It can often feel like you have to choose between looking stylish and being warm—however, there are some clever layering moves and insulating pieces that mean you don't have to decide whether you'd rather blue lips or a good outfit. To find out the best ways to stay stylish when it's bloody cold, we asked some of the best-dressed influencers from the coldest parts of the UK how they keep things interesting in the middle of a cold snap.
Last year Wendy from Thank Fifi, for example, kept posting outfit pictures on Instagram during the weeks of snow in Glasgow when many of us would probably have just worn a puffer coat and our cosiest boots. These ideas are more imaginative than simply wearing an extra layer of thermals—they told me how they use leather trousers, shearling insoles, vests, cut up your leggings and layer coats to put together an outfit that will withstand even the bitterest winter weather. Keep scrolling to see — and shop — these clever cold-weather layering tips.
1. Use Leather as a Hidden Base Layer
"I love skirts and dresses with leather leggings hidden underneath or over-the-knee boots," says Wendy of Thank Fifi, who is based in Glasgow. "You can just about keep your legs warm enough to get away with those unseasonable outfits. My go-to for cold weather is a midi dress layered with a high-neck top underneath, leather leggings, boots and a belt to cinch in the waist."
2. Put Sheepskin Liners in Your Shoes and Boots
3. Teddy Bear Coats Are an Essential
Influencer Rachael Clifton has dressed her way through many icy winters through Durham and she says the key is cosy coats: "I am a bit of a coat enthusiast and have so many faux-fur and teddy options to style in the winter, which I think is key as that’s basically all people see of your outfit in winter. My go-to cold weather outfit would be chunky boots, a thick knit, jeans and a faux-fur coat."
4. Vests Are Your Friend
5. Invest in Your Thermals
"Merino wool thermals are a total Scottish winter hero—I love the ones from Icebreaker," says Wendy. She also says it pays to have fun with your styling: "It's important to think outside the box and consider layering things you wouldn't normally. I like layering a leather jacket under a coat or a shaggy cardigan or even two trenches on top of one another."
6. You Can Hide Extra Layers Under Midi Skirts
7. A Muted Colour Palette Makes Layering More Seamless
8. Wear Two Coats Instead of One
“Layering’s one thing but, when you’re standing in the 2 a.m. taxi queue in Aberdeen in February, you’ll need more than a roll-neck to keep the chill at bay," says Maxine. "I find two cover-ups do the trick. No, I’m not suggesting you wear two puffers atop of one another for your next night out. I am, however, suggesting that an oversized coat slung over a double-breasted blazer or pea coat looks suitably chic and will ensure you’re toasty, too.”
9. Have Fun With Small Accessories
"I've invested in a lot of accessories lately," says Manchester-based influencer Alice Catherine. "Things like scrunchies, hair clips and interesting bags. I find it's the best way to keep refreshing my outfits during the cooler months without having an overflowing wardrobe of pieces I don't need."
Next up, see our guide to the best winter coats.