Thursday, 24 October 2013

What To Wear During A Cold Spell

As an African living in Southern Africa, I think we are lucky in terms of having the best weather. I haven’t been to other parts of the world, but hands down Africa has the most versatile weather. So when it gets a little hot, there’s always something to wear that suits the weather and when it gets a little chilly outside, there’s always something to wear as well. But emphasis here is on what to wear when it’s a bit chilly outside, where it’s not too cold nor freezing but just a little bit mellow with some characteristics of possible rain.

Lately the weather in Harare has been switching to the mellow side, with little detection of rainy showers and a bit windy but nothing too cold. My concern however is dressing up for such weather.  A lot of the ladies I see in Harare quickly resort to winter gear consisting of knee high winter boots, double breasted winter coats and thick winter stockings. It’s all fashionable and great but to a greater degree it’s not necessary, especially when the weather changes later in the day.  At times it can be a bit confusing to come up with a versatile ensemble because of the sudden switch from cold to hot all in one day, but here is a rundown to what to wear.

Drop the Winter coat and begin to Layer!
Drop the big winter jacket and opt to layer your clothing. Layering is probably the oldest and most versatile trick. You can opt to layer pullover sweaters, cardis and blazers. Preferably you can layer two thin knit sweaters over each other or a knit sweater paired with a blazer on top. If you own a thicker knit sweater, that’s a plus factor because you can wear your ordinary tee underneath then finish off with a chunky scarf to keep cozy. What’s great about layering is that when the weather suddenly changes to hot, you can peel off some layers.

Switch the knee-high boots for cute flats.
Drop the boots and the thick stocking all together because it really isn’t winter, it’s just a cold spell with a little bit of wind and cloudy skies. This is all in preparation for the rainy season. So with footwear, also keep it light but also warm with secret socks (I swear by these). Wear a pair of plimsolls, loafers or stylish takkies (such as the ones pictured below from Bata stores) or a closed shoe like a brogue. Ankle boots are also a good alternative, if you feel the cold isn’t for your liking.

Tomy Takkies available at all Bata stores in Harare.
Wear these cute sneaks with secret socks and no one will notice.

Colour Palette
Switch from light to dark colours, only because dull colours attract more heat. So work around black, navy blue, grey, brown, oxblood (which is a deep maroon) and red or purple. These colours are good on your skinny jeans and blazer jacket.

Dark skinnies with the dark blazer and notice the layering bit mentioned above.

Cozy Accessories!
No need for gloves when it’s a bit chilly, but beanies, scarves and trilbies can be an exception. I for one prefer vibrant colours to my scarves to contrast to the dark ensemble. Trilbies and beanies are a fashionable exception as they look better in dark hues.

My Illustration

A quick illustration: i paired dark colours with the stripes and the black jacket. Its cozy and weather appropriate. If the weather gets too hot, i will simply remove one layer.

So with that said, Ladies take note, when it gets a bit chilly in the middle of summer, it doesn’t automatically equate to winter. It’s just a little dull weather. Rolling out the heavy winter gear isn’t a bad idea but at the same time it shouldn’t be the only resolution. There are lots of ways to experiment with different ideas and looks just to come up with a warm and cozy ensemble. And I hope the little segment above will definitely help.

Stay Gorg and Glam (and Cozy),

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