Chain styling – Warmth on a budget

With a few carefully chosen pieces, winter wardrobes don’t need to break the bank

Chain styling – Warmth on a budget

Transitioning into a new season can be daunting. Many of us feel we need to spend a lot of money to stay warm during winter and keep up to date with trends. The good news is now, more than ever, there are many ways to do this without breaking the bank. 

Last Style Watch we looked at scarves and how they can make an outfit, progressing from that, the following are three ways you can stay warm and fashionable in winter on a budget.

Fake it
I never thought I would see the day I would advocate fake fur or ‘pleather’ but here it is! Perhaps my views have changed as many stores are now offering decent (read non-tacky) alternatives. Not only a cheaper price tag, but also great for the inner vegan in all of us also.

For great vegan leather look at Glassons

For faux fur check out Bardot

Meet merino
I have one of those relationships with merino wool similar to that famous line in Jerry McGuire “you had me at merino.” Merino wool is a natural fibre renowned for being very fine and soft. It has “breathability”, unlike many synthetic fibres and keeps you warm in winter yet cool in summer. It’s also an entirely renewable natural resource and, as if that isn’t enough, 80 per cent of the world's merino is produced in Australia.

Yes I’m clearly its Number 1 fan, so can you imagine my excitement when I discovered it priced at less than $80 at Glassons last year. Luckily I believe in sharing my shopping tips, one piece of advice though, run don’t walk, this really is filed under too good to be true. For affordable, yet marvellous merino, visit

The ‘hero’ piece
Introducing your new best friend this winter, the coat. My friendship with the coat dates back two winters when I bought a baby blue coat off eBay. Since then we have never looked back. And neither will you. While this is the one piece I would recommend investing in, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

There is only one criterion when it comes to choosing your new friend and that is warmth. I cannot stress this enough, it must be warm. No one likes ice queens and you won’t like your coat either, if it doesn’t do its job! A warm coat allows you to wear lighter pieces underneath. You can avoid having to remove five layers every time you walk into a shop or café. Not to mention the ‘Michelin man’ effect where you look double your actual size. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if your coat is also good looking. If you can find a warm and good looking coat you’ve really hit the jackpot – hold onto it for dear life.

Places to look for your new friend:

  • Top Shop
  • Zara
  • eBay

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    26th Apr 2013
    Your New Friend" list of shops appears to have overlooked St. Vinnies, Lifeline, Salvos and other op-shops for affordable fashion.
    Actual Cat
    27th Apr 2013
    Trends and fashions come and go, and in my humble opinion, are for sheep.
    Far better to buy classic garments with style, either new or from op-shops.
    One of my best finds is a pencil skirt, 100% wool, made in Scotland. Hardly worn and $3.
    I receive many comments on my style, so must be doing something right on a tight budget.

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