CHARLIE ANDERSON’S ADVICE ON THE ULTIMATE IN WINTER COATS
“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER JUST INAPPROPRIATE CLOTHING”
The depths of winter can be a challenging time. The short dark days between New Year and the leaping forward of the clocks can seem endless and really get us down. One of the biggest (and self-perpetuating) symptoms of these winter blues is a feeling of inertia. The best cure for this inertia is MOVEMENT and especially that done in nature. Making a commitment to a daily walk outside, whatever the weather is a tonic for your soul. Challenge yourself: step outside, encourage a strong consistent breath as you stride, allow your heart rate to swell, look for the beauty in your surroundings and reap the benefits of a connection to your source. All of this sounds great in theory but sometimes we feel blocked to even leave our warm cosy homes by a fear of feeling cold, wet or uncomfortable (any excuse right?). So we facilitate this commitment to outdoors movement by preparing ourselves with a functional and inspiring winter wardrobe. Perhaps the biggest challenge is to find the perfect coat. There are three points to consider…
Technically – does it meet the “three W’s” – waterproof, windproof and warm
Mechanically – can you move comfortably in it?
Aesthetically – do you feel good in it?
To truly love your coat and want to wear it day after day and year after year you should not compromise on any of these points.
One of my top suggestions is the all-weather parka: strong, sturdy, a little bit wilderness cool even? Canada Goose make some of the most desirable. This is truly an heirloom piece. Or at least one you will wear for years, so well worth the investment.
Are you really into layers? Do you have tonnes of fabulous warm knitwear that is too bulky to wear under a coat? Do you balk at ‘technical’ clothing? Then a waxed cotton rain cape could be the answer. This piece is compact, chic and incredibly lightweight. The clever fabrication means it acts as a protective layer against wind and rain and keeps whatever you layer underneath it in a bubble of warmth. Handmade in Norfolk by Tina Guillroy (mother of actress, Sienna) and a group of local artisans. What a treasure.
If you crave individuality and feel that most parkas have become just a tad too homogenised then this insanely cool (but still technically functional) version from Griffin is for you. It’s as deliciously beautiful inside as it is outside and feels like a true original. NB. if you buy the shorter version it’s considerably cheaper – a tip for the petites amongst you.
Technical Dartmouth in Harris Tweed, £1,295, Griffin (www.griffin-studio.com)
Without a doubt wellies are necessary. It’s worth investing in a couple of pairs – one to keep by in the house and one for the boot of your car. Also increasingly popular are the all-weather boot, there is even a waiting list for the hand-made in Maine, LL Bean, duck boot. A sound investment is a pair of Sorels, the go-to brand for an all-weather boot.
Caribou boots, £140, Sorel (www.sorelfootwear.co.uk)
Underpinning your weather protective gear should be kept simple, when you peel off your coat at the end of your walk you want to be left with a chic, neat silhouette and not burdened by overly heating pieces; consider quality statement knitwear, a pair of skinny jeans and most essentially some toasty warm wellie socks.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that fashion can be a part of looking after yourself, especially when it comes to keeping warm. How many of us have lost interest in clothes as soon as a bout of the blues hits us? Good clothes (which let’s face it we can wear year after year and give to our daughters) are a way to celebrate our uniqueness and welcome in the seasons in all their glory. So, a few ideas. Don’t forget to enjoy that walk.
Charlie Anderson is a fashion stylist and yoga teacher. You can follow her on instagram @charlieyogauk