I know that many people actually look forward to the colder months because they just love to cover up and pull out their collection of boots and woollies. I for one, dread it. Why? Because I really, really feel the cold, big time! And I also find it harder to look as feminine as I’d like to when every inch of flesh is covered in fabric.
So how do I get around this? I thought you’d never ask! Here are some of my top tips for Winter Dressing:
I bet if you looked at your wardrobe right now, you’d find that a good 50% – if not more – is black. And if you hit the shops right now, you’ll also definitely find no shortage of this colourless colour (it’s not really a colour you know!). So why do so many women think black is their safest bet? Why do we think we have to darken down in winter and lighten up in summer? Isn’t the weather drab enough without us adding to the sombre mood?
Feel The Fabric
Like I said above, you don’t have to wear dark colours just because it’s Winter. You CAN wear white and lighter colours. But the fabric weight is what will make all the difference and look either wrong or right for the climate. Summery cottons, silks and lightweight (unlined) linen will all look too summery, especially if worn with boots or black tights. It’s about balancing the climate and the fabric weights. Look for heavier fabrics, lined jackets, wools. Fabrics with texture always work well in Winter.
It’s often more about the fabric weight that keeps you warm and looking stylish in winter, rather than the colour. Black won’t really keep you any warmer! And it’s what you wear with that colour (including the right style of shoes) that pulls everything together.
Winter white, cream, ivory, light silver-greys are all lovely ways to lighten up a drab winter wardrobe. And instead of black, why not look for navy, or grey or camel instead?
Colour Your World
In winter – apart from black – we often see a return to the maroons and plums and aubergines instead of their lighter or brighter counterparts. I call these shades “muddy”. Beware muddy colours. Any colour that’s had black added to it to tone it down is what I refer to as a muddy colour. In turn, they can dull your complexion and really don’t give much of a lift to your outfits either.
These colours (below) are not muddy. These a considered rich, jewel colours. Think true ruby reds, sapphire or cobalt blues, emerald greens etc.
Learn To Layer
You don’t have to wear bulky clothes and chunky knits to stay warm. Well, you can, but there are more stylish ways that won’t add bulk to your figure. Invest in fine under-tops (long-sleeved spencer/thermals and wear them under everything for added warmth. Choose a low neckline so they are either not visible at all or just covering cleavage and adding a hint of colour as an accent. This way you can layer a favourite summer top or shirt over, and add a cropped cardie or jacket and still get wear out of your summer wardrobe all year round.
Nail The Right Neckline
Turtlenecks, roll-necks, funnel necks – all of these will add extra warmth without the need for a scarf. Hair is best worn up when wearing these necklines. If you have a short neck or find this sort of neckline irritating, go for a low, scooped neckline or deep V-neck. Add warmth with scarves and cardies but allow some visible décolletage for a more feminine touch.
If wearing fitted collared shirts, try wearing them unbuttoned as low as is “decent” to widen and open up the neckline and balance hips. Layer a cami or long-sleeved spencer underneath to cover cleavage and add an extra layer of warmth without bulk. Avoid collared shirts under a jacket – bit too masculine.
Forget About Showing Off Your Feet
Aaah, yes. Shoes. My biggest style issue with winter. Remember, for true style, if it’s cold enough to cover up, up top, it’s cold enough to cover your tootsies. No thongs or sandals in winter, please ladies!
Think ballet flats with cropped/rolled jeans instead of sandals if you want to show a little skin and it’s not too cold or wet outside. Or loafers (driving shoes) if you’re like me and need extra warmth and a little more coverage than a ballet flat. And you can’t really go wrong with ankle boots (with skinny jeans, not bootcut) or flat equestrian style long boots with jeggings/skinny jeans.
I have a summer and winter scarf wardrobe that gets me through all the seasonal changes. My chunky, knitted scarves do the job on colder days; my lightweight ones ($19.95 from Witchery) get me through summer and even still get worn in winter under jackets for a pop of colour or lighten up a dark jacket. Options are endless! Try infinity scarves to create a neckline feature on a simple top. Try adding a flower brooch to close the scarf and add a pop of contrast colour and texture.
The All Important DON’Ts
Don’t confuse your seasons. Don’t be all Winter on top, but all Summer on the bottom:
- Shorts, bare legs, ugg boots, a tee shirt and a scarf or beanie – this does NOT look stylish.
- Neither does a summer frock with thongs or sandals with a heavy jacket on top (‘cos yes, it’s 12 degrees outside and you do NEED that jacket!). Same goes for bare legs and sandals with a short party dress when out clubbing in the depths of Winter.
- Thongs are for the beach in Summer. Enough said. Same goes for sandals – whether you feel the cold or not, they look out of place when the bulk of the population are getting around in boots and coats.
- It’s ok to wear brighter, lighter colours in Winter, as long as the fabrics aren’t too light-weight or at least have layers under/over to give the whole look a warmer feel.
- Don’t wear black opaque tights with a floral summer frock and sandals.
- Don’t wear socks with sandals.
- And finally, for Winter Racing Carnival, follow the dress code. Always make sure you cover up your toes with closed in pumps and stockings. No bare legs and sandals. And make sure you look like you’re heading to the Races, not to a nightclub.
That should do for now…hope this has helped you with a few Winter styling dilemmas!