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AW18: 4 Key New Season Buys

Whilst it’s still officially holiday season, it is also (in fashion parlance) the new season. And, as much as we love the summer, we’re also willing to be diverted by the thrill of the novel, shiny and as yet unworn. So here are 4 key new season buys (which will work now and into AW). 

Sometimes I find myself bedazzled by the choice. Where to begin? This is a rhertorical question, as I’ve already decided how to answer it. I begin by thinking: what are the key pieces? Can I wear them (i.e. is it an outlandish trend better suited to a lithe 20-something?)? Do I need them? Also – can I wear them now (because I am impatient)? I love a good transitional piece.

The Dress

The dress is the ultimate trans-seaonal piece, in my humble opinion. Wear now with bare legs and sandals/trainers; swap for ankle boots (see above via hush) – with bare legs for as long as you can hold out, adding thick tights when you can take it no longer. I also like it layered over a fine polo neck; or under a knit (a chunky knit over a floral is A Good Look).

I make no apology for the autumnal palette of my edit. As we ease into darker evenings and mornings with a nip in the air, it just feels right. (Although if an Indian summer does decide to make an entrance, it will be very welcome indeed.) If you want to spend a little more, may I suggest Ghost (which is having a bit of a moment), Lily and Lionel (the dress above is one of theirs, available here); and Olivia Rubin (I love this for now and AW). Or try one of these… I’ve tried for a cross-section of styles and prices, here. I know – for instance – that Alex loathes a wrap dress (I don’t) and loves a maxi (I am still unconvinced that I can rock a maxi successfully). Also please note the preponderance of sleeves. Sleeves are good. 

1.  Green floral, £79.99, Mango; 2. Ruffled, £89, & Other Stories; 3. Maxi, £99, hush; 4. Shirt dress, £90, Boden; 5. Asymmetric hem, £89, hush; 6. Wrap dress, £27.99, New Look

The Check Blazer

If you already have one of these in wardrobe, then you are permitted a smug moment. For they are everywhere for AW – at every price point (the one above hits a slightly higher price via Massimo Dutti). Even better, I’m not convinced you have to spend oodles of cash to get the desired effect. Just opt for something slightly slouchy and over-sized, throw it over a tee and jeans, roll up the sleeves and ta-da! (Check you can upgrade to a knit underneath when the weather turns. Better to be too big than too small.)

1. Grey single breasted, £79.99, Zara; 2. Brown check, £32.99, New Look; 3. Double breasted, £34.99, H&M ; 4. Red check, £89, hush; 5. Bold check, £69.99, Mango

The Wide Leg Trouser

In ye old times, legend had it that wide leg trousers were not for shorties (like myself) unless they were worn with heels. This was all well and good when I wore heels every day (can you even imagine?) but when my life changed (i.e. I got older and became a parent and was perpetually in a rush/in pursuit of a child), I switched to flats and now hardly ever wear heels. I looked sadly at my tall friends, wearing their wide leg trousers with Katharine Hepburn-esque insouciance.

And then, last winter, I was tempted into a pair of wide leg navy trousers from good old M&S. I wore them with my £5 bargain trainers from H&M and – what joy! – actually got away with it. Comfort and style! (I sound like a pair of Hush Puppies.) I proceeded to wear them on a loop. The other way to wear wide trousers if you’re short but eschew heels, is to opt for a cropped length (which is also excellent for in-between-y weather, btw) – or find yourself a tailor.

Please – whatever your height – tuck your top in. A relaxed jumper and wide leg trousers is A Good Look, but an overly-relaxed jumper not tucked into your waistband just makes even the most blessed of figure look oblong. (See above example from Mango as a masterclass in how-to. Also look for paperbag waists: sounds awful, actually often very flattering.)

1.Mustard, £189, Me + Em; 2. Dogtooth check, £40, River Island; 3. Black £39.99, H&M; 4. Bright blue check, £39.99, Zara; 5. Cropped, £70, Boden

The Ankle Boot

Ankle boots are both a highly useful wardrobe item and a very practical one. They extend the longevity of midi dresses and skirts (opt for chunky (above via Asos) or biker boots if you want to toughen up your look; pointed heels if you mean business); work when teamed with trousers (wide leg or otherwise) or skinny/rolled-up boyfriend jeans.I wore mine (from Topshop but these are very similar) pretty much every day last winter – and even re-bought them in the sale to ensure I’d have a pair for this year.

This year’s crop of ankle boots (and there are a lot around) are a statement in themselves. Take your choice from print, suede, red (even metallic red), biker, pointed… For the sake of this edit/my sanity, I’ve kept the selection here to flat or low heeled options. 1.Biker, £89, Topshop; 2. Side stripe, £150, Boden; 3. Navy, £140, Boden; 4. Leopard print, £95.99, Zara; 5.Red, £65, M&S;  6. Snake effect, £69.99. Mango

There are two more big trend I really want to tackle: animal print and athleisurewear. But having started the research, I quickly realised they warrant a post apiece. So stay tuned…

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