If fashion were the Olsen twins, last season would be Ashley and this season would be Mary-Kate. Spring/Summer was the season of the lady, but Autumn/Winter is a time for her edgier, darker sister, featuring rich brocade fabrics, black leather, optical prints and oversize layered shapes. Check out our summary of the key trends to watch for and start your shopping list now.
If you stocked up on florals last season, hang onto them for winter but darken it up by adding lace overlays and layering them with leather items. This season’s florals are much darker and far from girly – think Alice through the Looking Glass rather than Alice in Wonderland.
Last winter we saw jewel tones take over the high street, but this year the king of the Quality Streets will reign over us all – get set for a purple invasion! Amethyst eyes will be big beauty news, while violet shoes, dresses and coats will stretch across high streets as far as the eye can see. Mix and match your shades for a sumptuous sultry look.
Bigger is better when it comes to coats this season. Cocoon coats, billowing sleeves and dropped shoulders are where it’s at right now. This look is ideal for long and lean tomboy types or taller apple shapes, but avoid it if you’re petite as it can swamp littler frames.
The clashing prints trend will continue into this season, although they’ll be further amplified by wilder and richer colours. Sharp suits and tailored coats with clean lines will really enhance the optical illusion on geometric prints. This is a tricky trend to pull off on the high street, so if you’re on the fence try it out with accessories – a printed satchel or scarf can go a long way.
Back in the spring, Bristol Fashion Week host Mark Heyes told us to keep an eye out for leathers this season, “The catwalks for autumn had quite a gothic theme, with a lot of leather on show,” he advised. As usual, he was right – keep it chic by avoiding the gothic crimson lips and keeping your make up natural to soften the tough edges.
Velvet, silk and embroidered leathers were all over the catwalk for this season and this look is set to filter down to the high street, with rich damasks and brocades gracing coats, jackets and dresses near you soon. If it looks like something you’d find decorating a fancy French boudoir, you’re probably on the right track.
Cinched in waists are big news this season as last season’s girly peplums give way to belted middles. Adding a large belt on top of your jacket or coat in the same colour is a great way to elongate your torso and create an hourglass frame.
Silk floral fabrics are back again this season and work wonderfully layered up with heavier fabrics and leathers. Brocaded kimono jackets and obi belts are key items to look out for.
Country girl chic
Familiar country classics such as tweed and corduroy are good autumn staples to squirrel away in your wardrobe this year. Utility fabrics and earthy autumnal colours will be all over the high street, as will Fair Isle knits and brown leather boots.
Some girls refuse to blend into the background and if you’re one of them, invest in a funky fabulous coloured fur this season. Rainbow coloured furs brought sunshine to the darkness at Michael Kors this year and, if you’re on a high street budget, you’ll find fabulous faux furs at River Island that’ll really stand out this winter.