A bummer about really cold weather is the limitations it puts on what you can wear. When it’s hovering around freezing outside, I look at all my coats and think “Ugh but I’ll be so cold,” and reach for a puffa jacket. Again.
But that gets so terribly boring – and what if you’re not just a slobby mum like me, but an actual person with an actual job and you need to look smart without also freezing to death?
The answer to this – and to a lot of questions, I find – is Uniqlo. You probably already own one of their Ultra Light down jackets (if not, why not) in black or navy and stamp around in it in a mood all winter.
But a really clever trick with the Ultra Light Down jacket came to me last year via The Times’s Fashion Editor Anna Murphy and the Romilly Weeks, the Political Correspondent for ITV news, (who lives round the corner). They both have collarless Uniqlo jackets in colours that match various smart jackets they have and they layer the Ultra Light Down beneath their jackets, to invisibly turbo-boost the heat-giving properties of their smart, but thinner coats or jackets.
“Being cold is a real problem for me,” Romilly told me, “When I’m reporting from outside Parliament in winter my face can get so cold my mouth seizes up and I can’t talk.” Remember, you heard it on The Spike first.
There are other uses for the Ultra Light Down jacket, too – they do a kids version which is very good for all children, but particularly for any toddler who is a bit fussy about putting its coat on.
Large puffa jackets (Boden, I’m looking at you) tend to hamper the poor kid a bit, they can’t run about and feel light and free, they sort of plonk about, walking like He-Man, hampered by all the puffa. The Ultra Light Down is genuinely spookily weightless and thin, yet very warm. I wrestled Sam into a massive Boden puffa all last year and it was a low point. He now has this jacket and it’s terrific.