Well, after my last entry, it turns out the cold weather won’t be over soon. More confirmation that deciding NOT to become a meteorologist was a sensible choice. However, in the words of the song, ‘I can gather all the news I need from the weather report’. And, at the present time, it seems that we have to. Here in Liverpool we’re used to that as checking the likelihood of rain is a necessary – and daily – misery. Well, not always a misery – just 282 days of the year, on average.
However, it turns out some people are loving the cold weather – according to one high street retailer, anyway. According to this brand’s ‘research’ into what their customers have loved buying most this autumn / winter, our taste in accessories has turned to scarves, hats and gloves. Yup, not shoes or bags. I should add that this particular brand is pretty low rent, rarely produces clothing using natural fibres and specialises in designer rip-offs. Not exactly a brand that you’d imagine specialises in cold weather accessories. I think the conclusion we can draw is that we’re in denial – we don’t want to spend on something we don’t like wearing. And, apparently, we don’t like the idea that this climate may be here to stay.
One good thing about the snow, ice and cold is that we’ve seen some examples of (reasonably) stylish clothing options. Even the celebs are having to adapt. Well, not la Hurley as she’s above practicality – and can afford a really good car service. But we have seen Kylie in yeti style furry jackets and slim leg trousers. Good look but I don’t know where she’s hiding her long johns. Today I left the house in a vest, long sleeved t-shirt, elbow length sleeved t-shirt, tights, jeans, socks, another pair of socks, cardigan, parka, scarf, hat and gloves. When I arrived at my destination (the doctor’s), I was informed that surgery was taking double the usual time as everyone got into the consulting rooms and had to strip off about 3 layers before the GPs could actually see what might be the problem. Having said that, there was hardly anyone there. Bonus.
Back to the celebs – it seems that they’re (mostly) just like the rest of us: Ugg boots, jeans, leggings (thermal, I hope), fair isle knitwear, silly hats, big scarves or snoods, gloves and warm (and not very slimming) coats. As I remarked last time, there’s not much news on the ‘how to be à la mode in crappy weather’ front. Even Hilary Alexander agrees. No wonder she loves Strictly Come Dancing so much – it’s pure escapism due to the tiny costumes which hint at high summer.
One thing I have seen that I like is the trend for 60s style party dresses which suit very opaque tights. Thank God. Of course, until recently they were being worn with the type of skyscraper heels which allow the wearer to predict the weather because they’ve got their head in the actual clouds. Now, I have to recommend sensible shoes. I’m sorry but I cannot budge on this point – as the owner of a dodgy knee, I know first hand how painful ice and a ball & socket joint can be when introduced at high speed. You cannot imagine it unless you too have felt the need to vomit due to pain.
Said dresses are also practical in another way – generally, they have sleeves: long sleeves. This serves two purposes – the sleeves act as a cover up for the item described in a recent survey as ‘British women’s least favourite body part’ and they keep you relatively warm. They’re also roomy around the middle too – so you can actually eat something at the Christmas party: who hasn’t worn a fitted dress which looks great when you’re standing up during cocktail hour but creates a ‘glamorous Michelin man look’ when you sit down – and an ‘ooh, that bread roll was a mistake’ silhouette when you’re standing up again for the post-dinner drinks?
So – worn with a good coat (I’m afraid knee length is the best look – no look is without any drawbacks), opaque tights, gloves and a bag big enough to accommodate the flats you ditch upon arrival at your destination – you have a practical and comfortable, but elegant, option. Can’t beat that in this weather, can you?
If you don’t fancy that choice, I’d go for wide leg, 70s style trousers (velvet is very now, warm and surprisingly flattering) with a transparent blouse covering a vest top. You can do this look with a much more cocooning coat or – if you have a warm one – a cute jacket or cape. Either of these two evening wear looks is very accessible and affordable. Every retail outlet (high end or low) seems to have a version of them. I’ve seen versions that suit all ages and they’re both good on pretty much any body shape.
Who’d have thought that there would be a good side to this winter? Of course, all you have to do now is make sure that you get the most out of your festive party buy. But accepting all those invitations won’t do your morale any harm, will it?