Style Fashion

Wednesday 12 December 2018

How to wear...

Keep the chill at bay with Olivia Buxton-Smith's guide on how to beat the cold snap in style

Fringed scarf, €29.95 from Mango
Fringed scarf, €29.95 from Mango
Meghan Markle. Photo: Getty Images
Cashmere socks, €40 from Marks & Spencer
Beret, €17 from River Island
Victoria Beckham. Photo: Getty Images
Floral padded coat, €1,105 by Moncler from Brown Thomas
Cardigan with mohair pockets, €79 from COS
Wide leg trousers, €49.99 from H&M
Cashmere roll neck, €120 from M&S
Pleated midi skirt, €49.95 from Mango
Knee boots, €77 from Next
Snow boots, €145 from & Other Stories
Colour block jumper, €69 from & Other Stories
Striped jumper, €389 by Ganni from Arnotts
Boucle coat, €117 from Topshop
Geometric scarf, €19.95 from Zara

Don't be fooled by the sunshine. With Met Éireann predicting heavy snowfall and bitterly cold gusts across the country tonight, continuing for the rest of the week, we're going to need to employ some techniques to keep us toasty during Storm Emma.

Dressing for cold weather can be a bit of a juggling act. You need to keep warm, while accommodating the various components of your day (commute/exercise/office/dinner), while looking stylish and pulled together - an exasperating task.

But fear not because we've narrowed it down to a digestible list of the key things to keep in mind to help you through the frosty period.

Layer up

Not only do layers trap air between them, which in turn insulates your body, but layers that you can peel off and pack on will also be your saving grace when you're wedged like a sweaty sardine on the train, sitting in an air conditioned office or darting around the shops on your lunch break.

Lisa Aiken, Retail Fashion Director at Net-a-Porter, says that the opportunity for layering makes winter her favourite season for dressing: "Adding a roll neck underneath a maxi dress is a great way to make your summer wardrobe work harder and avoid the cold."

Choose the fabric wisely. Cashmere should be your go-to for especially cold weather, and it doesn't have to break the bank. M&S's cashmere sweaters are hugely popular and with prices starting from €99, it's easy to see why. Think polo neck under sleeveless dress, under chunky knit, under coat - see Victoria Beckham for proof that there's no such thing as too many. And layer up your bottom half too. Over-the-knee boots paired with a below the knee hemline is a nifty trick.

Cover the key points

Ensuring your head, neck, hands and feet are covered is essential to keeping warm. No matter how many layers you have around your core, cold ears or numb toes make for a miserable time. Invest in a hat you actually want to wear, be it this season's accessory du jour, a beret, or a classic pompom beanie.

When it comes to gloves, opt for a fairly neutral pair that will go with everything. But you can afford to be bolder with your scarf choice as this can really make a cold weather outfit. Build up a collection of fluffy ones, XL ones and woollen ones that you can alternate between. And don't forget about cosy socks.

A statement knit is your best friend

Wear a chunky knitted jumper that you love and want to keep on all day (Ganni has lots of fabulous options). Make it the focal point of your outfit so that even when you're indoors you're not in a rush to whip it off. It's tempting to get dressed and then pull on any old navy knit 'just until you get there', but invariably you end up keeping it on all day.

Aiken urges us not to forget the humble cardi: "Transitional dressing is becoming very popular and the oversized cardigan offers just that. It's an easy piece to throw on over everything."

Invest in a great (preferably hooded) coat

Aiken also suggests "investing in a trophy coat", like Meghan Markle's favourite dressing gown silhouette by Burberry. According to the global fashion search platform Lyst, the average amount spent on a coat is dramatically increased by popular performance brand parkas by Canada Goose, Moncler and North Face. And this isn't without good reason. Outerwear by these brands might come with a hefty price tag, but it really will keep you exceptionally warm. But if you're on a budget, there are lots of great parkas, puffa jackets and faux fur coats on the high street too.

Warm your soles

Chunky boots with a track sole are great for toughening up dresses - short or long - and for accommodating thick socks. They're also good for stomping around in the sleet. Over-the-knee boots are also having a prolonged moment and have the added benefit of keeping your legs warm, while colourful ankle boots will pep up your winter wardrobe.

Keep it chic

Try belting your layers to accentuate your waist (if you find yourself overheating, tie your knitwear around your waist as this will be to similar effect) and don't forget to accessorise. And cold weather needn't herald the absence of colour. A punchy patterned coat or pair of colourful wide-leg trousers will be welcome additions to your winter wardrobe.

Irish Independent

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