Out of hibernation in serious style

There's nothing like a walk outdoors to shake away the cobwebs. Fashion editor Stephanie Smith on what to wear and what to buy now.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th January 2019, 6:24 am
Reversible tweed cape, £415, at Cordings in Harrogate and www.cordings.co.uk.
Reversible tweed cape, £415, at Cordings in Harrogate and www.cordings.co.uk.

After the feasting, it’s time for the walking. We have been eating several times our recommended daily calorie intake in one sitting and the most energetic activity we have been engaged with has been charades, Jenga or possibly Twister (which actually can be quite energetic in a yoga-ish king of way).

Anyway, the point is, we have been cooped up indoors with our nearest and dearest, and we have survived, thus far, but the time has come to shake it out and get outside.

For some, this might mean heading for the hills, perhaps a hike up Helvellyn. Sales of walking boots are up, apparently, although I suspect this might have more to do with international catwalk trends and Holly Willoughby’s jungle look, rather than any collective new-found interest in tackling nearly mountains and munros.

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Stripe top, £49; jeans, £69; blazer, £129. All in now at Mint Velvet.

For others, a walk simply means a leisurely amble to a favoured pub, or even sales shopping. If you’re doing it properly, you can definitely burn off meaningful calories while trying to bag a few bargains.

What to look for? A new coat is a January tradition as the High Street stores round up their autumn/winter stock and reprice it all to entice, so they can free up space for all that lovely new transitional and spring/summer stock that is waiting for an airing.

Soft pink, pale grey and oyster shades have been much in evidence on coats for winter, and these will carry through easily to spring, so snap up ones you find in the sales, especially slightly slouchy versions. Try a size up from your usual. The oversized look is very current, and the sales bring the perfect excuse to grab larger sizes, especially as they tend to be last to sell. It’s the same with knitwear. Don’t dismiss the large sizes. That size 2o sweater could well look amazing over skinny jeans and leggings.

Both Duchess Meghan and Duchess Kate have been doing much this year to put the focus on coats and Kate, in particular, goes for fitted. The dress coat is very much a thing, and there are some lovely options when it comes to tailored and fitted coats at Joe Browns, the Leeds-based multi-channel retailer which also has a store at Meadowhall Shopping Centre near Sheffield. Check it out if you are looking for a coat to impress for an event which will see you spending a fair amount of time outdoors, for example, weddings and spring flower shows.

Joe's Signature leather jacket, £219.95, and Sweetheart dress, £39.95, at Joe Browns.

This is a good time to invest in the classics, such as tailored blazers and leather biker jackets, the sort of pieces that you will want to wear all year long. Stick to minimalist styles and enduring neutral shades of black, tan and navy, and you won’t go far wrong. Similarly, classic country style, mixing tweed pieces with wax jackets, corduroys, jeans, chinos and luxurious cosy knitwear, is always worth any investment you make. These are styles that simply don’t date, and yet can be refreshed year after year and season after season with a switch of accessories and the addition of new prints and knitwear shades. If you can find them in the sales, so much the better.

Barbour’s Coastal Collection offers gorgeous chunky knits to wear with denim and wax jackets. Take a look also at Cordings, which has a store on Parliament Street in Harrogate, for beautiful, functional clothing. A tweed coat designed for field sports works just as well in the town, teamed with skinny jeans and a sturdy pair of leather boots. If you want to avoid looking overly country styled, opt for mountain or ankle boots rather than knee-high ones.

Outdoor pursuit brands and shops such as North Face, Rohan, Blacks and Cotswold Outdoor Clothing are all ideal places to head for during the sales to pick up protective outerwear and accessories. What are you waiting for?

Some items may now be in sale.

Joyous jacquard coat, £89.95 by Joe Browns at Meadowhall and at JoeBrowns.co.uk.
Double-faced coat in soft oyster, sizes 8-20, £250; relaxed washed silk blouse, sizes 8-20, £140; slim-leg jeans, sizes 8-20, in pale grey, £90. All at Pure Collection's York store on Stonegate and Purecollection.com.
Barbour Hamble quilted jacket, £219, at department stores and Barbour.com.