Aside from a few standout pieces – such as lace dresses, leather leggings, chunky fair isle knits, pleated midi skirts and the odd flash of velvet – autumn/winter dressing is fairly uninspiring. You’re so restricted by weather-related practicalities, that it makes getting dressed feel like a chore.
This year I’m doing my best to get excited about practical winter fashion. And, as a result, I’ve been searching for A/W basics with luxe design details. Here are 7 practical purchases you need to make for winter – all with a slight fashion-forward twist…
As I approach my 30th birthday I’m happy to report I’ve finally reached a level of maturity in which I accept that, as someone who lives in the UK, I need a raincoat. I think waterproof clothing is generally gross and boring, but Stutterheim have a lovely selection of raincoats for men and women. Gorgeous colours, flattering cuts, and their coats are all made from recycled materials.
2. Flat ankle boots
I have a few of pairs of flat, winter boots from Joules and I absolutely love them. They’re all at least two or three years old by now, and they’ve aged beautifully (I can fully vouch for the quality). Plus the fun design details – like a pop of animal print, or metallic leather, running across the back of the boot – makes them feel special. I always receive so many compliments, when I wear my pairs.
3. High quality tights
I try to go bare-legged for as long as possible, because tights hold zero appeal for me. However, since discovering Heist tights, last winter, I do at find the overall tight-wearing experience more enjoyable. Heist tights don’t have a gusset, which means they don’t sag or start drooping every 20 minutes. They’re also made from a super-strong yarn, so they last a lot longer than regular tights – making them a more sustainable choice.
4. ‘Rain Beanie’
I do not like umbrellas. They never manage to keep me dry, because they’re usually blowing around chaotically in the wind. And they’re also really annoying to carry around all day. So, if it’s not a torrential downpour, I try to get away with wearing a hat instead. Years ago, Monica and I started calling the hats we wear when it’s drizzly outside our “rain beanies”, and the name has stuck!
5. Fleece-lined hoodie
When it’s cold outside I just want to wrap my body up in layers of fleece. But fleece is not chic, let’s be real! It feels great, but looks blah. However, I think I’ve found a great solution… Sweaty Betty’s fleece-lined hoodie is super cosy, yet it looks just like a regular piece of luxe athleisure. The berry colour-way is my favourite, because you could easily get away with wearing it outside of the gym. It would look great with leather leggings and a camel coat, for example.
6. Snow-friendly boots
I don’t think I’ve ever been excited about a snow boot before. But, a few weeks ago, my friend Wendy from ThankFifi shared these FitFlop boots on Instagram Stories and I was instantly obsessed. I don’t ever wish for snow days, that’s for sure. But I’d happily step outside in a snowstorm if I had a pair of these boots to hand. They look practical, cosy and they’re not at all offensive on the eyes!
7. Padded gilet
I always do a Saturday morning yoga class to start the weekend. And for the past four weeks, my yoga teacher has arrived wearing a padded gilet over a chunky knit. It’s such a great look! If you can find a gilet that is slightly cinched-in at the waist – or has some cool design details – you’re onto a winner, as it will look super-chic. I love this hooded design from Uniqlo…
What are your practical winter fashion essentials?
Photo by Kylie Eyra (Stutterheim coat gifted)