The weather gods giveth, and the weather gods taketh away. What they most recently gaveth was a clear night overnight and, consequently, the first frost of the season which will have served to taketh away the worst of the midgies. Not only that, but this week we’ve also seen the first fire since the spring and the first time in a while that I’ve felt the urge to wear two jumpers at once. It’s time to start properly layering.
If you’re one of those fashion people who think ‘layering’ means ‘wearing two t-shirts at once’, then you might like to look away now. Because when you combine a damp cottage, a Scottish winter and a not-unlimited oil tank, then layering becomes more like the art of putting on all your clothing at once. Forget this season’s directional shape, or colour, or whatever: what I look for in a top these days is some idea of whether it will fit under or over or in some way between any of my existing layers, while the other half delights in his two pairs of fleece-lined trousers, of which I’m very jealous. For myself, I predict that polo neck jumpers will be important this season, as will thermal vests, long johns, hiking socks, fluffy slippers, large woolly cardigans and – sorry fashion folk – the fleece. There’s a reason why the fleece is ubiquitous in rural areas and it’s not because we’re somehow enamoured of lumpy polyester jackets. It’s because it’s the only coat you can comfortably continue to wear indoors.
Obviously, whenever people come to visit, we crank up the fire and/or the heating, move into the sitting room and pretend we never sit around in our coats and hats and gloves indoors. And then when we’ve waved them off at the door (all that cold air) we scuttle back to the kitchen and go back to leaning against the Rayburn with our fleeces on.