As if being battered by the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo wasn’t bad enough at the beginning of this week, the changing of the clocks early yesterday morning truly heralds the start of autumn, and with it comes the need to dress in a way that is both pleasing to myself but also warm and dry!
My best friend & I spent some time together over the weekend, and we were talking about the changing weather, and certainly what I’d be doing about it, so when we got back to my place we had a quick ‘down-and-dirty’ photo session; you’ll have to excuse my somewhat shiny face and the creative cropping on some of the photos – we’re still getting used to shooting indoors (the weekend weather (and therefore light!) wasn’t particularly kind to us, and I’m currently lacking in the artificial light department).
Anyway, back to the blog post: for lots of gals, dressing for cooler weather is easy – go and buy a new winter coat, perhaps a couple of pairs of knee boots, some thicker skirts, blouses with longer sleeves, some more cardigans, maybe a new hat or two, remember to stock up on opaque stockings, and oh – look! a lovely new pair of gloves too, and “Bob’s your uncle”; but for those of us with bills to pay, it can often be a bit more difficult! Sure, I’d love to rush out and buy an ‘Ashley‘, or ‘Pearl‘ coat, but that wouldn’t leave a lot of money for much else for a month or two; so today I want to share with you the things I’ll be doing to keep warm as the weather continues to get colder & wetter.
Now, I will admit I did recently treat myself to two new pairs of boots, but in my defence I needed them as my previous pair were rather old and worn, plus earlier this week I found out the value of the half-year bonus I’ll be getting from my regular day job so I figured my credit card do do a little work for me; other than those, however everything else below has been in my wardrobe for at least a couple of months, if not longer.
One of the first things I do to add a bit of warmth when it starts to cool down is to add a full or half slip to my outfit, this tends to coincide with the wind starting to pick up, so it also helps keep at least a little modesty when I just have to wear a circle or swing skirt.
Warm shoes are an added bonus to this outfit – personally I tend to find that if my feet are warm I feel warm, but if they’re cold I feel cold too. My shoes here are Miss L Fire‘s ‘Alpine’ bootie. They’re wonderfully comfortable, and fantastically warm too!
Of course, opaque stockings is something else I could add to my outfit, but this year I’ve not been very organised so I’m still without a good selection of stockings (although I have my wishlist at the ready for payday).
Another really simple option is to add sleeves to your outfit, I have a number of cardigans in varying colours & patterns, but at this time of year my favourite way to include sleeves without being too warm is by adding a shrug – I picked up a number from an eBay seller, I have almost all the colours of the rainbow so I can match them to anything and they have long sleeves which I prefer to pull up towards my elbow.
You can just make out the purple of my shrug against the black of my vest top – I find these little jersey shrugs to be just enough under a lighter-weight coat but still more than warm enough when I’m sitting at my desk all day; as the season progresses and turns colder, these will slowly change to cardigans.
My office can still get pretty warm during the day at the moment, so I don’t like to layer up too much, but sometimes when it’s raining I like to cover my legs in more than stockings – especially if I have errands to run on my lunch break. It’s at this point I like to get a little sneaky! On the right, I look to all the world to be wearing a cute top, with a nice pair of fitted trousers and knee boots. Look closely though, and you may notice my secret…
Those aren’t trousers…those are capri pants, hidden in over-the-knee socks; it means that I get to have dry legs, but it also means that if it stops raining and gets out nice I won’t overheat. The bonus to this is that it effectively doubles the length of time you can wear your capris (or, in my case it about triples it – summer often doesn’t last long in my part of the world!)
As the windspeed increases, I often feel sad that I can’t wear my skirts & dresses as much as I’d like, so this year I’ve decided I’m going to add to my collection of work-appropriate pencil skirts & wiggle dresses; here is just one way I would style a pencil skirt for autumn: worn with a cape, and calf-heigh boots – these are ‘Retro Betty’ from Irregular Choice in “petrol effect textured leather” – Mr LPU says they are far too nice to be worn outside of the house, but I disagree and can’t wait to show them off!
As the sleeves on my cape come to about halfway down my forearm, I’d wear them with my longer-length pair of vintage gloves, I’m not sure how much you can tell from the photos but they’re a lovely dark shade of purple.
For me this would also be a pretty good “umbrella outfit”, that is one that I wouldn’t have to worry if I needed to use my umbrella – there’s also nothing that would get in the way, blown around, or caught in doors while I try to corral my brolly.
For particularly cold days, or bad weather, I turn to my trusty swing trousers – these are from Heyday!, and I’ve paired them with my ‘Sean‘ top in purple from Pin Up Girl Clothing, with a camisole underneath to make it office-appropriate.
Again, wearing warm shoes completes the outfit, and for me I always wear stockings when I wear heels so if it was really cold I could always add a pair of opaque stockings to warm me up a little more.
And now for outerwear, I picked this coat up in a sale at New Look, it was super-cheap but a rather drab beige colour – a box of dye and a couple of trips in the washing machine soon fixed that, although the lining gives it away a little, I might consider re-lining it during the summer months. Paired with my Sean top & camisole combo from above, my teal & black tartan Vivien of Holloway circle skirt (which is a colour-way that’s no longer available), but is a heavier-weight poly-blend skirt so is quite warm on its’ own, my Irregular Choice boots, and a pair of gloves, it’s plenty warm enough for even a chilly autumnal day.
And of course, as it cools down further a pin up knows just how to keep warm – a warmer coat, and a vintage three-piece-handmuff-set. I was very lucky to pick this up at a local antique market – especially as after finding it I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could buy it. It’s faux-leopard fur and handmade, the set comprises a handmuff, with a zippered pouch for a purse and other essentials, a detachable collar, and a small scarf that fits neatly with the collar to ensure you stay warm.
Add a pair of vintage gloves, and a vintage beret, and I won’t be feeling the cold any time soon, and neither will you if you use this for inspiration!
I’d love to for you to share how you keep warm & dry as it starts to cool down in your part of the world in the comments below.
Bonus photo: for anyone who’s wondering just what’s going on at the back of my head I leave you with a photo of one of the autumn-themed hair flowers I made myself: