With each British winter comes the inevitable struggle with erratic temperatures. Every short day, I ask myself: Which is the lesser of two evils – the stickiness of public transport or the blue-lipped cold of outside? Or is the true evil the central heating wars you're forced to sit through in the office? Either way, with my body temperature in constant flux, getting dressed in the morning often feels like a conundrum. My beloved faux fur coat can go from cosy to cloying in a matter of minutes, and I always underestimate how chilly my ankles will be.
The solution? Layering. Thanks in no small part to the hilarity that greeted Balenciaga's multilayer jacket last year – the similarity to Joey wearing all of Chandler's clothes in Friends did not go unremarked – I've been a bit afraid of this approach. However, it's really quite simple. Going further than a basic top-and-bottom duo means you can adjust your layers depending on how hot or cold you are, without compromising your get-up.
Here are three ways I'm tackling layering, from turning dresses into tops to wearing hardworking rollnecks.
Dress It Up
I refuse to relegate my favourite summer pieces to the back of my wardrobe, for two reasons. One: I believe that if you love wearing something, you should get as much pleasure out of it as possible. Two: The more you wear a piece, the more you can justify its purchase as an economical investment.
It would be a crying shame to banish my floaty summer dresses during winter, so instead, I breathe new life into them by wearing them over jeans and trousers. Simple? Sure, but when worn over a trusty Uniqlo HeatTech top, it's a warm alternative to wearing the same jacket every day for an entire season. Plus, how sweet is this Ganni equine print?
I've never been a shirt kinda girl. I instantly become more aware of my chest – the button-down tends to sit awkwardly and it all becomes a bit matronly. But in the name of layering, I tried a longline cornflower blue number; when worn open, it substitutes a jacket, and when done up to the collar, it's a fresh update on a workwear classic.
Teamed with monochromatic orange, the colour pops, plus it's a nice way to wear the silk midi skirts that took last year by storm. I added some heavy duty hiking boots by fashion's favourite footwear brand, Grenson, a winter take on the basket bag, and voilà, you've got yourself an easy breezy layered look.
Roll Up, Roll Up
On those really cold days, I feel like the only option when braving the chill is to swaddle myself in a teddy or faux fur coat – that is, until I get on the Northern Line and begin to slow cook like a lobster in boiling water. Enter the rollneck, the hardest working item in my wardrobe. I've amassed a collection in every colour, texture and material available; this zingy green number is my latest acquisition.
I layered it under a collarless white shirt (partially unbuttoned to avoid the aforementioned matronly vibe) and a lightweight patent jacket, and paired it with black denim, an adorable neon green micro bag, and failsafe black boots. Buildable, lightweight layers that avoid overheating on the Tube but still protect you from January's weather. Sorted.