Ask the Mannequins: winter warmth v winter chic

January 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m off to New York and I hear it’s rather cold there at the moment. During the winter I tend to hibernate in jeans and jumpers. But what can I wear that’s also warm so those chic Manhattan-ites won’t laugh at me?

Erin, via text

Having just survived the Great NYC December 2010 Blizzard I can report that it is indeed rather cold over there. Most Manhattan girls are currently favouring the duvet coat and scary hardcore snow boots like these.

A hardy winter coat and warm boots are, of course, a must. But I find the devil’s in the details, and – especially in New York’s case – the layering. Once you get this right, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on top, because you’ll be snuggly underneath!

First some killer leggings – not just any leggings, but these rather lovely tuxedo-style leggings from M&S. Warm enough for wearing under jumper dresses and tucked inside your scary hardcore snow boots whilst trekking around Manhattan, but gorgeous enough to go with killer heels for the evening when you find a cool bar miles away from your hotel. See?

Tuxedo leggings, M&S

Next your head and ears. If you haven’t heard about The Hat Sandwich, then head over to Project Egghead’s website and brush up on Madge’s tips for using layering to keep your head warm. If you’re not a hat person (and many aren’t) then ear muffs are both a cute and functional way of fending off winter ear ache. I liked these from River Island as they’re uber-sweet and preppy.

Grey pearl ear muffs, River Island

Legwarmers were my staple during last weeks crazy NY weather. Worn peeping out of your boots exudes pampered-sloan-girl chic plus they’re soooo warm when trekking around a snowy Central Park.

Leggings, M&S

OK, so far, so straightforward, right? Here’s a secret I’ve been rocking since last winter. Grandma Badger got it right with her silky slips – and H&Ms basic body cons are the modern equivalent. They’re awful on their own if you have a bit of a pot belly, but worn underneath pretty much anything and everything, and they provide substantial warm layering and a smooth silhouette – something that’s tricky to achieve with a thermal vest tucked into your tights. Plus they prevent that annoying static cling that happens with jumper dresses and tights.

Black body con, H&M

Enjoy your time, and may I recommend going to 508 for the cheese fondue and lamb ragu; the Tirimisu cocktail at The View on top of the Marriot Marquis off Times Square (the bar rotates as you sit, so you take in a 360 view of Manhatten); Shorty’s 32 for nibbles and cocktails – and if you want something uber special and have the money for it, The River Cafe

PS Chic Manhatten-ites don’t laugh at those who are (in their eyes) sartorially challenged. Most of them are far too busy exuding an air of absolute boredom they barely have time to notice.

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