WIW: winter, bright and otherwise

Since self-diagnosing as a Bright Winter, I’m honing my approach to colour and becoming more comfortable with black as a core neutral in high-contrast outfits. This is proving harder than I thought as colours I’ve enjoyed in the past now seem somewhat drab and I’m wondering whether I shouldn’t purge some of the softer tones.

I do feel like I’m making good use of my seasonal wardrobe though and not retreating into woolly jumpers the way I often do at this time of year. We’re having a very mild winter so it’s been easier than usual to mix things up without having to pile on the layers.

#1-2 An outfit I know I shouldn’t love but still do, the kind of thing that happens when I look at too many Japanese street style blogs. Fun fashion fact: the mohair jumpers John Lydon wore in his days fronting the Sex Pistols were knitted by his mum, which makes this hand knit from my DM the most punk thing I could possibly own.

#3 This was thrown together and I’ve honestly no idea what’s going on here. Glam university lecturer? Sleazy country uncle? The blazer and the pants have a sheen which works well in combination but the colours are on the soft side and it might work better with black accents. I’m thinking the cognac creepers and the woolly scarf throw it.

#4 This is better. I like the high contrast and proportions on this look and I’ve worn it a few times. I couldn’t find a jumbo scarf I liked in the shops so I took matters into my own hands. Inspired by the lovely Diana to pick up the needles, I knitted this one over Christmas.

#5 This is a winner, day to evening. Two skirts layered, black pleather over vintage white plisse. I love the contrasting textures and the fact that it makes me feel ladylike and a little bit sexy.

#6 Another favourite look that’s had a lot of wear this winter. Alleged CdG culottes with anonymous grey fine knit. The Boppu sneakers have turned out to be the surprise workhorse of the season.

#7 I’m sure I’ve done this look better with all black, but it’s nice for a change with stripy sleeves and bookending shoes.

#8-9 Bonus outerwear shots with fur wrap, leather gloves and hat and my default winter coat, a waterproof macintosh from Ralph Lauren menswear.

Your thoughts please. Feel free to critique, your honest feedback is always appreciated.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    You have so much flare! Jealous of every single outfit :)

  • replied 5 years ago

    I love sleezy country uncle! lol! I'm crazy about those pants!
    I think #4 is great but think it would look nicer with the black shoes.
    (Like the white shoes in the more casual #6).
    LOVE DRESS IN 7! Yes, I think would look better in all black but stripes for a change is nice.
    Anyway, I really like all of these, and I think they work really well in black and charcoal.

  • Sara L. replied 5 years ago

    These are great!  I love the sweater in #1 and the dress in #7.  I quite like the stripes with the dress.  The pants in #2-4 are awesome and I like the creativity of layering two skirts in #5.

  • approprio replied 5 years ago

    rachy, Sara L you're too kind, and smittie, you're on the money about black shoes in #4. They do work better, depending on the jacket. 

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    SLEAZY COUNTRY UNCLE!  The best descriptor ever.  I love those pants and the pants in 3 - so louche and debonair.  Fun and inspiring style as always.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Super cute all round! Was with you when you bought the necklace at COS in #1. Happy Days. 

    And my faves are #3, #7 and #9. 

    As for #3, I'm going with "Liz In Love", because it's February. 

  • bonnie replied 5 years ago

    Amazing outfits. My favorites are #2 and #7. You are so creative and I love bright winter colors, too. I'm inspired by #7 to layer a striped tee under a black tunic. 

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    Ok well I love #1 too and have enjoyed wearing something similar, though sadly less punk because my sweater wasn't knit by my mum *sniffle*. #3, #5 (clever skirt layering, and I am totally picking up the vibe), and #8 jump out at me as well. #9 is super sharp. Would go well with glam uni lecturer ^^ Quite like the stripes in #7 to add a little unexpected classic brightness. #4 and #6 are the type of sporty luxe I associate with your style, nicely done. And so fun that you were able to make your jumbo scarf after not finding what you wanted out there. I think it's immensely helpful to have the ability to be proactive about style stuff when you're going for a very particular and distinct style (OK well in general too, but otherwise even more so). I need those kinds of skills!

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    OK, is it wrong that I really love #3.  I think the soft country meets modern eurochic is interesting and flattering.  And I adore #5, too.  Perhaps I'm on a pretty kick?  

    Still, all these looks are fabulous and work so well for you.  Thanks for sharing!

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    First of all it is remarkable how I can see the influence of your Japan trip in your style. Which is meant to compliment your ability to tell a story with pictures and words.
    #1,2 I have always loved a prosaic touch of mom on a punk soul.
    I loved #3 for  Glam university lecturer/Sleazy country uncle (my punctuation :)) before I even saw it, but I love how it looks even if it is not your favorite.
    #6 is one of my favorite looks on you. 
    #7 is something I could try to pull off, so thank you for the idea. I rather like the stripes peaking out.
    #8 I was just thinking about that fur wrap - so happy to see it.
    #9 is the perfect almost classic undercover outfit until you notice the amazing details. 
    Thank you once again!

  • Helen11 replied 5 years ago

    Oh, you are cool beyond words.

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    Each outfit is such a treat. Thank you for posting them. I can also see the Japanese influence..

  • Style Fan replied 5 years ago

    Each outfit is a feast for the eyes and you tell such a great story.  But my favourite is #1.  Soothes my punk soul.  Love the colours on you.  I can also see the Japanese influence in these outfits.

  • approprio replied 5 years ago

    Thanks ladies! Interesting that Sleazy Country Uncle seems to be working and I am enjoying Punk Mom too. Both deserve further exploration.

    Angie, yes! I led with the necklace deliberately and then completely forgot to mention that it was a spoil from our shopping trip! Feh.

    Aida: I am all for taking control of production. It doesn't need to be difficult but you really have to enjoy it to justify the time investment.

    Joy, shevia, SF: the Japanese influence has always been there, but I think the experience has helped me truly own it finally.

  • skylurker replied 5 years ago

    Wow. I'm never shy to critique but I'm speechless here :)
    Ok, maybe the striped scarf in #3 looks too mundane for you ? the creepers work, they bookend your hair.
    I'll go with #2, 4, 6 and 9 as favourites, uncomplicated and cozy but very strong and striking at the same time.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I-AM-FLOORED.... You are so creative Rio :)

     Love the 'original' punk sweater with the Cos necklace in #1 and so great that you're getting mileage from the Boppu's.

    I kind of laughed out loud when I looked at #3 (in a good way of course) because I do kind of see Sleazy Country Uncle! :D Love the purple toned blazer and those wrap front pants...so fab.

    Such a cool, scarf statement in #4.

    Love the skirts combo in #5...I am inspired for some faux leather that I have :)

    #6 Nice volume and proportions.

    #7 Love the overdress...again I'm inspired. The stripes look good with it.

    #8 and 9 are just fab toppers!

  • LaPed replied 5 years ago

    Oh man, love 1/2 and 3. I wear woolens made by mum all the time, especially this time of year. My two year old is also a little punk  guess - because he has a whole slew of made-by-gramma woolly pants that we use as diaper covers. I'm coveting that necklace too!

    And #5, wow, your layered skirt look is so genius!

  • NauticalVulpine replied 5 years ago

    #3 & #7 are so much fun. I cant get over how great they look

  • annagybe replied 5 years ago

    #1 & #6....so awesome

  • Cerinda replied 5 years ago

    Oh, the details in #9! Nice, nice, nice!  I'm surprised and taken by pretty #5 and, yes, the nod to Japanese style I see in 2 & 3 (I would prefer the black shoes WITH the donnish scarf).

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