Since posting my Autumn Style update last month I have been asked again and again – how do I wear that? I’ve been told that capes are for super heroes, fitted outfits are great on a fit body, camel’s good for no one but camels and that it’s all very well buying the best you can afford but that’s no good if you can’t afford very much.
The solution of course is to be choosy. Slavish copying of the latest fashions is fine for teenagers but as you move on a little you learn what suits and what doesn’t. The trick is to use new trends like seasoning – a little of the right stuff here and there adds freshness and zing. Too much is over powering and you lose the essence of the dish – too little and the result is bland and boring.
So let’s take a look at some of the more tricky trends this season:
The trick with capes is to wear them and not let them wear you. Search for versions with movement and flair – all capes are not cut the same so find a fit that suits your body. If you are small, mid thigh length – or shorter – is best.
If you are taller you can get away with a longer length and also choose patterns. However my advice is to wear heels with this look, whatever your body shape, to avoid a school uniform style. Even better – there are some super capes on the market with belt holes, so the cape can be cinched around the waist doubling up as a fitted jacket.
In some ways it’s a shame that camel is such a big story this season as there are some lovely pieces out there which could become real wardrobe classics if we don’t all become sick of the hue. Camel blazers and camel coats are long overdue in the stores as we need something to edge out all that ubiquitous black. We’ll have to keep an eye on the catwalks to see where that trend is going next year. Unfortunately camel can be a double edged sword. On the “wrong” person camel can be flat, hairy, bland and unflattering. However on the right person it can be stunning, warm, fluid and skin enhancing. To wear this trend you really need to understand your skin tone and know what’s flattering – and you must try before you buy as you really can’t tell what your chosen shade will do for you until it’s near your face. And don’t forget – the news this season is contrast. So if camel is not great near your face wear it further down your body and perhaps mix with faded blue denim, with charcoal grey or with cobalt brights – somewhere there’s sure to be a colour combination for you.
For those of us who haven’t tucked our blouse in for a long time this feels like a fashion disaster. There’s simply nowhere for those bums, tums and boobs to hide. But the good news is this – choose well and you can say goodbye to muffin tops, exposed midriffs and the pregnant look. Try a lined dress instead of a pencil skirt / blouse combo and wear it with a matching fitted jacket. As an alternative for the Betty Draper look – forget the full skirt and go for a perfect straight cut dress, sleek, smooth and with clever detailing. This is the key area where spending as much as you can will pay off.
There’s also good news if the hourglass figure you always craved passed you by and left you with a boyish silhouette. You can always add some shape with pleats, pin tucks and even peplums. You can get away with pencil skirts and little white blouses, and use short fitted jackets to create or define a neat little waist.
These are pretty much everywhere and one of the easier choices for this season – but watch those big collars, straps and belts if you have a fuller figure or fuller bust – go for sleeker longer cut versions, avoid double-breasted versions and keep the accessories to a minimum.
I think we are all aware by now that less is more when it comes to leopard print or indeed animal prints in general. Why not try this kind of print on a lovely pair of shoes, a cute handbag, bangles or scarves. It’s a trend that comes and goes on a fairly regular basis so why not invest in some classic accessories to pull out of the wardrobe when an emergency style update is called for.
This season is all about femininity, glamour and “grown-up” style. I’m sure we all welcome a bit more of that into our lives so choose what you like and what suits you and ignore the rest. And don’t forget – if that flirty little cape or that tailored dress takes your eye don’t discard it out of hand – try it on – you never know, you just might look a million dollars.