(For me at least)
I have to admit, I am not much of a winter person. I much prefer being on a sandy beach in the sun, in some tropical place. However, because I am stuck here during winter, so I guess I need to make the most of it. In all honesty, I have actually grown to appreciate winter here, because I have never lived in a country where winter means snow.
There are a couple of items I literally couldn’t live without, especially on those cold winter mornings when I have to walk between jobs. For my readers in South Africa, I’m sure these will apply too, maybe just on a lesser scale.
- The Beanie
From the bottom of my heart, this is my all time favorite fashion piece. The good ol’ beanie is amazing, it hides dirty hair as well as keeps you warm, what more do you need?! It also gives you that warm fuzzy, comfy look, which is the best for winter pictures. (Lets be real)
Because I usually wear a lot of black, I like to have 1 maybe 2 beanies with colour, call them ‘statement beanies’ if you must. I do, however have a go to grey or black color for more or less everyday use. As a side note, because I have such long hair my hair can get matted if I keep it under a beanie the whole day, so I like to braid my hair if I know I’m going to be wearing a beanie for the whole day.
- Lip-Ice or Gloss
I find that my lips are usually the first to get all crackly and gross during winter. It’s always a good idea to pack a lip-ice or gloss with you wherever you go. I have forgotten a couple of times and I always regret it.
The winter sun in Europe isn’t as harsh as the one in South Africa, but either way I find that my lips need the extra moisture that I provide. If I decide to wear lipstick, which isn’t very often, I will always put lip-ice on before, just because I don’t want that dried out cakey look.
- The sleeping bag jacket / coat
This is the only point that would be entirely different depending on whether you are in SA or Europe. So I am going to start with the European side of things:
The first year I was in Italy I bought a plain black coat, that wasn’t nearly as warm as I needed it to be, so I ended up layering the hell out of every outfit, which inevitably led to me having to almost strip when I went indoors. This year a got a much better green one, from Zara. It is the warmest thing I own, and I don’t have to wear 1000 layers of clothes underneath it. Granted I can occasionally look a bit like a snowman, it does the job. Which means at the end of it, I now have two jackets, one for more “formal” winter wear, because it is black and goes with any outfit, and another jacket that actually keeps me warm when we go out.
In South Africa I tend to go for a much more relaxed approach to the winter wear side of things, I don’t mind the layers as much, mostly because it doesn’t get that cold so there aren’t many layer to add. I usually just wear a leather jacket, which does the job, and for extra warmth I add a beanie and or scarf.
- 2 or 3 pairs of boots
I own about 2 pairs of solid winter boots. One in brown leather, and the other in a maroon color, both of them come to just above my ankles. These are my go-to’s on those cold, misty winter mornings. They keep my feet nice and dry, as well as warm.
My job requires a lot of walking, and because my trainers don’t exactly fit my formal wear outfits, these boots are perfect. While I usually try to stay away from buying shoes in South Africa, because they never last, my mom bought me my first pair of lace up leather boots form Woolworths, which I’m obsessed with and have seemed to last, so far!
My other pair were a Christmas present, they have already had to be repaired, but they are really comfortable and obviously my only other pair, so I chose not to give up on them too quickly.
Since moving to Italy I have almost given up on ever wearing high heeled shoes ever again, unless they come with ample ankle support, these cobble stone roads are no joke people.
There you have it folks, these are my winter essentials.
Since moving to Italy my idea of winter has changed drastically, I full embrace the cold, and although I doubt it will ever be my favourite season, I enjoy it while it lasts. Our first winter here, I wasn’t as prepared and didn’t enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed the last one. So if you are thinking of traveling to Europe and have never been there before, back these things!
Please let me know if you found any of this info useful, or if you want to know something else, I want to be able to interact with my readers!