Teo van den Broeke
It was the author Charles Bowden who wrote “summer is always the best of what might be.” Which is all well and good in the real world, but in fashion land it’s arguable that the opposite is true. Summer, if you’re into your clothes, is only good if you have an Adonis-like physique and want to wear things that show it off. For the rest of us it’s the season of soggy backs and sweat patches, neither of which are good for your wardrobe (or self esteem).
Winter, on the other hand, is a season thick with cashmere, suede and shearling. It’s a time when you can wrap up against the cold, look fantastic doing it and not worry too much about what’s going on underneath (that’s what spring’s for).
Stands to reason then, that I save the majority of my wardrobe budget for the winter season. Coats are expensive after all, as are all those extra layers. Also it’s colder and wetter in England for far longer than it is balmy and bright, so it’s only sensible, really.
The most important thing to focus on with winter dressing, in my opinion, is fabric. One of my favourites is alpaca. Sourced from the pelt of a South American camelid, it’s incredibly insulating and soft and is at its best in this crew neck jumper from Aquascutum. Wear it with this simple car coat from the same brand - the flash of pattern on the hem will pick out the soft grey of the sweater.
Alpaca Crew Neck Jumper, £224 Aquascutum
Dwight Coat, £850 Aquascutum
While winter is all about throwing on extra layers, it’s also about getting dressed up for party season. One of the biggest eveningwear trends right now is for velvet, or more specifically velvet jackets. This beautiful salmon pink option from Dunhill will make a subtle statement teamed with some classic black tuxedo trousers. Pack it all up in Dunhill’s Duke tote and head somewhere snowy and fabulous (or failing that, hole up at Dukes hotel in St James’s and drain a few of the best Martinis in London – you can never be too dressed up at Dukes).
If the dress code is less formal, snap up Tiger of Sweden’s Gekko suit. Pinstripe is having a moment again (honestly) just avoid red braces and gold watches at all costs.
Footwear wise, one of this season’s biggest trends is the Jodhpur boot. Defined by a high ankle finished with a natty strap, these boots – originally worn by horse riders of old - offer just enough support in the winter while still looking chic. The best can be found at French shoemaker JM Weston on Jermyn Street.
Finally, it can’t all be about dressing up, so be sure to invest in some high quality basics you can slob around the house in over the festive season. For me, the only place to go is Sunspel. With all items manufactured in England, the brand’s white cotton crew necks are second to none, while their merino wool jacket perfectly bridges the gap between cardigan and coat – useful in the changeable British weather. Now all you need is an umbrella, and I’m pretty sure most places in St James’s sell those.
Merino Wool Jacket, £235 Sunspel