for cashmere comfort. Layer a pretty blouse underneath so just the collar shows. I notice Boden and La Redoute sell a jumper that looks like you’re wearing a blouse under if you can’t be arsed to do the layers, but that’s not really in the spirit of this post now is it?
DOUBLE UP QUILTED JACKETS
This is a new one for me this year. But in order to make my Arket Jacket last through the colder month, I shall be layering it with another quilted number. A thin quilted, or ‘liner’ jacket, will work under most of your winter coats to give you those extra layers of warmth. For the football I had a Uniqlo Ultralight Down Vest that I would put on at half time (don’t want to peak too soon or you won’t feel the benefit) I’ve gone off that a bit since I saw London Mayor Sadiq Khan wearing his this week under a blazer. No Sadiq, not indoors, and not under a blazer. Did you forget to pay the heating bill at City Hall again?
I hope you get to meet some friends in outdoor settings in your layers this week. I plan on a visit to Kew Gardens again at some point. It looks glorious in all seasons, but the turning of the leaves and all the oranges and reds bring some real joy into this godforsaken year.