Winter has arrived and the fashionistas are all about "winter layering". So many articles about how to add layers and continue to look great - with layers artfully arranged and collars just so....
But there are some basics that I notice the stylists don't mention, and some ethical issues to consider, so here are my thoughts on gearing up for winter.
Seal yourself in
The coldest people who come into our shop are wearing ski parkas and sandshoes without socks. Effective layering starts with the under layer, and this should seal in the heat from head to toe! We're talking long sleeved tee tucked into leggings with long socks over the top. Not a fabulous idea for most of us to check the mirror at this stage! Add trousers or skirt over the base layer, then sweater, jacket and boots. Don't forget to add a scarf to keep your neck cosy. For really cold days, double the sock layers and add a warm hat. Now you are ready for Bowral winter shopping!
Be able to unseal yourself
The problem with sealing yourself in is when you travel up to Sydney for work and suddenly realise its 10 degrees warmer. You can remove a lot of layers but that base layer is going to keep you REALLY toasty (read pass out toasty, I speak from experience) unless you can get some skin exposure. Be ready to untuck and fold up!
Love your Pashmina
I love a pashmina or a wide wrap. You need the width to be able to trap lots of warm air around your neck. They also double as a pillow on the train, quick hat to combat a blast of arctic air whilst walking the dog, or blanket for the kids or your knees at the cinema. You can also wear them as a poncho, secured with your favourite brooch.
Sheep/alpaca/yak/goat/angora - hmmm - ethical?
There is always a lot of talk about knitwear in winter - generally made from sheep, alpaca, yak or goat fibre.
I have a beautiful alpaca vest knitted by a local Highlands lady who clips the alpaca and spins the fibre herself. The fibre is not dyed, highlighting the natural creams and browns of the animal.
Companies generally do not publicise where their fibre comes from, or information about the dyes they use. Icebreaker, a New Zealand brand, provides information on its website about the treatment of its animals and its supply chain. Other brands do similar, but many just talk about luxurious feel and look - is this enough?
For those that don't want to wear animal-based fibres, many outdoor clothing brands offer synthetic materials. Some offer clothing made from recycled PET drink bottles (rPET). Patagonia has a stack of information about their RPET and other recycled fibre garments, together with traceability information. They also have Fair Trade certified outdoor clothing!
We have a beautiful double-lined organic cotton longline jacket in store from Sinerji. These charcoal and blue fleck jackets zip up to be worn as a dress over leggings, or unzipped as a jacket. The jackets are also Fair Trade certified and vegan.
We also have our Hi Lo bamboo/merino/cashmere sweater in Black and Oatmeal and duster jacket in Cocoa and Black. These go well over our Boody bamboo basics range of camis, tanks, 3/4 scoop neck tees and leggings.
We are loving our Yak Wraps by Seven Women, and their woollen infinity scarves in Navy or Red are very popular. Just a few soft woollen scarves by Uimi remain, but our most popular item is our Seven Women hand crocheted fingerless gloves from Nepal - with lining! We also have lovely colourful house socks knitted by Jean in the Highlands.
Enjoy winter - keep warm!