It’s a fine line! On the one hand you want to be warm enough that you feel comfortable in the cooler temperatures. On the other hand, you don’t want to be so warm that your skin becomes irritated and itchy. The key to striking the right balance is that much loved buzz word of every fashionista, ‘layering’.
The great thing about the current fashions is that layering is very much on-trend this season. Shirts layered beneath sweaters and capes; polo necks worn underneath ponchos; and blazers swathed in blanket scarves.
For now, it seems the day of the ‘good winter coat’ is over – it’s all about piling on a mix of textures and colours, which is great news for anyone with psoriasis.
Cotton is the easiest of all fabrics to wear and there are many lovely cotton knits to choose from in stores at the moment. A simple shirt or silk tee layered underneath will provide extra warmth if needed. This cable knit pullover sweater from Gap is a classic style and shape. The colour is completely forgiving of any possible scalp flaking and you could add a pop of colour with either a statement necklace as we discussed in last months’ post, or with a brightly coloured collar.
To add some further warmth and to bring your look right up to date, how about the addition of a knitted cape? A style that dominated the autumn/winter catwalks, this can be a surprisingly easy look to carry off. There are a range to choose from in most stores but for those of a more petite stature, a more structured style will probably work best. This can be a wonderfully dramatic look (you could channel your inner diva by swooshing it across your shoulders for a truly theatrical exit) and if you want to up the glamour ante, a fedora would add some definite style. This colour block tassel trim wrap from good old Marks & Spencer comes in a variety of colours and would be an easy way to add an extra layer of warmth to a blazer and jeans, or indeed to a more corporate suit.
One item that I honestly don’t think ever goes out of fashion is the longline cardigan. The great thing about having a teenage daughter is that you end up in stores you wouldn’t normally look twice at … which is how I ended up in Forever 21 last week where I spotted this little gem, the hooded longline marled cardigan. In the interests of research, I tried it on and can confirm that it is soft and snuggly and completely gentle on the skin. (I would now like us all to take a moment while I polish my halo and smugly declare that I managed to resist the temptation to buy it and add it to the multitude of others already hanging in my wardrobe!).
This cardigan layered over a silk shirt and cotton sweater would ensure plenty of warmth and for additional interest, a snood or scarf could also be added. However, for days where an actual coat is a must-have (snow days, anyone?!) the one style that is guaranteed not to irritate is the puffa coat. These come in every shape and style with price tags to suit all budgets. As this is a classic coat that returns every winter without fail, it may be worth investing that little bit more to ensure longevity. Uniqlo are particularly good at producing great quality versions at a mid price point, such as this powder soft down coat.
Finally and possibly most importantly … gloves! Speaking from personal experience, psoriasis on the hands can often be the worst affected by the cold. They are also the area that is more difficult to heal if cracked or sore, so prevention where possible is the name of the game. I never leave home without gloves during the winter and during very cold spells, I have been known to wear two pairs. Keep your hands well moisturised during the wintry months and ensure that they are kept well insulated from the elements. If nothing else, this will give you the perfect justification to buy a pair of Uggs for your hands! Seriously, just how cosy do these Ugg classic turn cuff gloves look?
Whilst cold weather undoubtedly affects psoriasis, it doesn’t have to mean misery! Plenty (and I mean lashings!) of moisturising and lots of layers should ensure that you stay warm and comfortable during the winter months.