What’s the key to surviving these never ending downpours you ask?! A whole load of layers and waterproof ones at that. The bad news is that we are only just entering the wettest months of the year but the good news is I’ve got you guys covered with some tips on how to use the art of layering to beat the drizzle!
The cold and wet weather can be ultra draining and at this time of year it’s easy to just throw a coat over a basic outfit and be done with it. However, with a little more thought and style, you can still be comfortable, warm and leave people impressed with your outfit. Embrace the temperature dropping and the rest of Britain becoming increasingly miserable – it’s winter!
Winter time fashion trends look great in theory but less in reality. In the magazines and editorials you’ve got the perfectly groomed man strutting down the street in an open coat and thin scarf, seemingly oblivious to the falling snow around him waiting for his friend to get him the perfect instagram photo. This paints a pretty different picture to the reality of shoving your numb hands in your coat while you wait for the train or chasing after a bus whilst splashing through countless puddles. Still, there is an achievable line between editorial shoots and that miserable commute to work. A bit of clever layering can keep you warm, dry and looking ultra slick. It’s easier than you might think, follow my layering guide and you’ll keep your core temperature in the pluses which is always a bonus right?
Layering isn’t tricky, in fact, everyone does it pretty much every day. The moment you throw a jacket over a t-shirt you’re technically layering, but it can take a bit more to get you through winter. Unlike Summer or Autumn layering, the more pieces you’re using, the harder it gets to keep everything looking put together.
This doesn’t mean the only way to create a good winter outfit is to spend hours piecing it all together, but a little more attention to detail can make a big difference to your overall look. You’re going to need three layers to keep you snug and comfortable. The first is called the base layer, the second – the insulating layer, and the third is the protection layer. You can add more if you’re dealing with seriously cold weather, but three is standard for surviving the average British winter.
The Base Layer
So let’s start with the base layer. This needs to be something that’s soft against your skin, is versatile enough to match with the other two layers, and won’t leave you sweating. Something made from 100% cotton is a good idea, as it allows your skin to breath and ensures you don’t trap any excess moisture and a personal favourite of mine is merino, a material that is great for temperature regulation. If you’re dealing with really cold temperatures a chunkier jumper might be necessary, but for the most part, you’ll be fine with a lightweight knit. A favourite of mine this winter is the ‘mock’ turtleneck (or roll neck). Much like a classic turtleneck it has a raised neck but without the ‘fold’ meaning it is arguably more casual and a little less warm. A zip-detail funnel neck jumper is another solid option worth considering.
The Insulation Layer
The insulation layer is all about trapping that valuable heat in, so materials like wool, which have good insulation properties, make for an ideal second layer. A jumper or sweatshirt will do the job, but I always like to call in the classic gilet (or body-warmer). Gilets have returned to the forefront of menswear in recent years and there’s simply no better ‘insulation’ layer in the game.
The Protection Layer
On simpler days the protection layer should be made from a breathable material so you’re keeping in the heat rather than moisture. Avoid anything made from synthetic materials, they’ll make you sweat up a storm, go instead for a natural fibre such as wool and cotton. A blazer can be worn to keep yourself warm whilst staying smart or a lightweight peacoat will work well.
For those less simple days, ie. lots of rain (!) you’ll need something that’s either waterproof or windproof, and if you can get both in one you’ll be ready to tackle the storm. Consider a field jacket as a more modern alternative to the classic rain mac.
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