As much as the idea of venturing outdoors fills us with a certain kind of dread in the peak of winter, sometimes needs must.
(…Even when all we really want to do is stay where the sofa, hot drinks and blankets are. Right?)
Whether it’s a romantic wander around the park or an obligatory trip to the supermarket, dressing for minus two degrees doesn’t need to be as icy as your feelings towards breaking away from self-imposed hibernation.
Likewise, if you have a skiing holiday lined up or are heading away to a cold country, it is possible to showcase the full scope of your capsule wardrobe while tackling those unpredictable new climates.
How? Well, by layering your clothes, of course.
Although the prospect of layering for cold weather may initially sound like a chore, the good news is, you can do it in a way that is creative and stylish. It just requires a bit of careful consideration, depending on the occasion.
1. For the Office
First things first, when dressing for the chillier months, who best to take inspiration from than the queen of winter ‘fits herself: Taylor Swift? Known for that scarf and her array of cosy long-line formal coats, taking a leaf out of Taylor’s book is a great way to keep warm and look cool over the Autumn/Winter season.
For workdays in subzero temperatures, team your snug woolly accessory with a classic button-up shirt, similarly Taylor-esque cardigan, pleated skirt and heeled boots.
Oh, and don’t forget your tights in a heavier denier to keep your legs feeling extra toasty!
2. For Family Dinners
The ultimate family dinner to dancefloor combination? Step forward, the humble yet classic party dress, jumper and tights trio.
This look cleverly conveys the fashion personality of each of its wearers, making it ideal for navigating the various social events that crop up around this time of year. Keep it traditional with a plush velvet dress under a cowl-neck jumper and over fair isle tights, getting the most out of your January sales purchases.
You can always swap your flats for stilettos and add to your makeup with winged liner and a bold lip as per AW21 beauty trends. Then — voilà — you’re ready to go OUT out after dinner.
3. For a Winter Walk or Sledding
There’s nothing more fun than grabbing a sledge and hot-footing it down to the nearest hill during snow days. To make sure you don’t freeze up and pay attention to layering for cold weather, throw on a midi-length coat over an on-trend, oversized hoodie.
In fact, being comfortably prepared for the great outdoors is super important. With this in mind, we’d suggest teaming this combo with a long-sleeved thermal top or t-shirt, thick joggers or sports leggings and faux-fur lined boots or wellies.
Bonus points for adding a beanie hat, scarf and gloves to keep the chill at bay for hours of play.
4. Lazy Weekends
For those delightfully lazy weekends where there’s nothing on your to-do list but to finish a good book and squeeze in a cheeky nap, chunky knitted cardigans are the only way to go.
Paired with your favourite jeans, oversized joggers or knitted lounge trews and a slouchy t-shirt, this look can be levelled-up for any last-minute outdoor plans by adding some midi-heel suede boots.
(Finding it difficult to switch off when you finally do get that hallowed bit of downtime? We don’t blame you given all the underlying uncertainty we’ve dealt with over the past couple of years. In this case, we’ve put together a guide on ways to unwind — you can thank us later!)
5. A Job Interview
As we move into “The Big Chill” post-Christmas, it’s good to be prepped for any life-changing opportunities that may be on the horizon.
For a unique way to marry both professionalism and warmth, try an oversized plaid blazer with a boxy blouse and trusty cigarette trousers for your next meeting. Then throw on a charming wool peacoat over the top for travelling there and back in style.
Keep jewellery to a minimum if you tend to wear a number of pieces, or sport one bold item to leave a memorable impact. Subtle small hoops and thin gold necklaces are a great combination for everyday interview attire.
6. For Bottomless Brunch
If you’re getting a tad bored of beige, beige and a side of beige, this twist on layering for cold weather may be for you. Simply team similar shades of the same colour palette in thick, block-coloured fabrics for an elevated aesthetic that’s effortlessly on-trend.
The truth is, you just can’t beat a blazer and jumper combo with high-waisted jeans for bottomless brunch with the girls or date night. Throw on an oversized scarf for those days when two layers just isn’t enough and add heeled boots to polish off your well-put-together winter ensemble.
For those lucky enough to escape the country over the winter months, skiing is a common holiday pastime. And spoiler alert: those freezing cold temperatures are no joke.
We recommend keeping things bold and bright on the slopes, namely to be seen by other skiers for safety, but also to help you stay visible to your friend/family group.
The first suggestion when skiing will always be a trusty all-in-one item, which is perfect for hiding a sneaky thermal piece or two underneath. Then finish off your “slope chic” aesthetic with some chunky socks and ski goggles to keep your eyes on the prize (and that mascara from running).
Layering for Cold Weather and Locking Down These Winter Outfits
Whatever the occasion, there’s something to keep you looking and feeling cosy yet on-point when it comes layering for cold weather this season. Jump out of your comfort zone with multiple layers, or keep it as classic as your nana’s Sunday roast dinner with a lower number of layers that are higher in thickness (and quality!).
Either way, don’t be afraid of throwing pieces together that you wouldn’t normally and mixing and matching the latest fashion trends for a fresh take on cold-weather style.
Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded Trendy Tourist. Since 2017, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.