I won’t even lie, my first winter in Cape Town last year caught me off guard. I was heavily underprepared – you see, in Joburg, when it’s cold, it’s just cold. But in Cape Town, when it’s cold, it’s cold and wet and miserable. I guess that’s why UCT has that (un)official rule that if the mist is so bad that you can’t see the campus on the mountain, it’s no longer there and school is cancelled.
But, like my first year survival guide, I thought I should try and impart my wisdom on how to try and survive the weather, especially in Cape Town.
- Get a good coat that has a hood. Fashion is all nice and lovely with those beautiful camel or grey coats, but if you’re a student, you also need to be practical. A hood is of the utmost necessity for when the rain comes out of nowhere. I got mine from Forever New, but Zara is always known to have amazing coats and jackets during winter. Personally, I believe that this is an investment item, so brave the higher price tag because it will be so worth it. But if you can’t, Pick n Pay Clothing also has a variety of alternatives. Which brings me to…
- My fellow black women, if you can avoid it, don’t get a weave during winter. The rain will just put you through a lot. Protective styles like braids, twists, dreads and cornrows are the way to go. Which also brings me too…
- Don’t waste your money on an umbrella. Because you will do exactly that – waste your money. The wind will have the rain coming at you horizontally, and you’ll soon find that your umbrella will quit long before you do. Which is why I said in point number one – get a coat with a hood.
- Turtlenecks are key. Turtlenecks, polo necks – whatever you call them, not only are they an incredible aesthetic choice, they keep you covered and warm during winter. Woolworths is usually the way to go because of the high quality, but if you don’t have R300.00 to spend on a top, Legit and Mr Price also have turtlenecks on offer – Mr Price also has a wide variety of colours this season, too.
- Boots, boots, boots. I say this because they’re typically high enough to cover that tiiiiny gap between your pants and your shoes/socks that the cold always creeps through. But avoid suede boots for everyday wear because this rain does not play. A Fashion Friend did an edit of boots for under R500.00 here, and I have an obsession with thigh high boots which they also covered here (I got my own thigh highs from H&M for R750.00 – which is such a steal!)
- Socks. Another given, but I say no to ankle socks during this season. I even try to get the multicoloured packs and make them a vibe if they stick out or cover my pants! I really hate the gap between my shoes and my pants (tall girl problems, maybe?) So I always try to get socks to cover them. I bought a five pack from H&M for R120.00 and I love them.
- Layers. There are still ways to look stylish during winter, but now you just have to get more creative. I tend to prioritise warmth, but you can use layering to your advantage when it comes to style.
- Get a heater, electric hot water bottle, fluffy blanket, Woolworths butter popcorn and some chai tea so that at leat you can be comfortable when you’re dealing with the guilt of not going to lectures when it’s too cold ?
How else did you guys make it through winter? Let me know what your tips were below!
Good luck with exam preparation, everyone! Remember to take care of yourselves! And if you’re not too sure how, you can read my previous post here.