The fashion forecast: how to look good in bad weather

Leather ankle boots are far superior to trainers, which get squelchy quickly...

Istanbul, Jale Akbar, İnteraz - 24 January 2020, 13:40

Look to Michelle Obama in ceremonial lemon and Nancy Pelosi in superhero red - for winter style, start with practicalities but don’t end with them.


I am writing this from the haute couture shows in Paris. Which is a dream of a trip - please don’t think I’m complaining - but it does pose one major challenge. There is nothing like walking into a Christian Dior or Chanel show, but feeling like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant accidentally walking on to the set of a Grace Kelly movie, to make you appreciate how hard it is to look good in bad weather. Here at haute couture the style bar is high, however low the mercury.


(I have never understood why Paris weather has such a superior reputation to London weather. My years of research, rigorously peer-reviewed – by which I mean, I asked colleagues sitting on either side of me and they both agreed – has led me to the conclusion that Paris gets as much wind and rain, and as many bleak days of stainless-steel skies as Britain.)


It is horribly easy to fall into the Leo in The Revenant category at this time of year. You might have a perfectly nice outfit on underneath, but to keep out the cold you add a hodgepodge of blankety layers. You’ve probably got a cold, or you’re just getting over one, so to ward off the rain and wind you make a nest out of hats and scarves and collars, and before you know it you look like you’ve been cut adrift from civilisation.


Winter style icons begin withMeg Ryan in a mannish tweed coat and chunky boots, buying a Christmas tree on the Upper West Side in When Harry Met Sally: super practical, totally adorable.


Crisp and cold blue-sky weather is the best kind of winter weather – for life, and for fashion. The light is beautiful, so make the most of it by wearing bright colours. Michelle Obama and her daughters at the first inauguration ceremony – with jewel-bright J Crew coats and scarves for the girls, a lemongrass coat with moss gloves for the first lady – was the all-time masterclass.


If rain is forecast, think feet first. Leather ankle boots are far superior to trainers, which get squelchy quickly.


There is a reason fashion people love September, and it isn’t just because of the new collections in the shops. It is because September weather – transitional, half-and-half weather – is a dream to dress for.


The Guardian