Though it might not seem it looking back on my winter outfit posts to date, I am actually an old hippy at heart, partial to a shaggy gilet, folk inspired print dresses, jangly baubles and long cascading earrings.
I bought this silk print dress from Warehouse a couple of winters ago. It was no doubt inspired by Freda Gianni's brilliant collection for Gucci in the winter of 2008 which was all very "glamorously bohemian Seventies Russian hippie" and inspired me to try combining a vibrant folkloric print dress with a furry gilet and knee high boots.
Regardless of whether this look is so three years ago or even whether boho chic is in or not, I still love dressing like this in winter. As a self confessed outfit repeater, I drag this look out when I want an easy way of indulging my more bohemian sartorial spirit (which is usually in hibernation until summer) whilst keeping toasty warm.
The only change is now I have smartened it up with a pair of suede, shearling lined clog boots, courtesy of the My-Wardrobe sale. They're somewhat of a luxe upgrade from the battered old Topshop biker boots I used to wear with this outfit and much warmer too. I'm still keeping an eye out for anything shearling lined in the sales to buy and keep for next winter because boy, does that stuff keep you warm!
And a minimalist snood won't do as a winter warming accessory for an old hippy in folk costume. A shawl with a bit of family history is much more appropriate.
Do you have pieces in your wardrobe that feel more like old friends who have shared important parts of your life with you? This crocheted fringed wool shawl that I inherited from my dear old grandmother's closet just after she died is one such piece holding pride of place in mine.
I brought it with me to Spain when I went out there to live for a couple of years and it was always the thing I reached for to wrap around my shoulders and neck to keep me warm in winter, or to use as a wrap over a slip of a summer dress when the sea breeze started up in the evenings. It even doubled as a practice skirt tied around my waist on rehearsal days when my real one was still in the laundry basket.
I believe this shawl has a bit of magic of its own, imparted by the charming lady who was its previous owner and who, like her granddaughter, loved to dance. My grandmother also had a reputation for being popular with the boys. As I walked through the narrow Andalusian cobbled streets, an artful flick of her shawl to send the fringes flying as I wrapped it closer around my shoulders would, on more than one occasion, elicit an admiring "Olé!" from male passersby. As well as a memento of my grandmother, I like to think of it as my good luck charm and that I am adding to its history as a garment by living in it as she once did.
In monetary terms this shawl is probably worth nothing, but the treasure trove of memories now woven through its tired threads makes it beyond invaluable to me. I'd like to think it will live to see the day when a granddaughter of mine takes it on her travels.
Shawl, inherited from my Grandmother; Wool Turtleneck, By Malene Birger; Silk floral print dress, Warehouse; Shearling Clog Boots, D&G; Tights; Uniqlo Heattech, Falke; Necklace, Accessorise; Earrings, Warehouse