We’re in the midst of the dreaded shortened days of another Australian winter. The few bright spots of sunlight have made way for grey-blue winter evenings.
When the summer months have left and its too cold to wear short-shorts (a blessing in disguise??), we tend to forage through the corners of our closet and emerge, triumphantly armed with big, dull woollen coats and the scratchiest of tights.
I spent most of the Sydney summer away in the northern hemisphere’s winter, so I got to shiver through snowy nights and be witness to the covered up fashions of New York and Japan at their coldest (I was in travel attire and an observer rather than participant in anything too fashionable). As unprepared as I was for that level of cold, it did serve the purpose of giving me a new perspective on winter fashion to take back to Sydney.
Maybe Australia doesn’t pay that much emphasis on freshening up the vibe for winter because we know it’s only a short one and the weather for the rest of the year is blissful? Or maybe it’s me (… and oh, just about everyone else I see around me).
By far, the worst thing about winter is stepping outside of my office (dark at 5:30 pm) and seeing the silhouettes of sad, winter workers, barely making it through the daily grind. A veritable army of grey and black swarming, with a touch of brown – you know, just to liven things up. Admit it, you know it’s winter has you in a headlock when you wake up and its dark, when you leave work and its dark, and when you choose the dreariest, warmest outfit because practicality trumps fashion.
This year I refuse to give up brightness for the cold! I may suffer frostbite this winter, but at least I won’t be dreary! Until the warmer months return, I’m sticking to the boldest of prints and the brightest of colours.
But if you find your eyes straying to the colour drained clothes at the back of a sale rack, never fear – black and white can be just as striking… its all about shapes, cuts and accessories. The bold shapes add a quirkiness to the typical, boring cold-weather colours. We all need a pinch of practicality for work, so a monochrome base is perfectly fine, as long as it’s just that – a foundation. Long black skirts are a necessity. If you don’t have one, get one – I got mine for $15 at local store selling recycled fashion. It perfectly offsets the bright geometric shapes of this collared blouse.
And a for a more casual look, wear some monochrome tights or jeans with a bold print. I like to keep the rest of my attire plain coloured and add a burst of colour through a shorter skirt over leggings or brightly coloured tights (like these purple ones I wore in the photo where I’m getting a hug from a random guy in Tokyo…. What? He had a sign saying “free hugs”. Don’t judge me!).
While traditionally, I try not to clash colours and shapes, this tribal print Chiffon Kimono is just so comfortable and bright, it works well plain or busy (like this Aztec print singlet).
If the kimono styled jacket is too much, you can simply add some gorgeous and vivid accessories instead, like a turquoise necklace. Jewellery like this can be found anywhere right now, so I like to buy a whole selection cheaply at stores like Diva and Lovisa and keep them at hand and on display so I can accessorise easily mix it up. Another tip for monochrome is to brighten up your lipstick by a few shades, add a long, colourful cardigan over the top and add pops of colour through your nail polish, winter boots and handbags.
Check out my favourite winter coats and cardigans from a range of designers – all from one of my favourite online boutiques, The Iconic.
All photos courtesy of theiconic.com.au.
So say “NO” to dull this winter, wherever you are in the world – but especially you Sydney corporate workers! Promise? Let’s shake on it! (I had to work this photo into the post somehow).
Soon you’ll be well on your way to a bolder, brighter Spring and you can carry some of the colour with you! Oh and if you know of a great place to pick up some colourful winter fashion, please share by leaving a comment below.