Let the Layering Begin

october_fireThe 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.

22 Responses to Let the Layering Begin

  1. Dom says:

    Wow, and there’s me thinking it was bad because I can no longer walk about in a tshirt, had to close the windows the other day and I may have to light the fire sometime soon (I have storage heaters in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom which I have no idea how to use given you seem to need to know how much heat you’ll need 24 hours before hand and if you need heat in the evening then forget it). We’re also great believers of snuggling under the duvet on the sofa, wearing ruddy great big dressing gowns if need be 🙂

  2. Nick says:

    There’s nowt wrong wi’a fleece lass; in NL, on a bike, we sport’em all the time (and there’s nothing rural about us here, believe me – there ain’t room to be rural). But then again, this isn’t a land renowned for its style – which is, of course, why I fit in so well.

  3. The other thing about fleece is that it never wears out!
    I have been wearing one that my son outgrew 14 years ago (I am not very big). I never leave the house with it on!!! (except to go out the back door and hang out washing).
    While I do not have your low temperatures to cope with, I have the wind off the Channel and low financial resources as regards putting the heating on.

  4. disgruntled says:

    hehe – Fleece will outlast us all, which is quite scary when you think about it. Still if we all wear ours indoors and turn the heating down, maybe it will save us all as well…

    I abandoned style a looooong time ago. Maybe I should move to NL – I know I wouldn’t cut it in Copenhagen

  5. Littlelegsdad says:

    Sorry for my absence.

    As for the layering, I’m about to start that one, now the cold wind blows all the way from mother Russia with only a few oil rigs to stop it until it hit North Norfolk.

    We’ve had our fire lit most nights for the last week, we’ve had the first lot of logs delivered and I’m stocking up on coal. While I don’t have an oil tankl, I have a very expensive gas compant – who are no doubt working out how they can piut the price up by 30% this winter.

    I find a pair of my wife tights, thermal longjohns and an arron sweater work wonderfuly. I also have a selection of hats, my recent being a BC hat from OZ. Plus of course I have a number of fleece jackets, jumpers and tops.

    Have the Hagi started their routing yet, must nearly be time.

  6. Jenny says:

    Let it be a small comfort to you (to add to your other layers) to know that here in Auckland, NZ, Spring means constant rain and breezes, and last night, a fire AGAIN, just when I thought I’d finished lighting them. What’s with that? Is the sun hovering over all the usual places like Perth, and ignoring us again? So it would seem.

  7. I’ve been bemoaning the fact that I now have to wear a sweater in the mornings 😉

  8. disgruntled says:

    LLD – at least we don’t get the really cold winds here. My parents live in Berwickshire, so I know all about that straight-from-mother-Russia East wind…
    Jenny – ah, but it’s the trend that counts, isn’t it?
    Jo – being out & about & active does help. It’s being sat indoors in front of a computer all day that gets me really cold.

  9. PaperBoy says:

    Lined trousers are fabulous – I got 2 pairs of flannel-lined jeans from the US – I will not be without them in the winter… Carhartt B172 (WB172 for ladies)

  10. disgruntled says:

    The trick is having two pairs, so one can be washed…

  11. Merino Wool makes the best longjohns. I’ve got some made my icebreakers and they are the BEST thing I own (besides my bike). Merino wool is soft, non-itchy and doesn’t smell even after you’re worn them a million times (confession: I’ve taken mine on camping trips for the past three years, have worn them as pyjama bottoms and have washed them only once)
    Merino wool is pricey but the best thing out there for keeping out the chill.

  12. 2whls3spds says:

    Being in the Hearlands of the US at the moment, rather than in my beloved Deep South NC…the layering has begun and the imbeciles at NOAA (the US equivalent of The Meteorological Office)have had the audacity to put the “S” word in the forecast!

    Layer up and fashion be damned!

    Aaron

  13. 2whls3spds says:

    Oops..should be Heartlands…

    Aaron

  14. disgruntled says:

    Another Blogger – I was sceptical about the non-itchiness of merino wool but I have a cycling jersey in it and I can confirm that it doesn’t – and I can’t even wear cashmere next to my skin

    Aaron – hehe – fashion has long since been banished in our household

  15. Lynda says:

    So from reading all these comments it looks as thought we are the only folk who light the fire every night, winter and summer except for the one or two exceptionally warm nights (two might be a slight exagerration)during the summer. Now that it’s cold outside as well as inside, we are putting the central heating on morning and evening as well. And you should see the mould growing inside the wardrobes!

  16. Autolycus says:

    Ah shades of my non-centrally-heated childhood, when listening to the Goons could be completely spoilt by the ever more urgent and agonising demands of choice. Not “Daddy or chips”: constipation or frostbite.

  17. disgruntled says:

    Lynda – blimey, you must be even damper than we are! We do run a dehumidifier more or less constantly, which takes the edge off some of it, but anything left lying around for too long does grow mould. Tasty.
    Autolycus – hmmm. Possibly verging on Too Much Information there.

  18. Sarah says:

    I gave up an hour ago and put the heating on. Living room is a balmy 16C. I may have to go into the kitchen to cool down.

  19. disgruntled says:

    Backs against the Rayburn here…

  20. Louise says:

    I feel your pain – we are in Central London but our flat is so lacking in insulation that there is a constant damp chill in the air.

    At night it’s thermals, fleecy pyjamas, a hoody and a hat! I’ve even taken to wearing those cotton gloves (that help to moisturise your hands)for extra warmth:)

  21. disgruntled says:

    ooh blimey – have you not got a hot water bottle? Sounds grim

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