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Updated: November 25, 2009 16:59 IST

Warm up to winter

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Layering is in. Photo: R.Ravindran
Layering is in. Photo: R.Ravindran

Learn to use what's in your wardrobe to dress up for the season.

Chennai's so-called winter season is as unique and unpredictable as it can get. One minute it's all dark and gloomy, seeming like the perfect day to put your new umbrella to the test and instead you wind up using it to shield yourself from the sun that decided to show up all of a sudden. The winds that a moment ago were wrecking havoc on your blow-dried mane are now nowhere to be seen, or felt rather.

How do you dress up to suit the cool and warm shifts of the season? Here are some tips to make your tropical clothes work for this time of the year without having to stock up on impractical woollens…

Go for layers

“Layering is the key,” says designer Divya Pandurangam. Bring out the scarves and the season's pick — crochet jackets — to help you with the layering effect, she suggests. They are practical and fashionable as they will keep you warm when it's cold and can be done away with when it gets warm. Cardigans are good for the season too; they'll add to the casual, sporty look. While you are at it, also give high-waist pants a try.

Fashion designer Shanti Dheeraj also swears by layering but incognito. Wear your kurtas or t-shirts over tight-fitting tees to help you keep warm. When you start feeling like toast just head to the change-room and shed the top layer, and make an entry in the tees worn inside.

Also try this combo with sleeveless tops covered by sleeved ones, or full-sleeved t-shirts underneath short sleeved ones and make the colours contrasting. To put your summer dresses to use this season, pair them with tights, cool cardigans and stylish cropped jackets.

There's also an option to go desi by pairing a plain kurta with colourful vests that spell style and practicality, suggests Shanti. The ever-reliable dupattas can also double up as shawls when you need to keep warm.

Keep stoles handy as well. Try to add vibrancy to the dull shades of the season with a colourful hat that will also keep your hair wind-proof as well as keep the frizz in hiding.

Add some colour to the predominant grey outside. “Go for the colours of the forest this season like maroons, olive greens, dead rose pinks, of orchids…” lists Divya.

The quintessential bag

And the accessory of the season will have to be the smart, big and of course, trendy bag, points out Shanti. Where else would you shove those layers you have just shed, pack the footwear that you wore to hop, skip and jump over the puddles and slip into the new one that you just took out, again from that very bag, and also store the in-case-of-emergency umbrellas and raincoats. The big bag will be perfect for just that.

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