I’m somewhat of an expert in this, living in the wilds of Buckinghamshire with three (and sometimes four) dogs to walk and a barn of a house that in these temperatures doesn’t rise much above freezing inside or out – no really……..I started in the gym here yesterday in a sheepskin jacket. Believe me. I know all about the British cold.
First place to rush to shop is Uniqlo, for their excellent HeatTech. I notice yesterday that some of the sizes are selling out so go for broke now. Excellent are their leggings and roll neck long sleeve tops. Layer them or not they’re a great base layer whatever you choose to put on top and fine enough to wear underneath a dress if you’re going out (when you’ll probably want one of the t-shirts)
Then preferably something cashmere. Cashmere is so soft and warm and provides a lovely cosy layer on top of your base. This is, by the way, just another layer so it doesn’t have to be smart (so dig an older piece out of your wardrobe), if you’re really in the cold it may never be seen. If you’re going out somewhere that’s likely to be warmer then you can dress it up with a cashmere scarf and shearling sleeveless jacket but otherwise it really doesn’t matter that much.
Then comes the fleece (yes really) soft, warm and usually quite bulky and not for going out in fleece on top of cashmere is simply wonderful. Again Uniqlo have a good range as does Lands End and LL Bean (based in the US but they offer a courier service). It’s also well worth taking a look at amazon.co.uk for some very good deals provided your size is available.
Then finally either a shearling coat or jacket or down and here where down is concerned what you spend really counts. I have two coats that I bought years ago, one by Betty Barclay and the other by Max Mara and they have never let me down. Oh and don’t forget the sheepskin boots (these are my all time favourites by FitFlop and as warm as can be) and gloves of course.
Now I know that all of this is all very well if you’re out there and staying in the country, and for country clothing warmth you can do no better, but what happens when you start in the freeze and then travel to the probably a couple of degrees warmer town? Wanting to look chic but staying warm at the same time at the start and end of your journey can be quite difficult.
The answer is a HeatTech t-shirt under your dress or jacket, a fine cashmere scarf that you can really wrap round your neck (and looks great at the same time) and your smart down coat and gloves (always gloves). And run for the train – that’ll always warm you up, at least it does me, every time.