Fashion

F/W in 30 degrees Celsius?!

By: Editor-in-chief Lenush Lebedeva

Any true fashionista knows that as soon as those F/W collections hit the shop floor, the credit cards hit a low. Most anticipated collections of the year start appearing in stores roughly around August/September, and any girl will tell you, winter fashion is much more anticipated than summer collections, for no other reason than the pure joy of layering looks, accessorizing with scarves and gloves and oh those autumn/winter jackets and coats. Of course, we all love a floral summer dress, linen shorts, and sunhats, but somehow the focus is more on the season itself rather than styling.

For me it all started when I was 12 years old, as usual my family was vacationing in Monaco, as we did every year. Around the end of July-August my mom started taking us for our fall/winter shopping, this year was a little more special for me. I was going to buy my shoes at the adult shoe store hence, I could potentially purchase some heels to show off in front of all my friends. Did I mention not all of them were allowed to wear heels yet. We went to the Metropole Shopping Centre, and in I went… I bought five pairs of boots and shoes, and two of those were actual heels. I still remember these khaki color, matte leather, distressed army-combat style boots with a thick block heel measuring around 7cm. I was quite literally in ecstasy… it seemed like I had just landed the biggest deal there is on planet Earth and flew to the moon and back. Yes, I was already a big fashion lover. I cannot quite recall the brand of these boots, nor the other four pairs I bought, I can only remember that as soon as we arrived home, I styled all of my boots with the winter clothes we had bought earlier. Wool midi skirts and turtlenecks, jeans with heavy buckles, which are in fact are making a coming back this year, open knit sweaters, shearling jackets and gilets, at least these are the pieces I have some recollection of. I was just so excited I was envisioning myself wearing all my perfectly fashioned looks. Little did I know at the time, it would be another month or two until I got to wear them. Let me tell you, the wait was excruciating, it still is.

As an adult little has changed for me. Perhaps the duration of time has somewhat evolved – a month no longer feels like a lifetime, but when living somewhere like London, September is very warm, so it was torturous to watch those new knits or thigh high boots just sitting there in the corner waiting for the weather to catch up, it was likely to be worn by mid-October at the latest. And once again… little did I know… fast forward a few years. I end up in Cyprus. A beautiful island, no argument there. But this is where winter fashion comes to die… For someone with the above-mentioned history, this was a cruel twist of faith. Summer season here lasts all the way until November, I can assure you I forgot what the word ‘boots’ even represented at that time. Utterly distraught, unsure how to cope with this new reality I decided it was time to think outside the box.

Now normally I found it quite ridiculous when I saw a girl walking around in tall boots in the spring/summer months, but how else do you wear F/W collections in 30 degrees Celsius?! Wearing a pair of boots, with a t-shirt and shorts can not only quench your thirst for your newly bought fall/winter item, it, can also give your outfit a certain edge or finishing touch. A personal favorite in my own looks, is a silk summer dress with cowboy or biker boots. The look maybe cliché in some terms, however, it is a great implementation of fall fashion in hot weather. This can also apply to a more formal look if tall boots are worn with an elegant evening dress.

An important hack to make full use of your F/W wardrobe before it is sold on discount is by layering your buys. Of course, an important aspect of layering is the awareness of the fabrics, in order to wear knitted garments, one must layer them correctly over silk and cotton, this can be perfectly matched if the correct materials are used. For example, mohair knits should always be worn with silk or satin, whether it is a dress or top and skirt, unless worn on its own mohair will leave hair over cotton, denim and pretty much any other fabric. If wrongly paired when removing your top layer, you will be fully covered in little hairs, due to the nature of this beautiful knitwear. It is hot but just breezy enough to get away with a stylish cardi, I would not suggest otherwise, a cardigan is open and more appropriately suited for October in Cyprus.

Jersey and cashmere and cotton blends are great fabrics to pair with denim, as they rarely shed. Jersey knits are personal favorites of mine for all the seasons. A perfectly styled autumn look is achievable if jersey is used, due to its lightweight texture, it does not matter if it is a long sleeve garment. A jersey top styled with pants or jeans, is the perfect alternative to a wool turtleneck or other fine knit sweater, same way a jersey dress is an elegant substitute for a skirt and blazer office look.

Outerwear, however, is a heartbreaking subject in Cyprus even in the winter months. As, a person that is always cold, I never wear my gilets and vests in the winter, so of course this brings me to utilize them as much as I possibly can in the Autumn. Obviously, you cannot get away with wearing a puffer vest until at least end of November, but wool or cashmere gilets can potentially complete a styled outfit if worn over a sleeveless look. I sometimes wear it with a tank top, t-shirt or even corset.

Of course, another perfect way to wear your F/W shopping, is to lose the overwear – cardi, blazer or any vests and simply wear a long sleeve dress, blouse or shirt from the F/W collections. Paired with a nice pair of pumps, and carefully accessorized – the look is complete. Wear a single layer so to speak. Leather garments are also a perfect way to style Fall looks, particularly skirts or dresses, as leather pants will likely be a little too hot.

An active player in my Fall wardrobe before I pull out my sweaters and turtlenecks are my scarves. I love, love, love scarves. In fact, when I used to live in London, it was a rare occasion for me to be seen without one. Here in Limassol, I reserve my scarf game for end of November and beginning of December. Most of the time I pair it with a nice leather jacket, or blazer over jeans and pants or skirts and dresses and of course a favorite pair of loubi’s or manolo’s.  

Needless to say, there is a number of ways to enjoy Fall looks in 30 degrees Celsius. You must be a tad creative and not overdo it, because there is nothing worse than being overdressed or underdressed.