The Pinup in Winter

I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy winter. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer winter in New Zealand to winter back in the UK. I don’t miss how it gets dark by 4 o’clock, how the sun never really rises, or how you need to have something woolly on any part of you that you don’t want to be frozen solid if you’re venturing outside. That said, it has taught me the valuable skill of staying warm in the cold.

A couple of months back, I started taking daily outfit photos again, and actually planning out what I want to wear the night before (or in the occasional fit of hyper-organisation, planning an entire week’s worth of outfits on Sunday night).  I’m not gonna lie, I enjoy clothes, and colours, and even makeup (now that I’ve found a lipstick brand I love- eventually I’ll work on eyeliner…). I especially love pinup and retro style, and will wear it almost every day if I can. Except Sunday. Sunday almost without fail is pyjama day. But I digress. Since we’re heading into the freeze-yo-tits-off part of the year, I thought I’d share with you how on earth I can go pinup in the cold, in case any of these tips are new or helpful to some of you.

Now, this is not me telling you what to wear. I say, wear what you want. But if you really have an urge to wear a fabulous circle skirt but you’re worried about your legs getting cold, or if you have a strappy dress and you’re concerned about becoming a pinupsicle, I can help.

First thing’s first

Pay attention to your body. Think about how you normally dress in winter. What parts of you feel the cold most? For me, my legs aren’t really an issue BUT I hate having cold gusts of wind anywhere on my arms or my core. For you it might be different. Maybe it’s your feet. Or your ears. But figure that out, and you’ll know where to concentrate your warminating efforts.

Layering is, of course, the oldest trick in the book. But some of the things I do are either old-school or a bit different to ‘put on a cardigan’. I will say – thermals are your friend if you can find ones with a neckline that hides properly… Here are a few secret warm layers:

ABM_1464816145Tights! If you’re not wearing tights (pantyhose, for those not familiar with British slang) in the winter, I don’t know what to tell you. There are lots of options here. Fleece-lined tights are great. But a favourite trick of mine is to wear multiple layers of ordinary tights. Or wear one pair of ordinary tights under fishnet or lace tights (which are actually warmer than you’d expect given how big the holes are), or of course leggings. In this photo, I’ve got two layers of tights on. Noone will know- trust me- I’ve been doing this since I was 14 years old and not once has someone come up to me, pointed at my legs and said “YOU’RE WEARING TOO MANY TIGHTS”.

Petticoats! These are so great for keeping you warm. All those layers of tulle? Toasty. You can also use a cunning trick from Miss Victory Violet to wear a dress as a skirt if you have a petticoat and a decent belt- which means that you can still wear that strappy dress but stay warm.

Slips! They’re a bit granny-tastic but for hidden layers under a skirt or dress that keeps your core from getting cold, you can’t beat them.

And now, some additional honesty:

When it’s freaking cold, I don’t go near the skirts. I’m not insane. And I don’t subscribe to the suffering-for-the-look school of thought. So this is what I wore the first day of winter:

ABM_1464729705Yup. Jeans. If my fabulous 40s-ish trousers still fitted, I would be wearing those a lot. Sometimes, you’ve just got to adapt to the weather.

Also, while I have a beautiful retro winter coat, there are plenty of days when I don’t wear it because it doesn’t have a hood- on those days, I wear a ridonkulously warm coat I got from an army surplus store. Not pretty, but also not at all cold. Looking pinup is fantastic- but when it’s really effing cold, looking pinup is something best done indoors.

I hope at least some of this has been helpful. What are your top tips for staying warm while looking fabulous? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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