Keeping warm in winter needn’t be difficult, frumpy or bulky with our foolproof guide to keeping warm without sacrificing your style.
1. Add a base layer
In my experience, adding a thin base layer to your outfit is the single most effective thing you can do to keep warm in winter. Especially true if you are one of those people whose personal style doesn’t lend itself well to great big bulky layers and huge scarves. Kettlewell’s silky crew neck, roll neck and scoop neck tops are the perfect ultra fine base layer for your top half. For your lower half, a pair of thin thermal long johns (yes, really) or tights (thermal ones are the best, but even a normal pair will improve things) under your normal tights or trousers will keep you well insulated. For ultimate warmth, tuck your top into your leggings or tights so you never experience the misery of the cold gap at kidney level (is it just me or are the under-20s immune to this problem? I used to have a perpetual 2″ gap between hipster trousers and t-shirts and I swear I never noticed until I was about 25). Add an extra pair of fine silk or even thin cotton socks to your normal ones, if your footwear allows it.
*Kettlewell silky crew, scoop, and roll neck. Spring (vanilla, aqua, bluebell) Summer (lilac mist, musk rose, navy) Autumn (old gold, kingfisher, dark chocolate) Winter (iced hyacinth, royal purple, mole)
2. Get your (real) woollies on
You just cannot beat proper pure wool for keeping you warm in winter. If you’ve ever seen sheep chewing contentedly away at the grass despite driving wind and sub-zero temperatures on the Welsh mountains, you’ll know that I speak the truth. Whilst I love a thick lambswool sweater, you also can’t beat merino or cashmere for fine knits that will keep you cosy and snug. Whether it’s a cardigan, scarf or hat (or all three!) adding a bit of pure cashmere or merino to your outfit will help keep the chills away.
*Kettlewell clothing: Spring (Merino poncho in Purple, cardi coat in Poppy, cashmere gauze stole in Forget-me-not, merino infinity scarf in Pink coral. Summer (Merino poncho in Moroccan Blue, cardi coat in Silver, cashmere gauze stole in Forget-me-not, merino infinity scarf in Deep Seagreen Marl. Autumn (Merino poncho in Moroccan Blue, cardi coat in Purple, cashmere gauze stole in Burnt Orange, merino infinity scarf in Moroccan Blue. Winter (Merino poncho in Silver, cardi coat in Blue Dazzle, cashmere gauze stole in Royal Blue, merino infinity scarf in Fuschia).
3. A reliable warm, waterproof coat
I held out for years against buying a sensible coat – i.e. one that was warm, waterproof, bum covering and had a hood. but finally, after three children and in the face of a 30 minute each way school run twice a day, I have finally given in. And my goodness it is rather wonderful to be warm and dry even on the most grim of days, without needing to balance an umbrella in my armpit while pushing the pram or add an extra jumper under my coat. I do understand that everyone else got this about a decade ago, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case there is anyone else out there wallowing in denial about a decent coat.
4. Boot up
Short, long, shearling lined, riding, biker or slouchy. Whatever your preference, a decent comfortable-but-stylish-and-definitely-waterproof pair of boots is a godsend when it’s wet, cold and muddy. If, like me, you are addicted to suede, make sure you spray them repeatedly with p
rotector before wearing them out in the wet (I have nursed suede boots through many a winter with repeated re-sprays, you really can make it work if you love suede as much as I do. Leather is by far the most sensible and grown up option though).
Keeping your extremities warm will help you keep out the worst of the chills this winter. A hat is a total winter essential in my world. I’m a big fan of Cos cashmere beanie, but White Stuff and ASOS are always worth a look too for a variety of colours. And if you’re a cheapskate, like me, a pair of wrist warmers, a luxurious Kettlewell cashmere stole and a merino poncho mean you can keep the heating a couple of degrees lower too!