I never thought I’d be writing about the predicament of what to wear to dine outdoors in all kinds of weather, but it’s our reality in 2021, so here I am to give you some advice. I, for one, have dined outdoors in the heat with flies swarming last summer and in the rain this year, although it seems that dining outside in less-than-ideal temperatures is our current situation (come on, spring, where are you?)
But it’s going to take a little preparation, so let’s discuss it. As someone who is always freezing, I think I’m well-suited to speak on the topic of dressing for warmth without sacrificing your sense of style. The thing that makes outdoor dining such a challenge is that you can’t sit there and eat your soup in a puffer and scarf and not be uncomfortable (but if you can, tell me your secrets). You’re going to want to wear warm base layers and choose your outerwear carefully, and hopefully, there will be heating.
To guide you, below you’ll find eight perfect outfit ideas for outdoor dining, whatever the weather, along with a tip to glean for each and what to buy to see you through until the weather actually gets warm again. Good luck out there, and don’t forget your mask.
My friend (and former Who What Wear editor!) Aemilia is my outdoor dining muse with this look. Note the hat and cosy socks. Chic, warm accessories are key here. You want to leave as little skin as possible exposed, but when it does get warmer, you’ve got the layers to peel off.
What we’re going for here is outerwear that you don’t need to take off when you sit down to dine. An oversized blazer is perfect—just make sure that your sweater is warm and that your blazer is made of wool or leather.
Shackets are a trend this season, and they happen to make for a great non-bulky jacket. Opt for one that’s made of wool or thick flannel, and if you want to wear a coat over it, make sure it’s a little more slim-fitting like the Isabel Marant one below.
When feasible, skip the coat and wear your warmest, wooliest sweater (preferably with corduroys).
No matter what you’re wearing, if your neck is cold, you will be cold. Fix that with the help of a roll neck or a scarf (preferably one that’s lightweight and warm so you don’t have to take it off to eat).
This is a no-brainer, but if you must forgo trousers, cover your legs as much as possible, preferably with a pair of tights. And luckily, knee boots are ridiculously chic. When it does warm up, switch out the tights for bare legs.
A wool coat just might be your saviour during the chillier spring months. Unlike a puffer, if it’s roomy enough, it’s not all that unheard of to keep it on while you dine. Just keep your layers thin so that you can move your arms to eat.
If it’s cold enough to require a puffer, it’s cold enough to need a thick sweater. Wear your thickest one with a Uniqlo Heattech layer underneath so that you can take the puffer off at least for as long as it takes you to eat. Look, spring can still be cold in the U.K.
Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2021 fashion trends to know.
This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S.