Disclaimer: When I had written this post, I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian, not yet vegan. Veganism is about much more than just the food we eat; it's an ethical lifestyle that also implies refraining from any products made of animals, including (but not limited to) fur, leather, wool, feathers, and silk. I don't buy wool products anymore (or any animal products, for that matter), however, I still wear some of those I owned before going vegan. You can find more info about why wool is not an ethical choice online.
I've been getting compliments on my (anti-cold) layering lately, so I thought I'd be a doll and share a tiny fraction of my infinite wisdom. Yes, winter is an enormous bitch, but the cold doesn't necessarily mean you should say goodbye to light blouses and skirts; what's more, you don't even have to freeze your ass off in the process! So here are some simple, yet effective strategies I employ to stay warm and look chic when it's freaking freezing outside:
- Stock up on tights/leggings, basic tank tops and long-sleeved tops, knit sweaters/dresses and socks.
- Use multiple layers (for example, tights + leggings + extra socks, long sleeved top + blouse + knit cardigan). I prefer the pieces that are in direct contact with my skin to be made of 100% cotton and the "top layer" pieces in cotton + wool combo.
- Materials are key - polyester or cotton might not keep you warm the way wool does. It's my experience that you'll be warmer in one pair of tights/leggings that contain some wool than in two pairs of wool-less ones.
- It's a smart idea to invest in a coat with a high percentage of wool (I have a chunky one with 48% and a thinner one with 80% share) before it gets really cold (where I live, that's usually towards the end of November, but you should start looking a week or two earlier in case you don't find it right away).
- Cold feet suck ass, so use double socks (the outer ones containing wool) and/or wool insoles for your shoes.
- Scarves, gloves and hats are a must; again, it's a smart idea to choose those with wool.
- Don't forget to accessorize. If the thought of cold metal on your skin scares you, opt for brooches or pieces made with fabric/wool.
- Contrasts are fun, so why not juxtapose a chunky knit sweater to a light summery skirt? Definitely experiment!
Real life example - I'm wearing cotton tights + wool leggings + light skirt + wool socks + long sleeved cotton top + light blouse + blazer (+ wool coat). I'd normally wear a chunky cardigan over the blouse but I wanted to go for the "I mean business, bitch!" look today rather than the "pet me, I'z a fluffeh little kitteh" one, hence the tux blazer.