My kitchen wall has been repainted white. Just in time. With our hours of natural light disappearing fast, expect it to feature a lot in this blog!
Winter has well and truly arrived here and the temperature has really dropped recently so I've been layering up. Here is what I wore on the weekend to visit old friends in Cambridge where it was bitterly cold - my attempt to avoid both wearing all black and swaddling myself in wool.
I've been wondering how to wear this silky Whistles blouse in winter without freezing. The surrealist print reminds me of the works of Miró and it feels a bit Dynasty with its draping and big shoulders. My solution was to use it to cover up the boring black turtlenecks that are becoming my uniform in the cold.
Secret weapons under my billowy silk layers are wool rich tights and not one but two wool turtlenecks. Yes, that's how much of a wimp I am in cold weather. I also still had to wear a wool crombie coat over everything and accessorise with a scarf and gloves. Despite wearing an additional pair of socks the cold went straight through the soles of my bikers and I stopped feeling my toes. I feel this outfit would be better with heels but the cold has brought on a niggling knee problem (can you get flamenco knee?) which is not worth me making any worse for the sake of fashion. So flats it is.
I deeply regretted not wearing a hat. If I had a pound for every winter hat I've lost on the London underground I'd probably have enough for a new one. And hat smchat. In this cold I need a balaclava!
As a girl my parents bought me one party dress a year and I would get to choose. Sort of. My first choice was always vetoed. It was either too dark for my father's liking as I liked black from an early age or too fancy, i.e. too expensive. Hmmm... the psychological seeds that grew into my shopaholic ways are probably embedded right there!
So the second choice would be the most colourful, frilly, floaty Cinderella like confection I could get away with. During winter I would be dismayed to the point of tears when my mother forced me wear thick turtlenecks and tights under my beloved dress to stop me freezing at parties. I suddenly felt that my dress had been ruined.
Looking at myself in the mirror with my dress rucked up in unpalatable bulky lumps over rolls of thick wool, it was as if it had also sprouted a neck, arms and legs of different textures and colours, all of which combined to overpower any of the delicate details of the dress I had taken so much care in choosing in the first place. So began my lifelong battle with winter dressing and layering.
I detest feeling like a turtle and turtlenecks make me feel claustrophobic and strangled. But in this cold I'm not going to ever get to wear a floaty blouse or almost any type of dress without them. The little girl somewhere in there still cries at her reflection in the mirror, riling against what she still considers a heinous aesthetic crime but the practical winter battered adult is somewhat resigned to the fact.
Thankfully Cos has made an extremely thin wool one with unfinished seams that avoids adding the bulk that normal thermals do and hopefully four or five layers will now look a bit more like three or four.
In the run up to summer invitations to formal events like weddings and summer dinners will inevitably start to roll in. If the chilly begin...
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