Q. I am always cold but find wool knits unflattering on my petite frame. What are the alternatives?
A. Oversized chunky winter knits look great on the runway but unless you are tall, require stacked heels to balance your proportions. The secret to staying elegant (but still warm and comfortable) at this time of year is layering. A long-sleeved base layer in a tight fitting fabric with an element of stretch will help to define your silhouette. Belgian designer Anne Valerie Hash has produced the perfect scoop neck and roll neck tops in a super soft yet durable machine washable fabric. If you like the look of wool, but not the weight, then add a delicate fine knit piece. Rebecca Taylor has some beautiful examples this winter in intricate web-like knits. Change the colour of your base layer to play on the transparency of the knit to greater or lesser effect. A modern alternative to a wool jumper is a shell top in a fine wool felt. This form of wool is just as warm but the more tightly compacted nature of the fabric creates a contemporary structural shape for a chic alternative. We love this season’s version by Spanish designer Angel Schlesser. A wool or jersey blazer as a third layer is just as comfortable as a chunky roll neck, but again is more closely fitted to the body to define your waist. Laark London is our go-to for a classic cut in this innovative use of fabric. Keep warm and toasty with an oversized scarf. Even the lightest silk will trap a layer of warm air against your body and is an easy way to add an injection of colour to light up your complexion on dark winter days. Remember that most of your heat is lost through your head so finish your outfit off with this season’s wide brimmed felt hat. www.rousiland.com