Friday, June 24, 2016

{Closet} 30 Chic Days – The Fourth Series: Day 17

Reader Lara asked:  I am curious as to whether you wear coats, scarves, beanies, berets, etc given your cooler climate. If so, would you indulge us by including them in your descriptions of daily outfits.

I do have a few winter outerwear pieces, Lara, and you're right, I didn't include them in my daily outfits for a few reasons.  One, sometimes I forgot to.  Two, it's still quite warm in Auckland even though we are officially into winter.  And three, I go to work in the car most of the time.  When I took public transport to work and back I wore my outerwear more.

When I lived in Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand (tres chilly in the winter) I had quite the collection of warm coats and scarves, but Auckland, well it's not that cold, just wet in the winter.  It does get cold-ish, but not really cold, despite what born-and-bred Aucklanders like my husband might say.  If it doesn't drop below freezing, it's not that cold to me.

Now that I live in this subtropical climate I have two jackets that I wear (below).  A very soft black leather David Lawrence jacket (also pictured above) and a black waterproof belted rain jacket from Kathmandu.  I bought this jacket for walking so I wouldn't have to carry my umbrella (there's a hood that rolls into the collar) and it's been a fantastic purchase.  I wear it for proper exercise walking when I'm in my exercise gear, plus I'll wear it if I'm doing an errand walk in my normal clothing.

I haven't been wearing scarves much yet this winter because it isn't properly cold, plus having invested in my cowl neck merino tops I'm already cosy around the neck.  Below is this winter's selection ready to go - black pashmina, a gift from my mum, a black and purple wool scarf, Made in France thrift find that my aunty sent me and my 'Honey Cowl' handknit that I finished in the summer from a free pattern on knitting website Ravelry (I think you have to create a free login to browse).

My 'Honey Cowl' infinity scarf is in a pure wool shade called Merlot (from a lovely and very reasonably-priced wool shop called Skeinz in my home area of Hawke's Bay - I know they ship overseas because a friend in South Africa orders from them!).  I have already worn this scarf once this winter because I really wanted to wear it with my outfit; the weather was not nearly cool enough.


I have three wool berets that I bought inexpensively years ago - in black, red and camel.  I go through phases of wearing them; again, it depends on how cold the days are, but they are excellent at keeping my hair nice if it's rainy and misty - they help the frizz somewhat.  I've worn the camel one most, it goes well with my hair colour, the black one second and the red one still remains quite new.  Wearing a bright red beret creates quite a statement...

Sorry for northern hemisphere readers that none of this will be relevant to you for six months, by which time I will be talking about bikinis!

I'd love to hear about your favourite jackets, coats, scarves and hats - colours, styles, suggestions  and ways to style.  Please share!


  1. When I was younger I wore berets, I had a poppy red one and an emerald green one. I now wear a hat (a black felt, a bit like a Trilby, and a rusty red one, which is quite similar.) Actually, provided I can find one small enough, men's has suit me better than women's hats, they have a higher crown which is smarter than a lot of women's hats which are too shallow in the crown.
    As for coats, I have a funnel neck, single breasted knee-length wool coat in teal, but this is rather a hard colour and so next winter I'm hoping to buy a new winter coat and my aim is a smart navy one (I had a navy one for years, double breasted) but sadly, after 20 years (yes, 20 years!) it had to go. My other short coat is a French, navy wool pea coat, but it's not as warm as I hoped it would be. I have a red trench shower-proof by Jules, and a dark green, very long, waxed waterproof.
    I adore scarves! We'll be here all day if I start to describe those! However, I made a mistake buying a couple of inexpensive modern ones (one by East, one by Jules) and the material is rather itchy/scratchy, so they've not been sent to a charity shop for someone who has less-sensitive skin.
    I love silk scarves, and I have three by Crew Clothing, which are large silk chiffon squares and are a delight both in texture and design. My favourite, however, is a Jaeger heavy silk square, and I picked this up for £7 in a charity shop when I'd seen similar ones on sale in a local dept store for close to £100.
    Colours? Now I have silvery-grey hair (yes, folks) which I no longer have highlighted because it makes the ends look as if they're nicotine stained, I can no longer wear camel or shades-of-camel, I looked washed out, and look and feel my best in poppy red (not plum/maroon red) or navy, black or grey.
    One item of clothing you have not yet mentioned, Fiona, is gloves, and there again, quality pays. I bought some cheapies (admittedly they are leather but they're at the non-quality end of the gloves spectrum, and boy, they look it!)
    Margaret P

  2. PS I meant "now" been sent to the charity shop - as I've said before, my fingers can't spell!
    Margaret P

  3. Hi there Fiona, I love your leather jacket, it's very classic. Living here in So. Cal. I don't really have an excuse to have true cold winter jackets/coats. People here are so unaccustomed to even light rain nowadays (due to our horrific draught) that a simple cardigan is enough for our winters! For the past week it has hovered around 90 to108*F here, and it's a dry heat. I'd much prefer some humidity (better for the skin)! It sounds like New Zealand is more my type of climate :)

    Warmly (pun intended),

  4. Hi Fiona - tres chic coat & jacket! I agree with you about Auckland weather. It seldom is truly cold, occasionally we have a cold bout...but seldom. And I love how you look chic when walking in the rain - inspiring!

  5. Margaret, I'm with you, I can't stand anything scratchy or that doesn't feel nice against my skin. Even if I loved the colour style, I'd have to get rid of it because I just wouldn't wear it! Your Jaeger scarf sounds like an amazing find - well done you.

    D, I know humid heat is better for your skin but it makes my hair so frizzy. I'd go with dry heat any day - and just wear lots of moisturiser and drink water and mist myself with Evian :)

    Ratnamurti, thank you!

  6. I've been eyeing up a new raincoat for walking the dogs in. Do you find your Kathmandu coat to be waterproof?

  7. Margaret, also, I know what you mean about camel on silver hair. Currently as my hair is warm-toned/a golden colour, I look better in these tones, but I know as I go more silvery over the coming decades I will transition into cooler tones of colour in my clothing.

    I remember that from when I had my colours done in the 1990s. The consultant said I was a Soft Summer, and I agree, but she said I would transition to the Cool Summer palette later on. You can google Colour Me Beautiful palettes of those names to see. I love all this colour talk, it's so much fun.

    The right colour near your face can really bring your complexion to life (but I still do wear black...)

  8. Hi Cottagetails! Love your IG feed, it's so soothing and peaceful :)

    Yes, the Kathmandu jacket is waterproof, it has a lining like goretex, but the Kathmandu version. It was $450 down to $250, they're always having sales there so I wouldn't pay full price. Still, $250 was a big deal for me to spend on a rain jacket at the time but I've not regretted it once. I've had so much use from it and it still look like new. I put it through the washing machine every so often but that's about it.

  9. Oooh I was soooo excited to see my name in print that I nearly dropped my iPad. I NEVER see my name in print or hear it on the street, in fact I could count the number of Laras I have met on one hand. Anyway, enough about my ego ..... Thank you for the lovely description of your winter wear. I, too, now live further north (closer to the equator for our northern hemisphere friends) than where I grew up and scoff at the locals who complain about the cold. I had seven winter coats, beautiful gloves, etc and gave them all (but one coat) to charity before migrating north. The one coat (woollen knee length camel coloured) I retained was only worn when I travelled back to my hometown and it finally went to the charity shop after eight years of loyal service, to be replaced by a natty black knee length mid-weight trench coat from David Jones. It has since been joined by a grey knee length light weight trench coat from Target (similar to NZ Farmers perhaps ?) which I adore (black near my face can sometimes make me look sallow) and a hot pink thigh length puffer jacket bought on impulse from DJs. (I was caught up in a shopping frenzy with my best friend). The pink number is too warm for home but I do adore it. Like Margaret P I have a ridiculous number of scarves - diff colours, patterns, textures which I adore. I keep a handful on high rotation, storing the others and change over season to season. I love the snugginess of a warm neck. I don't like the bulk of jumpers. No need for gloves here and hats make me look like 'the magic pudding'.

    I scrimped on a windbreaker jacket for morning walks and regret it. I wanted a light colour so I would be more visible (for safety) and settled on light grey. The jacket cost about $50 or so and its ugly. I never wear it as a result. Money wasted. I wish I had opted for spending more and buying something I would have worn. Oh well, we learn from our mistakes.

    Ps I second the motion that Margaret P start her won blog. Margaret you write beautifully. I will follow you :)

  10. I just googled 'colour me beautiful' which you mentioned above and squealed with delight when it told me I am Autumn and then listed my best colours. Now I know why I can't wear white in the cooler months unless I want to look like a corpse. Again, thank heaven for scarves to put a pop of the ' right' colour(s) near my face. Ditto for black. Thank you for methionine the website. I have since forwarded it to my mum.

    And I agree with your comment about humidity, Fiona. My hair goes like a fuzzball and I look like I have put my fingers into an electric socket. We have humid conditions from November until Easter and I hate it. Mind you, last week the radio announcer said it was 90-something percent humidity when giving his update. But this autumn and winter has been unseasonably warm for Australasia.

  11. Haha, Lara, you're welcome :) Soft Summer is Summer with a touch of Autumn (I don't know if it's just coincidence that summer going into autumn is my favourite time of the year?), so I share a few of the camel, beige, khaki/army green colours that you have.

    When my hair is a humid wreck I just smile to myself and think of all that good moisture my skin is getting :)

  12. I have two silk and rayon velvet scarves that I wear in winter, one deep red and one deep purple. They're so soft and warm and comfortable. Otherwise, my winter outerwear depends on where I am. My home state gets temperatures down to -50C, and my main goal there is to stay warm and not get frostbite! When I'm on the East Coast, a good trenchcoat with a lining and layers works for me. I wear lots of purple, so there's normally a purple cap. I also use silk scarves as a headwrap- they're both pretty and warm.

  13. Your silk and rayon scarves sounds beautiful Aurora, and they sound like they would be warm without being scratchy like some wool is. Minus 50C is unbelievably cold!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...