Winter Warmers: Stay Snug in the Cold

By Juliette Olah
February 5, 2016

Brace yourself. The cold is coming, and here in Japan it’s approaching at warp speed. Being from a place where the sun shines pretty much year-round, winter can be kinda tough. So I’ve had to learn, and learn fast, how to pull this off. While it may seem like a drag, it is totally possible to stay warm in winter without resembling the Michelin Man. To prove it, here are four ways to rug up when the weather starts to get intimating. I’m not exactly cold proof, but these tips have been game changers for me. Ready to win the winter battle? Let's do this!


Check the Basics

To get this right, you need to strip back a bit. What are you putting on first in the morning? Underwear to start (good for you!), and following that you need something that works double hard to keep you warm. Here’s where it pays to do a little research into base layers to find something effective. Uniqlo’s new extra warm Heattech base layers are by far the most cosy thermals I’ve tried. There are some very scientific things that happen in Uniqlo’s patented Heattech fabric that enable it to hold heat, as well as turn sweat back into more heat! Weird, and a bit gross, but the comfort is unbelievable and I’ve never felt more snug, regardless of what I’m wearing. These things are a winter must-try.  

Uniqlo Heattech Extra Warm Turtleneck, ¥1,790; Uniqlo Heattech Extra Warm Legging, ¥1,290; Uniqlo Heattech Cable Knit Socks, ¥690


Shield Yourself

As you’ll be spending the majority of winter in a coat, it goes without saying you’ll be far more willing to get out of bed in minus-whatever if you have a great one. A couple of things to consider are weatherproofing, cut and material. If you’re in a climate where it rains and snows often, go for something made from wind-proof and waterproof fabric, like a padded puffer or parka coat. Autumn’s baseball and bomber jackets translate nicely into chic longer cuts that can be zipped up to separate you from the world.

If you prefer a more traditional coat style, opt for tightly woven wool or a wool blend. It may cost a little more but the payoff is a winter sans shivering on the sidewalk. Longer length coats have been ultra popular on the runway and on the backs of bloggers for a while now, so by all means embrace that extra half meter of coverage! If you are perpetually chilly make sure you have at least a shin-length or ankle-length number hanging in your closet. There’s no such thing as too long.

Alexander Wang Degrade Long Car Coat, ¥162,000; Beauty & Youth Coat, ¥32,400; Yosoou Two Piece Collar Coat, ¥48,600

fake fur

Fake It

Wild 70s fashion is drowning all traces of much else in stores this season, so it’s an ideal time to make fur your BFF. Fur is an excellent insulator and is surprisingly versatile when crossing over from day to night, or from work to play. The good news is, fake is nothing like it used to be. Forget that chunky, mangled-looking stuff that stylers of yesteryear had to endure to do the right thing. Advancements in fabric technology mean that these days you can spare the cute critters and still get a glorious, velvety piece to rival your great-grandmother’s real deal.

River Island Natural Faux Fur Tippet, about ¥3,579; Ajew Triangle Fur Clutch, ¥5,832; Converse All Star Roomyfur Slip On, ¥7,000

warm accessories

Cover Up Top and Tail

Repeat after me: head, neck, feet. Head, neck feet! If it’s looking like Narnia outside you’re going to need to call in extra support. Go all out covering these parts of your body with hats, beanies, a scarf or snood, and socks or tights that are made of wool or heat trapping fibers. If you think of your coat as the queen of your winter wardrobe, consider these accessories her noble steads. Once your feet are suitably wrapped up, get them into boots that keep your feet raised off the ground. Wedges and thick soled shoes are right on the money.

Vince Multicolor Knit Beanie, about ¥3,547; Marco Monde Graphic Gloves¥5,746; Meribel by Onteks Mix Snood, ¥9,504

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