The weather is suddenly crisp; colder weather has arrived, with snow predicted to fall around much of the UK in the next week.
While it’s tempting to default and reach for the duvet coat as soon as the chill sets in, there are other options worth considering - especially if just looking at your padded puffer brings back too many memories of the last round of winter lockdown walks.
Here are six pieces that will help you to navigate the cold weather in style, whether you’re off to the office, out for a walk, or heading out in the evening.
The dual-purpose coat
Tweed and down reversible coat, £489, uk.maje.com
The thing about a classic Nylon padded jacket is that, while it’s undoubtedly the warmest option out there, it doesn’t look particularly smart if you are wearing it anywhere other than for a walk in the local park. A hybrid coat - such as Everlane’s velvety coated puffer jacket (£131, everlane.com) - would sacrifice none of the insulation, but can be worn out to dinner, or to work, without reading as too casual. Maje’s reversible tweed and down coat (pictured) is one of the best out there this year in my opinion; it features a nipped waist, leather piping, and a chic checked fabric on the outside, or you can flip it round to show the classic black quilt underneath.
The wear-anywhere boots
Chunky Chelsea boots, £150, boden.co.uk
A similar problem can arise with weather-proof boots; finding a pair that is sturdy and water resistant, yet doesn’t look like an obvious wellington or hiker style, is the challenge. Assuming there isn’t actually thick snow on the ground, a pair of glossy Chelsea boots with a lug sole could provide an ideal balance - a sleek leather upper wouldn’t look out of place in a restaurant, but the heavy duty sole will stop you from slipping and keep you warm and dry. Boden’s ‘Irish cream’ colour is more exciting than classic black.
The colour-pop scarf
Even if you are going to pull your black puffer jacket out of the wardrobe, adding a statement scarf is the quickest way to add a blast of colour, pattern and interest to your outfit. Not to mention that it will obviously add yet another layer of warmth. There are several top checks to consider on the high street this year - visit White Stuff, FatFace and Marks & Spencer for options to work with any outfit.
The evening out knit
Myrtle jumper, £119.20, lkbennett.com
Is there anything worse than arriving at a restaurant, stepping in from the cold outside, and realising that you’re going to shiver through dinner as you haven’t worn a thick enough top? Finding eveningwear that looks good and is actually warm isn’t always easy. Hence why the evening out knit is a hero piece at this time of year. LK Bennett’s lurex Myrtle jumper comes in metallic pink, gold and glittery black - you’ll wear this piece in myriad ways, again and again.
The evening boots
Why bother wearing any shoe style that leaves part of your feet or ankle exposed to the cold air, when there are so many stylish boots to wear. Again assuming you’re not snowed in and needing to wear appropriate shoes, there are plenty of styles on the high street this year that have sturdy block heels and can be worn with either dresses and tights, dark jeans or evening trousers. Charles & Keith’s twill ankle boots are the most festive out there - right down to the gold tipped heel.
The dark floral dress
Tiered midi dress, £130, wearethought.com
If picking a winter dress in a floral pattern, think first about the footwear you’re going to wear with it. Prints with darker backdrops or flecks of navy, brown and black in them will automatically pair easily with tights and boots. Look also at the sleeve length, neckline and hemline - you could easily wear more thermal layers underneath Thought’s tiered midi dress and no one would be any the wiser.