Warm Winter Chic: My Recipe for Dressing Up and Staying Warm When Going Out in Winter

Happy Tuesday everyone! This Friday gone, I stepped out for a drink with a few friends to the local pub.  It was a bitterly cold evening when we got there and the temperature had fallen even further by the time we merrily stepped out. Standing in front of me, on the cold pub pavement, was a lady looking lovely in a black dress with a flimsy shawl and sky-high open-toed sandals. Just looking at her bare arms and feet sent a shiver down my spine! I could not fathom how she could stand in the frigid night air without turning blue from the cold.  People often ask me what has changed, from a fashion perspective, since I entered my forties.  Many aspects of my fashion sensibilities have changed but this observation leads the pack – I cannot suffer for fashion anymore! I refuse to step out in winter without having adequate protection from the cold, especially if I am going to be braving the elements or public transportation.

So how does one step out looking fashionable on a winter evening without sacrificing warmth? My personal recommendation – get yourself a fabulous statement coat that happens to be really warm as well. I always notice a spectacular coat  –  frankly, if you make an entry wearing a standout coat, and remember to leave it on for a few minutes, it almost doesn’t matter what you are wearing underneath. I would go as far as to say that your evening clothes almost look better coming out from under a fabulous coat. The coat is the first thing that will be noticed when you enter and the last when you exit.  More importantly, it will make you feel fabulous and keep you warm – directly improving your good time ratio.

In this lookbook, I have paired a simple black lace top (with a Uniqlo HEATTECH camisole underneath) with a pair of black jeans and sock boots to ensure a warm bottom half of my body.  They work perfectly as a canvas to show off my favorite statement coat, which happens to be ultra warm as well!  A pop of colour provided via a pretty clutch and bling earrings are all I need to go out on the town, have a great time, and be as snug as a bug the entire evening. I hope you enjoy this look –  I have highlighted some gorgeous statement coats below in case you are on the hunt for one to add to your evening winter wardrobe.

Have a great week ahead and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Clothes and accessories:

Top – Zara

Sock Boots – Zara

Statement Faux Fur Coat – Whistles

Clutch – Gucci

French Connection
Ted Baker
Mango

 

 

Festive Dressing Series: Black Lace Dress With a Patterned Bag and Striped Shoes

It is that lovely time of year when festive clothes take over the high street. In every store you enter, there are bright and shiny clothes hanging from the rails like baubles on a Christmas tree.  Going shopping before the holidays is a test of tremendous will power for me.  With my relatively weak resistance to shiny new clothes, I have to often remind myself that I already have a version of something I have just seen in my closet! Then I have to remind myself to concentrate and remember that I am here to shop for other people but I digress…

The one dress that I have seen multiple versions of this season is the black lace dress. They are a giant staple in the party market and are as versatile as they are plentiful.  A black lace dress could easily be the poster child for ‘wear to any event dress’ as they are appropriate for so many occasions, can be dressed up or down and  usually have a longer life span than so many other styles out there.

After successfully talking myself out of a black lace dress earlier this week,  I have used a black lace dress that was already in my closet for this lookbook.  I am a fan of the long unlined lace sleeves and the easy to wear length of this dress. Accessories and shoes are always a game changer and during the festive season I often try to skip the conventional black dress/black shoe pairing and go with shoes and  accessories that contrast/compliment the dress.  I think the juxtaposing of the floral patterned bag and striped shoes add a touch of glamour to the overall styling and work well in making the look more festive. I adore long coats in the winter and this long double-breasted black coat makes for a great staple in my winter wardrobe (along with making me feel like a movie detective). I  wanted to add some festive bling to the coat in the form of a sparkly brooch  but I did not own one.  Therefore, I have utilized the creative part of my brain and taken a pair of sturdy earrings I own with flat backs and worn them as a brooch.

Below, are some full sleeve black lace dresses  and striped shoes that I like the look of.  I hope you enjoy the styling and have a great rest of the week!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Zara, Shoes – Zara, Handbag – Whistles, Bracelet – Swarovski, Coat – DKNY)

karen-millen-black-lace-dress
Karen Millen Black Lace Dress
yumi-black-lace-dress
Yumi Black Lace Dress
oasis-black-lace-dress
Oasis Black Lace Dress
blue-moon-dune-shoes
Dune Blue Stars Shoes

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Lucky Sale Find: Beautiful Monochrome Dress

It is the second time this week that I am lookbooking a monochrome outfit with faux leather. I think my colour palette is being influenced by the relentless summery weather we are having in London – ya right!

The summer sales are now in full swing and there are so many great bargains to be had.  I thought this was a good time to model a dress that I bought last year that I would characterize as a true  bargain, in that, I paid a fraction of the price of the original cost for a dress that I really wanted. I loved everything about this dress when I first saw it in the shops, except the price tag. The dress was beautifully cut with a flattering and easy to wear shape, it was fully lined and I loved the print.  The only thing that prevented me from purchasing it immediately was the approximately  £160 price tag that accompanied it (I can’t remember exactly what the original price was but it was in that ball park).

Like a well seasoned internet shopper, I would look up the dress ever so often to see if the price has budged.  Eventually, the price did come down, however, I still could not justify the price given that I had multiple monochrome dresses and not enough opportunities to wear them all. Then one final day, I saw the dress was reduced to £30 and it was available in my size! Of course, now I had to purchase it and I am so glad I did because I truly enjoy wearing it.

These are my top five ‘purchasing in sale’ tips that have served me well over the years:

  1. Do your research on what’s on sale on-line before you actually hit the shops. This way you can spend your time wisely and actually make sure you visit the shops where you really are interested in buying something rather than wandering aimlessly from shop to shop and then running out of time.
  2. It works equally well in reverse – if you love something in store but they don’t have your size – come home and check on-line. Often you can find your size in a different shop on-line that carries that brand. Also, if it’s a ‘like to have’ but not ‘must have’ item then wait it out.  Many times, after a few weeks the item will be reduced further. If waiting results in the item (or your size) being sold out – check on-line retailers such as ASOS which may still carry the item. That is where I found this dress!
  3. I find the sales a great time to buy expensive neutral footwear such as black strappy heels or tan flats – shoes that I know I will use even if I don’t need them right away.
  4. The summer sales are the ideal time to buy bigger ticket items such as wool coats, leather jackets and winter boots.  I find the last season winter wear greatly reduced by this point and frankly a great leather jacket is a great leather jacket – it is not going to go out of fashion anytime soon and will serve you well for many seasons to come. I bought a lovely black woolen cape coat the other day that I know I will love wearing this winter (or next week if the weather doesn’t change!)
  5. Only buy an item on sale if it fits well or it will fit well with minor alterations.  It is pointless buying a garment that is 80% off but doesn’t really fit well because you will  end up never wearing it – it has taken me years to finally learn this lesson!

As always, thank you for reading and happy shopping if your are hitting the sales!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Whistles (ASOS), Clutch Bag – Topshop, Tan Wedges – Ivanka Trump, ‘Leather Look’ Jacket – Marks and Spencer)

 

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