We’ve covered nine of the 10 casual outfit formulas in great detail (refresh your memories with formulas #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 #6 ,#7, #8 and #9). Formula #10 is about leggings and we’ve also covered that in detail. Phew! That’s a lot of casual Autumn options, just in time for… Winter.
For many of us Autumn has come and gone, and we are faced with bitterly cold Winter weather. Not to fear, these outfits can still work with the appropriate winterizing touches. This means layering with style, or as Sally from Already Pretty put it in a great post she wrote recently, “layering without lumps”. By layering with the appropriate items both underneath and on top of the formula ensembles, you’ll stay warm outside, but feel ventilated when you peel off the layers indoors.
In some instances you’ll wear every additional layer, and in other instances you’ll only add one or two. Here’s my recipe for toasty Winter buns:
- Thermal silk underwear: Not terribly alluring, but very warm! Personally, silk underwear is not for me. I find it uncomfortable and prefer to layer in other ways. I wear a long camisole that I can tuck into undies and wear tights, often two pairs, under my jeans, pants, skirts and dresses.
- Tights: Hosiery is a wonderful thing. It’s a no brainer with skirts and dresses and opaques are great to wear under jeans and slacks. If you prefer to wear fine textured hose instead of woolly tights like I do, wear a pair of nude hose under patterned hose for extra cozy warmth. Works like a charm.
- Warm socks: There are plenty of toasty sock options these days and knee-high wool blends are warmest. If you have a bad reaction to wool like I do, opt for long cotton socks and wear two pairs.
- Knitwear: Substitute items made of wool and wool blends for tops made of cotton rich fabrications like T’s and knit tops. This is tricky for people who are allergic to wool, but there is a bigger selection of itch-free options every season. I’ve found that cashmere and silk-wool blends are less itchy so don’t give up on wool yet. Keep your knitwear fairly fine gauge to achieve optimal sleekness. Chunky knits tend to make you look and feel bigger and they don’t layer well under jackets and coats.
- Jackets: Wear a form fitting lined wool blazer or leather jacket over your top layers and underneath your coat. I’ve found the extra insulating layer of a jacket indispensable. It’s also makes me feel chic when I’m still wearing a structured jacket after I’ve removed my coat. (In order for this layering trick to work, you have to get the fit of the coat just right).
- Weather proof boots: Boots are much warmer than pumps and ballet flats worn with hose. And the more of your foot and leg that is enclosed by weatherproof material, the warmer you’ll be.
- Coat: The thicker and longer the coat, the warmer you’ll feel. Heavy wool coats with thinuslate linings are effective, but puffers are the best solution for temperatures below freezing. I run colder than most, but I’ve found that coats shorter than knee-length are a waste of time when it’s ridiculously cold. You need total thigh coverage for maximum insulation.
- Scarves: Thick bulky scarves that you can tie close to the neck in multiple layers are magical. It’s amazing how much warmer you feel when you wear the right scarf. Flimsy, lightweight silk scarves are decorative but not nearly as warm. Feel free to wear a necklace under the scarf so that when your scarf comes off indoors, you’ll feel put together with your other accessories.
- Hats: Hats can look sensational if you have the hair and face shape that compliments the look. Audi recently wrote an excellent post on flattering hats for every head, which is well worth a squizz. And even if you still don’t feel fab in a hat and loathe hat-head, get over it and bite the bullet. You need to cover your head when temperatures really plummet and that’s all there is to it. The Budget Babe has spotted a few adorable casual hat options that won’t break the bank.
- Gloves: The right pair of gloves is essential. I prefer leather with a cashmere lining because it’s versatile and works with all dress codes. But preferences differ and you might prefer wool, fleece or even mittens.
- Legwarmers: If you like this 80’s flashback, they are super cute and very practical.
Sleeveless sheath dresses don’t need to hibernate either. Try layering underneath them with button down shirts, turtlenecks, crewnecks sweaters and other long sleeved tops before you add a jacket and coat. Also, if you’d prefer to wear pumps and hose to work but need to brave the elements on your commute, swap out your shoes when you get there. Kasmira wrote a great post last year on how she creatively bundles up for her bus commute.
There are stylish solutions for all aspects of life! Do you use these layering tricks? Please add to the list in the comments if I’ve missed anything out.