An A-Z of New Season Style

There are many people out there who feel that a new season means a completely new wardrobe.  Indeed, this is one of the main criticisms of the fashion industry, in that it promotes mindless consumerism.  However, I don’t believe that this is the case.  It is for the designers to come up with brand new collections several times each year, and it is for us to look at what we can pick and choose to insert into our existing wardrobe.

With this in mind, here is a brief synopsis of this season’s key trends.  Happy shopping!

A – Androgyny.  Each season this trend takes on a new guise, and this time round it’s all about slick tailoring teamed with slick hair.  Keep it feminine with a touch of red lipstick and colourful shoes.

B – Bomber jackets, the new must-have piece of outerwear.  Boots are also an essential item for anyone’s autumn/winter wardrobe.  This season sees the classic knee-high take centre stage once more.

C – Capes.  Wear with skinny trousers and high heels for a longer silhouette.

D – Dresses.  Whatever the weather, find one that makes you feel like you never want to take it off.

E – Evergreen.  Pine-needle green works as a great alternative to black for work wear.  Try it in the form of a blouse or court shoe.

F – Florals.  Usually the reserve of spring and summer, floral prints have made an unseasonal appearance.  Think less ditsy Liberty print, more big and bold statement.

G – Gold.  Whether it’s your accessories or clothing, it’s time to get your shine on.  Just be wary of turning into a bad 80s throwback.

H – Hats.  Arguably the must-have accessory of the season, hats add that little bit of drama to an outfit.  Fedoras, cloches, caps… the choice is yours.

I – Indigo.  Nails, bags, shoes or suits: all suit this versatile colour

J – Jewellery.  Autumn colours are naturally a bit more muted, so make your jewellery do the talking with bright splashes of jade, turquoise, silver and garnet.  Layer chunky necklaces for a modern update over workwear.

K – Knitwear.  Chunky knits, cable knits, slim silk knits… they’re all for the taking.  An elegant piece of cashmere is the perfect way to dress down a silk maxi skirt for day wear.

L – Legs.  Yes it’s getting a bit colder, and our summer tans have worn off, but that’s no excuse to hide behind trousers for the next six months.  Get your legs out in an array of brightly-coloured hosiery to set off that brand new pair of boots.

M – Men’s shoes.  If heels are a bit of a struggle, then why not try some brogues, Chelsea boots or loafers?  Best worn with skirts to keep the look more ladylike and less ladylump.

N – Neoprene.  The surprisingly successful fabric of the year.  Don’t go all out and wear a wetsuit; keep it subtle with a clutch bag or shoes.

O – Origami.  Structured shoulders, peplum waists and cocoon silhouettes are all key looks this season.

P – Pencil skirts.  This is not just for those sitting behind a desk.  When teamed with an embellished top and a pair of killer heels, a pencil skirt makes ideal evening wear.

Q – Quilted jackets.  Available at every price range, there’s nothing cosier than snuggling down into a padded collar and soft sleeves.

R – Regal.  You’d be hard-pushed to find a brand that hasn’t got something with a crested breast pocket or mini crown motif.  Tongue in cheek required.

S – Scarf.  So long summer silk, hello winter woolliness.

T – Trousers.  Yet another season of different shapes is upon us.  Palazzo pants make a great alternative to maxi skirts, and you can hardly move at the moment for the glut of seventies-style flares in ochre, plum and teal.

U – Umbrellas.  A true British staple, not to be left at home.

V – Velvet.  This fabric makes a comeback each year.  My personal favourite would be a velvet body teamed with cigarette pants.  Understated glamour at its best.

W – White.  How to convey luxury and glamour in one item of clothing.  Just watch out for buses and large puddles.

X – X-rated.  The fetish trend was going strong on this season’s catwalks.  While feather dusters and bondage boots might not be to everyone’s taste, there’s always room for a little lace or leather in your winter wardrobe.

Y – Yellow.  Less sunshine, more mustard.

Z – Zoo time.  Animal prints are still everywhere, albeit in a slightly more subtle way.

A/W ’11 – Wardrobe Pieces To Buy

This season is all about forties glamour, the return to the seventies, tartan, continuing with colour blocking and of course prints!

If you don’t fancy being a slave to fashion but would like some key pieces that are sure to spice-up your current wardrobe for the coming winter, then I recommend the following pieces:

1. A watch
A good watch is a classic fashion statement. As an accessory, they can make a simple but bold style statement. Often over-looked, so many watches I see today are middle of the road and just plain dull. Instead, why not make a style impact by looking at the ladies watch range from Michael Kors. It simply will not disappoint – it’s such a strong range that you are bound to find something to suit your taste.

2. Dress
A lime green belted dress, at £60 from Julien MacDonald at Debenhams adds a touch of 70’s to your look, and is set off by the gold metallic belt. This dress has lovely detail: the bow, the button down shirt and long sleeves with fitted cuffs.

3. Polka Dot
A shirt in polka dot is such a snazzy look. It’s both classic and very up to date. I like the Polka Dot shirt from Zara at £39.99. You can easily wear this shirt under a gilet or boyfriend blazer jacket. Alternatively, opt for a simple black and white polka dot tshirt, with black dots. Such a strong look for this season and can be worn off-duty and on – how you wear is up to you!

4. Blouse
Mint Velvet has some lovely blouses that are good for updating a wardrobe, making you feel very feminine. These are so soft to wear but also have the added benefit of covering your arms, whilst being see-through. This is a grown-up sexy look that a lot of my clients absolutely love!

5. Shoes
Kurt Geiger has the ultimate shoe selection for when you can’t find anything. I adore these Sooty boots, £190. They are good for elongating your legs with jeans, dresses or skirts.

6. Colour Blocking
Wallis do a lovely violet tier tunic that is on sale currently for a bargain price of £20. This is lovely item to wear with a purple bolero, as this colour combination is very striking! Worn with a pair of skinny jeans and pumps and you will have perfected the effortless day-time chic look.

7. Pencil Skirt
Lastly, invest in a classic black bandage skirt, from Mint Velvet at £79. The pencil skirt is the epitome of 40’s glamour. It is not only beautiful to wear but is hugely complementary on almost anyone. My clients love wearing this skirt and it really is the best pencil skirt I have seen in a few years! If you go for this, you won’t regret it, as it’s a good investment piece too.

Enjoy getting key pieces to update your Autumn Winter wardrobe? Buying less and getting it right is essential for getting a wardrobe that works for you. For any style questions or queries regarding getting a wardrobe that works around your current life then contact Cambridge-based personal stylist, Katie Bowen at www.styko-stylist.co.uk or on 07855 754487.

Images reproduced from debenhams.com, zara.com and wallis.co.uk

Affordable Celebrity Fall Fashions

Clara Freeman, City Connect’s American correspondent, turns her eye from Entertainment to take a look at what the fashion world is offering Stateside this season. Whether you call it Autumn or “Fall”, get ready for some hot fashion tips from Clara…

Okay, I’m sure everyone who’s anyone made an appearance at many of the September Fashion catwalks extending along the street haunts of New York City to the cobblestone sidewalks of the Paris elite where designers got to show off their best models adorned in Spring fashion. A memorable fashion frenzy of glitz, glamour and glam!

But, what’s in store for frugal fashionistas this Fall?

Fall became official on Sept 22nd. Already, consumers are being bombarded with answers to what’s appropriate and what’s not when purchasing clothes for Fall. Fashion is a big deal worldwide and if you’re not a celebrity fashionista, come join my pity-party, because neither am I. You can start by scouring the numerous fashion magazines to find the latest fashion styles and compare prices. Some of my favorites include the fashionable Vogue, InStyle Magazine, Essence Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.

But, that doesn’t mean we cannot live vicariously through celebritydom and at affordable prices to boot. If you follow fashion trends, you’ll know that many famous designer labels and big name Hollywood celebrities have their clothing placed with discount retailers where regular shoppers can get to feel like a celebrity, at less than half the price of a celebrity cost. Some of the designer labels include the following:

Missoni for Target – whose designs cost an entire website to crash during fashion week!

The Kardashian Dash Collections at Sears – can’t seem to get enough of those Kardashians.

Jennifer Lopez and estranged husband Mark Anthony recently unveiled individual clothing lines at Khols Department Stores.

Calvin Klein at Marshalls.

Isaac Mizrahi also at Target.

Jaclyn Smith offers age appropriate designs at Kmart and if you have a fetish for fab and affordable shoes, there’s Christian Siviano shoes and accessories at Payless Shoe Stores. The young designer has made a name for himself in celebrity fashion since winning Bravo’s Project Runway Fashion Design Competition during the show’s first season.

Now that you have an idea where to look for celebrity fall fashions that won’t empty your pockets, how about a few tips on what’s hot for fall and what’s not?

The look for fall includes everything from Polka Dot, Pastel, Navajo, Suede and leather, to peep toe booties. Some style mavens give a thumbs up to wearing summer pieces straight into Fall.

The emphasis is on creativity, pairing and knowing it’s ok to break traditional convention when it comes to wearing after season clothing. Some clothes given the green light to wear into Fall include:

  • Maxi dresses paired with chunky knit and belted at the waist.
  • Capri pants (fitted to the leg) worn with tall boots.
  • White trousers fitted with cashmere sweater and colorful elongated scarves.
  • White blazer paired with tweed fabric, printed blouse, or, leopard pants.

According to the fashion experts, the “it” top for Fall that every fashionista must have is the Turtleneck.

A true lover of gorgeous and age appropriate fashion, my motto continues to be: Have fun, think affordable, dress for comfort and look and feel like a billion bucks…