Winter workwear – you either love it or hate it. For some people, it's a chance to wrap up snugly in cosy layers which hide every lump and bump. For others, it means a season of itchy clothing and shapeless layers.
No matter how you feel about winter clothing, you can’t deny that there are some serious fashion options available this year. From washed-out jewel tones, to slouchy cashmere and velvet daywear, there are so many ways to update your 9 to 5 workwear styling, no matter what the weather.
Here are our five favourite outfit ideas for the winter months...
1) An oversized knit with a midi skirt
Knitwear and skirts used to channel that kitsch '50s housewife' look, but not anymore. For winter this year, knitwear is long, loose and luxurious, while the skirts are patterned and midi-length.
Wear with bare legs and ankle boots before the temperatures drop too much, then with patterned tights and an androgynous coat come the real cold snap.
2) Polo-neck layering
A plain-coloured polo-neck will be the hardest-working item in your winter wardrobe. Choose a thin fabric that can easily be worn under a pinafore or a thin blazer, or go OTT with a funnel-neck jumper that looks great with wide-legged trousers.
A pristine polo-neck looks equally good with a tailored trouser suit and an A-line skirt, making it the perfect base for almost every workwear outfit. Just choose a neutral colour and go easy on the jewellery – this look is all about chic minimalism.
3) Colourful classics
As the nights draw in, it can be tempting to just stick with a uniform of black and navy. But winter is a great time to experiment with rich, jewel-toned colours.
Against a snowy backdrop, bright colours really stand out, and they look particularly good in the pale winter light. Update your winter wardrobe by choosing design classics – pencil skirts, longline coats, jumpers – in on-trend colours such as mustard, lipstick red, washed-out emerald, and dark aquamarine.
4) Cropped trousers and boots
Cigarette pants and 7/8 trousers are an autumn staple, especially when worn with bare ankles and flat brogues. Update this look for winter by pairing them with calf-high or heeled Chelsea boots, worn underneath the trousers.
The key to getting this look right is choosing close-fitting boots with a short heel and a soft texture such as suede, and make sure your trouser hem falls loosely over the boot – if you have to force it over then it won’t work.
Heeled Chelsea boots also look great under midi-length skirts, as an alternative to the classic ‘100 denier plus flats' combo.
5) Velvet daywear
Yes, really. Velvet has been slowly winning new fans over the past few years, and this winter it is finally set to transition from eveningwear to workwear. The trick is to stick with just one velvet item per outfit – a pair of cigarette trousers, for instance, styled with a velvet blazer or a velvet-embellished blouse – and keep the rest of your colour palate monochrome.