BARE MIDWINTER

The key looks for now are sleeveless dresses, short skirts and little sweaters which are short of sleeve and short around the midriff

Blue new Harris Tweed dress, pounds 59, from Kookai, branches nationwide, enquiries 0171-937 4411; orange boucle coat, pounds 275, from Whistles, branches nationwide. Shoes stylist's own

Photographer Garth Meyer

Stylist Emma Sanchez

Make-up Vanessa using Aveda

Hair Julian Le Bas, at Nicky Clarke using Hairomatherapy products

Model Virginie at Storm

Shot at The Cow, 89 Westbourne Grove, London W9

Prince of Wales stretch shift dress, pounds 79, from Jigsaw, branches nationwide, enquiries 0181-878-8443; brown clipped fake fur long jacket, pounds 220, by Karen Millen, 33 Kings Road, London SW3, enquiries 01622-664032; butterfly brooch, pounds 45, Steinburg & Tolkein, 193 Kings Road, London SW3; mint silk shoes, pounds 285, by Jimmy Choo to order, enquiries 0171-249 2082

Grey herringbone short sleeve sweater with diamante buttons at back, pounds 158, by Sportsmax available from MaxMara, 32 Sloane Street, London SW1, enquiries 0171-287 3434; beige boucle and lurex front pleat skirt, pounds 175, available from Miu Miu at Liberty, Regent Street, London W1, Pellicano, 63 South Molton Street, London W1, CF, Closes Farm, Mottram Road, Hyde, Manchester, Pollyanna, 16 Market Hill, Barnsley; thin leather strap watch pounds 195, available from Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, London SW1 and 38 Princes Square, Glasgow; lilac silk shoes, pounds 285, by Jimmy Choo to order, as before

Cream boucle coat, pounds 499, from Joseph, 23 Old Bond Street, London W1; persimmon mohair jumper, pounds 80, available from Fenwick, Bond Street, London W1 and House of Fraser stores nationwide, enquiries 0171-323 4821; skirt, pounds 100, from Fenn Wright and Manson, available from Fenwick, as before, and Dickens & Jones Regent Street, London W1; cream silk shoes, pounds 275, by Jimmy Choo, as before; jade butterfly, pounds 90, from Steinburg & Tolkein, as before

As temperatures drop, dresses of Harris Tweed and sweaters of snug angora or fluffy mohair are just the kind of clothes your mother would approve of to stop you catching winter chills. And those are the materials on offer. But the catch is that the dresses come without sleeves and the sweaters reveal enough flesh to encourage serious goosepimples.

Designers would argue that these clothes are practical, that modern life is lived in centrally-heated houses and centrally-heated cars. And designer lives are often lived in centrally-heated penthouses and warm limousines. In such environments, a warm dress complete with sleeves or a sweater without ventilation around the waist would doubtless be cumbersome.

The clothes here are for urban lives, office lives (of the kind where work is done in air conditioning). Clothes like these are awfully useful when you are dining out in smart restaurants where no maitre d' worth his tip would ever allow the punters to feel a draft. And so they are practical, in their way.

And for those "at home" days, those "walking in the park in the chilly half light of winter days", well, save your more practical, warm and woolly clothes for then

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