Autumn/Winter Fashion Trends

What a shock! Summer seems to have simply leapt into winter this year and it’s quite appropriate that in the style stakes there’s no half way house either.  We’ve gone from forgiving florals and flowing unstructured lines straight to sharp tailoring and quality fabrics. Sherbet brights and techno prints have given way to classic colours and muted shades – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The two key themes emerging this year could be bad news for those of us with less than perfect bodies and less than perfect bank accounts. The first is all about emphasising your curves and highlighting your figure and following on from this, the second is about buying the highest quality cut and fabric you can afford. Working around these challenges is a task in itself which I’ll tackle next time, but within these themes there are some very clear trends emerging.

Camel is of course the big story – it must be – even my husband picked up on it last week. Certainly a high quality camel coat is seen as the key staple of every wardrobe this year – in every style from fitted and formal to boxy and loose and worn over this year’s tightly fitting suit or faded denims and boots.  Many are saying camel is the new black but because of its ubiquity be careful how much you buy as I’m not sure how wearable the colour will prove to be in future seasons.

Obviously if you have cool colouring, avoid it like the plague near your face! If you want to add some camel to your wardrobe find a skirt or a pair of trousers &/or use it in your accessories – bags, belts and shoes. Otherwise contrast it with a pretty white blouse, black or grey tailoring, denim and muted reds or blues.

If you have warm colouring, enjoy and have fun! Springs – look for light clearer camels – try soft golds, peach, apricot and vanilla.  Autumns can go for the deeper, muted rich camel as well as amber and caramel. But remember top to toe camel isn’t necessary a good idea for most of us – we aren’t all going to look like jumpsuit clad, Ducatti riding  Keira Knightley in her latest Chanel ad.

As an alternative to the camel, the other colour of the season is grey – charcoal fitted suits are in all the shops and different shades of grey layer brilliantly.  I’ve even seen some great grey leopard prints – an easy way to wear this trend.

There’s definitely a Mad Men influence this season with Betty Draper fit and swirl dresses and long pencil skirts.

Cigarette pants are also a key theme this year, showing just the right amount of ankle and cut high at the waist.

Wear these looks with kitten heels, or as a total contrast mannish brogues or block heels. For those of you wanting a little volume try high waisted, wide legged trousers or flared skirts, and team both with tailored tops – even tucked in blouses.

However, the maxi dress is still with us. It’s morphed into a much more sophisticated style with jersey fabrics and muted colours.

Maxi skirts have also returned and there are plenty coming in to the shops this season.

Contrasting with all this restraint is texture and bulk. Gone is our buttery leather and in its place shearling jackets and aviator jackets. The jury’s out on whether to go for real or fake but whatever you do, go for contrast. Team with chunky knitwear or last season’s lace and enjoy the new shades of browns and creams that are such a part of this look. For a harder edge, biker style is still with us and military jackets are still widely available – but with a twist. In these as with all things texture is the key so look for crushed velvets, leopard prints, tweeds and brocades.

If you want to be really cutting edge wear a cape or a kilt – but certainly not together if you don’t want to look like Little Red Riding Hood.

Autumn/winter would be nothing without a bit of sparkle – fitted shift dresses with heavy embellishments around the neckline are perfect for the not so curvy girl and diamonds are appearing on almost everything.Plain pumps have been transformed into Cinderella slippers, there are sparkles on bags and we’re seeing crystal jewellery everywhere. Luckily too, for those of us without perfect pins, dark lace tights and opaques have been welcomed back onto the scene and those old favourites, over the knee boots are still with us. However ditch last year’s across the body bags – they are all wrong for the tailored look which is modern and minimal.  The saddlebag is back, but look out for versions with short straps to be clutched or worn over the arm.


Finally we mustn’t forget our men folk – the military look has now passed them by and we’re seeing slim black jeans, cardigans and striped crew necks. Trench coats, Sherlock Holmes style capes and ribbed scarves are big wardrobe essentials giving an eclectic style which is easy to wear and seems ‘thrown together’.

Next time I’ll be looking at the tricky task of how to wear this seasons fashions if you don’t have an hourglass figure, if you’ve too much of an hourglass figure or if camel simply doesn’t suit you. Happy shopping!

Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes and Camel Coats