It’s not as if we live in tropical climes, so why are we as Brits so ill prepared in the fashion stakes when it comes to cold weather? The answer may be that we have to dress adaptively – even on the coldest of days, we need to consider stuffy tube rides, overheated shops and office central heating. The dilemma of whether to dress for the indoor or outdoor temperature seems to flummox us; leading to woeful underdressing in thin, synthetic fabrics or overheating in more layers than the Michelin man. So how is it that our neighbouring Scandinavians get it so right when it comes to staying stylish in winter? The key is layers, not bulky volume, but strategic layering of natural fibres in a harmonious palette. Here’s how to get the winter Scandi Style look:
Create a base layer
Scandis do base layers so very well. That first layer that touches your skin underpins your winter wardrobe and is the key to combatting the cold weather. Ensuring it creates a ‘sealed’ layer will trap a pocket of air between your skin and your clothing, acting as insulation. Rosemunde vests have a longer line to keep the midrift covered, with a silk/cotton blend that is lightweight, yet super breathable. We have a myriad of colours to choose from, in tanks and long-sleeves. Imminently practical, yet not compromising on style – choose from delicate lace trim, on-trend animal print camis or this season’s hottest raspberry shade.
For our bottom halves, when it comes to winter hosiery we love Wolford or Falke tights with merino for extra warmth – they come in muted jewel colours which look beautiful peeping out from under midi skirts, or atop knee-high boots. Look for lined trousers or wool blends to add that extra layer of warmth, too.
Fine-knit polo necks like these from Rosemunde are a brilliant, savvy winter wardrobe addition – worn alone with jeans and a blazer they’re great – however they really come into their own slipped under shift dresses or strappy maxi dresses that you would otherwise be unable to wear in the depths of winter. Great under pinafore dresses and dungarees too – they’re a cosy way of layering, stylishly.
Choose natural fibres
Cashmere, wool, silk and cotton are all Scandi winter wardrobe staples. Our ethos of ‘buy well, buy once’ means that by investing in well-made designs, in natural fibres will mean they wash and wear well, lasting longer than their synthetic counterparts. They will also offer us better protection from the winter elements – cashmere and wool are brilliant for offering warmth without bulk (our new Orwell + Austin and Wyse London cashmere slogan knits are perfect for this), while cotton and silk are great breathable base layers that are soft next to sensitive skin.
Keep warm, head to toe
Keeping your extremities warm and toasty is key to keeping the chill at bay and finishes off any winter outfit perfectly. We have a full range of winter accessories – from bold scarves to luxury knit hats. Why not keep your neck cosy with a statement scarf like this oversize pom pom knit from Miss Pom Pom or stop heat loss through your head with a stylish cashmere beanie – not only will these finishing touches ensure you stay warm, they are a great way of injecting colour into an outfit or update last year’s coat – which brings us to…
Invest in your outer layers (and your mid layers)
We all know about outerwear when it comes to winter dressing – but what about mid layers? Wearing more than one coat is a key look to Scandi dressing and it serves a practical purpose, too. Rather than relying on one, bulky outer layer to provide all your warmth, having the versatility of a mid-layer like a gilet or this lightweight down jacket from Patrizia Pepe enables you to adapt to whatever the winter weather will throw at you. Layering a denim jacket under a wool camel jacket is another classic play on textures and colours.
Leather is surprisingly insulating without being bulky; the cropped proportions of this classic black jacket are great on petite figures and finish at a flattering point on the waist. Layer over fine knits and add a big scarf to keep the chill out.
Play with proportions
Remember to balance your proportions to keep that simple Scandi silhouette we love. Pairing a chunky knit with a streamline pair of tuxedo pants, or fitted skirt will ensure that your figure doesn’t feel swamped and your winter look stays flattering – or try a pleated skirt with a fitted luxe knit, demi-tucked to accentuate your waist. Our new Orwell + Austen slogan knits are perfect for this cosy, off-duty look.