Thursday, 25 October 2012

Going hell for leather

If there's one fabric you should be investing in this season then it's leather. Once the type of fabric you wouldn't have dreamt of wearing on anything other than shoes and outerwear, leather has crept its way onto a variety of other clothing items and is more versatile than ever for AW12.

Leather has become highly wearable: find it on t-shirts, skinny trousers, pleated skirts and the little leather dress, as seen on Leigh Lezark (above image). I have no particular preference to real leather over 'pleather': the quality of the latter has improved vastly and most high street stores offer good quality pleather for a fraction of the price of a real leather alternative. Wear with denims, crisp whites, grey marl and khaki for a relaxed day look.

Alexander Wang aw12 

Markus Lupfer aw12

The below are just a selection of all the high street has to offer. I picked up the Zara dress myself this week and it is my favourite new item: a great way to work leather into your smart-casual work wardrobe without going all out.

Prices, L-R:
Khaki panel jumper, Zara, £35.99
Pleated skirt, Warehouse, £40
Panelled leggings, Miss Selfridge, £30
Panelled black dress, River Island, £35
Sleeve detail top, River Island, £30
Burgundy shorts, River Island, £30
Trimmed black dress, Zara, £49.99


Monday, 1 October 2012

The coats the thing

Writing this from my room, trying to avoid looking out the window at the hideous weather. And to think, just under a month ago I was basking in the sun in Morocco. Sad face.

But the rubbish weather does have one (small) upside; it is finally time to crack out a great winter coat or two. I remember thinking how boring coats were when you only really had the option to buy black or grey, waist length or down to the knee, single or double breasted. Not any more!

If you're buying high street you can afford to pick up a couple of different styles in order to keep your Autumn outfits fresh and interesting. Here's my pick of the high streets AW12 offerings:

(Clockwise, from top left)

Navy longline biker jacket, New Look, £54.99
I may be biased as I bought this coat a couple of weeks ago and have been wearing it ever since but navy is the easiest colour to wear this Autumn-Winter. Goes perfectly with the AW12 palette of khaki, oxblood, teal and charcoal grey but also looks great worn over a bright tee or blouse.

Cranberry faux fur jacket, Miss Selfridge, £95
I love the glamorous look of a faux fur jacket but sometimes find them bulky on my petite frame. The waist tie on this jacket rectifies that issue perfectly; wear with skinny jeans, chunky black ankle boots and big blow-dried hair.

Black bomber jacket, Warehouse, £85
I love the masculine feel of this jacket, be careful to style it proportionately on the bottom half to balance out the loose fit.

Mint knitted jacket, H&M, £99.99
Who says a winter coat needs to be in a dark shade? The minty colour of this H&M coat for some reason makes me think of the White Witch from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe... but a nice version. One of the most expensive of my coat picks but will help you to stand out from the crowd and just think how good it will look on a snowy day...

Military contrast sleeve jacket, Mango at ASOS, £99.99
Contrast sleeves are everywhere this Autumn-Winter and this jacket looks like it would be roomy enough to fit over a chunky knit or two. A more grown-up shade of khaki than some on the high street making for a subtle way of adapting the military trend into a working wardrobe.

Black quilted detail jacket, Warehouse, £95
If you still favour a black jacket then this should be the one: quilt detail, nipped in waist and overall a flattering jacket that will work well with the majority of your wardrobe. Make the most of a slim figure by wearing it tied-up at the waist and turn the collar up for that classic Burberry-esque look.

Khaki contrast sleeve jacket, Warehouse, £95
Another great Warehouse coat (they are on fire for AW12!) and this is a perfect casual coat for lazy weekends. Another example of contrast sleeves with the extra interest from the shearling detail on the collar.

Tartan and fur detail jacket, River Island, £85
This jacket caught my eye for it's individuality: tartan detail (a strong choice for Autumn-Winter) paired with a faux fur trim makes for a good combination in my eyes. Wear with black and lots of it  to keep warm and stylish in the cold.