COATS: My Top Choices

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If there is one thing you should invest in this season it’s a good coat… and a great pair of boots of course, but for now we’ll concentrate on outerwear.

I personally think it’s best to opt for a coat that suits your lifestyle and body shape, rather than fitting in with the latest trend. A good coat should last you a few years, and you can always update the look with faux fur collars, new buttons and silk/wool scarves.  Or, if feeling flush, you could buy several each season, it’s up to you!

If you are going for one investment piece – opt for a dark colour (marks won’t show up prior to dry cleaning) and opt for a classic cut and shape.  It’s easy to add style statements and pops of colour with accessories (printed scarves, woolen hats and leather gloves). If you’ve decided to get more than one this season, then you can afford to be a little more daring with the second – like the two at the bottom from Net-a-Porter and Oxygen Boutique…

Here are my favourites and why…

This parka from Zara is versatile, warm and would suit those who like their wardrobes to be a little more casual. On trend but still a classic piece.

Zara – £239

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This contemporary coat is from Ashley B at Harvey Nichols. It’s smart, simple and fun with the faux fur. Great for petite girls…

Ashley B at Harvey Nichols – £655

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Reiss are perfect for classic timeless wardrobe staples, and this coat is no exception. If you’re after waist definition even over layers, then choose a coat with a waist belt.  However, ladies on the shorter side should steer clear of long coats. This will swamp your figure.

Reiss – £350

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If you can’t resist a bit of colour, then why not go for a coat in a dark forest green like this one below from COS. They, like Reiss, always produce well-designed, simple, classic cuts and this is a beautiful piece, which would look equally as amazing with those with auburn hair, brown hair and bright blonde.

COS – £150

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Add a little leather, and instantaneously add a little sex appeal.. This no fuss design from Whistles, is fabulous and flattering for those with a smaller bust. Tall ladies can show off longer legs, whilst shorter ladies appear taller, with the cut about the knee.

Whistles – £250

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For those on a budget, this coat from Topshop is ideal. For warmer autumn days remove the detachable faux fur collar, and re-attach to beat the chill.  Being slightly cocooned shape this coat will give room for layering underneath.  Do not opt for a coat like this if your legs are on the skinny side, it will only exaggerate this.

Topshop – £110

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I just LOVE Sophie Hulme bags, but now she has won me over with this classic tailored coat with knit sleeves from Matches. Adding more of a design element, this two-tone coat is classic in design, yet contemporary in colour and texture. Perfect if you’re tall and slim.

Sophie Hulme at Matches – £665

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For ladies who find it difficult to find coats that flatter because they are on the curvier side, opt for coats with a slight A-line, and also a belt around the middle for extra waist definition. For larger busted ladies, leave the coat open at the top, rather than buttoned up all the way. This pleated coat by J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams is perfect.

J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams – £150

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The Outnet are my go-to place for designer pieces that are timeless and ‘season-less.’  The camel coat is a wardrobe staple and looks beautiful when paired with dark brown leather. Simple, classic and withstands the test of time.

Helene Berman at The Outnet – £150

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Below is my favourite choice, from my favourite High Street store, Zara. I tried this on but size 8 didn’t give much room for layering (always go for a size bigger if you want to wear that chunky knit underneath).  I shall hopefully be purchasing this online later today.  I love the texture contrast, and I’m influenced by edgy, (generally black!) designs.

Zara – £139

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If you really feel the cold, then opt for a faux fur.  This Alice & Olivia coat from Oxygen Boutique is a beautiful colour, and  a lovely fur texture – unlike some, which when faux, look cheap. This boxy shape will add structure to the shoulders for those with wider hips.

Alice & Olivia at Oxygen Boutique – £310

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And finally, here’s my favourite from the selection.  On the more expensive side, this Haider Ackermann coat from Farfetch is just beautiful.  The colour looks great with black or brown leather – and it’s perfect for both blondes and brunettes.  It is tailored so well and being longer length it’s perfect for the taller ladies.

Haider Ackermann at Farfetch – £1,045

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And, if you’re more daring, simply choose a coat with splashes of bright colour….

Chalayan at Net-a-Porter – £1,845

Aiko at Oxygen Boutique – £390

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Those boots are made for…

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I love when the season changes to autumn winter in the fashion world, for one main reason. Black boots – flat boots, heeled boots, shoe boots, knee-high boots…

To some people they all look the same, to me, they are all works of art, architectural beauties which elevate you and are the perfect finish to an otherwise casual look.

Here are my top choices for the season ahead…

Topshop £120

Chloe at Farfetch £395

Stella McCartney at Farfetch £590

Zara £59.99

Reiss £195

Madonna at Selfridges £130

I really can’t decide which ones I like best – maybe I could get them all at a reasonable grand total of £1,489.99…?  Think I’ll be purchasing a few scratch cards tomorrow…

xx

Key Pieces for an Autumn Wardrobe

08.10.11

The summer dresses, the sandals and the sunglasses can all be packed away for another year, for the arrival of autumn is well and truly here.  Now is a time to embrace the (faux) fur, the chunky knit and the sturdy heel.

There are certain trends to keep in mind when creating a perfect base for a stylish Autumn/Winter wardrobe and within this selection of staple pieces you’ll be creating several looks adapted from main season trends, which will see you through well into the next year, with some even working well for SS12.

*Click on the images to be taken to the websites for purchase and scroll to the bottom if you’d like to see how I’d style these pieces into looks.*

Start your search with a coat.  A coat will be worn every single day now the colder months have arrived and so it’s important to get it right.  This one here is from Topshop – a simple shape, lending itself to the androgynous trend, with pleather detailing on the collar.  Dark in colour, smart and long enough to keep you warm – a fantastic investment at just £85.  If you can, also think about investing in a warm jacket too – a bit of a pricey one, this is £395 from All Saints, but timeless and will last you for a good few years, looking better over time.

A good pair of boots is another first buy.  French Connection shoes are of great quality, and these sturdy heeled biker boots (£180) are no exception.  With a good grip and metal detailing they are the perfect compromise between comfort and cool. I own them (as you probably are aware, considering I keep harping on about them!) and I absolutely love them.

Get yourself a pair of jeans too.  Skinny jeans aren’t everyone’s preference but if you like wearing them, they’re great under higher ankle boots or rolled up at the ankle to wear cropped with loafers.  These ones, pictured, are by Citizens of Humanity at Harvey Nichols (£210).  If you don’t fancy the super skinny option, go to the other extreme and opt for flares.  Very on trend and perfect at balancing out the body shape.  I’m pretty tempted to get some bell bottoms to go with my floppy 70’s style hat.

A chunky oversized knit is essential to a wardrobe, whether a man or woman, and one like this would be my choice.  A vintage knit is a way to keep your wardrobe unique and will keep you cosy and stylish, like this one from online store, Yayer (£35), whether worn with skinny’s and loafers (a great casual option, seen below – Hunters by Office £80), or under a winter woollen coat.

To build on these staple pieces, acquire yourself a Breton long sleeved tee like this one from Jaeger (£80)– timeless, classic and great for layering, a chunky knit scarf in red – the colour to be seen in this autumn (H&M £6.99), a faux fur collar – dress up your coat and jacket for snug glamour (H&M £12.99), a yellow silk top or blouse – the colour will continue to reign in SS12 and this is perfect to use for colour blocking (Reiss £90), and some metallic accessories – metallic is a key trend for AW11, so these will jazz up your jeans and allow you to shine into the new year (Belt £22.99 and Clutch £59.99 both Zara).

And finally, to complete your AW11 wardrobe, a dress like this one pictured (Topshop £50)) is a fabulous way to enhance your evening or daytime options.  Winter florals in red and brown hues are so pretty, and if it’s too girly for you, toughen it up with the chunky knit scarf, black opaques, boots and leather jacket and grunge it up with lots of silver chunky jewellery.  The midi length is also very much on trend.  The one below, the maxi ($214), is from Spanish Moss Vintage – my favourite online store.  A maxi is a great transitional piece through to the new season.

You don’t have to follow the fashion trends as they are on the catwalk, adapt them to your body shape and skin tone.  Don’t wear a colour just because it’s in trend, it may not suit you.  Add in accessories to introduce micro trends, build on your staple pieces and voila – the perfect winter wardrobe!

And here’s how I’d wear these key pieces (as well as piling on the silver and gold jewellery)… 





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