Come rain, wind or shine, stay ready
Words: Modupe Oloruntoba | Photographs: Katinka Bester | Styling: Gavin Mikey Collins
We’ve spoken at length about our love-hate relationship with winter. Not only does it make you want to hole up in the house until the end of time, but it can also do a real number on your style game. Don’t get me wrong, summer has its issues – figuring out how not to roast to death while trying to wear anything other than the same 3 pairs of shorts all season is no small feat. Winter’s problem is twofold:
All attempts to insulate the body also result in immobilising it. As in, sweaty Michelin Man syndrome.
South African winter weather is disrespectful and disloyal. It doesn’t care about your outfit goals or your new umbrella.
It’s frustrating, I know. What’s a girl to do when her best (and most stylish) intentions are thwarted, nay, shattered, by Accuweather? The remedy is found in layering, and we’ve got the formulas you can count on, whatever the weather throws at you.
When temperatures hit sub-zero, be kind to yourself. Use stretchy knits with a little weight to them to do some heavy duty layering without the Michelin effect. Top with a thick layer in a rich winter hue.
What to wear: You'll be comfortable indoors and protected outdoors in a thick polo neck for coverage, a tennis sweater for flavour, and an oxblood coat for control.
Wear it better: black suedette leggings + black suede knee-high boots = legs that go on forever, thanks to colour and texture matching.
Rain Must Fall
Getting rained on is uncomfortable and inconvenient, but at least the solution is straightforward: You need to be waterproof. Layering for wet weather is easy. Pile on light pieces for texture and mobility, play with colour and length, and finish with a classic trench. You probably won’t spend that long outdoors if it’s pouring but you should be prepared anyway, because that's when the water Pokémon come out.
What to wear: The trench coat was invented to be durable and watertight and is pretty much the OG of all functional fashion classics. Throw over anything and everything.
Wear it better: Patent shoes are a trusty alternative to boots in the rain because they won’t soak. Bonus points for choosing puddle-proof platform soles.
Windy conditions require tough tactics, so stand your ground with solid fabric choices. Anything breezy, light, or too loosely knit will do you no favours. Sturdy is the standard.
What to wear: The combination of a jumpsuit and a light jacket allows you to bundle up just enough to beat the wind while still keeping up freedom of movement. Insulate with a body suit if the weather's too rough to play around in. Ignore that altogether if you happen to live in Durbs.
Taking the Heat
Nothing is more annoying or more welcome than a hot winter day. Welcome because one more day without warm sunshine might have driven you to the edge of sanity, but annoying because just when you think it’s cold enough to break out the big guns, it’s not. Like I said - disloyal.
What to wear: Take inspiration from her highness Queen Slayrena Williams (the new official spelling, just fyi). This retro tennis shirt works as a great first layer all year round and scores even higher for those cool collar stripes.
Wear it better: Pair with a pleated skirt and statement sneakers for fun and function, and layer on a Kimono-esque jacket for safety - the sun might not be here to stay.
Arguably the best weather for the style-conscious, partly cloudy skies are neither here nor there, so your look can be just as noncommittal – bring the nonseasonal faves out to play.
What to wear: It's a fact – Bomber jackets are here to stay. Actually, so are ribbed-knit pencil skirts and body suits, and as for ankle boots, did they ever really leave? Stock up on these basics and keep them in rotation for effortless layering.
Wear it better: Embrace the easy-breezy weather vibes with novelty accessories.