With winter on the cards, it's time to dig out your favourite knit from the back of the wardrobe and smarten up your act. In fact, there are way more opportunities to cut a fine figure with a range of structured pieces available. Think overcoats, wool suits, roll necks, leather gloves and everything that would gain Mr Bond's nod of approval. Here's how to smarten up this winter.
1. Weatherproof your wardrobe
Let's be realistic here. Rarely do we experience fields of white snow and crisp cold mornings. More likely are those cold and damp days that need a bit of livening up in one way or another. The best way to avoid soggy situations is to ensure you're prepared. On milder days, have a smart mac or trench handy to throw over your office outfit. And when the temperature falls, add structure in this season's overcoat.
Winter calls for smarter formal shoes so choose a pair that can withstand the rain such as Chelsea boots or brogues. Desert boots are also a popular option but treat them with a waterproofing spray to avoid them getting ruined in the rain.
2. Think about your layers
Your thick winter coat layered over a chunky knit may have seemed like a good idea at the time but it will leave you hot and bothered on your morning commute.
If you're wearing a heavy winter coat, go lighter on the layers underneath. Something like a smart shirt under a fine gauge knit could work or a roll neck teamed with your formal trousers. Wearing a suit? Carry your jacket separately as this will add extra bulk and unnecessary underneath your coat.
Alternatively, you could try a shirt and tie with a blazer and thicker crew neck jumper sandwiched in-between. Add a few accessories such as a scarf and gloves on chillier days.
3. Update your accessories
Winter is when you can really go all out in terms of accessories. They're the perfect accompaniment when there's frost in the air because they protect your extremities against the elements. You can always remove them if you get too hot. Accessories also offer the opportunity to showcase your personality.
4. Downplay colour
It's not all about grey but subtle Autumnal shades such as burgundy, navy, forest green and camel are really complimentary in winter (see our post on 5 Key Colours For Autumn). For example, a grey suit looks really sharp with a navy or burnt orange knitted polo. A few months ago you may have worn your black skinny jeans with a blue Oxford shirt but now you can team it confidently with a polo and overcoat. Stick to the subtle colours when it comes outerwear.
5. Invest in a coat
If there's one piece you should buy this winter, it's a decent winter coat. This essential piece of outerwear will instantly smarten up your outfit. An overcoat is a sensible option, or go for a shorter jacket such as a bomber. This season's puffer is one of the most versatile choices as you can wear it to work over your suit and at weekends