During a spell of cold and stormy weather, the world is divided into two sorts of people: those who detest it, and those who secretly relish the drama of it all. For every summer girl there is a winter girl, one who loves nothing more than garnishing herself in layers and accessories like a well-seasoned roast.
In January, accessories really come into their own. On a cold winter’s day, there is nothing more cheering than adding a flourish to that coat you can hardly bear the sight of, on account of having worn it 1,345 times since its purchase in 2021. The current adverse weather has revealed a clutch of items to be so popular that it’s tempting to imagine they are part of a uniform list for which you didn’t get the memo. Or maybe you did, and are already wearing one or some of them.
Do you own any of these cold weather classics? Read on to find out.
The mohair maxi scarf
When the Swedish brand Acne first released its mohair checked scarf in autumn 2019, its designers could never have anticipated how popular it would be, or how many dupes would follow in its fluffy wake – for truly, it has been impersonated more times than Elvis. On TikTok, “Acne Studios Scarf” currently has 34.5 million views, while four long winters later, under-a-tenner homages are still being churned out by a slew of fast fashion retailers, explaining its vast popularity among fans who can’t afford the £250 original.
Why is Acne’s scarf revered above all others? The simple answer: it’s perfect. The mohair is tactile, the fringe detail is pleasing and the oversized dimensions should keep you warm even on the coldest days. As a bonus, it adds a colour pop to the dullest winter outfit – and if you want to add bragging rights, make sure you wear the label facing outwards, as so many influencers do.
The statement sock
Thanks to stars such as Emma Corrin and Billie Eilish wearing them on the red carpet, the statement sock is no longer the sole preserve of a cold snap. Blame Miu Miu for the proliferation of celebrities and influencers wearing them as style statements in every kind of weather, for no designer in the history of fashion has ever loved a jazzy sock more than Miuccia Prada.
Heattech thermal socks, £7.90, Uniqlo x Anya Hindmarch
For those lacking the chutzpah of Jenna Ortega or Sydney Sweeney (most of us), the freezing weather has become the perfect time to experiment. “A statement sock is a failsafe way to inject colour into the drab hues we often wear in winter,” notes stylist Shelly Vella, whose favourites are lurex or those with a quirky print. “Let them peek out from trousers, and coordinate them with your accessories for maximum impact.”
The most popular this winter? Anya Hindmarch x Uniqlo’s Heat Tech thermal socks (£7.90), for those lucky enough to bagsy a pair when they were released in November. They don’t have a logo, but wearers always ensure they’re shucked up high enough so that Hindmarch’s trademark “googly eyes” are visible. Other hits include pristine white ribbed Nike sports socks (very Princess Diana), Arket’s space dyed socks (£27) and Miu Miu’s pink wool and cashmere socks for those who want to blow the budget (£380).
The Ganni beanie hat
I passed three women wearing these on my dog walk yesterday: four, if you count the one perched on my own head. Yes, I’m a cliché, but we’re all clichés for a reason: this hat is seriously warm. Mine was a gift, as I suspect many were: at £75, it’s an entry-level purchase that buys access into the Ganni universe that has proven so seductive to women who worship at the altar of Scandi chic (it’s Danish).
Of course, £75 is expensive for a hat, but when a Ganni coat is upwards of £300, price is relative. Eagle-eyed fashion insiders have noticed that this winter’s shape has been scaled down to be less oversized and more flattering. While black is a bestseller, it’s worth considering pink or cream as they can look less draining against tired winter skin.
Wool blend beanie, £75, Ganni
The grey cashmere wrap
We’re not calling it “quiet luxury”, although we’re guessing that all the people wearing capacious grey/greige/ecru wraps this winter are more likely to be fans of Succession, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Hermès than they are Sex and the City, Michelle Keegan and D&G.
The beauty of a wrap is its versatility: the best ones can either be spread out and worn like a shawl, tied in a knot at the throat, or wrapped round your head like a snood.
Pure cashmere wrap, £117, Maison Cashmere
Fabric choice is key: a chunky knit will not have the desired effect. Fine gauge cashmere or wool works best, thanks to its soft and supple qualities. These aren’t worn to brighten up a winter outfit, but are catnip to those who prefer to venture out in a symphony of neutral, monochromatic hues. For the desired effect, wear with black, winter white or different tones of grey. If you don’t have a grey wrap to hand, improvise by draping a grey jumper over your coat shoulders (yes, people are actually doing this).
Lemaire Wool blend scarf, £275, Matches Fashion
Cashmere wrap, £185, Rise & Fall
The Ugg boot
“Excellent!” you may be thinking. “I’m fairly sure I have a pair in the cupboard under the stairs.” You probably have – who hasn’t? – but before you dig out your battered old beige ones from 2002, be aware that not just any old pair of Ugg boots will cut it this winter. They have to be Ugg Classic Ultra Minis. Which is a surfeit of adjectives for such a diminutive boot, for the UCUM barely covers the ankle bone.
It’s these leg-lengthening proportions which have found favour with Gigi and Bella Hadid, leading to the £145 boots being entirely sold out in all ten colourways before Christmas, much to the chagrin of teens and the parents charged with buying them.
They’re back in stock now, or were at the time of writing, but so popular is the style that it won’t stick around for long. If the original Ugg craze saw wearers tuck their skinny jeans into three-quarter length iterations, these days, fans wear their Ultra Minis with baggy jeans or wide-leg trousers so that they’re almost obscured. “Like Birkenstocks, but for winter,” according to my daughter. Dupes can be found at New Look (£25.99), Accessorize (£45.99) and La Redoute (£26).