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Crisp autumn day or warm Indian summer?

I've done a few posts recently on the new season and its implications for your wardrobe, but I thought I'd take a moment to talk about irritating weather. Not those sudden autumn showers that crop up after a lovely morning and leave you stranded somewhere without a raincoat (although they are also incredibly irritating), but when the day starts out like a beautiful crisp, frosty cold autumn morning, and then by lunchtime it's 19 degrees and you're baking hot in your thick knitwear, thermal tights and boots.

The biggest problem is that when you put on thick layers, it's hard to remove enough clothes to cool down without leaving yourself either freezing or indecent. The solution, you'll be pleased to hear, is simple; multiple thin layers and accessories (and natural fibres) are your new best friend.

So rather than donning one layer and a thick coat, think about a fine camisole with a top layered over it, with a fine merino sweater or cardigan layered over that and then a thinnish but decent length trench coat or rain mac over the top. Add warmth with gloves or wrist warmers, a hat and scarf for the cold mornings. Wear ankle boots or shoes rather than knee high ones that are hard to cool down in, but if you're wearing tights and your feet get cold in the mornings, pop an extra pair of trainer socks over your tights.

I love Kettlewell for layering. The long camisole and silky tops in particular are great for adding layers without adding bulk and too much warmth when the weather heats up, and the new merino knitwear is perfect for layering on top. My own secret weapon is going to take the form of the gorgeous cardi coat, which is a great substitute for a coat when the weather is chilly but not cold enough to justify a thick winter coat. And, of course, that layering essential (which it's faintly possible that I mention every single time I mention layering), the lightweight cashmere scarf. Warm enough for the chilliest morning, the magic of cashmere means that you won't overheat when the weather warms up, and the Kettlewell one is lightweight enough that you can shove it into your bag if it really gets warm.

So lest you forget, here are my essentials for surviving cool autumn mornings and hot Indian summer afternoons:

  1. Layered tops, such as a camisole, fine top and fine knitwear, under a thin coat
  2. Cashmere or merino scarf
  3. Gloves or wrist warmers
  4. Cosy hat
  5. Ankle boots or warm sneakers
  6. A bag that you can fit it all into when the temperature soars by lunch so you aren't left with armfuls of accessories and layers to carry round/lose