It has taken me years to perfect the ideal range of kids outerwear and I want to share this killer combo with you.
You will complain about this. You will say:
1 But Esther, I just want to get one coat and be done with it
2 But Esther, this is too expensive
3 But Esther, they will lose all these and I don’t want to do labels for them all
To which I say fine! I am not your master and keeper – you must do what you like and I daresay there are many one-coat options that will see you right.
But. If you want the flexibility and peace of mind that comes with knowing that your child is never too hot or too cold (a subject that obsesses me completely) then the perfect combination of kids winter clothes, which will see you from now until next year, in all weathers is as follows!
1 I absolutely love these little jackets from North Face. They are slim but warm and pretty windproof, with a zip right up to the neck and pockets. You can obviously get fleeces that are not £45 for a kids version but I don’t find those shaggy kiddie-fleeces to be that warm or practical. Too bulky to go under anything else and not very wind proof. I got two of these for Kitty and Sam last year and they’re still going strong. I got an S for both of them and turned the sleeves up.
2 Uniqlo puffa jacket with hood. My main gripe with an all-purpose winter coat is they tend to be a bit physically restrictive and my kids mainly run round and round in circles all day long and they get a bit hot and fucked off except on the very coldest days if they are wearing a massive puffa. So this micro-light puffa is perfect, they can run around, have full range of movement for going on the monkey bars and stuff. It’s showerproof and despite the instruction not to, I’ve just always chucked them int he washing machine and they’ve been fine.
3 For a full range of options, a Uniqlo puffa gilet is really helpful for putting over the North Face jacket on days when there’s an extra chill but they don’t need the double whammy of layers, but not essential.
4 In terms of rainwear, I’ve still got some fishermen’s raincoats from last year, which still fit, from John Lewis. They were really brilliant and sold out quickly. It doesn’t look like they’re doing them this year, which is a bit of a bummer – though they might come in later in the season. An equivalent I can find is this from Muddy Puddles, which seems insanely expensive at £50 – a slightly less ruinous option would be to get the Pac a Mac (below, £24) instead, which you can slip over the North Face jacket for downpours. As a reader pointed out on a different post, it doesn’t often absolutely slate it down in this country so it’s fine to keep a pac a mac handy rather than have a full on bonded raincoat on at all times.
5 This next item, from Trotters, will change your winter. It’s called a Snoody, and it’s a fleecy snood that can be slipped over even the fussiest toddler’s head for full neck-and-ears and sometimes even head protection on very cold days when some major polar ice winds are screaming off the Heath and blasting your babies’ fragile little necks (I told you I get lively about this subject). These sell out incredibly fast and there will be none by the end of October so get yours now, I would. We have four – one for Kitty and Sam and one for me and Giles, too.
6 These mittens are the best I’ve found for kids. The not very snappy name of Easy Kiddos Mittens. You can really bloody strap them into them and they still have some order of movement and manipulation. I also find the slightly home-made nature of the entire operation incredibly endearing and so want to promote them.
The one thing I have never found a satisfactory version of is a fleece ski headband for kids – Kitty absolutely refuses to wear a hat but on the coldest days will countenance a headband over her ears. Ideas?