OK. So you’ve decided to move to Europe and perhaps where you’re from (like me) it doesn’t get so cold – in fact Brisbane is an average 17 degrees in Winter, so moving to London was a bit of a shock to the system.
So what should you bring with you to make it through the winter?
To keep warm on a cold day you should start by covering your head and you’ll be a lot more comfortable. That means wearing a winter cap or beanie and a scarf helps too. Warm socks and boots are important. I love my bamboo socks – they are smooth and so comfortable and keep your feet warm. You can line your boots with sheep-skin inners to keep your toes warm too. You can also buy fur lined leather boots or ugg-style boots. Warm gloves are a must as well, preferably ones that still let you use a mobile phone. I find wool gloves the best. Leather gloves aren’t warm enough.
Although it’s tempting to bring every fluffy jumper you own you’re better off with a couple nice hoodies and then packing smaller layers like long sleeved tops, thermal singlets and t-shirts, so you can easily adjust what you are wearing based on your location. Inside buildings it will be nicely heated and most tube lines (especially those deep underground) are especially warm too, and so you’ll want to be able to remove some layers inside.
Jeans are misleading. They are actually quite a cool material and best for Spring, Summer and Autumn days. When it gets really cold in Winter you’ll want to wear thermal leggings underneath or better still buy some stretchy, skinny trousers that are made from warmer material. Miss Anna & Toxik3 are my two favourite brands – I wear these all winter long and they give you a great shape and go with pretty much everything!
The next important item you’ll need is a feather-filled jacket, known as a puffer jacket. Make sure you get one that comes down past your waist to cover your upper thighs, as shorter ones will be a lot colder. Winters have been a lot more bearable since I got mine and you don’t need to spend a fortune either. TK-Maxx (which has stores across the UK) sells end of season brand name clothing at discounted prices, so you can pick up a good, warm jacket for less than £100. If you’re a student it’s worth asking whether shops offer student discounts too.
When it comes to getting a comfortable nights sleep you should invest in a foam mattress topper. It doesn’t need to be thick and they don’t cost much – you can pick them up from Argos too. They are super comfy and work better than an electric blanket by retaining your body heat. I’ve slept a lot more soundly since I’ve had mine in both winter and summer time. A hot water bottle with a nice soft cover is also a good idea for especially cold nights.
So to sum up, here are some comforts I’d recommend investing in:
- Feather filled “puffer” jacket
- Sheepskin inners for your boots
- Ankle boots for nights out (that keep your feet warm and dry)
- Knee high boots
- Ugg boots
- Foam mattress topper
- Hot water bottle
- Warm house socks and bamboo socks for wearing out
- Beanie or wool cap (mine is 55cm)
- Warm scarf
- Wool gloves (that still let you use your mobile phone)
- long sleeved tops
- thermal singlets
- Skinny stretch trousers – Miss Anna & Toxik3 (my two favourite brands)
- thermal leggings
You can pick up these when you arrive and get them delivered (or check out TK Maxx for seasonal bargains).