Thursday, 10 November 2016

How to do country to town chic in a flash

If you live mainly in the country, as I do, you know only too well how hard it is to dress for the country – which usually involves going out in the cold and wet – and change in a flash to something suitable for a lunch in town, or shopping, or whatever.

As the owner of dogs this usually leaves me in a mad dash with no time to change completely.  So the answer is to make most of what you’re wearing go from country to town and just change a couple of things if necessary.

Barbour waterproof jacketTed Baker ParkaMint Velvet jersey lined parkaPhase Eight navy parka with black fur hood
Firstly the top layer.   Inevitably in winter this has to be warm, waterproof and hooded.  For versatility go for a parka which has glam finishes and isn’t in a country colour such as rust or khaki.  Town colours black, charcoal and navy work well as does Ted Baker’s deep red parka above – on my list.

This season’s faux fur gilet is the perfect answer for country to town double duty dressing.  They work with just about everything but look best with something simple underneath.  For dry weather country walks to ‘out to lunch’ chic make sure you have one of these in your wardrobe.

Oasis faux fur giletAndrew Marc faux shearling giletReiss soft grey faux fur giletCoast Faux Fur GiletMint Velvet pale grey faux fur biker gilet
On to the roll neck - When you’re in the country and out in the cold and you can’t be bothered to look for a scarf just slip into a piece that is always chic and works equally well in town or country – namely – the roll neck/turtleneck.

Depending on how hot you get as well as the temperature outside you can choose from cashmere, cashmere and wool, merino and on to jersey.  All will work excellently with the ‘look at me’ piece that is a faux fur or shearling gilet. 
Pure Collection sustainable cashmere sweaterPure Collection fine jersey roll neck top in silverHobbs ribbed roll neck sweaterMax Mara wool and cashmere turtleneck jumperTheory ribbed turtle neck merino wool sweater
The hardest thing to get right with the above, which let’s face it needs nothing to get you straight out of the door and off to car or train, is what you wear on your lower half.  Inevitably you’re going to be wearing some kind of warm, waterproof (hopefully) boot to go out in.  The above rules out any kind of dress – ever tried climbing a stile in a dress?  Ditto a skirt.  Pants that are loose around the ankle will get creased when stuffed into boots, and jeans aren’t going to keep you warm and don’t work with the above if you’re going anywhere vaguely smart.

So.  It has to be the one and only tight black stretch pant, otherwise known as the legging, tregging or even jegging – all terms I dislike intensely. These can bring on varying emotions in some people and don’t suit everyone.  But as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing better at this time of year.

Joseph stretch gabardine legging style pantsLK Bennett smart leggingsLauren Ralph Lauren black stretch leggingsMint Velvet machine washable leather look leggingsPolo Ralph Lauren machine washable grey marl knee patch leggings

Stretch black tight pants that fit you well, can be eased into walking boots and then worn with a pair of heeled ankle boots or knee high boots as high as you like are perfect game changers.  Just don’t think your summer leggings will do – they won’t.  You need something heavier and, if at all possible, machine washable.

Alternatively, of course, you can change, thus adding extra seconds before you can dash out the door……