How to Dress and Layer in this back and forth weather
Hey! I'm a poet and I don't know it!
I've been requested to write this post by a couple of people, because it's quite common this time of year to get fed up with your clothes for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's a new year, and new you! Amma right? Whether you're consciously making an effort or not, everyone feels like a new year is a refresh, a restart on you, and that extends to every area of your life, wardrobe included. Secondly, you've been in the same clothes for months! Gone are summery dresses, sandals and sunnies. Now, it's the time for re-wearing the same haggard jumper over and over again, and the same pair of jeans. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but when you've been doing it again and again for the whole of Winter, it gets a bit much. You want something fresh and new! On a different note, the academic institution of Ciara (me, observing on the high street) is that people, in general, tend to wear darker colours in winter and brighter colours in summer, and again, after a while, it gets a bit boring and you could get fed up.
So, it's time for a wardrobe refresh. Yet, the weather puts a dampener on a full refresh- it goes from sunny and bright one day to absolute cats and dogs (and a storm named after me) the next. So, it's the perfect time of year to integrate your two wardrobes, to combine your favourite pieces from both into a stylish, weather-proof look. Here are my favourite, stylist-approved ways to get the best of both worlds and be dressed for all weathers!
Boots with a feminine touch
Boots are the staple of a British winter. You probably have a few pairs tucked away at the back of the wardrobe. Yet, they don't just have to be worn with jeans, you know! You can pair them with your favourite summery or patterned midi dress or skirt to have a perfect, all-weather (or pub) ready look.
A statement pair of jeans or culottes
Elevate any outfit by swapping out your usual pair of skinny or slim jeans with an interesting pair of trousers. Just take a pair of high-waisted or mom style jeans, or any jeans with an interesting cut! If that's not your cup of tea, you could invest in a pair of culottes which are really on trend and also super comfortable! I have a couple of pairs myself. These bottoms can then be teamed with literally any of your tops, from jumpers in colder weather to t-shirts or crop tops in the summer!
Layering a midi dress
As you might have already gathered, a midi dress is my favourite piece of clothing to wear. I've said it a million times but you can dress it up or down, with trainers or heels, for all weather and the cold weather is no exception. You can add a jumper, chunky or thin, in a neutral colour, over your favourite go-to midi to turn it into a whole new top and skirt look! You can also use this look with a midi skirt- instead of a cute t-shirt or light summery blouse, for colder days you can team them with jumpers too.
Denim and Leather jackets
The two essentials in anyone's wardrobe. These jackets are perfect to throw on in most weathers, and if you invest, they last for years. My leather jacket was a birthday present a couple of years ago and it moulds to the shape of you when you wear it, making it the best fitting thing in my wardrobe as it's completely unique for me. Leather adds a bit of a rock chick edge, so you can wear it over a floral dress or even a skirt and t-shirt to make the look a bit edgier. Whilst on the other hand, denim is a bit softer, but still suits being chucked over any outfit. If you're feeling daring, wear it back with a pair of jeans! Get that B'Witched look on! It's also quite a bit lighter than leather, so definitely better for warmer days and the summer too. You can just chuck either in your bag if you're heading out and unsure of where the day will take you; especially in Spring or Summer. Make sure to get ones that sit at your natural waist to highlight it!
Closed-toe shoes that aren't boots
This shoe alternative to boots is great for this time of year, as they aren't as harsh or heavy as a pair of boots could be, but they are still great for rain or shine. You can lighten up your look by wearing a pair of brouges or mules which instantly make it more daintier. They're also great for spring as they put a bit of spring in your step, too! Team with literally any outfit, from culottes to jeans to a midi skirt to a mini dress, they can be worn with anything you would wear your boots with and more. A shoe that cuts off at the ankle and below is also more suited to cropped trousers (of which there are a lot at the moment, and I'm totally here for it!) as they lessen the potential shortening of legs in that look, and highlight your ankle which is often the slimmest part of your leg, thereby making your legs appear slimmer (and arouse any Victorian gentleman that happens to be passing).
A funky t-shirt can be worn with anything
The powers of a great t-shirt have been discovered and re-discovered for decades. This time round, for the 2020s, we're looking at a great fitting, BCI cotton (for sustainability reasons, duh) t-shirt with a great and unusual print or graphic. Let it express your thoughts or opinions! Just no Female Body Inspectors, please. Again, you can team it back with anything, from tucking it into a pair of high rise trousers to accentuate your waist, to wearing it under a pair of dungarees or with a midi skirt. A staple in your wardrobe for throwing on for walks to the park or trips to the pub with friends.
Your whole life in a bag
I am just going to come out and say it. I'm gonna say it. I'm just going to say it. I am NOT a fan of the whole tiny bag craze at the moment. THERE. They are utterly useless and not at all practical. They will die in AW20 in a blaze of un-glory. And I will be happy. Because for me, a working woman, I need a bag that I can carry my life around in. A bag which can fit my laptop, multiple notebooks and chargers, an umbrella, lunch, my wallet, keys, a novel and more. Usually a jacket, spare pair of socks or tights and a water bottle. So, another key piece for me in this transitional style is a hold-all bag. But, make it stylish. Think soft, buttery leather (or faux leather if that's your thing). Cool neutral colours that go with everything or bright pops of spring colours that you will love to brighten up those windy days. Throw it over your shoulder or carry it in your hands with shopping bags and folders. It goes with everything, but most importantly, your life.
Layering a shirt or t-shirt
In the colder days at the moment, putting a coat on might seem too much, but wearing nothing isn't enough. That's where subtle, crafty and most importantly stylish layering comes into place. Take your favourite jumper and throw a crisp white shirt (preferably oversized) underneath. Pop those collars and roll the sleeves, so you can see it under! A perfectly preppy look. Or, for any shirt or shirt dress, a perfect white t-shirt worn underneath, with the first few buttons undone would be a great look for work. You can do this with any number of garments you already own, adding a new layer of warmth for the weather and a fresh preppy look. And when it gets too warm? Just slip the unnecessary layer off in the toilet!
From L-R: Whistles Rosa T-shirt (my absolutely favourite white t-shirt and well worth an investment. Stylist approved. It also comes in a variety of patterns and colours), French Connection Rhoades shirt.
This, is the key. The key to what, you may ask. Not just expressing yourself and glamming yourself up for any occasion but the key to really making that outfit work for both seasons. Adding a headband (see my previous post here) and a great pair of huggies earrings can really elevate your outfit, making you look oh so put together and instantly stylish. This season, focus on hair accessories, statement or solid earrings and dainty necklaces and bracelets to tie the outfit together. Stick to colours you like or wear a lot to team them with anything, or a contrasting colour or texture (like velvet or tulle, shells or motifs) to clash the look in a stylish way!
And finally, blazers. Funky or preppy. Navy or bright pink. A blazer is an answer to all of your questions about layering in on and off weather. Wear a jersey one for a more casual look, or a boxy, oversized one for a classic tom-boyish one. They can be worn on top of anything, like a denim or leather jacket, but add a slightly more smart casual look, which can be perfect for work. Wear one on top of a long tiered dress, for clashing trends or with a white shirt and a pair of jeans for a perfectly preppy, London chic look. Overall, it works with most, if not all outfits already there in your wardrobe and you will be so thankful on a weirdly mild day you have something light enough to chuck on on top of your outfit.
So there we have it! My best tips for dressing in this on and off weather. Just don't forget to carry an umbrella with you! Even if it's sunny when you leave the house in the morning. I learnt that the hard way...
Thank you to the wonderful people who requested this post, you inspired me so much! And again, if anyone has any requests please do get in touch.
Boots- Marks and Spencer