The days are shorter, the temps are lower, and the time I spend standing in front of my wardrobe going “uuuuuggggggghhhhhhh” is officially unbearable – it’s winter.
My ability to do anything constructive or productive drops by a solid 10-20% over winter. I firmly believe that we’re meant to be hibernating, which is why I want to be in bed at 8.30 and why I feel a strong resistance to anything that requires me to go outside (specifically: 7am gym sessions and work. I continue to be happy to go outside for pancakes in any weather). It’s my theory that this ancient desire to hibernate is also why my style inspiration evaporates in winter – because I’m supposed to be in bed. I mean, sure, yes, you could be fancy and accessorise your look while hibernating in bed, but I’m more likely to put on the hoodie I bought from the boys’ section of The Warehouse five years ago and call it done.
However, it is a harsh truth that I must continue to (a) go outside without the incentive of pancakes and (b) look human while doing so. Society demands it, and dammit if I have to go outside then I guess I should try and wear something I feel good in. It’s my entire philosophy, I can’t abandon it just because of a bit of sideways rain that feels like it has arrived direct from Antarctica. I’ve written before about ways to get some style inspo flowing (like this post from spring, which will be helpful if you imagine the winter version) but this is not that. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Buy some new clothes
Ohohoho, in an age of sustainability this advice is so controversial. But you know what, we all know that a new thing (or five) can give you just enough momentum to get through the terrible months of winter following the shortest day when it’s still effing cold but the novelty of super! cute! outfits! has worn off. Let’s not lie to one another. Buy something new.
I bought a yellow jumper from Welcome Back that has changed my life winter wardrobe. In fact I had to take a break from it this weekend because I was wearing it so much. I also bought a boiler suit (FINALLY) from Honour and can I just tell you, nothing defeats winter blues like someone telling you that your outfit reminds them of Top Gun. You are correct, male co-worker, I look so cool. Tempted to wear it again this Friday, tbh.
Refuse to go outside
When I was in my first year of university I lived in the halls, where we enjoyed free electricity. Our apartment was a balmy 23 degrees in the middle of July, and I used to have to open the window to get a sense of how cold it actually was outside when I was getting dressed for uni. Now, yes, that’s a garbage approach to the environment so maybe calm down a bit from that outrageous level but I’m saying: for four months (or so) of the year, just don’t go outside.
You’re inside. You get in your car/ride-sharing car of your choice. You’re inside again. You were outside for approximately 30 seconds, twice. You therefore do not need to be wearing winter clothes – you can wear whatever the hell you want. We live in a civilised time and nation, goshdarnit, and going outside and getting cold should be optional at this point. Viva la Revolucion!
Or, better still, go outside. In a different country (just kidding)
I dealt with two weeks’ worth of winter blues by leaving the country. Not a budget friendly or particularly accessible approach, but very effective.
Failing that, can you just go somewhere more…costume-y? Like can you go stay at someone’s house in a more rural setting so you can play dress up like an eccentric English landowner? Or can you go and stay with your friend in Auckland and bust out your fancy pants for dinner somewhere flash?
Escape the drudgery that is getting out of bed in the dark and trudging through the cold, wet streets to your job where everyone is sick just so you can leave again in the dark and head home to eat your weight in carbs because your primitive brain is worried you’ll freeze to death if you don’t gain 10 kilos immediately. Even for a day, go somewhere that will give you an opportunity to wear something other than your favourite jeans and a fleece hoodie (*points at self*).
None of the men I know have ever, EVER said to me “I just lose my outfit mojo in winter” because let’s be honest: they have one look. It’s jeans and a nice jumper. They buy one suitable coat, grow a beard, ask their mum to buy them merino socks for their birthday and they’re done. While I’m certainly stoked to have more than three high street stores to choose from (all homogenous in both direction and fit), there is a part of me that envies the dudes.
To borrow a phrase, and also butcher it: fashion is a female issue. I am painfully aware that if I wasn’t female, then I wouldn’t have the same relationship with fashion that I do. It’s important to remember that some of the drivers and imperatives that we feel as real are, in fact, a bunch of made up stuff. You can just opt out for a bit. Succumb to your Winter Feelings and get into a uniform of thermal tights and that one chunky jumper you love (possibly also pants or a skirt).
If you’ve read all of the above, and you’re like “but Megan FFS I NEED SOME LOOKS” – here’s a link to my Autumn/Winter Pinterest board. I mean, it’s a board that I populate when I’m bored and only paying half attention (*cough* in meetings *cough*) so it’s a landscape of generic fashion ladies and I apologise for the lack of diversity and for everyone having the same body type. However, maybe some of the colour combos or clothing proportions will light a fire for you in these coldest, most winteryest of days xM