19 January 2015

Six Snowy Style-ssentials

With the promise of snow in the imminent future, I thought I would do a clothes post for staying stylishly snug thise New Year. I say stylish… this is, as ever, subjective. Sorry Kim. 


Embrace your inner Paddingtom with a duffle coat. I can guarantee you will:
  1. not regret a penny once you've used the furry hood to protect you from a rain or snow onslaught.
  2. look far less sinister than a certain film interoperation of Britain's most beloved bear.
It's a win-win situation. Mine is from Miss Selfridge, one of my Christmas presents last year and chosen after much dithering and searching (and more dithering). I found the coveted "petite" version in my size, as being hobbit sized I was at risk of being buried alive. 

I definitely recommend finding one with the fluffy hood - mine is sold out, but ASOS have a couple that are now reduced (here and here). You won't regret it! This new furry favourite joined the 2013's coat purchase found in the Topshop New Year Sale. Now, I am not a 'sales' person. My outlook has always been "there's a reason stuff goes in the sale". However, this particular coat was an unearthed gem, and continues to be two years on. 

Red and black checks - otherwise known as "tweed" - it goes with pretty much anything, including for more formal occasions. To top it off, the black velvet ribbon gives it a wonderfully cutesy, vintage feel. This coat would have been worth the full price, so securing it for under £40 made for one rather smug shopper. 

If you don't have the money to spend on a coat nearing the £100 marker (which most good quality ones are), I recommend trying to find one in the sale, rather than buying one which was originally at that lower price - you get more for your money! I have a similar strategy when it comes to buying wine; always get the ones on offer, never risk the bottle that was always under a fiver. It won't end well.

Short Skirts < Skirt Shorts

Enter the skort. I love skorts, amazing to think once upon a time they only existed in my life in the form of highly questionable school gym kit. In recent years though, they have made a bit of a resurgence, with nearly all High Street brands stocking a wide range. They eliminate all fear of winter winds betraying your modesty, and are far comfier to jeans.

My favourite is the green skort - it goes with anything. Crop tops work best, and recently I have experimented with baggier tops in floral patterns, which gives it a nice vintage feel. One of my favourite outfit combinations is this cream and black striped River Island top, with a pendant necklace and heeled brogues. I often wear it in the day dressed down with a baggy cardigan, but is also brilliant for going out. I usually pair with the Miss Selfridge top in the left picture; the sleeves are practical for winter and stop it being too revealing, while combining the red and green stops the former colour being too bold. 

And then there's just good old shorts. I was sceptical at first - shorts? I was the 16/17 year old whose style was compared to Rachel Berry. However, they are now a wardrobe staple, not least this red ASOS pair that my flatmate purchased a mere couple of weeks into last term! They are first of all incredibly comfortable, but are also rarity in that they don't swamp hobbits like me. Same goes for this greyscale Miss Selfridge pair, which handily enough can be pair perfectly with my favourite skort top. 

I have a small love for a statement pendant, from my Camden Market pocket-watch design, to my happiness token from the Temple of Literature in Vietnam. That might be slightly too long a long trip, however, so I would recommend Nika Jewellery at ASOS Marketplace; they offer some really beautiful  designs, for only a few pounds each. 

Then the satchel… my bag of choice. You don't run the risk of a broken zip, its structure avoids the 'bulging bag' look, and every so often you can wander into UO and find one for half price. £20 and I use it pretty much everyday. That was a happy day.  

Clothes are Like Onions

This is not a reference to the eye-watering price-tags, although there is an argument there. I'm talking about the Shrek analogy of LAYERS.  Winter brings a myriad of possibilities when it comes to wardrobe choices, although it was actually summer that saw me experiment more with layering clothes to change an outfit. 

I bought a couple of these New Look shirts during sixth form, but resigned them to the back of my wardrobe once I headed to University. However, I've discovered they can actually make really good alternatives to cardigans, particularly if you just want to wear a jacket that an oversized cardigan won't fit under. For some more onion layers, onto 'boot buffering'…

...Oh boots. My beautiful burgundy boots. My christmas miracle gift. I'm like Monica from Friends, only these shoes are not only gorgeous but a great compromise for the vertically challenged. I can spend all day in them, see the world with higher eyes, and have zero foot ache come evening. I have been hunting for the perfect boots since September, and at last Office answered.

With boots, my favourite thing to do in winter is wear lace-rimmed socks underneath. As I am a skort/short/skirt girl, it is a perfect solution to wearing tights and not feeling the foot freeze. Speaking of skorts, these boots are perfect with my green one, and dare I say it make me look of normal stature? As I said, a Christmas miracle.

Layering also calls for baggy knits - The cardigan on the left was another glorious UO sale steal (on reflection, I should view them with less cynicism…). I actually bought it full price back in November, only to return it upon being 'unable to justify the price'. Return a month later…. down to half the price! Another happy day. I love to pair it with my Topshop purple velvet dress, which I also got for half the original price - this time, however, it was courtesy of a little thing called eBay. 

Bobbling Along

This subheading instantly made me think of that song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks… aah such a good film! Anyway, back to the serious business of... bobble hats.

You've already embraced your inner paddington, now it's time to channel Edith.  My sister always calls me Edith when I wear my bobble hat, and really what greater compliment is there? My original bobble hat (worn in the photos with my red and black coat) was possibly my greatest bargain ever… 90p! From Topshop. I kid you not, when the sales assistant told me I actually felt guilty that I was somehow stealing from them. Love how my 10% student discount still applied to. 

When I tragically lost bobble hat numero uno, a trip to Primark was in order. Suffice to say, it is the first time that shop has ever looked pricy. It may not be the most stylish of accessories, but paired with the right coat and some boot heels, you can actually look your age and have the added bonus of ears that don't freeze.

Best Foot (and Finger) Forward

The 21st century brings a new glove dilemma, in the form of a certain Apple. It's that moment when you think - survival of the fingers, or survival of that Facebook conversation? It's a tricky one. Luckily, the innovative fashion world has come up with a solution…. touchscreen gloves! Mine were an ASOS investment, and the beauty of being able to make a call or text, without risking the life of your hands, was worth every penny of six hundred. 

Of course, there are other solutions… enter mittens. But not just any mittens - fingerless mittens! I am of two minds with this contraption. Practical? Absolutely. Comfortable? The jury is out. I do find it a bit of a hassle to have to go and fasten and unfasten... not to mention when it unfastens without warning, or a button breaks. Then it's about as much use as a soleless shoe. They do come in some really cute designs though, aka pandas.

When it's cold and gloomy, what better to cheer you up than clothes with animals on? At the risk of appearing like a five year old, I will vouch for animal gloves - they make you smile. As for animal slippers, Next are unrivalled in this department, and it is like having a foot hug. Just a word of caution, don't let your dog near them - they will lay claim and guard as fiercely as a Tolkien dragon.  


Sophistication may be called into question with some of my selection, but you can't argue with the snugness. In my eyes, the two go hand-in-hand. Comfort and warmth = ability to hold a conversation without the risk of freezing all your senses. There is some sense in that and, after writing this post, I have been reminded that there is a lot of sense in sales, too. Who knew? 

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