Although it’s apparently been unseasonably warm for November, with the clocks turning back last week and the country plunged into darkness by 4 p.m. (for the time being) winter is nigh. Like you didn’t already know, but sub-sub-sub-zero temperatures, Arctic winds, metres of snow and tonnes of nasty brown grit depressingly await us. Hoo…ray.
I trust, however, that I’m not the only one who also dreads winter in Sweden for its exceptional sartorial challenges. For example:
- How does one stay stylish at -20˚C when you abhor down jackets?
- Gloves or mittens?
- How do you avoid “hat head”?
- Can giant insulated boots really be the only option?
Formidable and sensible as she is, Mother Nature demands her children wear proper winter gear. So last winter I caved and got some puffy monstrosity that really tries to mimic shape with a nipped-in waist, but frustratingly no handbag (high and low) looks right with. (Don’t even get me started on “designer” down jackets – such a waste of money, in my opinion.) As for the accessories, Mamma wins again. Mittens are warmer, you tie your hair back the entire season and yes, those giant insulated boots are it.
I am a somewhat defiant child, though. Consequently I have a few tricks that allow me to resemble a stylish person and more importantly, still keep me warm.
- So this might be cheating, but for as long as it’s possible, I layer like a maniac under a wool coat. This usually means starting with a t-shirt, followed by a wool jumper, a so-called “thinsulate” jacket and then the coat. I balance the bulk on my top half with skinny jeans (worn with knee-high socks underneath for another layer of warmth).
- Don’t be afraid of colour. If I had to do it all over again, I would have picked something other than a black down jacket. But working with what I have, my hat, scarf and mittens are always brightly coloured or printed because they add interest and keep me sane in the sea of black.
- Silk thermals. Nice to touch and as thin and smooth a layer as you can get, I highly recommend investing in these babies. They are so warm and imperceptible, I could almost do away with that down jacket…
Do you have any other tricks for surviving Swedish winters in style?