Autumn-Winter Style Guide

With the summer (what we had of it) now firmly behind us it`s time to focus on the Autumn/Winter 2011 season. Whether you need to know what is `in` for the daytime or the evening, a night on the tiles or a day at the office this guide will tell you what you should be seen in and what should go straight to the nearest charity shop.

If you have an office job you`ll know that looking good makes you feel good too. The 1960s are most definitely back and with TV shows like Mad Men being so influential in the world of fashion there`s nothing stopping you looking a million dollars in the workplace. A pussy-bow blouse tucked in to a high-waisted pencil skirt with some kitten heeled court shoes is a look that is professional, eye-catching and sophisticated as well as being surprisingly easy to wear. Accessorize simply with your hair clipped up and a skinny waist belt. This is a look that works on sizes 8-18 and if you`re going for drinks after work simply add killer designer shoes and shake your hair loose for a total Miss Moneypenny moment.

For those who find skirts impractical you`ll be pleased to know that wide-leg trousers are still bang-on-trend for this season. The palazzo pant is a look that harks back to the 1920s and has recently been favored by such stars as Charlize Theron. Worn with a long-line bra (also known as a bralet) and tied-up silk or cotton shirt it`s a look that is so Katherine Hepburn but you don`t need to be supermodel-tall to pull off this trend. Many high-street stores produce a petite range designed for women who are 5`3 and under. Add to that the fact that sky high heels and wedges have never been more fashionable and it`s easy to cheat your diminutive height. You can also get wide-leg jeans as an alternative to skinny jeans.

Don`t panic though! The skinny jean is showing no sign of disappearing. When the spray-on skinny jeans were seen 5 or so years ago on the likes of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham it left many ladies scratching their heads as to how they could pull off this look. Now their are many variations on the design and you can even get jeggings which are easy-to-wear denim-look leggings. Jeggings are perfect for a casual look. If you are curvier get yourself darker wash skinny jeans with pockets on the rear. Wear with knee high boots and a fitted shirt for an understated look or team with a vintage-esque silk camisole and strappy platform heels for a red-hot evening look.

As the days grow colder and all memories of the Indian summer fade it`s time to dig out your winter jackets. This season there are many different styles that are on-trend and nowadays your jacket should make as big a statement as what`s underneath it. If you`re lucky enough to see some milder weather why not team your favorite jumper with a faux-fur gilet? Yes, that look was big a few years ago thanks to Kate Moss and is now firmly back. You can also rock a suede gilet with a faux-fur trim. The leather biker jacket is also a popular garment for the Autumn and looks great with anything from jeans and a t-shirt to floral dresses. Another key piece for the season is a classic beige trench coat or mac. The high-street is awash with this flattering item but you could dare to be different and raid local vintage stores and charity shops for a mackintosh that has a bit of history about it.

Another look that is yet to die out is the leggings plus long top look. Whether you`re wearing your leggings with an over-sized cardigan and pumps or sky-high stilettos and a bodycon dress you`ll find you`ll want at least 3 pairs in your wardrobe. Glam up with sequined leggings if you dare!

A pair of leggings or thick black tights will take many of your summer outfits through to winter. In these tough financial times it`s great to have garments that have all year round wear-ability. Your favorite denim mini skirt will look just as great with a pair of tights and flat leather biker boots as it did a few months previously with bare legs and flip-flops. Similarly you can team your flimsiest summer dress with a chunky cardigan, leggings and ankle boots for a totally boho-chic look.

If you`ve got the legs for it then a cute little playsuit is still very much on the menu for the Autumn/Winter 2011 season. Playsuits are massive at the moment and there are a number of ways they can be worn. A 1940s style cotton or silk playsuit with culotte-style legs looks great with nude tights and brogues. A more 1970s hot-pants playsuit is best for evening wear with killer heels. Another great look for those with excellent legs is the bodycon dress. If it`s really holding you in this is a great choice if you`re going out for a big meal but if it`s got a high lycra content then only the flattest of stomachs should apply!

If you want to cover up and like a look that`s particularly elegant then you`ll be happy to know this is very much the year of the maxi. Jumpsuits are playsuits with full-length legs and a Grecian-style asymmetric jumpsuit with wide-legs is the perfect alternative to a maxi dress. The summer floral and plain jersey maxi dresses are easy to take through to Autumn with chunky knits and leather boots. Take care if you`re petite as the maxi look could swamp you. Make sure your maxi dress doesn`t trail on the floor and add some shape with a waist-belt.

With faux-fur and faux-leather now looking as good as the real thing it`s no longer necessary to spend a fortune on key items for your wardrobe. The high-street is now favoured by many celebs (even Beyonce was recently seen in a little number from Topshop and our newest royal, Kate Middleton, is a fan of Reiss and French Connection) and some items sell out in days, even from micro-budget stores such as Primark. Now that you can easily take many of your summer clothes through to these colder months you may not even need that many new items for the new season. Whether you like your clothes to be from the Polo Ralph Lauren range or are happy getting everything from Miss Selfridge, you can certainly afford to be fashion forward for Autumn/Winter 2011.

Comments are closed.