As autumn/winter collections begin to appear, here’s Carolyn Moore’s guide to the key buys that will instantly update your look.
AS FASHION rushes ever faster to get ahead of itself, it seems new season collections drop earlier and earlier each year, hitting at a time when we’re itching to get our hands on something new, but long before we get the weather to test drive those new trends.
Investing well in strong transitional pieces is the key to ensuring your new-season buys aren’t languishing in your wardrobe for so long you become sick of the sight of them before they’ve even made it out of the house, and equally that you’re not throwing money away on between-season buys that don’t have the longevity to make it through winter.
When shopping for autumn/winter, look for the kind of instant updates that will easily take you from the tail end of summer, through the milder autumn months, and right into a party season that’s all about opulence and dark romance.
With styling for the season ahead all about layering — in a nod to ‘90s grunge and English eccentricity — you can make these weather-appropriate simply by putting them together in unexpected ways:A slip dress over a polo neck, under a chunky knit; or a tiered and ruffled midi-dress under a slim duster with added fur tippet.
With two distinct trend stories developing for autumn/winter 2016, you can embrace the uber femininity of the new romantic look, with lush velvets, rich brocades, folkloric embroidery, and lashings of florals and lace; or go for something more pared back, with fluid, masculine inspired tailoring, the clean lines of a straight-cut duster coat, or the cool curves of voluminous cocoon shapes.
Or better yet, do both, as exemplified by Victoria Beckham’s A/W ‘16 collection, where Prince of Wales checks and harlequin prints met asymmetric tailoring and oversized cuts, and slinky slip dresses and sleek striped knits played with proportion and volume.
The result was a collection that gave that English eccentricity a distinctly modern twist.
To start injecting some autumn/winter nous into your wardrobe now, look to the cuts and proportions Beckham advocates for the season.
For dresses and skirts think midi-lengths with volume, and a slim cut duster coat is the perfect shape to layer over that.
Romantic, floaty, midi styles or the season’s essential knit dresses can be worn now with bare legs, and updated for winter by layering over a skinny knit polo neck or under a chunky cable knit, with tights and block heeled boots.
Textural knits are an essential investment, and we love the cold shoulder option at M&S for its nod to summer’s biggest trend; and that wardrobe essential, the white shirt, is being reworked with frill details that help it meet the criteria for the must-have “romantic blouse”.
Blazers get an update in pinstripes and the season’s big fabrics: velvet and brocade; and invest now in unfussy metallics in lamé fabrics.
Cleaner and more suited to day-wear than sequins, they’ll still have a shine come party season.
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