I have a pet hate around this time of year, and that is people asking me the question: “Aren’t you cold, wearing only that?” No. I’m not. Given I’m wearing a thick winter coat, a midi-length dress (with sleeves I hasten to add), combined with tights, and shoes that cover my heels and toes, might I please ask you the question, “Why do you think I would be?”
In my opinion, something seems to happen to the general public once the blustery winter winds enter our daily atmosphere – and that something is black. Black hat, black coat, black tights, black shoes… And I’m willing to bet my entire colourful wardrobe that, beneath the outerwear, there’s a black dress and shoes to boot.
Judging by the confused looks/questions I attract on a daily basis, the consensus seems to be that if you aren’t facing the dark side, you’re clearly freezing instead. Yes I have a bold red coat on, but it’s made from the thickest wool and richest lining. Yes I’m wearing a digital print, lightly coloured floral dress, but the fabric is so heavy I swear it slows me down on the early morning commute. As for the all-important shoes, they are more practical than they look, I swear – despite what my mother may think. When the ice arrives, I’ll depart the heels to the back of the closet but, in the meantime, why shouldn’t I wear mine with cute little ankle socks? It’s a look that’s warm and chic, plus clearly good enough for Alexa and Fearne…
Oh and a little FYI, to those who stop and stare, my legs are not bare (I’m into fashion, not totally and utterly crazy). Most women seem to feel the cold and reach for the black opaques, but can you really imagine Elizabeth Taylor ever reaching for the dark 90 denier? And do we really believe Richard Burton would have looked her way (not once, but twice) if she had? This year, let’s collectively say no to tights, yes to sheer stockings – for life, not just for Christmas.
At the end of the day yes it is raining, yes the days are dark and yes, our mood can easily err on the side of bleak – but isn’t that all the more reason to throw on the gladrags, embrace colour and get a little fashion happy? Just look at the trends for AW14; winter pastels, striking greens, pinks, berries and the brightest, most beautiful of blues. If it’s so fabulous on the catwalk, why aren’t we all working it more day to day?
They say you are what you eat, but I think we can be what we wear, so let’s start the week as we mean to go on, with a vivid collection to boost the seasonal blues. Are we in the bleak mid-winter? Not if this colour happy edit has anything to do with it…
Shop the Edit: Clockwise from top right – Floozie by FrostFrench necklace, blue ponte dress from Wallis, green drop earrings from Betty Jackson.Black, Yves Saint Laurent lipstick, Dune mock snakeskin shoes, striped socks from Red Herring, pink patent shoes from Dune, Preen/EDITION orange trousers, Jonathan Saunders/EDITION lime cable knit jumper, yellow panelled shift from Warehouse, orange boucle coat from Red Herring, Star by Julien Macdonald purple bag – coming soon.