I have a complicated relationship with winter. Firstly, I despise being cold. I spend almost the entirety of winter wrapped in blankets, hunched over hot water bottles, saying “feel how cold my nose is” to my boyfriend. Secondly, I loathe dark evenings. You better believe I’ve uttered the sentence, “ugh it feels like it’s the middle of the night!” at least five times a week since daylight savings began. Thirdly, each winter the universe conspires to place me, at all times, within at least 5 feet of a compulsive sniffer or an open mouth cougher.
BUT, despite the germs and the dark and the cold, this time of year is also sort of my spiritual home because it facilitates me wearing an inordinate amount of clothes on any given day. So, while Vogue continues, inexplicably, to extol the virtues of bare legs in winter, I’m trying to work out the logistics of wearing two jumpers without looking I’m partaking in a YouTube challenge.
I think it’s clear by now that ‘less is more’ means absolutely nothing to me, so I’ve decided to take you on the rollercoaster that is my layering process. Strap in, it’s about to get cosy.
Almost every single winter outfit starts with a turtleneck because, of course. So, leaving the formalities of layering aside for a moment, let’s take some time to focus on my jeans because they cost me a mere £5 and happen to feature the most exquisite green stitching and a very pleasing centre crease. I can only assume the previous owner was some sort of Guinness world record holder as I had to lop a full 20 centimetres off each leg. But back to business. Next up is a printed shirt to bring some colour to proceedings and then the obligatory neckerchief because what is a turtleneck if not a blank canvas for a jaunty neck accessory?
After that it’s coat number one. This vintage ski jacket featured in my snappily titled ‘Vintage Clothes That Totally Look Designer’ post earlier this year and I’m still very much on board with its Miu Miu-esque vibes. Adding to its already lofty credentials, it’s a lot warmer than it looks and a double zip means I can create some shape and avoid looking like a toilet roll tube. I’ve deftly neglected to demonstrate that particular detail here.
After coat number one comes coat number two. Not strictly a coat, but this monster is about as warm as knitwear gets (or faux knitwear as I’m no longer buying wool – more on that soon). I found this blanket-masquerading-as-garment in a flea market in Berlin and it’s one of those pieces that gets compliments every time I wear it. Maybe it’s the extravagant blouson sleeves.
Lastly, it’s hat and scarf time. Frankly, this could have been one image but I needed an even number so here we are. I made the scarf a couple of years ago as a post-Christmas treat for myself when my generous spirit began to wither after weeks of crocheting gifts for other people, and the hat came at the hefty price of £2 from a vintage shop. Both the scarf and hat are near permanent features about my person throughout winter.
So, there you have the secrets of layering laid bare. Stuff over stuff over more stuff, essentially. And you will find me in this cocooned state for approximately 3 months until the weather forces me to do otherwise.