How to Dress for Winter When You Hate Winter

And how to avoid tights


Words by Nicole Thomsen
November 8th, 2016

For those who are avid devotees of the summer months, the oncoming season can be tough to weather. Commuting to work in the dark only to find the same gloomy sky greeting you on the way home is dispiriting enough without having to suffer through the Baltic winds and sheets of hail and sleet.

Apart from seasonal affective disorder which is thought to be caused by lack of light, what this ultimately results in is a drastic wardrobe change, unless you don’t mind the odd bout of pneumonia. Forget the mini skirts that are bombarding the high street stores currently and don’t even look in the direction of that shoulder baring cut-out top, for all of these are wildly inappropriate for our cold souls.

Easier said than done for those who adore the summer and all of its sartorial choices. When your wardrobe consists of skirts, dresses, and all things cropped, dressing for winter while also being fond of your outfit is difficult to say the least, particularly when you detest black tights. But fear not, as there are many ways in which you can get the extra mileage out of your summer wardrobe, without resorting to opaques.

Winter Coat

In order to make your summer wears work in the depths of winter there is one seasonal purchase necessary. As we can attest, investing in a winter coat is one of the best buys you can make in terms of fashion. When the temperatures plummet, this coat will more often than not be the first and possibly only aspect of your outfit that people see so it best be a good one. By opting for one that is somewhat neutral i.e. not trend driven you will be able to wear it with anything and everything, making it a cost effective spend, and if the quality is good you can rely on it for years to come with no fear that it will be out of fashion. But that’s not all. A coat that falls at the knee or lower provides warmth for your legs so feel free to wear that mini skirt you just bought- no tights necessary.

Topshop Unique


There’s a reason why all things knit are winter staples and vastly avoided in the throes of summer. This seasonal warmer is the epitome of warmth and cosiness. Layer a cardigan of your favourite slip dress – the high street is full of them right now – or bundle up on top with a classic beanie and blanket scarf, that way the upper portion of your body will be so snug you won’t even feel the cold on your legs. Sound reasoning, right?


Over-the-Knee Boots

There’s no need for tights when you’re up to your thighs in boots. This season’s must-have leg cover-ups are an easy way to beat the cold. Err on the side of caution though as it’s easy to overstep the line between cool and looking like the modern day Vivian Ward. Style your thigh skimming footwear of choice with oversized pieces such as a knitted dress, boyfriend shirt or hoodie a la Vetements. With the right layers underneath you could even forego a coat. Plus, when paired with a short skirt or oversized knit it will make it seem as though you’ve got legs worthy of model heights.



If thigh-highs don’t quite suit your style persona then socks are an equally warming alternative. You can wear them in the same way you would a pair of over-the-knee boots or if you prefer, opt for a shorter ankle length style.

Tommy Hilfiger
Topshop Unique

Layers, layers, layers

We’ve spoken about the ways in which you can maximise the wear of your favourite summer dress before and it all comes down to layering. Whether it’s the slinkiest slip or a floral mini, you can always pair a polo neck or sweater underneath making it winter appropriate. Or go in the opposite direction and wear a pair of trousers beneath to keep your legs that extra bit warmer.

Rag & Bone
Tommy Hilfiger

Nude Tights

Shudder all you like at the thought of flesh coloured stockings that are largely associated with grandmothers, but nude tights are a game changer. Provided you opt for a shade that is similar to your own complexion, they not only make your legs look better by masking any blemishes, fake tan jobs gone wrong and those in between waxes moments, they also offer up some added warmth. So you can continue to wear your vinyl and tweed skirts right through to spring without diminishing their look with the darkest of opaques which, let’s be real, never look as good as bare legs.

Miu Miu