Part One – Autumn Winter 2018 Fashion Trends
I have picked my six top fashion trends for the new season to give you a head start in planning your winter wardrobe. Not all of these trends will appeal to you, and some may not suit your colouring, body shape, lifestyle or personality. If you need one-to-one advice please do take a look at my new website (), where you will find a list of my personal styling services. I’ve split the trends into two different newsletters and part two will follow soon.
I’m a big fan of longevity, cost-per-wear and investment pieces and not a great fan of fast fashion trends. Most of the outfits I post on Instagram and Facebook are items I’ve had for many years. Although at the time of purchase they were‘on trend’, this may no longer be the case. But it doesn’t stop me wearing them if I still love them. So think really hard about this before buying an item, regardless of the price tag and whether or not it’s fashionable.
1. Tweed Thrills
Tweed originated in Scotland in the eighteenth century. The key thing to remember when wearing tweed is to keep the scale of the tweed small and the item of clothing fitted, otherwise it will overwhelm you and date quickly. Tweed comes in different weights, so an overcoat will be heavier than, say, a dress. If you do want to make a statement, especially with a coat, then go bold and big with the check or twill. Genuine tweed can be scratchy on the skin and doesn’t have much give, so it can feel cumbersome to wear. However, there are a lot of look-alike tweeds on the market which are not made with the traditional coarse cloth woven from pure virgin wool and these can feel a little softer.
If it’s authenticity you’re after, one of the most famous makes is Harris Tweed. I had the pleasure of working with them in my former life as a buyer of men’s jackets for Marks and Spencer. In order to regulate and protect the fabric from imitations, in 1909 they created the Harris Tweed Orb certification mark – the oldest British mark of its kind – which stipulated that ‘only tweeds woven in the Outer Hebrides’ would qualify.
I found this brilliant website ‘That British Tweed Company’ which is exploding with Tweed clothing for men and women at very competitive prices:
2. ’70s Sepia
As the name suggests, this is definitely the ‘throwback’ style. The palette tends to be muted and soft with lots of warm browns, greens, and reds – think autumn leaves with an injection of soft whites and creams. The silhouette is not structured, but loose and carefree. It can look amazing, but one word of caution: what will kill or make your look will be your choice of footwear. With a looser silhouette, a heeled shoe, lace-up or boot will work best. This is because volume and looser fitting clothes can make you look shorter by adding width, especially if you are under 5ft 7” and a heel will add length to your legs and silhouette. Prints might be a mix of ’20s and ’30s deco/graphic, geometrics, retro florals, ginghams–even tweed.
To avoid looking like a piece of furniture or the soft furnishings of your grandparents’ home, wear plain colours or wear prints in contemporary cuts, such as asymmetric hemlines or off-the-shoulder silhouettes. Avoid accessorising with too much jewellery; the look is busy enough without a necklace. Opt for simple studs or drop earrings.
This season’s picks: Cream dress from Zara £69.99 and Patchwork dress for £79.99 also from Zara
3. Animal Instinct
I am ashamed to admit that it was not until this year that I purchased my first ever animal-print item (a shirt from J Crew). Why the delay? Well, it’s certainly a look for ‘Dramatic’ personality types (and although you may beg to differ, I don’t think of myself as one of those). And you have to be really careful that this look doesn’t appear cheap or tacky – I’m sorry, but there is no polite way of putting it. Wearing animal print is a statement look which says,‘I’m comfortable in my skin, so take a look at me’– which is brilliant. Here are my tips for not looking like Jackie Collins:
Don’t wear it head-to–toe
Avoid wearing more than one animal print at a time
Think about the fabric; natural fibres work best (cotton, linen, wool, silk, silk velvet, chiffon silk).
An elegant alternative is to accessorise neutral items of clothing with an animal-print scarf, bag or shoes. My favourites are this J Crew slim fit shirt for £56 and these Dune kitten heels at £75 or the J Crew flats:
So there you have it! Good luck and do give me a shout if you need any colour or styling advice this season.