Dressing for the weather has been truly challenging. - The past few months of British weather have had us alternately freezing cold, roasting hot, or soaked to the skin - sometimes all on the same day! It's hard to know what to wear when you step out of the door of a morning.
But there are a few strategies you can use to keep yourself comfortable even on unsettled days - particularly knowing your temperature points and layering.
There are three main points you need to know about on any given day: your ankles, your wrists. The more of these you cover up, the warmer you'll be and vice versa. So bear this in mind when you're planning what to wear as well as how hot or cold you personally are. Typically women's body temperatures are a degree or two cooler than men's.
If like me you're always freezing then you'll want to start out by covering all three points unless it's quite warm outside. If you're the opposite you'll need to remove layers from these areas until you get the temperature you need- I find that removing socks/tights and getting some air wafting around my ankles does it for me - unless I'm on a commute and then I get hot around my neck area and have to unpeel from there - within the bounds of modesty of course!
Working from the inside out, your options for layers start with base t- shirts or (dare I mention the words...?) thermal VESTS! - There done it! Uniqlo have great long sleeved t-shirts in a range of colours that incorporate their 'heat tech' technology to keep you cosy. They work as a t-shirt in their own right or can be worn under tops. Damart and Marks and Spencer's have good, sleevless, pretty vests in different colours. Damart have introduced a lovely charcoal grey with a deep charcoal grey lace trim that doubles as a cami. And of course, Kettlewell COlours have lots of camis and vest shaped tops in a range of colours for different seasonal palettes. - Google any of these to purchase online.
Thin low necks worn under a shirt are very on trend this season in a flashback to the 70s. Pair with slouchy trousers or the new slim cropped denim with turn ups and a block heeled ankle boot and layer with a jersey for extra warmth.
Moving outwards you've got choices of long sleeved shirts, jackets and knitwear. You've also got the option of waistcoats which are popular this season. Sara Pacini, Oska, Crea Concept, M&S, Jigsaw, Pure, Mint Velvet and other high street chains have some good ones out now - all with different names. At Oska it's a 'pullunder' at other places it might be a waistcoat or 'tabard' - which can produce some interesting medieval knights' costumes if you Google it as this is what a tabard is based upon! There are several prominent trends in knitwear this season such as capes, a variety of cardigans of different lengths and styles and knitted waistcoats often of asymetric design.
Since these layers are visible consider the shape and hemline of your knitwear carefully. Cardigans can be of differing lengths from short, to hip length to a three quarter above the knee - and longer.- This longer cardigan creates a lightweight coat over a dress or with jeans/trousers and a top. While any of these styles can look good with people of different heights, be aware that the more cut off points you put on your body, the shorter you'll look so if you're short and you want to wear a longer piece of knitwear try adding some length with a heel and to find shoes or boots that blend seamlessly into your trousers. If you are carrying more weight than your would like, a heavy knit, longer length cardi can make you look heavier. - Choose your style and length to create a longer line, slimmer look. Additionally, if your are curvy, an asymmetrical hemline on a top layer that points in and down - in the middle - is good. Avoid those that are cut straight across and do a handkerchief style dip at the sides. This will widen the hip/thigh area. If you have a straighter body shape, most hemlines will work for you but avoid anything that ends on a point which widens you and results in a 'mumsy' look - this can often be mid calf.
Finally, for your outermost layers you've got all kinds of different options with jackets and coats so focus on finding one that can work with many different outfits. Coatigans are big news this season - a cross between a coat and a cardigan with a real slouchy, wrap around snuggly feel to them. Some of the coats are huge and shapeless with an androgynous elegance all of their own - if you have sufficient confidence and drama to carry that off. Uniqlo do some great little pack away down filled jackets that come with their own stuff bags and can be stuffed into a shopping size bag for . There's a gilet style, a short jacket and a full length hooded coat.sudden changes in temperature or when moving from the warmth of the day into the evening.
Scarves are a great way to add warmth quickly and you can easily fit them into a bag if you get too hot so consider adding in a few in different colours that are large enough to wrap around your top half and can be tied to a bag handle or stuffed into a shopping bag size of handbag.
Again the key here is to remember you three points - if you're wearing long trousers, leggings or a long skirt your ankles will already be covered, leaving you with two other points to mix and match for greater coolness or warmth depending on how you are coping. Again something to consider are the very lightweight Uniqlo leggings for wearing under a light weight trouser and providing a warming extra layer. They occupy a very small corner of a bag but, yes, they are more inconvenient than a cardigan or dress to work with so consider your desired temperature as you dress.
A few final things to remember:
- Always try to find something to pull your outerwear and your clothes together such as a shared colour or pattern.
- If you're carrying an umbrella that can be a fashion statement too. A nice bright umbrella or one with a pattern can really add some zest to an outfit
- If you really can't bear the heat on your commute think of buying a spray can of Magicool Hot Weather Cooler! I've bought some to try and hear it works wonders!
Look out for a special ‘decluttering’ offer coming up soon with a discount for handmade shoes as part of the deal!
Want some individual help for getting it right this season? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free, no obligation discovery session with me.