How To Dress For City Snow

Say F-off to the big freeze

snow fashion

by Lucy Morris |
Updated on

There are icy days, and then there is the ‘Beast from the East’. We’re not talking your average winter cold snap, we're expecting subzero temperatures, heavy snow and a transport system that buckles instantly under the pressure. Afterall, we went through this exact storm last year.

With this Arctic chill set to wreak havoc, it’s worth taking stock of your wardrobe. That thin poly-mix jumper just won’t cut it. Those, ripped-knee jeans will not suffice.

What To Actually Wear In The Snow

It’s actually surprisingly simple to dress for this weather without looking like the Michelin man. It just requires benching your daintier items for smart fibres and thicker fabrications. 'The key to keeping warm is wearing layers which help trap air and in turn insulate your body. To maximise warmth, it is best to have a layering system made up of a few different layers ' explains Lorna Glover, Snow + Rock's women's clothing buyer. At this moment in time Uniqlo’s HeatTech should become your second skin and sturdy boots your favorite footwear.

On the topic of footwear, remember snow turns to ice and ice turns to sludge at a faster rate than we’d like to admit. That beautiful blanket of fluffy white flakes last for mere minutes before your shoes are covered in the muck and grime of frozen commuter sludge. Cleaning can keep the ick and ice at bay, but a pair of waterproof, wipeable footwear will go one step further. Everyone from Sienna Miller to Blake Lively bank on Sorel’s cult Caribou boots. As these are waterproofed up to heavy snowfall, they will protect your feet from the cold and the wet. If the weather’s looking particularly bleak, a shoe liner might be the answer, lucky Sorel’s own-brand fits snuggly inside with any bulk.

Feet sorted, move on to your legs. Long johns are great, but have you heard of M&S’s 180 denier thermal tights? For £15 this black opaque layer uses Japanese HeatGen technology to keep that icy weather out. Similarly, Uniqlo’s HeatTech range elicits the powers of science to retain heat, wick away moisture and keep you warm without feeling bulky. We wear the turtlenecks under our shirts a la Calvin Klein and the leggings under trousers (like Victoria Beckham’s AW18 models).

Without stating the bleeding obvious, a coat is key. Sure a ski jacket will keep you toasty, but they are rather bulky. Look for technical fabrics and an insulated shell otherwise that snow will seep through and make you damp and cold. Not ideal. Lorna interjects, 'Merino wool is a natural fabric, excellent at providing warmth & highly efficient at wicking moisture away from the body when you perspire. This is why so many premium base layer brands use merino wool, e.g. “Icebreaker”. Down or synthetic fabrics which mimic down are also highly efficient at keeping you warm as they naturally trap lots of air in them to keep you warm. Just don’t forget that down is not waterproof so you need to wear a protective layer over the top of a down jacket in rainy conditions'.

Once your basics are locked down your day-to-day wardrobe won’t require a total overhaul. Layer up and face the big freeze fully aware you’re totally prepared.


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Acne Studios, Pansy Face Wool Beanie, £110, Liberty

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Topshop, Reflective Jacket, £115

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Boden, Cashmere Crew Neck, £78

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Agnelle, Suede And Wool-Trimmed Gloves, £125,

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Hunter, Top Clip Rubberized Leather Backpack, £195

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Uniqlo, Heattech Jersey Turtleneck, £12.90

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Moncler, Skirt, £270

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Marks & Spencer, 100 Denier Thermal Tights, £9.50

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Sorel, Torino Faux-Fur Trimmed Waterproof Suede Ankle Boots, £125, Net-A-Porter

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