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It’s getting colder. You’ve got your jumpers out, your scarves, gloves and hats are by the front door and your boots are in a huge pile in the bottom of your wardrobe. None of them are quite as fabulous or as cosy as you’d remembered are they? There are moth holes and bobbles on the knits aren’t there and – sharp intake of breath – that is mud dried onto those soles isn’t it and not… not dog poo? Initially it’s so exciting at this time of year to get the first whiff of fireworks and mulled wine and to feel that tingle of anticipation that actually, it would be rather nice to have a bit of autumn/winter (not too much obviously, maybe until the end of January when you get paid would be doable) and to snuggle up in cashmere socks while eating biscuits in front of the telly.
But then you glance at your heaps of nibbled knitwear and tired grubby denim and you think, sod that, I haven’t got the time to think about keeping warm, layering and not looking like a bag lady. It’s around about the end of November that I scrape my longest coat off the floor of the Hoover cupboard (where it annoyingly appears to have been since March), because I can’t really be bothered to get dressed for school drop-off and a long coat will hide whatever dreadful outfit I’ve thrown on underneath – or on a particularly bad morning, the pyjamas I haven’t managed to change out of.
So this winter I’m throwing out all the un-amazing stuff; anything with holes, anything that doesn’t really flatter, anything that looks like I felt the day after my sister in law’s 40th birthday party when I consumed a bottle of prosecco on a stomach empty but for a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Then I’m investing in pieces that will give me a boost and make me feel pleased it’s winter – even when it gets to April.
2017 is after all the season of the jumper. Never have jumpers been so bright, big and brilliant. And cleverly, there is a style for everyone even though a huge sloppy knit might seem to be the very worst thing you could put on to look stylish or slinky. Some of this autumn’s turtle necks (see the River Island one above) are beautifully shaped so as not to add bulk and the length is perfect; not too long and not too short. I’m planning to wear big jumpers with absolutely everything. At this point, when it’s still fairly mild (at time of clicking on ‘Publish’ anyway), a thick piece of knitwear and a scarf and you’re good to go, save the coat for when it’s genuinely cold.
I don’t know how many coats is too many but for me it comes down to space. You’re always going to get your money’s worth in terms of cost per wear with a coat in London, but then it should be a thing of beauty shouldn’t it? You won’t ever feel guilty about splurging on a great coat if you love it and everyone asks you where you got it. Didn’t you spend at least twelve years of your life wearing a regulation navy blue overcoat or black blazer? Exactly. You’ve done boring dreary outerwear to death by this stage so live a little. That’s my reasoning for the utterly fantastic pink fur number above and I’m sticking to it.
Finally, prompted by my friend Clare who this morning mentioned feeling conflicted after someone referred to her as looking as if she’d ‘stepped out of a Boden catalogue’, I went and had a look at what indeed this might look like. Where Clare feared for the image she was currently projecting to others, I suspected the description suggested she looked healthy (a glow courtesy of moving out of London), wealthy (enough to afford Botox but not actually needing it) and wisely clad from head to toe. A pair of the most impractical lovely shoes caught my eye on the Boden website but alas, they had sold out some time ago. The sheepskin lined fold down boots above though… sensible and yet still kinda sexy – just look at the little yellow tag – those boots will take you from dusk to dawn, in trousers or skirts. They may even go with my pyjamas and long winter coat.