As always, the coldest days of winter follow the shortest day and this year it feels as if Auckland has been particularly cold. Perhaps this is due to less rainfall than usual and the colder temperatures just feel well, colder. In Auckland we don’t really do the big, heavy winter coats or bulky knits that our southern counterparts wear. In my years of doing wardrobe audits, these are the things that I’ve discovered hanging forlornly at the back of the wardrobe. Bought on a whim but seldom worn as we just don’t need them in our more temperate climate - unless of course you travel to Wellington or further south regularly. With that in mind there are a couple of essential items for your wardrobe that mean staying warm when it’s really cold up here. These are hidden secrets that add warmth without sacrificing style or adding bulk.
Here are my favourites:
- Under-layers. By these I don’t mean merino knitwear (too bulky), instead I’m thinking more a fine layer of thermal fabric specifically fashioned into singlets and long-sleeved ‘spencers’. These are a lifesaver and trap heat underneath your long-sleeved dress or top. When we can travel again I encourage you to visit a Uniqlo store and stock up on their “HeatTech” range, but until then check out Silkbody (silkbody.co.nz) or see the range available at Farmers or Smith and Caugheys. Special mention must also go to Country Road with their very toasty camisoles and slips in a particularly thickly woven synthetic.
- Thermal socks. Not just the domain of hikers and trampers, you can buy thin woollen socks that are “invisible” inside your trainers or ankle boots. These add immeasurable warmth and prevent cold feet (the source of much misery), meaning you can still wear your dresses and tights but have warm feet. Icebreaker do a great range of these. Of course, with the return of the knee-high boot, you can go all out with a longer pair. Bliss!
- Hats. This season adding a hat looks stylish, not silly. The beret in particular is making a strong play for hat of the season, while a felt fedora still works. Both look chic styled back with a blazer worn over jeans or a dress. It’s a great way to stay cosy while looking very stylish and is definitely more sophisticated than a knitted beanie.
While winter always seems to drag on, let’s take heart that we are in August already and there’s not too many weeks to go until we’ll be seeing the daffodils in Cornwall Park. Before we know it, I’ll be writing a column about how to wear your spring wardrobe – I’m looking forward to that already!