A lazy afternoon in a sun-drenched courtyard, the cosy temptation of a fireside pint after a long week’s work. The cooler months are not without their recreational advantages, but wondering what on earth you should wear to a bar in winter can sometimes be akin to mounting an expedition to higher altitudes. 

Not that the temperature heading south faster than you can say polar ice caps is any excuse to sacrifice your style to the gods of artic winds and morning frosts.

Take the approach that you are not so much covering up as adding layers of mystery. We all know that you can be sexy without showing much at all, but you will need to maintain shape and definition in your clothes to avoid going from fleshy to frumpy.

Winter brings a change in mood. Sun kissed breeziness gives way to a softer elegance. And putting away your maxi dress for another season does not mean you have to give the dress idea away altogether. Lighter weight dresses are still a lovely alternative if you just add a top or tee underneath, progressing to a skivvy or lightweight knit as the chill sets further in.

Knee length dresses as well as shorter tunics look great with boots, which are in turn ideal for standing around in at a busy hot spot on a Friday night. Long socks or tights are great with heels of a chunkier kind (a wooden heel, a high heeled loafer) or you could go for a stylish lace up or buckled Mary Jane.

(Hot Tip: Don’t wear socks that are too thick, as the combination of standing and heating will cause your feet to grow and your boots to shrink with each passing hour until you wish you had some trusty ugg boots somehow stuffed inside your holdall).

At the risk of sounding completely anal, it can pay to do a little research on the venue before you go. Bars and clubs can be well and truly overheated, making jumpers and knits too heavy an option. Even if you sit outdoors you could end up next to a brazier and regretting the choice of roll neck that has caused your face to go the colour of your pomegranate cosmopolitan.

In this type of situation layering is key, but in turn the key with layering is that it all goes together and doesn’t look like you just grabbed the emergency cardigan off the back of your chair on the way out the door. Shawls, cardigans, jackets, pretty much anything that you can take off once you get there and rug up with when you leave are your obvious solutions.

Ponchos or shrugs with jeans are a great weekend or casual option, providing coverage and room to breathe in one garment. Wear some coloured suede or patent shoes and take a dainty clutch and there will be no hint of the mariachi about you at all.

Just don’t sit too close to the band or you may find yourself taking requests…

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