A Style Guide to Winter Layering

It goes without saying that when the weather is this biting you need to dress accordingly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear what you want to! Alongside this week’s How to Style Layers shoot I thought I’d put together something of a layering guide; how to keep warm without changing your sense of style.

A L L  A B O U T  T H E  B A S E 

Don’t underestimate the power of cashmere, wool and technical under-pinnings, they’re key to keeping cosy and wearing what you want. You don’t have to rule out wide-leg trousers and pleated skirts, you just need to invest in efficient underwear: cashmere over-the-knee socks like Brora’s are luxuriously warm or Wolford’s leggings that could be worn as tights or even under trousers when necessary, Marks and Spencer’s vests are an institution (the longer the better to keep your bum warm) and long-sleeve thermals that work with your neckline, Uniqlo’s HeatTech range is my go-to for quality and price.

P O W E R  T O  T H E  P O L O N E C K

Polonecks are part of my daily winter wardrobe (as you can see in the looks below) from the moment autumn allows and it’s cold enough to layer-up. If there was one piece of advice to take from this post, it is that a poloneck is the single and best way to keep the cold at bay, plus it smartens up every outfit. Do I often feel a little like Steve Jobs? Yes I do and that man was a genius. Layer fine polonecks under a shirt, a dress or double-up and wear it under a heavier knit or v-neck for extra cosiness. My current favourites? The oversized shape of this navy design from & Other Stories is a perfect shape for skinny-fit denim, Arket have a palette of colours in their Merino Roll-Neck Jumper and I like to mix feminine fabrics like silk, lace and sequins into a wintry uniform; this lurex style from M.i.h will add instant sparkle.

D O N ‘ T  D I S R E G A R D  T H E  D R E S S

When it’s dark, cold and bleak outside it’s often easier to pull on your trustworthy uniform of jeans and a jumper but by February this mat feel like a rut. Don’t neglect your more pretty and feminine pieces in the colder months because they can still be worn, they just need to be layered. Your first challenge is to cover your skin, all of it via tights, tights with socks and knee-high boots, thermal layers and a polo neck underneath the dress and perhaps another jumper over the dress; in the right fabrics this will be joyous and warm and not as bulky as it may sound. Or what about wearing a dress over jeans? Wait! Hear me out. Yes, it was a huge trend in the nineties but is back and a lot easier to wear than you’d think; in short layer a dress over skinny-fit jeans and add structure with a blazer or trench coat. If this fills you with dread and fear take a look at Harpers Bazaar for how to work the look.

S H E A R L I N G  F O O T  F I R S T 

Being miserably cold is one thing, but being miserably cold with achingly cold feet can take you and your mood from bad tempered to bedlam. There’s a simple solution that takes the comfort of your feet to the next level, passed cashmere socks: shearling -lined boots. Think of them like a smart Ugg boot that is acceptable to wear outside e(yes, they are rumoured to be back in fashion but I just can’t. The hiking boot was a huge footwear trend meaning they have moved onto the high-street from the designer collections. Rag & Bone’s Compass boots are what dreams are made of but with quite the price tag; Boden’s leather and sheepskin boots are great and in the sale too. If you don’t want to invest in a boot now that it feels like spring’s round the corner, try Ugg’s life-saving shearling insoles; you’re welcome!

T U C K – I N 

And finally, the most simple and effective way  to keep the warm in and the cold out and to tuck-in, and I mean everything. On cold days I’m like a little girl: I tuck my thermal vest in my knickers and then my jumper into my jeans. No, it’s not style advice or particularly inspiring but it is sensible, isn’t that right Mum?

Mix and layer different prints, textures and finishes; here I am wearing a poloneck under a lace-trim silk vest with both a blazer and a leopard print coat.
Their tailored shapes mean they fit neatly together and I especially like how the lapels overlay, juxtaposing the different textures.
Loeffler Randall Kassidy Suede Sock Boots | £400 at NET-A-PORTER
I like the mix of fabrics here: the wood blazer against the snakeskin belt.
The loose fit of the military jacket easily fits over the layers; the last thing you want is to look bulky!
Wear a dress over jeans in the colder months; choose slim and skinny-fit shapes to balance out the silhouette.
Rise Sheena Space Age Spot Midi Dress | £295 at Studio B
Fendi Peekaboo Sunglasses | £255