Collin - In conjunction with Warehouse
As autumn squeezes out the last vestiges of summer, and evenings draw in, then that’s the time to say “what the hell!” Go out and grab some great clothes and go to some great places to show them off. Especially in the UK, autumn and winter can seem to drag on interminably, and it’s easy to get a bit depressed, whether you suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) or not. But before you start clicking on your favourite online stores to order, or before you go on a “dress to winter impress” shopping expedition, here’ are three tips as to what’s expected to be fashionable as autumn turns into winter.
Winter and wrapping up warm fit together like a pair of much-loved gloves and it’s no coincidence that this week is wool week, the annual celebration of the on-going Campaign for Wool initiative patronised by no lesser person than His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. It started in 2010 to promote British-made woollen garments and support the wool industry. Noble intentions indeed- but what can we expect to see on the catwalks?
Well, one of the myths to explode is that wool is only good for jumpers and sweaters, and then in traditional arran or cable-knit style. Oh come on- wool is amazingly versatile- mohair and cashmere yarns can turn heads, and wool can be used for trousers, skirts, almost anything in fact!
Look at Topshop Unique's cross motif jumper that has already been deemed a wow, and snapped spotted on Alexa Chung. Traditional? No- but the wool wow factor is in the red (and black)!
Many people still think of Pringle when it comes to wool, and it was the house built on argyle. It was given a kick by designer Alistair Carr who took and shook the V-neck jumper, updating it in pink neon mohair!
What about dresses? Well those of you who, like me, love to dress up in dress in a dress, I have some good news. Hold your breath ladies… Dresses are back big time! Some fashion houses are sending the hemlines up, others down. Most of the newly unveiled dress lines are easy on the figure, and styled to enhance the curves. And let’s not miss out the new shirt dresses, which are styled to fall just above the knee or shorter. It tends to be shown with a matching belt, but you can easily add her own choice of belt, and make your own personal statement- put up or belt up girls!
OK. You are sold on a shirt dress… but colour? The shorter and much cooler days of autumn suggest more muted colours and slightly heavier fabrics. Earth tones are in- that means tan, brown, maroon, and olive for starters. The ideas seem to have been borrowed from a Druidical “Earth Mother” concept, but they do go so well with autumnal leaves falling and that low in the sky orange sun! Watch out for wrinkles in those thicker fabrics though… although a travel iron in your handbag would be a little over-the-top!
As autumn turns into winter, then go for darker browns and greens and add in grey and dark/royal blues. Fabrics here may include oxfords and twills. If you don’t want plain and seek a patterned shirt dress, then try herringbone, subtle dogtooth and wider striped
Finally, and I know some people will hate this- you are going to need a new hat! I know that a lot of ladies wear hats for protection from cold or heat or even wind- but this autumn/winter season the hat is being touted as an important, if not indispensable fashion accessory. You’ll need one not only to keep up with the Joneses but also to complete your look, and stand out.
Here are three examples that seem popular on the catwalks recently- fur (yes, fur!) cowboy (yep, take my word for it! And Cloche hats (my personal favourite). I’ll pass on fur, but cowboy type hats can look good riding over the right outfit. While the Way out West Western style hasn’t been popular with fashionistas in the past, we are told that cowboy hats are going to play a significant role in the new fashion season.
Cloche hats are great. They look sexy and have that 1920s decadence of the Speakeasy, the Black Bottom dance, and, of course… the recession! They bring a welcome maturity, elegance and sophistication to ladies of all ages.