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Clothes for specific weather

The essentials that make winter dressing easy

The essentials that make winter dressing easy

When Albert Camus wrote, ‘In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer,’ we’re fairly sure that he must have just bought a new coat. It can be tempting to reach for the thermals and forget about aesthetics when things get subzero, but that would be a mistake. Because when your wardrobe’s stocked with clothes that just work, even in the worst weather, the act of getting dressed gives you a warm glow.

Winter’s tough enough without getting bored by your own clothes, so pick items that bring you joy. “This time of year is ideal for playing around with colours, textures, and layering,” says Thread stylist Alexander McCalla. That can mean new fabrics, works-with-anything outerwear, or even just some judiciously deployed accessories. “It becomes easier to make decisions, so you can focus your energy on staying warm, knowing that you’ll always look good.”

Knitwear that adds instant polish

A roll neck is indispensable come winter. Not only do they make you look put-together, but they do so while being even cosier than a sweater. The key to picking a jumper you’ll live in, though, is choosing the right weight of knit. Too fine and you’ll be chilly. Too heavyweight and it won’t slip under a jacket.

Instead, go for a wool that’s just chunky enough for you to see the stitches. Then, aim for a subtle texture and preferably in a neutral shade. “By picking an understated colour, you can wear it more often as it won’t be so recognisable,” says Alexander. Then apply the cost-per-wear formula and revel in your subsequent smugness.

In short, this is the jumper that lets you throw it on without thinking about it too much. Look after it, and it will have your back for years to come. Literally.

Cords that combine warmth with style

What do you get if you cross the stroke-me factor of velvet with the hardwearing resilience of denim? Corduroy, of course. We suggest getting yourself two pairs of corduroy trousers, in different colours, so you can give your jeans and chinos a break.

“As a fabric, corduroy is quite heavyweight and thick so these trousers will keep you warm,” says Alexander. “They also complement other fabrics like knitwear and open you up to different materials in terms of footwear.” Because the ridge of the fabric is so distinct, they act as the perfect foil for everything from wool to leather.

What’s more, these colours anchor other hues, so you can make things more festive with a bright jumper or jacket. “They look better in the rain than chinos, which get those obvious rain marks,” says Alex. “Cords are weightier so don't stain as quickly.”

Boots that get better with age

Photographed: Grenson Brady (£265)

Come rain or shine (or snow or sleet), your shoes bear the brunt. That’s on top of the everyday tasks of Looking Good and Keeping Your Feet Warm. Wellies are a no-no unless you're in a field, so look to lace-up leather boots that can be polished to a high shine, but work just as well roughed up.

Alexander’s tip is to get the sole right first. “These boots were made to take on the elements," he says. "There are going to be crappy days coming and a lot of boots have soles that are flat, or not chunky and ridged enough to be stable on slippery surfaces."

These boots are dressy enough to work with casual to semi-smart casual outfits; think Oxford shirts, knitted jumpers and chinos. Avoid blazers though, as they work better with more functional outerwear such as a field jacket, parka, or even a down coat.


Words: Theresa Harold
Photography: Chris Howlett
Styling: Freddie Kemp