Cold Weather Cool

Q. Now that the temperatures have suddenly plummeted, I’m having something of a meltdown over what to wear. The stores are either crammed with the dregs from the January sales – or brightly coloured spring stock and nothing in my wardrobe seems suitable. Is it ever possible to look cool when it’s freezing cold?

A. There's no denying that when the cold hits the country, a fashion dilemma follows. Some braving the shivering temperatures this week came to a similar conclusion: fashion goes out the window when the wind is blowing and it's hovering in the low teens outside with a below-zero wind-chill. While Enda Kenny and his cohorts were discussing the prospect of even more austerity earlier this week - style remained defiant.

Out came a thousand wellingtons, a flurry of mittens and all the vain wrappings of people for whom thermal means silk underwear, camel coats, designer riding boots and invariably a scarf worn - how else to say it in a state of emergency? - With fabulous nonchalance. It just goes to show that, even if the outlook is gloomy, we Irish still have lashings of style.

If you want to look chic during the cold snap, you can layer up a delicate spring print with snow boots, a hoodie and parka for snow-queen chic – and don't forget to pile chunky knits around your neck and invest in a pair of brightly coloured leather gloves.

Or, if you want to make a real style statement, team a shearling gilet with a polo neck, a pair of skinny jeans and heels (a la Elle Macpherson) and you’ll have winter style all wrapped up. Problem solved.