Today is the 1st cold day since my full force flushes began. Slightly tricky because I still get cold. I've ALWAYS worn 12 more layers than anyone else so this is way new territory for me. I had no idea what to wear today. (For reference, it was too hard so I'm still in my pilates gear - leopard print leggings, veja campo trainers in white, a white training tank and, on and off, my faithful old bon cropped raglan sweater and a new cropped puffer from zara which i love).
To say cold weather dressing caught me by surprise is ridiculous, but it has. it's not like autumn popped up earlier than usual - may followed april just like any other year. but this year the drop in temperature caught me off guard, and combined with this new era of menopause, i need a wardrobe re-set yesterday! Which I can't say I'm unhappy about. this my friends, is full permission to ship on out what no longer serves you and shop on up what does. Whooop! Let's go! It's like Marie Kondo x Menopause - Marie bon-do!, hahaha.
Libby and I put this list together today so I'm sure as winter rolls on there'll be bits to add, but as a start point for staying cool this winter, this is what I'll be wearing on rotation:
I'll go for a high neckline, like these ones from Friends with Frank. If you prefer a lower neckline, try these from Toteme. I like rib for it's additional rigidity and structure. The texture and thickness of the fabric make it a garment in it's own right, so when it's 5 degrees outside and you're wearing just your tank you don't look like a fire forced you to evacuate your home in your underwear.
I'll layer these under blazers for dinner's out and dressy-ish work days. Non-underwear-like is also the key here. Undergarments as outerwear regularly pop up in fashun, but, and I reference the above point again, in winter it just doesn't fly. This Raey one is a good option, (or this in organic cashmere which i love but it's completely impractical.... but i love it... even though my kidneys will get cold....) or this from Reformation, available in lots of different colours and a much more practical, but still cool, option.
I like a high neck in winter so I'll go with the classic as my first layer. The bind finish is tidy and it's long enough to tuck in but not so long that it adds unwanted volume around the hips.
If you prefer a lower neckline or need your décolletage to breathe, go for the Deep V. I wore this outfit the other day, with the grey deep v as layer 1 and it worked really well.
This is where it gets a bit different.
Call me vain but taking a jumper on and off 500 times in a day is not good for maintaining tidy, un-frizzed, not messed up hair.
And get that beautifully chic, cosy turtle neck away from me. I used to love a good turtle neck in winter but I think I would actually self combust with all that wool around my neck now. During a flush I would be forced to rip it off in a very not-elegant fashion. Which would majorly mess up my hair. And detract from the conversation at hand. Won't be seeing you this season my turtle-y little friends.
It's also hard to pull a jumper over your head in a subtle way - turtle neck or not. I'm not talking about hiding your flush or hiding menopause, for me it's about making sure the de-robing doesn't unnecessarily move the focus away from the conversation or activity at hand.
So layer 2 for me this winter will consist of cardigans and shirts. Which is actually brilliant timing as cardys and shirts are having a real moment this winter, so there's loads of good options. Nice one menopause!
I love a slightly oversized but cropped cardy and French brand sezanne have a really good selection - along with good eco and ethical credentials - and major parisian vibes.
I also have this in my cart from loulou studio. I had last season's version in my cart for the entire winter and (regretfully) didn't commit.
And a side note here - this seems to be also symptomatic of menopauses' effect on my decision making ability which has gone from 'not great' pre menopause, to just fucking woeful now. As my friends will attest, items incubate for weeks, months, - once, almost an entire year, in carts all around the world before i commit. it's excruciating for everyone involved. this year though I'm taking the leap and making it official, the Loulou Studios cardy is comin' home with me. I can already tell we'll be in a committed relationship for years to come and if my research serves me right, this won't be my last winter of menopause. It's an investment but you know, cost per wear. It's basically bargain basement. Not to mention, it's legit true love. Check it out here.
I also can't write about cardy's without mentioning I Love Mr Mittens which is the gold standard in cool cardy's. These are a legit investment and not currently included in my 'viable items to purchase' list, but if you can afford one now, do it. I swear you'll be 80 and still wearing it. Which also means you'll be the equal coolest 80 year old at bowls - because, obviously, I'll be wearing mine too. I must say, I can wait, but I will definitely enjoy lawn bowls wearing my i love mr mittens cardy and sipping on a cheeky afternoon rose when I'm over 80. Proximity to excellent lawn bowls club will be a prerequisite when we buy our retirement home.
Chunky cotton cardyI'm on the waitlist for this perfect cotton one from Everlane which will be great for when it's too hot for wool.
A shirt has also taken on way more importance in my wardrobe. Yesterday I wore a black linen one unbuttoned over black leggings and a fitted black rib tank. With white veja's it was an easy outfit for running around with... who am i kidding - after, Racer. If you're worried about butt coverage when you de-robe, just tie your shirt round your waist.
Yesterday's one is from sir. It was scratchy and not very soft at first but their shirts soften up so beautifully after a few washes and they're my go-to for linen.
And this one, the Haven Boyfriend shirt from Superette, with a single front pocket is a gem. You'll be able to wear it dressed up and down everywhere.
I've always loved a good jacket. I think jackets really make an outfit, they have transformative power.
You can be wearing black leggings, trainers and a tee looking pretty casual. throw on a trench and suddenly your casual outfit rating goes up at least 5 basis points. Hey presto you're looking pretty polished and put together. Bring on a cheeky afternoon chardy.
Same goes with a great blazer. Add this to a simple jeans and tee outfit and in a heartbeat you can go almost alllll of the places.
ditto for a fantastic puffer, but in the reverse of a dressy way. A toasty warm puffer will cool-ly elevate a casual day outfit perfectly.
Similar to shirts, the transformative jacket has also taken on way more importance in my wardrobe. I do still get cold and now, instead of slipping my beautiful jacket on only once or twice in a day, I get to admire it 500 times every day. How nice.
a version of these three types of jackets will cover all of your bases.
Blazers tend to have more seasonal variations in terms of fit type - it's all quite oversized at the moment. But we love the Anine Bing Madeline Blazer for it's chameleon like ability to work year in year out regardless of where a blazer is currently trending. I also have a good, slightly boxy everyday blazer from Country Road and you can't ever go wrong with a blazer from Camilla and Marc.
Puffer (or a cute Faux Fur bomber if you prefer)
A boxy cropped puffer that's not too shiny, or too himalayas trekky will take you so many places. This is the one place where I think it's ok to go unnatural fibres. And there are loads of options available now where the man-made fibre is recycled and totally sustainable.
But there are rules hahahah :
I dislike shiny nylon-y puffers. For two reasons.
One : bag straps slide off your shoulder because the fabric has zero grip, in fact less than zero grip. The fabric actually encourages movement. Good if you're trekking and need poisonous animals to slide their way immediately off your jacket. Annoying for the day to day life we live which means 98% of puffer wearing activity also requires carrying some kind of bag on your shoulder.
And two : I feel like I should actually be involved in a serious to semi-serious outdoor sporting or hiking activity when wearing a shiny puffer jacket. Which is the case, currently zero percent of the time for me.
In a nutshell, unless you're planning on serious trekking don't get a sporty smooth slippery slidey puffer as a good everyday puffer solution.
The answer, is a matte, non slippery, un-shiny fabric - in my opinion, the main element which elevates a puffer from sport to street. Unless it's this Balenciaga one, which is obviously very shiny but strangely works and is exempt from my above position on puffers. Potentially irrelevant anyway because it's $3,500 and hot pink so not entirely practical unless you have a very large clothing budget. in which case, buy it and use your YSL top handled handbag that day - or this one from bottega veneta.
But back to puffers we can afford : there are so many cool, affordable puffers around at the moment, and if you invest in a good one it will last.
I like mine cropped and Zara do a really good one. They're definitely making an effort on the sustainability front but there's a long way to go and I can't find anything which actually says their polyester is recycled even though they allude to it.
This one from PE nation is also good, and 100% made from 100% recycled polyester. It's sporty, but not shiney, and cool enough to be totally wearable in a non-sporty way.
And if you prefer a long line puffer, this one made from 100% recycled polyester from country road is a really lovely option. I also like that it has 3 'heat settings' covering all stages of menopausal hotness - and I do mean that in both senses of the word.
Which brings me to another important side note : going through menopause doesn't make you not-hot anymore. You're still hot. And then sometimes extra hot.
So that's a wrap (hahaha) on outerwear. Practical but chic options you can easily slide on and off. Perfectly, chic-ly, cool as a Parisian cucumber at all times.
Black, full length leggings are a winter must have, menopausal or not. Go for either moisture wicking sporty ones - like bon or a pair which are more like a trouser like these amazing ones from super chic kiwi doing good things for the planet brand maggie marilyn. These are 100% in my cart.
My little ankle's get a touch cold sometimes but I like a bit of skin showing between the hem of my denim and my shoes. That length also works with a good ankle boot.
I think a high waist, fitted through the hips with a bit of space from the thigh through to the ankle is a great formula for pretty much any body shape.
Lightweight woven wool pant
These ones from acne are genuinely cool and also have an elasticised waistband - a detail i would usually run a mile from, but acne have managed to make it look chic and cool and my nauseous, sometimes bloated tummy is gonna love these this winter.
Fan-ability is key so a natural fibre with a loose flowy fit is where this is at. Light flowy fabric in winter is lovely to wear and beautiful contrasted with chunky boots and a knit (cardigan, obvs).
Every body is different, but for most body types, a high waist, fitted through the hips and flowing from there skirt works really well with a cropped or half tucked knitted cardy.
Not everyone's cup of tea but there's something about this kitten one from Matches which I love. The drape, the asymmetric hemline, the cats. F&%k it, we're going through menopause. We can totally wear a kitten skirt.
This menopause wardrobe is built on beautiful but uncomplicated basics, but skirts are one area where I think it's nice to play with character and colour. If you're a fan of a pleat, go bananas with a sunray pleat skirt, this one from camilla and marc made with 100% recycled fabric is particularly beautiful and currently in my cart.
Layer 5. Shoes. Also technically not a layer, but what's an outfit without Shoes?
Menopause hasn't changed my footwear requirements, but you can't have a style guide without a mention of outfit grounding shoes.
And a low heeled or flat black ankle boot is a must. I like my ankle boots to come a bit higher up my calf. these la tribe ones are great. They aren't that high but the tabs make them appear like they sit higher up your calf than they actually do. A perfect heel height and a pointed toe keeps them practical yet chic. I like a little bit of chunk to ground an outfit but overall footwear, for me, needs to have a touch of ladylike elegance and these boots fit the bill.
Layer 6. Accessories.
I'm keeping my wardrobe pared back and minimal - for ease and because I'm not sure what's next on this menopausal journey. so I'm amping up my accessories this winter.
i think we all deserve a bit of an accessories treat, don't you?
Go bananas. Chunky, varied textures and bright colours layered up with basic silver or gold.... or both!
I love venessa arizaga jewellery so much! She does the best, most colourful, happiest, bright and chunky pieces.
A long post with a short-ish list you can create a lot of looks with. 100% mix n match, and 90% take-off-able.
Oh and one last note on fibres. Choose natural fibres for as much of your hottie wardrobe as possible. Including your undies. Especially your undies. The golden rule (other than don't get totally nude) is the closer to your skin, the more natural the fibre. Refresh your knicker drawer with Knickey - they're the best in the breathable-and-good-for-your-skin-undies biz. (This is not sponsored, they're just amazing organic cotton undies and they keep all your bits cool and healthy no matter what's going on).
Tell me in comments below your fave winter style find for flushes, and as winter rolls on we'll keep adding fave finds.
Thanks for reading, happy shopping and a good day to you Hotties. Linda xxx
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by Linda Smyth May 26, 2021 5 min read
by Linda Smyth May 12, 2021 7 min read
Polite. adj. having or showing behaviour that is respectful and considerate of other people.
Impolite. a hot flush.
A post dedicated to all the hot flushes.
by Linda Smyth April 15, 2021 5 min read 2 Comments
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