Fashion

THE GREAT BRITISH COVER-UP

No, not that one. The other one. Here, one writer waxes lyrical about the winter staple to help keep calm and carry on.

16.10.2020

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Fireplace For Your Home is your comfort TV of choice. A collection of once-worn white cotton dresses - that somehow made you look a bit like that creepy kid in The Others - are now stowed away in favour of thick layers. A Sunday afternoon inside, watching literally anything, suddenly feels 50% more romantic. There’s many a reason to love Autumn. And, if you ever forget, don’t worry. You’ll be sure there’s someone who will remind you.

It usually kicks in September 1st, the autumnal fandom…that point in the year when back-to-school energy sends shockwaves across our Instagram feeds. Of course, this September – in keeping with the strangeness of this year - was sizzling. Sexy. Subtropical.

It got us in the end, though. October. The 50 shades of grey sky, the never-ending drizzle that never quite reaches torrential downpour status and is all the more annoying for it, the sudden lack of wanting to do anything remotely social (Friend: “Walk in the park? Dinner?” You: Looks at weather app… “Damn, sorry I can’t this week. Let’s definitely do something soon! X”).

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We knew it would happen sooner or later, but it doesn’t make watching the closing credits on summer unfold outside our window, whilst gearing up for another six months of Working From Home (or rather, Living At Work), any less painful.

Which is why it’s paramount from here on in to lean into the art of cosy. Invest in it. Make time for it. Do everything in your power to get back to that happy place; the internal warmth that makes the outside noise, daily doom headlines, grey, and drizzle that more bit more bearable.

Social media would lead us to believe that the roadmap to such bliss is to be found in rural idyll, where activities involve lots of bathleisure and wine. Usually at the same time. Though, comfort is oft closer to home. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the humble house jumper. Or, as Joan Didion refers to such item in one of her packing lists, a “pullover sweater.” This is your sartorial safety blanket, the bedrock of your Oct-February closet.

Of course, everyone has their jumper pedigree of choice. Maybe you’re into paintbox bright colours, motif mania, a roll neck, embellishment, a reworked cable knit (speaking of, do check out Mad Brown Knitwear)? If you’re searching for The One though, using the cost per wear metric to justify all purchases, really meditate on what you’re actually are drawn to and, y’know, will actually wear.

I have lots of “nice” jumpers, for instance, ideal if I want to put in a bit of effort for a trip to Sainsbury’s. But I’ll rarely adorn such items in my own home. Instead, I’ll recycle an XL, thick, navy number I stole from my dad’s closet.

For a designer upgrade, I have my eye on Totême’s oversized black Cambridge roll neck sweater, knitted from wool with a touch of cashmere. Like a snuggle in sartorial form. Which, if I’m honest, is my only style prerequisite until further notice. 

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