Quite frankly I hate winter. Mainly because winter fashion means you have to wear so many clothes. But I also love winter. Mainly because winter fashion means you also have to wear so many clothes. Keeping it simple and yet warm can be as difficult and confusing as intricate layering and keeping it together. Let’s walk through the hot highlights of the cold season.
Winter’s most pompous texture is velvet. It’s almost time to pull out those velvet blazers that you thought were a single-occasion purchase. This season not only are we allowed to wear velvet as a casual fabric, but more importantly wear a lot of it. Colors are largely dictated by the frosty weather –navies, emeralds and rich burgundies are en vogue. Total looks are acceptable even for the less daring: go for well-tailored suits or fitted separates. A word of caution to this tale of evening grandeur – velvet doesn’t hide ‘holiday weight’ too well, so portion control is advised.
Black is back! You may ask when was it ever out, to which I remind you of grey and bitter chocolates. But this year runway trendsetters are caught up in black all over – head to toe appropriateness. For those of us who are past the black comfort zone stage, try playing around with textures, but not shades. Never play around with shades. There is nothing so disappointing as wearing your favourite once-black skinny jeans with a brand new pitch-black turtleneck and raven-wing brogues. Don’t mix and match.
As a freelancer at heart I have learned to live with inconsistency. I like to reinvent my look every day, yet this season seems to be themed. Gentleman themed. The urban dandy, the neo-retro, the posh hipster – whatever the label, this winter’s cutting edge look is a man who prefers suits to jeans and oxfords to sneakers. The 2012-13 gentleman does abide by 21st century rules – he’ll wear a parka with a three-piece suit, a leather backpack instead of a proper briefcase or nana’s knitted gloves to keep him warm although dark grey suede would go better with his smart double-breasted coat.
The Silhouettes of Winter
Here’s where the cold becomes bearable. Volume & layers are in. If the entire winter you feel like never leaving your warm home this look is for you. The ready-to-wear coziness comes in the form of oversized cardigans, voluminous and sometimes even futuristic anoraks and all kinds of knitwear from outer space. Just remember – you are not making an English trifle, so there’s a limit to how many layers you can do. The general rule here is – if you cannot make your hands meet – you are way off track!
Winter Fashion Must-Haves
The pre-apocalyptic winter fashion of 2012 liberates those of you who have been oppressed by the ‘less is more’ rule. This season’s must have is as extravagant as it is desired: the cape! Very easy to fall for, but very hard to justify, the dress cape comes in noble colors and fabrics. It complements the gentleman look and may even be made of velvet to accentuate the already bold fashion statement it is making (yet in case there is no white-tie event coming up in your near future you better keep it standard).