24 Oct 2011

Winter Style

I've found it harder than expected to retain an individual style since starting back at the BBC. Working in the 'real world' I was expected to wear the office uniform; suits, nice shoes, shirts and a tidy appearance. Television doesn't work like that. I've mentioned before; you can (and I have) turn up for work in your pyjamas. Hell, I've worn a beautiful emerald green cocktail dress from Shabby Apple and no one batted an eyelid.

Interestingly, people have noticed I have a soft spot for the fashions of the past. Usually based, strangely enough, on my choice of shoes. Mmmmm, shoes. I think I've made it clear how much I love shoes, but just in case here's a reminder. And another one. But my shoe choices are a whole other post.

I want to talk about winter wear because I'm trying to get it straight in my head just what it is that I'm after. As ever, Pinterest is one of my major sources of inspiration. Below are some of the pictures I've posted  on my outerwear and style boards that are relevant to this topic. I don't think it's too much of a long shot to assume that I'd like things similar in style, fabric and/or colour for my own wardrobe.

{ Source: The Fashionist }

{ Source: Tumblr }

Obviously, I have a thing for fur collars. They add a touch of old time glamour. And are warm. Of course, it helps that both women are made-up, wearing red lipstick and have great hair. It's important to remember that I don't (you'd be surprised how often I forget that).

{ Source: Fancy Fine }

{ Source: Weardrobe }
I also appear to have a thing for blue (big surprise there). Or more specifically, blue and red.

And then there's the things to wear under the furry blue coat with red bits.

{ Source: Bright Young Twins }
(Look, the wolf's even photo-bombing other bloggers now!)

Harriet's outfit is divine. I love her shoes. Big fan of tweed (if slightly allergic). But it has it's problems, which I'll delve in to shortly.

{ Source: Pinterest }
 Nice. Practical. Same problem.

And then there's my obsession love of shorts. Sigh.

{ Source: Tumblr }

{ Source: Chictopia }

{ Source: Pinterest }

{ Source: The Morning Tea on Etsy }

Not practical in the slightest. And actually has the same problems as the other two pictures in a way. That being coverage. Whilst I clearly love the styles, there's just a huge issue that's sort of insurmountable.

I don't know how familiar you are with Wales and its weather. But it's rainy. And windy. And bloody cold. I live on the side of a mountain, facing a valley bowl, it gets quite chilly around the old extremities and then some. Now, don't get me wrong, we're not on the Canadian or Russian scale of cold here, but it does require slightly more clothing than a pair of wool shorts I'm allergic to. 

It also brings me back to my profession. Luckily, most days I spend in the office where the central heating is set to Caribbean with no hope of a cool breeze. But then there are the days like the three in a row I had last week. They involved early starts, long car journeys, mountains, caves and coal mines (sometimes all in the same day). You try dressing stylishly whilst wearing SWAT boots and the warmest coat you have (and thermals, and woolly hat, and crazy hair). I defy anyone to wear make-up whilst standing at the back of the Brecon Beacons in pouring rain and driving wind in a jacket made for a twelve year old (read: slightly too short in the arms and with a hood that doesn't quite cover your large adult head). The below is probably closest to my outfit during those days. Just swap the shirt for several jumpers and the lovely jacket for a fleece and a waterproof coat. 

{ Source: Pinterest }

Now, don't get me wrong. I like this outfit. I pinned it afterall. But it's just so practical. Whilst I realise I can't get away with wonderfully stylish outfits like those above (and most of the things I pin), partially because I get cold so easily and mostly because - whilst the television industry wouldn't bat an eyelid - I'm uncomfortable wearing those kinds of things (read: shorts) to work as a soon-to-be 36 year old professional. Which is why it's been so hard maintaining a unique style at work. Something that allows freedom of movement for those days when I'm asked to run all over the building collecting or delivering things. Or those 12 hour days in the studio (or, gods forbid, the car). Something that'll keep me warm and relatively dry perhaps. Something to ponder further I think. 

How do you keep warm in the winter? What's your secret?

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Well, I'm in the Canadian cold winter, which is bitter and teeth-rattling, but oddly easier to get warm in than the damp cold of Wales. I say that with all admiration, as I often get the damp in my bones in the UK and can't seem to get warm.

    For me, I like practical and pretty garments. As a stay-at-home mama, I'm running around like a maniac most days and can be responsible for cleaning anything up from dust to vomit. I rarely wear makeup, but do often put on red lipstick. I rarely wear heels, but you can often find me tromping about in practical knee boots, tights, and skirts/dresses.

    One of my favourite things I've made that I wear all the time is my fleece dress. It's like wearing pajamas, moves easily, washes up easily, and makes me look put together. I rarely wear jeans, but I do like a nice wide-leg trouser with a 40s twist. The legs are easy to stuff into wellies and such as needed, but the high waist makes me feel polished.

    I'm allergic to wool, too, so slips and linings are a saving grace for me. Wool only gets brought out for me in my outerwear. I use flannel (great for blouses), corduroy, denim, fleece, and heavy knits to supplement my cold weather wardrobe. Layering is also a big help!

    I love your style! You're comfortable with it and you rock it, so keep going!

  2. Love the outerwear ideas! And I love your great looking blog!! I have always imagined people working for the BBC to dress in formal attire all the time...so to know that you can turn up in your PJs is utterly refreshing! :)
    May x

  3. Layers, lots of them!! I had a real shock when I came to Wales. This bloody wind...

    There's a similar coat on H&M with a fur collar- http://www.hm.com/gb/product/93316?article=93316-B

    either in black or rusty red. I bought one from them years ago and it's still going strong- and I love snuggling myself in the fur collar.

    I wear skirts all the time, even when it's really cold. With a petticoat, thick tights and boots you really feel toasty. Plus, this year the midi length is very practical :-)

  4. I have that same problem, it isn't super rainy here but damn the wind sure does blow! So skirts are kindof inconvenient. And I go to a school that is 80% male, and while I admire the girls that dress up like girls, it's so much easier to wear jeans and sneakers. Mostly I've been trying to wear more interesting tops and occasionally a skirt or dress.

  5. Ooh I love all of those outfits!!

    I am having a similar dilemma, I work in an office, but have a boss who is allergic to putting the heating on so we are always freezing in the winter, mostly I can be found with thermal walking jacket, fingerless gloves, a Crochet blanket over my knees and a hot water bottle tucked up my jumper! Attractive No?!

    I always thought working in an office would mean I could finally look smart but I tend to look more scruffy now than when I worked as a Stable Hand, well, minus the straw in hair and the subtly over powering smell of Manure:)

    PS. I am sorry I didn't tell you about the award I have been a very bad blogger lately, but your more than welcome, I always look forward to your next post and I have you to thank for my new love, Pinterest!!!:)

  6. Oh, I live in Sweden, and the last couple of winters has almost been completely unbearable regarding the chill. Brrr! But, I´ve slowly learned how to keep warm, and the first thing for me is stylish, yet warm boots, and the second is silk/wool as the inner most layer at all times. This way I can get away with lighter tops and blouses, but still be warm! Sorry to hear that you are a little allergic to wool - have you tried alpaca? It is a hair fiber and not wool, so it might help? Very warm too! :-)

  7. Thanks for all the tips, definitely got some good ideas to think about. Sarah, I have to admit I immediately went on to eBay and bought what I thought was flannel but is possibly wool :S

    LOL May, you should see what some people wear! Although the BBC in London is far more fashion driven than Wales .. still, it's always fun to see people's choices!

    Popbabe - Wow, almost spot on copy of that coat! Thanks for the link!

    Molly, it's hard isn't it, especially if you're so used to wearing trousers. Do you find the tops make you feel better? I find some nice tops do and some nice tops just make me feel like I'm dressing for dinner rather than work ;)

    Wendy, I can't believe you have to dress for the arctic to go to work! And not to worry, RL gets to the best of us ;)

    Solvi, I didn't realise alpaca was hair and not wool, I'll definitely have to look in to that!


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