The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur to be honest; very heavy on the life admin. However, we’ve moved into our new place and yesterday, I went full unpacking mode. While moving wasn’t originally on our agenda, there is something about finding new homes for pieces and re-configuring the furniture and decor which always gives me a thrill of excitement and satisfaction. Like my wardrobe, re-styling objects and furniture injects a feeling of newness into pieces we already own.
Winter is definitely giving way to spring and I’ve been enjoying the past few sun-drenched mornings. Before the last tendrils of winter leave us (and given that all you lovely readers in the northern hemisphere are probably thinking of your autumn wardrobes about now) I thought I would share a some tips to help you layer clothes for winter.
One of the biggest challenges of my winter wardrobe has been learning how to dress for style while also staying warm. I’ll admit that, around the house, you’re still more likely to find me prioritising a puffer jacket and odd woollen socks over anything fancy (even more so at the moment, as Sydney has been in lock down for the past two months). However, when I do have to look presentable, learning how to layer effectively so that an outfit doesn’t looking to voluminous, is a skill that has revolutionised my winter wardrobe and helped me realise that style and warmth are not mutually exclusive concepts. I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve master the art of layering. However, below are four tips which have really transformed my winter wardrobe over the years – and hopefully will be helpful for you too.
Invest in quality fabrics
One of the biggest revelations for me came when my mother-in-law kindly gifted me a cashmere sweater. I couldn’t believe how comfortable I was while wearing just one light-weight sweater as opposed to layering two or three synthetic counter-parts. Since then I really haven’t looked back and have slowly shifted most of my winter sweaters, knits and coats over to 100% wool (particularly cashmere or merino wool, where possible). These pieces are more expensive and do require careful washing. However, for me, the trade off is definitely worth it. If you don’t have a large budget I’ve been lucky to find a few beautiful woollen knits while op shopping (like the black knit above) and while not a sustainable brand per se, Uniqlo sells great knitwear (including cashmere sweaters) for a very reasonable price. Country Road is one of my favourite go-to stores for merino knitwear.
Layer from light to heaviest
I prefer to layer pieces from lightest to heaviest as I find this creates the most streamlined silhouette. I usually choose lightweight camisoles, body suits or knits as the first layer closest to my skin and then add bulkier knits, blazers or jackets over the top. Wearing a pair of stockings under jeans is a great way to add an extra layer of warmth without affecting the way the jeans sit on your frame (this may not work so well for light-weight pants as the stockings can create a static with some fabrics).
Proportions are your friend
If I get the proportions of an outfit right, I feel I can usually get away with more voluminous outfits; for example, balancing out a chunky oversized knit or coat with slim pants or cinching an outfit in at the waist to create an hourglass silhouette. You can also use volume, in and of itself, to make a statement – such as an oversized coat.
Don't forget about accessories
Accessories (such as gloves, hats, socks and scarves) may be small, but they can be mighty when it comes to keeping you warm in winter. A thick scarf would definitely be one of my winter essentials as I feel warmer overall if my neck is covered. Same goes for warm socks. These can be effective ways to boost warmth without adding extra volume.
I’d love to know if you have any favourite layering tips or ways that you like to stay warm in winter?
Outfit: Sportscraft Navy Merino Woollen Coat given to me as a birthday gift in 2020 (similar, here), Thrifted black merino knit sweater (similar, here), Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans in tango fade.
Photos: Sara Eshu