When it comes to the weather, I was definitely born in the wrong country. Growing up, 45C degree summers were a thing, and my wardrobe was mainly summer clothing, with an overcoat or jumper thrown in for good measure come winter.
But in my heart I always longed for the cold and the wet. So much so that I always slept with windows wide open (or the air-conditioning on), and even utilised a rain track to lull me to sleep. Although my body was in Australia, my mind and spirit were living in the UK.
I don’t think I ever had a decent night’s sleep until I finally moved to London in 2015, in the middle of winter. It was deliciously cold, and I slept so well.
And now I’m in Scotland, and well, Summer lasted two months this year and that was more than enough for me! I spent Sunday curled up on the sofa, under a blanket with the radiator on as we enjoyed a rainy day with a top of 10C.
Yes, Autumn came early this year, but given how harsh last winter was, is anyone surprised? Jumpers, scarves and beanies have been out for a couple of months already (which lbr, is typical of retailers globally) and it can be super easy to get carried away in a seasonal glee shopping spree.
One shopping spree too many though, and before you know it you have a dozen jumpers and jackets, nowhere to store them, and given last years clothing that you had stored away over summer still fits and is in great condition? Hmm… That’s not a good way to start the season!
Personally, I restrict my winter shopping as much as possible. I keep a simple wardrobe of set colours (Burgundy, Pink, Grey, Cream and Black) and don’t buy anything that doesn’t fit into that colour scheme (sorry mustard sweater!) unless it’s heavily discounted. At the beginning of the season I go through my old clothes and see what still fits, what’s thoroughly worn though, and if anything needs a quick fix. I never replace what doesn’t need replacing, and think about how each piece I do buy can be worn with what I already have.
And although I do buy plenty of textures (such as fur, boucle and tweed) I keep patterns to a minimum, maybe only buying one patterned statement piece for that particular year (such as a Leopard Print jumper for this year, or my yellow plaid cape from two years ago).
Now, that may sound boring, and predictable, but the money I save on autumnal clothing I get to spend on… accessories!
Accessories such as gloves, scarves, beanies and berets, can completely transform any outfit, and are an affordable way to change up a look. You could wear the same, plain black coat or cape every day, but wear a different scarf and pair of gloves, and it’s a completely new outfit!
And if you know where to shop, those new scarves, gloves and berets are incredibly affordable so won’t break the bank at all. So, where exactly do I buy my affordable fall accessories?
Where to shop for Affordable Winter Accessories
This one is of course the obvious choice, which is why it’s first. With a pair of leather gloves typically less than £10, you can buy more affordable woolen gloves for less than £5. Always with plenty of variety, and always up to the minute with every trend, Primark is a great way to experiment with new patterns, prints and fabrics when accessorising.
If you change your search settings to “Worldwide” shipping, it opens your searches up to previously unseen products that are almost too cheap to be true. You can buy cute and colourful berets for less than £3 each, which means you can buy three for the same price you’d buy one from ASOS. I have also bought many a leather or woolen glove from eBay and these vary in price up to around £10. Oh, and typically any imports from Eastern Asia are put in the “too hard” pile by customs, so you can sometimes get away without paying import costs (I’ve never had to pay customs on anything I’ve imported from China, Hong Kong, South Korea).
The (hidden) Sale Section
Right now, all the large retailers likely still have some of last years Autumn and winter clothing still in stock in a warehouse. These will still be available for sale online and be heavily discounted. I highly recommend checking out the sale section of your favourite retailers to see what bargains you can find. However, sometimes they remove the items from appearing in the sale section on the website – the items are still there, just hidden from any listing (ASOS does this a LOT). Instead, do a keyword search, sort by price and you’ll find yourself a previously unseen bargain or two.
Another great site to find a bargain from Asia, Ali Express is where you go to buy direct from the warehouse. Although some sellers will only sell items in bulk, many also sell items individually. Unfortunately, items typically aren’t listed using the best keywords (SEO guys, come on!), which means finding what you want may prove difficult, but chances are it is there, somewhere!
This website kinda came out of nowhere to completely change the online shopping game. Although the warehouses are based in Asia, because it’s a UK website, you don’t pay import costs. They also have pages full of bargains. Every Sunday they offer free shipping with no minimum spend (you’re welcome) so if you’re happy to wait two weeks for your parcel to arrive, it’s a great place to buy that cute beanie or scarf you’ve been eyeing off the past few weeks.
If you want to splash out a little on your accessory buying though, it’s a great time to use up those loyalty point that’s are about to expire. A voucher here, a discount code there, plus your points? You’d be surprised just how affordable those saffiano leather gloves really are!
Are you a fan of bringing your winter outfits to life with different accessories? Where is your favourite place to buy all your wintery needs?