ASK LUCY: How does one fully prepare for winter?

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Dear Lucy,

I don’t know how to dress for the current not freezing, but not warm temperatures. I’m either too hot, or too cold. And on top of that – when shit hits the fan, and it’s -15’C I actually have nothing to wear.

Help me – I’m fashionably challenged.

Kiera.

Dear Kiera,

Even though I dress myself mostly in oversized sweaters and black jeans, I legitimately think about clothes 80% of my day. I would love to throw most of my money towards looking awesome all the time, but I like to travel and I come from somewhere that is super far away > these two things out-way any form of style vibe, mostly.

That said, winter is always my season that I get most excited about, because layering, scarves, covering my legs with clothes and hats. As I arrived to Berlin in 2012 with 1.5 suitcases, from California – I had to build up my collection of things. And these are the top of the top that I could probably not live with out.

OVER-SIZED SCARF – I want to stress the word over-sized with scarf on this one for a couple of reasons:

  1. Over-sized is cozy as, and winter/ autumn is the time when you want to be the coziest femme out there, riding the train, listening to your headphones, thinking about stuff. I have never been the cozy femme, with the perfectly big scarf riding the train looking flawless – I have definitely been really jealous of that femme; until today when I purchased the biggest coziest scarf you’ll ever see, and I’m enviable.
  2. Over-sized makes you looks skinnier. Winter is the time when everyone gains a few, it’s ok – we are human. In order to combat the look of extra kgs don the overly large scarf. It evens out the large jacket, big hat, heavy boots vibe and makes your head/body seem like it’s being swallowed whole, rather than filling out your winter armour. Thank you scarf.
Weekday Shawl zara-check-scarf cos-chunky-scarf

BEANIE – You may not require this just yet, but you will very soon and I recommend starting to stock up while you don’t hate the sight of wool. My biggest tips on a beanie is make sure it covers your ears. Yeah I get it, it’s super trendy to wear this little Kippah type beanies, you want to look cool in winter – but you know what is uncool? Being cold. You can definitely look cool, and have warm ears… It’s possible. Those little placement beanies are bananas, your ears will get wind burn and you don’t look clever.

mki beanie monki ruby hat Nike Iconic Beanie

KNITS – I’m personally all about a large fisherman type knit. Problem is, I’m not really skinny enough to pull that off. Big knits look wonderful on those skinny people who you know are not the size of that huge jumper and just swimming inside it. On normal’ish size people, big knits just make you wonder if they are having a fat day and trying to hide their lumps. If you are an uber skinny person that could wear a sack and still look dainty – I hate you. If you aren’t, longish fine wool jumpers/ cardigans are things you should stock up on.

 ACNE grey sweater  COS Merino/ Silk Jumper  &other stories Jumper

WOOL COCOON JACKET – There are only 2 months of the year when you should need you big fuck off jacket, and for the remaining 6 months of winter (this is really only applicable to Berlin, where it’s like an episode of game of thrones) you need a nice jacket to throw over things. I’m all about spending good money on jackets because if you buy shit jackets, they will be made of rubbish material – which means:

  1. you generally won’t be very warm.
  2. they/ you will always look cheap/ low quality.
  3. they won’t last you very long.

That said, some people are different, some people like a new jacket every year. Some (like me) just want to buy it once, wear it to the point of hating it – and buy a new one. The only thing I can stress here, is if you don’t get real fabrics, have the jacket large enough so you can wear real fabrics underneath. It’s absolutely not how thick things are that will necessarily keep the cold at bay. It’s the quality/ materials (~70%+ real fabrics is your baseline).

carin wester a line petrol coat caren wester tekla and other stories

GOOD BOOTS – Anything with a thick sole to stop the cold and to grip the footpath will do you. Snow/ ice and an Australian doesn’t sit well, so if you are anything like me – you will fall. At least wear gripable shoes when this happens; that way you can absolutely blame the elements and people will more pity you, than scorn.

Vagabond Grace Heeled Chelsea Black classic timberland 6 inch boots_ dr martin chelsea boot

WOOL SHOE LINERS – I didn’t know these were a thing until Bron took me through her day last year, and the purchase of the mohair shoe liners from Mauer Park. Honestly – this moment changed my life. If you can’t afford a pair of 200€ boots for winter (which I couldn’t last winter), then these are what you should be getting to go inside your chelsea boot, or whatever style you are donning for the season. If you just have everyday shoes to wear around for the months of freezing, it’s likely their soles won’t be cushioned enough to keep your toes warm for long periods. These won’t either, but they will delay early onset of “rock feet”. I think you should go for 1/2 a size smaller than your shoe size, and that’s it.

Woolrich Parker svea smith jacket canada goose

HEAVY DUTY JACKET – Do you know what you don’t fuck around with? Negative-fifteen and cooler temperatures. When I first moved here I was all – “I hate these lumpy jackets, I’m just going to layer – I’m smarter than everyone.” I’m not and relying on only layering is nonsense in such colds. If you have any intention of hanging about in Europe for more than one winter, it is worth it’s weight in gold to grab a heavy duty wind/water/ cold proof jacket. Yes – they can be expensive (Woolrich, I’m looking at you.) But often they come with a life time warranty, so if they go stop being warm (I’m not sure that’s a thing) – you can return for a replacement. If this isn’t really blowing your hair back, I would get a fur from one of the markets. They will be much cheaper, just as warm – but not waterproof.

Love Lucy.

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.