What’s on the style agenda this autumn?

Whether you’re into fashion or not, I think it’s always useful to know what’s going to be flooding the high street in the new season.

Hanging clothes in a fashion store.Then, if you know your colours and favour certain styles you can be armed and ready.

You may well still have a holiday to come or indeed be ready for another after the school holidays but it’s time to put away your string bikini and flip flops till next time… sorry if that’s a little depressing.

However, there are lots of lovely trends to welcome you with open arms, that will keep you stylishly warm when the sleet hits… ooh, again, apologies.

As always, there are a few elements of fashion stupidity amongst the trends. Still, I’m a realist and want to cut through the crap to get to the ‘Yes, I can wear that’ and ‘Yes, I would wear that’ stuff while avoiding the ‘What the hell is that?’ and ‘Where do I put that?’ elements.

So goodbye oversized puffa jackets, shoes with caterpillar-esque treads and pyjama robes.

Okey dokey, let’s get cracking with my top picks.

Colourific

So, you may have already noticed the steady dribble of colour onto the high street. This season we’ve gone earthy with an injection of bright fantastic. Think rusts and tobacco with a splash of burgundy, mustard and khaki, to name a few. Then there’s the bold and jewelled pinks, greens and blues to give it a lively edge, along with the trustworthy neutrals to keep things tame.

Touchy feely

Let’s talk fabrics, people.

First up, velvet, which is massively popular this season, especially in jewel tones. If you don’t fancy it in a suit and are freaked out by the Austin Powers look, then I’d go for a clutch, jacket, boot or even a choker.

Although, if you are slightly shorter in the neck department then beware the choker – they can eat into precious length and leave you with the illusion of no neck, or indeed a strangled one.

Next up… embroidery. If there is any option to be had anywhere from jeans to jackets then it is a boho must. So easily applied in any form and, if you’re arts-and-crafts enough, you could sew your own trend tributes on a top, pocket or purse.Lastly, I want to mention leather and lace, a sexy coupling and, this time, with a Victorian twist to it.

So think high neck or soft frilled blouses twinned with slinky leather skirts, or perhaps plump for one key fabric in a similar look (velvet works too), whether it be a dress, a separate or an accessory. Style it your way.

Print fantastic

If you love a print but are never sure what to try, then you’re spoilt for choice this season – there’s something for each wardrobe personality.

If you’re a bit of a classic, there’s the offering of a heritage-come-countryfile look. Fill your Hunters with tweeds and checks. You can keep it safe with the usual soft tones or go for the more upbeat and popular red or bright styles, seen in coats.

Unsure about the coat? Then go for a cape or giant scarf. They won’t pinch the purse too much and it can always double up as a picnic or sofa blanket. A win win.

For the more dramatic side of you, we have, once again, the beloved Bet Lynch of pattern, the leopard print. You either love it or hate it, but I will say this: it is always worn best in moderation.

One item is chic, several is a tad scary in my opinion. But who am I to quash your character?

If you have a quirky and more gamine skip to your step then why not try a funky spot/polka dot or bright garden floral?

You could even try one of the mini trends of bugs or cats. Yes, you heard right! Offering a great chance to be unique, they’ll be in prints and even themed in jewellery. Brooches, rings or earrings make for a great conversation piece, I’m sure.

Poignant pieces

As the neckline seems to be favourably high this time, polo necks are the go-to piece I would suggest you try. It doesn’t have to be skinny rib if you haven’t got the confidence – they do have a tendency to make you look bulky. I would go for fine and lightweight.

A polo neck can be worn under dresses and jackets and is generally a great layering friend. Just be warned, if you boast a generous bosom it does magnify their greatness, if worn alone. For something a little less fitted there’s always the pussy-neck bow on blouses and shirts.

One-shoulder dresses and tops are everywhere and a great décolletage showcaser. They create lovely lines and balance the broad shouldered. They also look very chic if worn with some serious ear adornment instead of a necklace.

While you’re at it, let’s go whole hog and wear the hair up, because let’s face it ladies, the shoulders and neck are beautifully feminine.

The pleated skirt isn’t for everyone and at the moment remains on the midi length – calf – which can be a leg lengthener or strong calf killer, but I think you don’t have to go that low. If you choose to, it’s nothing a good neutral leg and heel or boot can’t rectify. These skirts look great with simple sleek lined tops. Maybe whip on your polo or fitted denim shirt or blouse.

We can’t talk autumn and winter trends without mentioning coats, after all this is Blighty. Without further ado, I present to you the military style jacket/coat. Yippee! To be honest, I don’t ever think it goes away so is a worthy investment in itself.

The rich deep colours you have to choose from this season are a further myriad of loveliness, so enjoy. The lengths vary from floor length to crop, but for practical reasons I would aim for the hem to sit above or below the widest part of your hips for a jacket and probably a three quarter or knee length for a coat.  This depends on your requirements and your individual proportions, of course.

Accessorise

Get your pearls out girls, they’re back and they’re big. Layer or wear alone and, because they are a great neutral, they can be put with any colour. If you want to be different try them in a metallic or bright hue.

Statement earrings and hair gems are much more on the scene than necklaces this time and I think that’s great. Not only do the earrings give focus to the face and neck but now your barnet is getting pimped up, too. I personally wouldn’t do both, unless you’re a Barbie princess. You can easily try interesting earrings if you have short hair to give more oomph, or even twinkly hair slides.

Equally, if you have long hair, throwing gem-encrusted pieces into an up-do would look ‘magnifique’.

For the bag and clutch connoisseurs we still have chain bags and the saddle bag styles, but this time with a bit more adornment in the embroidery and bling jewellery department.

Foot fancies

Ah, we’ve reached the feet. The great friend or foe to a finished outfit. On a practical note, we have the block heel in every style, thank God. The saviour of the shapely calf.

Ankle boots are given the block-heel treatment and the more decorative the better, great for jazzing up trouser legs or opaque tights. There’s even a funky whisper of a transparent heel on shoes if you fancy or a flash of heel in a sling back or cut-out boot.

If the high heel is a little daunting then flats are still queen; this time with straps and buckles as emphasis, you could try a Mary Jane or wrap-able ankle-tied ballet.  For a more masculine touch try a patterned brogue, remember it’s all about extra details.

Ta-dah!

So what do you think, anything take your fancy? Please don’t feel you have to do all of them and certainly not together. I think if you like something, whether it be a colour, fabric or style, then work it into your wardrobe with the stuff you already have. Accent pieces or accessories are always a good thing and you’ll get more wear from them, as more often than not trends repeat themselves.

I still have a few capes/wraps from last season and I will definitely be investing in some lush velvet… probably a clutch or jacket and a lace blouse.

This season’s style boards from The Image Tree (thank you Sara)

style boards for velvet in the autumn season style boards for embroidery in autumn season leather and lace style boards for the autumn season style boards for 4 key items in the autumn season style boards for shoes and boots this autumn season style boards for accessories this autumn season

 

 

Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

About Sara MARSDEN-SHREEVE

I’m an image consultant which means I get to help women look and feel great – it’s my dream job! I became tired of seeing so-called ‘perfection’ portrayed in the media, and it’s my aim to help women feel confident whatever their body shape. You can find out more about how I can help you by visiting my website.