Sex banned indoors for Tier 2 couples living apart, No 10 confirms. It was the headline that spawned a floodgate of memes. “See you all on Hampstead Heath,” a tweet response, from Guardian journalist Owen Jones, a personal favourite.
And so, here we find ourselves, dear singletons / those-seeing-someone-who-feel-it’s-too-early-to-put-a-label-on-it. Cuffing season – for the uninitiated, the period of autumn and winter when single people are considered likely to seek settled relationships rather than engage in casual affairs - has, somewhat bitterly, coincided with the looming threat of yet another national lockdown. (Audible sighs).
OK, fine. Your dating options are, for now, limited to…mostly the great outdoors. But, hey - maybe this is a good thing? You think. A lesson in slow romance? Courtship? Really stopping to smell the roses – literally - and all that jazz? Though, you’d be forgiven if this newfound level of calm in the romance department dwindles at the mere thought of getting dressed for said meet-cute.
What with the concept of a picnic now void (too f’ing cold) which sets the tone (and dress code), your go-to “nice top” will be mostly covered by another layer (again – too f’ing cold), and you’re set to battle it out with Britain’s ever-changing season’s, over the course of one afternoon.
Enter a slew of thoughts i.e. what is sexy and waterproof? For those in need of a little style guidance for your next Sunday rendezvous on the Heath (insert park of choice)? Here’s five pointers to consider:
Sure, it’s the last thing you put on, but the coat should never be an afterthought. It’s the centre piece of your outfit and, as such, under layers/accessories should be built around this statement. Not the other way around. For timeless daytime glamour? I’d suggest a 1970s style, a la forever autumnal style muse, Penny Lane. Hitting the all-important two C’s. Cosy. And. Chic. For such effortless drama, I’d suggest directing your attention to brands such as Zazi Vintage, Charlotte Simone, Saks Potts, or good old-fashioned vintage. Of course, this isn't really suited for downpour weather conditions, though if that is the case I's suggest rescheduling for a later date entirely. Unless you're planning on recreating that "Four Weddings and a Funeral" scene.
Now is not the time to get experimental with your feet dressing. Suede is a no-no (potential puddles / mud). Avoid a heel higher than 3 inches (step count). You cannot go wrong with a classic ankle boot. Labelled “classic” for good reason. For a chunky, “stomper” style – see Bottega Veneta (aka 2020’s answer to Prada's Monolith boots). For a less heavy option, a low-cut Chelsea boot is also a good option.
An obvious, but important point. Comfortability. We’re all for playing dress up, and if that’s what you’re feeling on the day by all means, go for it. But if you want to wear a version of the outfit you’ve been wearing all week, if that’s what you’re feeling, also go for it. You don’t have to massively deviate for your day-to-day wardrobe to make a statement.
The pièce de resistance for such a social event? A mask. Of course, its paramount purpose is one of protecting yourself, and others. But these things do cover up a sizeable portion of one’s face, so an aesthetically pleasing one doesn’t go amiss. Other finishing touches to think about; a cross-body bag (you want to move arms freely, and not have to constantly pull up handle straps every two minutes). If there’s a chance of drizzle, you have two options (if you’re hood-free). An umbrella - Liberty London’s ones crafted from recycled materials are cute and compact. Or, to embrace an aura of French girl eclecticism - a beret. Et voila.