Generally speaking, I enjoy a fashion challenge: scoring that It bag in a vintage store, styling an outfit on a budget, or getting a nice bargain for that dream-dress on the seasonal sales.
Actually, I even started a whole category in this blog dedicated to all those glorious finds I get when hunting for treasures. Yes, I love a fashion challenge that much. What I don’t like though, it’s the challenge of dressing up for extreme weather. And more specifically, I have always found it difficult to dress for winter.
Being Spanish, I grew up in a very humid and wet area—we have got North-Atlantic weather in my region—meaning it rains most of the year but temperatures are rather warm, even during the coolest months. Hence, as a child, I was never taught how to dress for proper cold.
Seven years ago, the husband and I moved abroad and for the first time ever, I found myself experiencing proper winter—and by that, I mean winter in capital letters, like the type the Stark family spent 8 TV show seasons warning us about and, of course, we knew nothing of because we were
totally unprepared idiotssweet summer children. So, I had to learn. Quickly.
Looking back now, I can only feel the clothes I had for winter were unsuitable, to say the least (thermals? I was clueless about the meaning of that word…) and I had to spend a considerable amount of time and money making my research. And even so—for an embarrassingly long time—I was either freezing or making my best impersonation of a potato sack (while still freezing).
Since this is nothing but cold winter, I thought I would share with you all those little pieces of wisdom a poor clueless Spanish girl had to learn the hard way.
Here you are: my top tips on how to dress for winter (and stay stylish).
Thermals are your best friend
I am not gonna lie. It took me a while to realize there is a limited number of layers you can wear over your clothes. (Actually, it took me so long I am surprised to this day I didn’t end up like Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining movie…) The obvious solution is dressing from underneath and building up. A nice thermal tie and tights make such a difference, really. In my opinion, nothing can beat the Heattech line by Uniqlo. To me, it’s been life-changing since a friend recommended it. I can wear mostly anything with those and still feel like a human being. Guys, if that’s not the definition of success, I don’t know what it is.
And a nice coat should be your second skin
I know, Captain Obvious to the rescue. However, for most winter all people will see is your coat. Why not to invest in something that will keep you warm but is still fabulous? Personally, I am all about statement coats: they add up to your outfit in a simple way while making dressing a lot easier. If you want to play safe, go for a neutral tone that goes with everything. There are plenty of options out there depending on your taste and budget but I think we all agree a coat is such an investment piece.
Hats add the final touch to any winter outfit
I collect hats and berets in every colour of the rainbow and I can tell you it’s such an easy, inexpensive way to crown any stylish outfit. The one I am wearing in these pictures used to belong to my mother before she passed it to me and it’s about twenty years old. (You can tell I love a nice vintage piece, can’t you?) But the point is, a good hat will protect you from extreme weather, so why not to look for something you truly love?
Natural materials can be twice warmer (and fabulous)
It took me far too long but, once I said goodbye to all of that artificial knitwear and hello to my trusted 100% wool and cashmere, life was never the same. While living in Spain, I always thought it was more of a question of taste on texture but once I moved to a place with proper winter, I realized there is a difference beyond the mere aesthetics. The high price tag is there for a reason, guys. In the past, I found very nice pieces at The White Company but I’ve been obsessed over Repeat Cashmere lately. They offer a wide range of pieces from cardigans to coats in every colour and style, and I only regret I didn’t get to know them earlier.
When still cold, add pocket warmers
On particularly cold days when the temperatures drop below zero, I will wear my heavier coat but also add my secret weapon: pocket or hand warmers. In case you don’t know about them, they are a small device you heat and insert in your pockets to release heat for a couple of hours. There are several model types, including electric, gel-based, and even stone or carbon-based models, but they are an effective way to keep yourself warm during a cold wave.
And these were my tips on how to keep yourself warm this winter while staying stylish. What about you? Are there any tips you want to share?
Coat | Zara (old, nice alternatives at New Look and La Redoute)
Trousers | Zara (last season, similar model at Karen Miller)
Patent Ankle Boots | Reserved (old, amazing alternative at Russell & Bromley)
Hat | Vintage
Bag | CHANEL (Great opportunity to get it with a fair discount at Vestiaire Collective)