Cosy couture

Stourbridge News: Cosy couture Cosy couture

It's the time of year when you need plenty of good winter warmers. Lisa Haynes reveals how to be fashion savvy through the depths of mid-winter.

By Lisa Haynes Party season is over and spring is on its way but before that there's the snug transition.

During the months of January and February, there's no other option but to layer up and beat the barometer.

Just as a party dress isn't complete without accessories, your winter ensemble is nothing without those cosy extras.

Wearing a winter coat solo just isn't going to cut it when Jack Frost is at work - you need practical woolly, furry or insulating essentials to keep out the cold.

Feeling the chill already? The January sales are the perfect time to stock up on winter warmers.

The good news is that these accessories aren't trend-led so they'll keep for the next cold snap too. Time for an injection of snug style.

Head first You may have been accustomed to wearing a party hat recently but you'll need more than a cracker offering to withstand frosty climes.

It's a winter myth that you lose more than a third of your body heat from the head but a winter hat is an effective way to battle the elements.

You might inadvertently become a bit of a head-turner too. A hat creates an instant style statement and it's usually the accessory that dominates an outfit, so choose your headgear wisely.

If you want to go conservative, head for a woolly beanie, up the stakes with an oversized bobble hat or go totally OTT with a Russian-style faux fur Cossack hat.

Ears can really feel the chill. Try a trapper style for a multi-tasking head and ear warmer or forgo the hat altogether for a cosy pair of ear muffs for an instant youthful look.

For something less confined to winter, choose a felt hat in an opulent shade.

Finger de-freezers No matter how gorgeous your cocktail rings from Santa Claus are, it's worth covering them up to keep your hands cosy.

If the cold is really biting, ensure you're wearing a top with sleeves that are snug at the wrist for extra insulation.

While mittens keep your hands slightly warmer than gloves, they compromise your mobility. If you want to be really versatile, look for a pair that can convert from mittens to fingerless with one magic manoeuvre.

For durability and sleek style, you can't beat a pair of leather gloves. This winter they've been updated with contrast panels of fur, wool or shearling for extra detail.

If you're bored by black, this season leathers come in a variety of rich colours like berry or navy.

Neck warmers Swap that party season choker for some winter-friendly statement neckwear.

There are two fashion camps when it comes to accessorising your neck: scarf or snood.

If you prefer something that you can bury your face in, a snood is the winter warmer to covet. While a woolly version can usually be wrapped twice around your neck (or head), a faux fur style will just be one size so ensure it's the shape that you're looking for.

When it comes to scarves, 'the bigger, the better' should be your mantra. If your winter coat is plain, try a print scarf to add interest but stick to block colours if your outerwear is loud and attention-grabbing.

For an accessory that's cosy but not restrictive, try a faux fur stole to add some instant glamour and warmth - not to mention reinventing a tired winter coat.

Snug styling Arctic conditions or not, a cold snap is no reason to neglect your fashion credentials. Here's how to navigate winter accessories without looking like you've raided a jumble sale.

:: Tonal Keep both your clothes and winter accessories all within the same colour palette if you like a sleek silhouette. So choose similar shades of navy blue for instance, layering coat, snood and hat in similar colours. It's a catwalk styling trick that creates instant impact in pretty much any hue.

:: Clash Winter accessories may often come in a set but there's no rule to say you can't mix and match. Inject a cacophony of colour to a dark winter coat by mixing block brights together. If you're feeling really bold, clash print woollies together for a major style statement.

:: Match A prim 'n' proper look requires a touch of matchy-matchy mode. Pick out two winter accessories in a statement bright like scarlet - it's the beauty equivalent of red lips and nails. Matching scarf and gloves is the classic fail-safe that instantly makes you look put-together.

Get the look Get a Girls Aloud glow for the New Year with a beaded dress like Sarah Harding's. Keep ClaireaBella's Boo dress to celebrate post-detox season, £199.99 (www.claireabelladesigns.co.uk).

Buy it now If all the Quality Street and turkey scoffing has left you with a Santa bulge, check out Topshop's first ever shapewear range. Made up of four key styles, the underwear offers silhouette support with a stylish edge. Priced from £10-18 (www.topshop.com).

Fashion flash :: One love It was the Christmas the humble PJ was ousted. The 'onesie' was the most searched-for term during December on shopping site ShopStyle.co.uk. It even beat traditional party clothes, 'sequin dresses' and 'faux fur coats' to the top spot. Joanna Wells, for ShopStyle, says: "Like it or not, this has been the year of the onesie with everyone from Rihanna to Rylan from the X Factor sporting the casual and cosy look."

:: Beckham babe He's the new face of Burberry with very famous parents. The announcement that Romeo Beckham stars in the brand's Spring/Summer 2013 ad campaign sparked a flurry of interest with more than one million views on YouTube in just over 48 hours. Burberry's creative director Christopher Bailey said the 10-year-old was "a joy to work with and really stole the show".

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