Four ways to maintain your cool while staying warm this winter

When the sun becomes a supporting character in our lives most of us resort to a uniform of essentials from the dark side of the wardrobe, which is as exciting as the prospect of seeing The Equaliser 2.

But life doesn't have to be this way.

Mastering the art of some simple style attacks can keep you looking cool and staying warm. At least until the thermometer hits linen-shirt levels in October.

Layer like a pro

As anyone who leaves for work in single-digit temperatures and enters an overheated office knows, layering is the key to maintaining a veneer of professionalism.

Keep things simple by layering the same tones, such as a blue shirt with a navy cardigan and blazer.

To add some visual interest look for contrasting textures: a cotton shirt, fine wool cardigan under textured wool jacket.

But if you're keen to beat the blues make your mid-layer the focus by picking out a print, contrasting colour or trading your cardigan for a retro vest. It's the working man's winter waistcoat.

Keep accessories simple

Oversized proportions rule the runway but wearing a scarf the size of a picnic rug is hardly practical for public transport.

Chunky knit scarves are great for weekend walks and suffering through a coffee at an outdoor café but for Monday to Friday workwear tackle more manageable proportions.

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When draped evenly around your neck the ends of your scarf should not fall below the belt-line, making it easier to tuck beneath blazers and coats, keeping bitters Bass Strait winds at bay.

Colour coded

Invest in a solid colour with an interesting weave and leave crazy stripes to Doctor Who and Harry Potter fans. You can then apply rule number one and layer the piece with ease if it's a matching tone.

If you're complexion is paler than Casper the Friendly Ghost in winter months, beware of solid blacks too close to the face, which can be harsh and reds, which accentuate irritated noses and wind-chilled cheeks.

The same size rule applies to hats, particularly beanies. Ditch beanies with pom poms, football stripes and enough length to win a Wee Willy Winkie lookalike competition.

Look for solid colours with just enough length to cover your ears when it's chilly or the person next to you is playing The Shark Song.

Sock it to them

Wind-exposed ankles are the fingernails on chalkboards of winter and should be contained to the bedroom and bathroom.

Socks are an underrated opportunity to express your mood and add visual interest to an outfit.

With some ironic sweaters remaining the exception to the rule, cartoon characters and slogans should not appear on clothing, so let warm winter colours attract attention below your trousers.

Check out the gallery above to see the easiest style hacks for winter.