How To Survive Winter in Style
I was contacted on Tumblr to write a little about my cold weather wardrobe, which is something I unfortunately deal with for about seven months a year. So, how does one survive an Amsterdam winter? Or rather: how does one survive winter without falling into fashion’s number one winter trap: layering so much that you will end up looking three sizes larger than you actually are? Perhaps I am exaggerating, but I used to have the hardest time looking elegant and comfortable during the coldest, most hiemal months of the year. The wind, rain and dropping temperatures of this country leave very little space for sporting a decent or refined outfit.
However, starting last year I decided I wanted to adequately prepare for the colder season. This meant that I needed to start layering in a smart and efficient way. I ride my bicycle to university along the windy and rainy canals of Amsterdam and the temperature dropped to -5°C yesterday, so I need an ensemble that simultaneously is comfortable, warm, windproof and still.. somewhat elegant, however that may be possible.
I started my winter wardrobe curation by investing in a set of Uniqlo Heatteach camisoles for underneath outfits. Then I added both a beige and black cashmere jumper (which, frankly, together with wool is my number one material when it comes to keeping warm) and a pair of sturdy leather boots to keep my feet from turning arctic. As for bottom wear, the denim of the light and dark A.P.C. jeans I own is so warm it keeps my legs warm and protected, so I am switching between the both of them. Some of my friends wear tights underneath their jeans, but I find this to be itchy and disagreeable. Last month, I did invest in two pairs of Falke’s cashmere socks to survive the cold spur when biking to university during winter (before you declare me mad; most citizens of Amsterdam proudly ride their bicycles through the winter cold and thus when in Rome, do as the Romans do..).
So, the garments I seem to have gleaned for winter are pretty repetitive: woollen jumpers, cashmere jumpers, dark denim jeans and light denim jeans. As for boots: my Isabel Marant Deyis Boots and suede Dicker boots. However, that leaves out the most important part to protect yourself against Northern European cold waves: outerwear and accessories.
Frankly, I am still looking for the perfectly warm winter coat. My A.P.C. Peacoat does protect against wind, but is made of a lined cotton material and although sufficient for your average French winter, cotton is too breezy for a Dutch one. I have been eyeing the woollen A.P.C. Doll coat, but I want to see the wool structure for myself before purchasing – which will have to happen next time I visit the Paris store. I also own the Acne Canada Scarf, which is perfect for draping around your face and neck in winter. Frankly, I have to admit though that I find the price rather exorbitant and that in my opinion, any large, woollen scarf will suffice and keep you warm (such as this piece which comes at a better price). I have got the gloves covered as well, as I own a pair of slim, lined leather ones similar to these.
I find that these items I have gathered over the last years are for now sufficient for winter, and will slowly start saving up for a new winter coat. Below, I have created an overview of my basic winter wardrobe pieces.
My Current Basic Winter Garments
– Warm winter coat (A.P.C. Doll coat?)