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How to care for your winter knits according to an expert

17th May, 2020

Penelope Cohen is the director and designer of Skin and Threads, the premium label that focuses on simple, polished basics and beautiful luxe knitwear. Now that winter is upon us and it’s time to start introducing our knits back into our wardrobe it’s important to master how to care for them to ensure they stay in pristine condition. Here Cohen shares her top tips for doing just that.

How should we store jumpers?

I always prefer to store my jumpers folded as it prevent them from stretching while on a hanger and becoming too big or misshapen. Discourage the moths by using moth balls or I prefer to fill a little cloth bag full of lavender which smells lovely and discourages the pests.

What are the best fabrics to go for?

I am a big believer in natural yarns.  They always feel the best and also have the best breathability. Merino wool, washes and wears beautifully as does cashmere if you treat it with a little bit of care.

How often should you wash jumpers and how?

Put simply, if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Air them on a clothes horse or spot clean them as much as you can rather than immersing them in water. It’s better for the yarn and of course a little friendlier on the environment. Oh – and always use a wool and cashmere specialised detergent in cold water when do you have to wash them!

How do you suggest we avoid pilling?

Pilling occurs when the fibres rub together and most commonly occurs under your arms, on the side where you wear your handbag or when you consistently wear your sweaters under jackets. For cashmere, this is a natural process and not necessarily a sign of poor quality. De-pill your sweaters gently by using a fine de-pilling comb. You should not have to de-pill it regularly and the pilling should settle down after a couple of washes.

Do you have a favourite jumper in your current collection?

Knitwear is my downfall… Our cashmere boyfriend is a classic but the navy funnel neck and matching mini is probably my favourite look for the season.

Which winter trends are you are loving at the moment?

Long line cardigans worn as your outer layer and of course mixing my silk blouses with my chunky knitwear and leather leggings is always a constant love.

Fashion, Shop

What’s on my winter shopping wish list

8th June, 2018

Now that winter has well and truly arrived I’ve been busy planning what to add to my winter wardrobe. I’ve taken stock of my key staples and pinpointed the gaps that I need to update with new season pieces. I’m finding myself gravitating towards a lot of colour in an effort to inject a bit of energy into my looks. This time of year is traditionally about subdued hues and this year I wanted to shake things up and adopt a slightly more bolder colour palette. Here are a few things currently on my wish list—I’m all about striking shades, luxe fabrics and the odd piece that’s made to stand out…

Balenciaga cable knit sweater

How beautiful is this burgundy colour? I can’t resist a cosy knit to snuggle into when it’s cold.

Chinti & Parker crochet trim jumper

I like the red and pink trim on this neutral jumper —it gives it a playful touch.

Prada striped ribbed knit midi skirt

I’m a fan of the midi skirt because it always looks polished. You can’t go wrong with a red and white stripe for a for a bold, yet classic statement piece.

The Row silk and cashmere top

This would be a definite splurge but the colour and the drape is amazing—plus no doubt silk and cashmere would feel so beautifully luxurious.

Fendi embroidered cashmere sweater

Logo tees were huge in spring/summer so it’s no surprise that the trend has made its way onto winter sweaters. I really love the sweet font and the monochrome colour palette.

Saint Laurent high waisted boyfriend jeans

I’m always in jeans so I don’t mind investing in a pair that I know I’ll wear to death. Cost per wear and all that. This would be perfect worn with sneakers and any of the above sweaters on the weekend.

Miu Miu embroidered raffia shoulder bag

It’s always nice to embrace natural textures when it comes to accessories. The raffia bag would make a nice finishing touch to an evening look.

Jil Sander floral brocade pumps

They’re quite the statement shoe, I know, but if you can’t have fun with your shoes then when can you?

Dolce & Gabbana enamel gold plated earrings

Any look can become special with the addition of a pair of standout earrings. These beauties would add a bold touch to a day or night ensemble and take it next-level.


Fashion, Shop, What I Wore

What I Wore: Wrapped up

3rd August, 2016

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Battling the chilly weather during winter is made a little easier with the help of a great coat. A quality wool coat will ensure you stay cosy and warm but the right cut and style will also ensure you stay looking chic.

Whilst dark shades such as navy and black are reliable shades to ensure maximum wear out of a coat it’s often fun to step out of your comfort zone and try something a little different. Camel and grey are both colours that are versatile and effortlessly wearable but give you a point of difference at the same time.

Also, don’t forget about the silhouette. Often relaxed styles such as a wrap coat are wonderful for layering whilst a belted coat is ideal if you want to accentuate your shape. A longer line coat is ideal if you’re more apple-shaped and want to streamline your figure.

I’ve found that this camel coat has been great for adding a pop of colour to an outfit and when you’re in the latter stages of pregnancy like I am, any pieces that can easily be layered are a wardrobe saviour (you can find the other building blocks of a great pregnancy wardrobe here). When teamed with a simple white button down shirt and black leggings it’s also a comfortable but polished look.

You can find my favourite coat options below:

$$$ Max Mara

$$  Harris Wharf London

$ Witchery


A true fashion staple, the the elegant longline overcoat is a timeless piece for your wardrobe. These options accommodate bulky jumpers.


$$$ Isabel Marant 

$$ Acne 

$ Trenery 


Credits: coat, Jac + Jack; shirt: Country Road; Sunglasses, Karen walker; pants, ASOS; heels, Alaia; Photography: Sophia Athas 


Fashion, Shop

Fall in love with… the bomber jacket

13th July, 2016


If there’s one piece guaranteed to update your winter wardrobe it’s the bomber jacket, which has proven itself as one of the key essentials of the season. The sleek, sports-inspired piece is one of my top choices for a casual weekend ensemble and when teamed with a pair of jeans and a classic white tee it instantly takes your downtime wardrobe into chic territory.

There are plenty of bomber options out there at the moment whether you want one in a classic military green, with some serious embellishment or pretty embroidery.

Some of the options that have caught my eye are…

A sweet powder pink bomber by Maje which would look great with an all neutral outfit.

Needle & Thread’s bomber with colourful floral embroidery, beads and sequins are ideal paired with flowy dresses or wide-leg pants. Also loving this Jonathan Saunders option.

DKNY’s black jacket which features cape-effect sleeves is perfect for draping over your shoulders.

Is your wardrobe looking tired from too much black? Balenciaga refreshes the classic bomber with a dark forest-green blend of wool.

Steal my bomber jacket look

Shop my favourite bomber jackets

Budget-friendly options 

Photography: Josephine Wilcox 

Fashion & Beauty, Shop

The winter wardrobe staple I can’t live without

22nd June, 2016


When it comes to winter staples you can’t argue with the necessity of a good range of quality sweaters. They’re versatile so will work equally as well at work as they do when you’re relaxing and there’s just the undeniable fact they’re the ideal piece to cosy up in when the weather is chilly outside – I know I live in them on the weekend. Plus in quality natural fabrics such as wool or cashmere, a sweater will last you season after season so it’s a great wardrobe investment to make.

This winter there are a variety of different styles to embrace including everything from turtlenecks to off-the-shoulder silhouettes (still loving this trend!) and cropped jumpers so you’re bound to find a style to suit you.

Scroll down for my sweater styling tips and my favourite shopping picks below.

Shop the look!

The oversized turtleneck




The cropped sweater






My Sweater Styling Tips


An oversized turtleneck instantly adds a touch of laidback cool to your outfit and looks perfect when worn with boyfriend or skinny jeans. As the fit is quite relaxed opt for a fitted style if you want a bit more shape.

Cropped jumpers are perfect for layering with a skirt and paired over shirt dresses. They also work equally as well when worn with boyfriend jeans or flares. You could also transition a lightweight cropped jumper into spring by wearing your sweater over a white shirt and shorts.

To ensure your sweaters keep their shape be sure to either hand wash them or on the wool cycle of your washing machine. Lay them out flat to dry instead of hanging them up to ensure they retain their shape.

Pilling on a wool jumper is never a good look so be sure to use a pilling comb to get rid of any balls of fuzz.

Photography: Julie Adams 

Images: Stockholm Street Style, The Mirror on the Wall and Lauren Messiah


Fashion & Beauty, Shop

The Oversized Coat Edit

4th May, 2016

A gorgeous winter coat is one of my favourite purchases of the season. And this year I have my eye on an oversized winter coat that will be perfect for snuggling under once temperatures drop.

I think neutral colours are always a great option for coats and while black and navy are great failsafe standbys grey is also another colour to consider this winter. It’s easy to work back with multiple looks but it’s not as heavy as black. When purchasing a coat always try and invest in one made with a good quality fabric. The Joseph Sido Short coat (above) is a great wool and cashmere blend that will last you for seasons to come, similarly the longer Burberry coat (above) is also of a similar fabrication and would also make the ideal companion this winter.

If neutrals aren’t your thing a statement coat is also a great piece to have in your wardrobe. Whether you opt for a bold colour or interesting detailing such as this Alexander McQueen coat (above) the double-breasted silhouette with tonal-brown buttons is one that will have plenty of outings during winter. It’s also unlined so is perfect for layering over chunky knits during the cooler months.

Wearing the same coat throughout winter can sometimes get a little tired so to mix it up add finishing touches such as a sleek satchel bag or embellished sunglasses.

Whatever your budget there are plenty of coats on offer this season. And there’s a style to suit every bank balance. Shop some of my favourite picks below.




Photography: Sophia Athas 



Celeb look of the week: Charlize Theron

8th April, 2016


Weekend outfit goals anyone? Charlize Theron heads out in the kind of ensemble that is simultaneously cool, casual and comfortable. The white sneakers are seriously on trend and the cropped pants and luxe layers give it a classy touch.

Photography: The Daily Mail/Splash News



10 fashion staples I can’t survive winter without

26th May, 2015


Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start getting my wardrobe ready for the change in season. For me, winter is all about quality fabrics and layering – it’s all about the layering. These are the key pieces I definitely couldn’t get through winter without…

Leather pants

I wear them day to night. I couldn’t live without leather leggings or leather pants. They’re so versatile and they keep you really warm. Plus it can be worn casually during the day or dressed up for evening.

Ankle boots

A winter must-have. You can do whatever heel you want whether it’s a flat or a high heel but definitely ankle boots.

Leather jacket

This is great to wear with jeans or over a dress. The only thing I probably don’t wear it with is leather pants – a leather suit isn’t a great idea!

A statement winter coat

A big winter coat in a really thick wool is a winter essential. I like the fact it’s so easy because I can just throw it on over an outfit and I’m out the door. I’m also a big fan of the statement coat, I think it’s great to venture into other not so common winter colours such as cream or white or a vibrant pop of colour.

Beautiful knits

A beautiful knit can last a long time so it’s good to get one in a good quality fabric. I usually go for either a round neck or v-neck. I’m loving Skin and Threads, they do really beautiful cashmere knits.

A baggy cardigan

A loose, baggy knitted cardigan is ideal on a cold winter’s day. I like one that’s a little longer so I can wear it as a jacket over a dress or jeans.


I find ballet flats a bit too cold in winter but I still need a pair of flats that I can run around in so I opt for brogues. I’m loving the range at Me & Her at the moment.

Puffy vest

I love my big puffy Nike vest. I walk a lot but I hate having big jackets when I exercise so I find a big warm puffy vest is great with some longer leggings and sneakers.

Leather skirt

A leather skirt is great worn with tights and ankle boots throughout winter but it can easily transition into summer with some flats and a tee.

A great scarf

I like scarves that you can layer around and around. Just something slouchy made from cashmere or wool. Something cosy.

Tell me – what are your winter wardrobe staples?





3 winter trends to try

26th March, 2015


The weather is getting cooler which means winter is just around the corner. I love summer fashion, however there is something distinctly more chic about winter – it must be the cozy layers and luxe fabrics. If you’re already planning your winter wardrobe, be sure to keep an eye out for some of these staple pieces and work them back with some of the key trends of the season. While we’re going to see numerous trends this season, this winter I’m all about the following trends…

Winter whites

Victoria Beckham sent an all white outfit comprising of a cosy knit and skirt down the runway that I immediately fell in love with. There’s just something about white on white that’s fresh and modern. I was all about white on white throughout summer so I’m glad I can carry it through to the cooler months.

A touch of 70s 

While I wouldn’t do head to toe of one particular trend I do love some of the 70s inspired pieces that were seen at the international shows. Dion Lee and Zimmermann both incorporated flares into their collection which I thought looked great. I also really liked the lovely felt hats Zimmermann sent down the runway.

Bright pops of colour

Its a given that black is a staple of any winter wardrobe which is why I really love unexpected pops of colour during the cooler months. There’s just something fresh and modern about it. I think a great statement coat in a bright colour is a great piece to have. I fell in love with this particular coat by Tome!


David Jones Autumn/Winter 2015

16th February, 2015


Autumn/Winter 2015 looks set to be a chic affair judging from the collections shown at David Jones’ recent show. The show opened with one of my fave trends of the moment – white on white. Each look that made its way down the runway was fresh and crisp  and Jessica Gomes rocked a fur jacket (above) that looked like it would make for some warm and cosy nights indeed! I especially loved Christopher Esber’s collection which was gorgeous and I loved how Dion Lee did colour, which you don’t often see in winter collections. The standout pieces for me were a bright yellow Dion Lee dress and a red, flowing gown by Michael Lo Surdo (below). The show closed with Carla Zampatti who was also celebrating her label’s 50th anniversary. Needless to say, I left with a very full shopping list in my head…