How do you stay warm AND look stylish? It’s a question most women wrestle with during the bleak winter months. Struggling to make 18 layers look ‘chic’? Not to worry, Eevee’s Laura Holt tells you why fashion doesn’t necessarily have to equal frostbite…
Every year for as long as I can remember, the arrival of winter has created a mountain of justified dread inside of me. That’s right, I have an irrational fear of being cold.
The problem is I don’t just get cold…oh no. Instead, I’m one of those unfortunate people plagued by Raynaud’s syndrome. In my case, being cold includes bouts of violent shivering and causes my once healthy, flesh-toned hands to go a striking (and somewhat alarming) shade of purple and white. I have been a ‘cold’ person since the grand old age of 9. Being cold is what I do.
This year however, I discovered cashmere. Not your itchy and scratchy 5% cashmere mix monstrosity, but the real deal; pure cashmere pieces. For the first time in history, I have been warm in British winter season. Which for me is quite the feat.
It all started when I was aimlessly wandering around some nameless town one Saturday afternoon. Unexcited and frozen, I tripped and stumbled into a small independent shop – an outlet whose primary function appeared to be stocking lace bras to cut glass chandeliers. It was here that I found the answer to my woes. As my stiff, white hands sifted the rails, I chanced upon a deep plum, shockingly soft, round neck jumper. Enchanted and hopelessly drawn to the silky warmth of the piece, I purchased with little hesitation – choosing to consider the dreaded bank balance at a later date. I wear the jumper later that very evening and am immediately hooked. Love at first sight (or, in this case, touch).
Your first stop shop for all things cashmere is still, ashamedly, Marks and Spencer. They stock classic round neck jumpers, pearl-buttoned cardigans (for the mother) and some decidedly revolting V-neck side ribbed numbers (avoid). Overall however, they hit the spot with their pure mixes. A classic round neck number will set you back £65.
If your budget stretches considerably further, Stella McCartney has created this edgy colour block piece, awash with spot-on navy shades and geometric androgynous wonder, currently reduced to £260. For a more conservative look, DKNY have channelled the most iconic of the Hepburn’s with this clean-lined, super chic, jet-black cashmere turtleneck at £127. A perfect mix of sultry feline and capsule wardrobe. It’s definitely a winter ‘must-have’.
For those on a somewhat tighter budget, eBay offers a surprisingly wide range of second-hand cashmere garments. On the site where a Reiss dress for as little as £5 will sit bid-less for weeks on end, pure cashmere will always sell – usually with a price tag of over £25. Clearly I am not the only one being charmed here.
It’s only cashmere I here you cry! However, for the ‘coldies’ among us, this is revolutionary. Frostbite fear is out, along with the skin aggravating lambs wool numbers. For the first time since circa 1997, I now officially enjoy winter, and I am resolutely spreading the good news.
Now, how about cashmere socks?