Fashion Outfits

Making a Grey January Brighter

January is my least favourite month. Some people think that it gets a bum rap. That really it’s not so bad. I firmly disagree. People, people, are you crazy? January is the worst. It’s the pits. Nothing to look forward to but it not being January any more. All the Christmas decor has come down, the New Years resolutions are fading and the weather is just terrible. So what’s a girl to do?

joules cardigan and shirt

Here’s my guide to improving your January spirits and beating the blues:

1. Be brighter. Literally. Wear brighter colours. When the sky is dingy and the overhead lights are blaring, sometimes having a cheerful colour on perks up your spirits just a little bit.

2. Embrace the dark evenings by building yourself a snuggle cave. Note: you do not need to live with someone else to have a snuggle cave. You can snuggle by yourself. All you need is a thick duvet, a cozy spot on the sofa, a hot water bottle, a nice smelling candle and a good book.Turn these dark nights into de-stressing sessions.

3. Spend some time in downward dog. Even just a few stretches in the morning will get the blood flowing and kickstart the day.

4. Invest in quality pyjamas. You might think I’m kidding, but it’s a game changer. I got some thick cottony, amazing Cath Kidston pyjamas from Sam for Christmas and I swear it’s like climbing into a cloud every night. I am loathe to ever take those suckers off.

5. Go outside. A brisk walk while bundled up always does wonders for clearing my head! Fresh air makes me feel better during any season.

closeup  necklace
As some readers might already know, I’m a huge Joules fanatic. Both this cardigan and top are from Joules. And this cardigan is easily my favourite! Also, I’ve only embraced wearing yellow shades like mustard of the last few years; growing up I always thought it was one of my “no go” colors. Maybe it still is, but I’m going to keep on wearing it!

Necklace: Joy the Store. Cardigan: Joules. Top: Joules. Jeans: BDG. Boots: Zappos.

Sadly, I must say that this was probably the last outing for my trusty hat. Hat (I name my hats, this one is originally called “Hat”) was my oldest and most cozy of all. Unfortunately, time and repeated washings have taken it’s toll, stretching Hat out to two sizes bigger than he once was; the bow no longer perky but listless.

RIP Hat. 2007-2015.

Are you January lover or hater?

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  • I’m not too keen on January either, but I’ve tried to be more positive about it this year! Aww, I always feel sad when I have to discard a favourite piece of clothing, so I feel your pain! xx

  • I fully agree with you, January is the worst! Getting outside, even when it is cold and yucky weather, really does wonders for me as well. And there is nothing better than a cozy night in with a good book!

    • Ha, I even feel a bit guilty complaining about cold in England when you are dealing with Icelandic winter! x

  • I agree with you that the weather is bad and there’s always the post-Christmas let down, but I love January because it’s the one month every year where I allow myself to just do nothing on weekends. Seriously, every weekend in January we are in a permanent state of what you mentioned in #2 – I love it! Then we emerge from January, renewed and ready to spend every other weekend of the year taking on the world….or at least our small part of it. 🙂

  • I love January simply because we get to celebrate our wedding anniversary and Fredriks birthday o and I am a weirdo and love some bad dreary weather! What if you very moderately put Hat in the tumble dryer, perhaps some shrinking would occur for a few more outings?

    • Having special holidays in January would make me like it more too, so I don’t think it makes you a weirdo! If we had a tumble dryer, I totally would do that. Alas! Thats the one American “comfort” I miss the most. Tumble dryers! I’ve put Hat on top of the radiator to dry, but that’s just not that same. x

      • Hmmm perhaps a trip the laundromat, I get very attached to clothes and things so if I could save it I would!

        • Finding a good laundromat is definitely something I need to do! The one in our neighbourhood doesn’t actually dry anything, the dryers just make things slightly warm? (Probably because they are ANCIENT.) x

  • You look cute, but as a January baby I’m gonna have to say viva la January!

  • I love wearing bright colours in January. And cooking brightly coloured meals – orange sweet potato, yellow peppers and red cherry tomatoes all in one dish works wonders to chase away the winter blues.

    Statistically, February is the coldest month, but at least the days have started to get a bit longer by then. January is just so DARK! It’s depressing.

    • Yes! You’re right about Jan/Feb- and when I think about it, it’s the darkness that gets to me most of all! x

  • January is the WORST. Especially in the UK where I constantly argue that there is even less sunlight than in Brussels but no one seems to believe me 😉 Completely on board with your pjs suggestion. I recently got this amazing pair from Gap: So comfortable and cute.

  • no way, January is the BEST! Because it’s my birthday at the end of the month so I have all month to look forward to it. I also insist on still going out and doing things even when my face feels like it might fall off from the cold.

    • Okay, having a birthday to look forward to changes things because birthday month is a sacred thing 😉 xx

  • I really, really dislike being cold for extended periods of time, so I’m not a huge fan of January or February or March around here! Even though cold for me is like 40 degrees (and not really, really cold like it gets in the UK), I’m still not a happy camper this time of year!

    • If I’m being honest, I’m not truly happy with the weather until temperatures are above 70! x

  • amitygardens

    You are adorable. I am coming to London soon so we can sit in our pajamas and talk about stuff. I don’t know what it will be, but it’s going to be fun.

  • “People, people, are you crazy?” Hahahaha. My feelings on January are neutral. It’s already well past my favorite season (autumn), so all my energy is spent mentally preparing for the never-ending battle between my will to live and the clouds of pollen/various grasses that seem bent on my destruction in the spring. Mustard yellow is my favorite color to wear no matter the time of year. It’s a throwback to autumn, but it also just looks good. These are great tips! I fully endorse the snuggle cave.

    • I had really bad allergies in America, but I seem not to have them in England? It’s weird! Hopefully it will be the same for you too! xx

  • LOVE this outfit Amanda!!! I’ve always wanted to wear mustard yellow but being blonde in clashes horrendously 🙁 I’ll stick to burnt orange for now! xxx

    • I spent many years of my life as a blonde and there were so many colours I was scared of wearing! x

  • Charlie D

    Great tips, I find that getting out does help a lot indeed. I must try and wear brighter colours, I can’t help but always go back to black. On a sidenote I really really like that mustard cardigan of yours !

    Charlie xx

    • Thank you so much! I have so much black in my wardrobe that last year I set myself the goal of not buying anything black and only things that had some colour in them. So far, so good- surprisingly! x

  • Miho

    i’ve only just woken up to the good PJs point – i tend to resort to E’s old t-shirts and old clothes I don’t wear anymore, so I decided enough was enough and got some loungewear and PJs from the Jack Wills sales. it’s a must during winter! x

    • I used to not wear pjs either and just sleep in huge old t-shirts and things, but they really do make a comfort difference! x

  • Yes yes yes such great tips

  • You look so pretty! I love that cardigan too – that colour is the best (I have one similar and I wear it all winter long!). January isn’t bad here only because it’s summer time and the weather is lovely. But the whole end of Christmas, back to work thing sucks! I really love your suggestion of building a snuggle cave – totally doing that come June!! Xx

  • clara mcmillan

    That hat is so adorable!

    God bless,


  • I love this list “Spend some time in downward dog” is my favorite part! Really cute outfit!
    Melanie @

  • Jennifer Polly

    This is such a lovely post and I’m happy to have spotted it shortly after sharing my own tips as I love to hear what other people do to stay happy. I’ve only just started yoga so I’m a little wary of it but I love your tip about a few stretches in the morning, it’s realistic and such a perfect start to the day. Also, I love that yellow cardigan!! I really fancy something similar as my wardrobe is a little plain, especially when it comes to knitwear. 🙂 xx

  • January is a terrible terrible month! You have found the perfect ways to make it much better though, I love the snuggle cave idea 🙂

  • I dread getting out of bed mostly because of the cold! x

  • Debra Carr

    You talked yourself out of January being the pits with your list! That’s just what January is for, snuggling, walking and finding your cosy spot in the house. I always have a downer around week two, it’s when everyone goes back to work and we all realise you still have to pay the bills, do the washing and get the weekly shop in. I’m feeling much more normal now we’re in the middle of Jan, not over excited and not blue, just happily normal.

    • Happily normal is probably the best state to be in, I think! 😀 Thanks for stopping by Debra! xx

  • I love that you name your hats (am dying of cuteness). I used to be in the same boat, but then I realized March was farrrr more terrible. At least in January there’s “new beginnings” and everyone’s trying really hard with various goals.

    • Ah, see sometimes in March London has these glorious summer sun snaps before plunging itself back into the cold until the end of May. I live for those days! x

      • Oh really… that sounds so nice! In Seattle, March is almost just like January. Which is worse, because it SHOULD be “spring” but is tooootally not.

  • I’m definitely a January hater although February has always been my least favourite month!

    • Why a February hater? I think it’s always gotten off the hook for me because I quite like Valentine’s Day, and it’s shorter than all the other months. 🙂 x

  • For me, it’s really easy to dread when January comes around, and I definitely wanted to break that cycle this year! x

  • RIP hat!! I love mustard and I think you can safely turn it into a ‘yes’ colour for you! Especially teamed with yellow!

  • I don’t mind January! For me it’s like the ultimate start date, so I love the fresh New Year felling 🙂

    Mustard yellow is a great colour! I love it, even if it doesn’t suit me… tbh, I’m not even sure how to know if a colour doesn’t suit me or not. I just tend not to wear colours I don’t like.

    • That’s probably just means that you look lovely in all colours! (Some wash me out and make me look like a vampire. OR something else undead looking.) 😉 x

  • Just gotta say – I love the phrase “snuggle cave.” Totally making one today 🙂

  • You’re so perfectly adorable Amanda!

    • You are WAY too nice, because that just isn’t true (Ha, that isn’t even modesty.) 😉 xx

  • Since I work from home, I basically try to go as long as possible without leaving the house in January. I get out for Game Night every week, but sometimes that’s it. Of course, with Dan moving to Georgia soon, we’ve spending lots of time with people, meaning even if they come over, I have to wear real clothes. 🙁 I much prefer just rotating through my collection of PJs!

    • That’s a good method to have, I think. I’m so excited for your move by the way – if you email me closer to where exactly Dan will be working, I’ll give you some better area suggestions. And let me know how flexible he is about exact commuting times. 🙂 x

  • I’m definitely a January hater – coming from Canada, January is also definitely the worst month, coldest most horrible thing! You leave for work and come back from work in the darkness, I mean nothing is worst. But I love your little tips to making them better! Wearing bright colours always cheers me up 🙂

    • I had friends in toronto post on Facebook that it was -22 last week. This I can NOT get on board with 😉 Do you find Scotland more bearable though, or similar in terms of darkness? x

  • I love these – I wrote a similar post on my blog a few weeks ago so it’s fun to see what other people do to brighten their Januarys!

  • I love the mustard + navy combo! I don’t like anything from January through to April. It’s all cold, wet and miserable.

  • amen to #5 especially! starting my race training this month has kept me sane, I think.