Don’t let the Aussie accent fool you: Designer Jess McKie knows her way around dressing for a cold winter.
“People get really surprised when I say that I used to work at a ski mountain,” she says of growing up in Melbourne. “We can see snow if we want to.”
That experience served McKie well as she designed the first fall collection for Sködia, her line of minimal, high-end basics made with an emphasis on comfort.
The cozy Sködia aesthetic is at the forefront of the “softwear” movement, which embraces any clothing that is comfortable and versatile and has longevity, staple pieces that are still fashionable and can be worn on their own or piled on together.
Who better to ask, then, for pro tips on layering for winter? Here are McKie’s top six failsafe rules below, even if your wardrobe skews toward the not-so-softwear.
Pay Attention to Colour
“Colour is really important,” McKie says. As it gets colder and your number of layers increases, it helps to keep things relatively neutral. While McKie says you don’t need to dress in monotone, if you do mix colours, taking the time to make sure they complement each other can elevate your look so you’re both warm and fashion-forward.
Check Your Silhouette
If you’re coming off a bit top-heavy, try to add some pieces that hit at different points on your body. “It’s all about the balance of the length of each layering piece that you have,” McKie advises.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Materials
“I use a lot of cotton and a lot of sweatshirt fabrics, but then I always try to choose a few different textures,” she says. “That complements the simplicity of normal shirting fabric.”
Simplicity Is Key
There is a limit to how many layers you can throw on. Too much of a good thing “can be a little overwhelming,” McKie says.
Opt for Versatile Pieces
McKie’s favourite is a grey-marl sweatshirt: “I think it goes without saying that it’s a key piece that everybody should have in their wardrobe. There are so many different ways you can wear it, and the colour grey goes with everything.”
Invest in a Nice Jacket
After all, take it from a former Melbourne ski instructor: “You can wear anything with a really good jacket.”
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