I’m now fully in A/W dressing mode and loving all the new season stuff that’s hitting the rails. On the high street, Zara and Mango are really knocking it out of the park, with animal and check prints featuring heavily. Some trends seem to come around every year, which is great because you don’t have to buy anything new. But fashion always throws up a few surprises and these can really divide opinion.
While I keep up to date with fashion trends I’m not interested in one season wonders. I prefer to invest in the styles that have longevity, which benefits both your bank balance and the environment. So if you’re looking to update your wardrobe for the new season I’ve picked out five major fashion trends for Autumn/Winter 2018 that you’ll wear over and over again.
Arguably the most prominent trend for Autumn is animal print. While it never goes out of fashion, suddenly it’s everywhere; leopard, snake, cheetah and zebra prints are BIG this season! I’m certainly not complaining 😉 I’m sure most of us have some animal print in our wardrobes, even if it’s just a bag or belt. That’s the beauty of this particular trend, you can go as subtle or as bold as you fancy. I’m more in the bold camp, but if you want to dip your toe in the water, then accessories are a good starting point.
Another group of prints that are popular right now is what I’d loosely term check. Tartan, plaid, houndstooth and Prince of Wales check prints seem to feature every A/W. This year they’re bold, colourful and guaranteed to brighten up a dull Winter’s day. If wearing head-to-toe tartan is your thing then Zara has some great co-ord sets. But if understated is more your style, opt for houndstooth or a more desaturated check print. A big tartan blanket scarf is one of my favourite accessories when the weather turns really cold. I wear it doubled up around my neck outside, and use it as a shawl indoors.
No longer confined to the boardroom, trouser suits (or pant suits) have made the transition from office wear to street style. They definitely don’t have to be dull or boring, not when there are so many colourful ones to choose from. (And don’t forget that you can wear your suit as separates for multiple outfit options). Go for full on glamour with a silky pussybow blouse and heels, or for a smart casual look wear with a slogan T-shirt and some classic Stan Smiths.
For an edgier option team your suit with another of this season’s big trends: chunky trainers. I decided not to include these on my list of major trends because a) I think a lot of people find them quite ugly, and 2) I suspect they’ll soon look a bit dated. (You just watch me be proved wrong now!) They’re certainly not as versatile as simple white tennis shoes. But if you haven’t got upwards of £500 to drop on a pair of Balenciaga Triple S trainers, there’s always good old Zara with some budget versions (which I actually prefer). I don’t yet own a matching jacket and trousers set, but it’s top of my list of new season purchases.
In my late teens I had a pair of cowboy boots that I wore pretty much every day. I’m sure I even wore them all through Summer too. They were so comfortable, and as I lived in jeans they were my go-to footwear. Back in those days I only had a few pairs of shoes and boots (hard to imagine, I know!) so by the time they had to be retired they were like old friends. In fact, the only reason I stopped wearing them was because they got wet and went mouldy, otherwise I’d be digging them out and wearing them now!
If the traditional cowboy boots are are a bit too “yee haw” for your taste, try a pair of Western style ankle boots. I like the ones with buckles, but there are plenty without, in various colours and prints and finishes. The shorter styles look great with jeans as well as maxi dresses for a boho vibe. The boots in the photo below are really comfortable, and and even though I’ve had them a while they’re still available in most sizes from Asos.
Remember when the Queen made a surprise visit to London Fashion Week in February where she sat on the FROW of British designer Richard Quinn’s show? Well, that might give us a clue as to why scarf print is making such an impact this season. Her Maj presented the first ever Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to Richard Quinn, who is an emerging talent celebrated for his screen printing. The show featured outfits made in a patchwork of silk scarves and models wearing headscarves. But Quinn isn’t the only designer to showcase scarf prints; they also made an appearance in the Versace, Balenciaga and Vetements A/W 2018 collections.
As with all catwalk looks, scarf prints have trickled down to the High Street, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy into the trend. A maxi dress and boots makes for a stylish outfit, which you can layer a biker jacket over. Or team palazzo trousers and a silky blouse or camisole for an evening out, topped off with a velvet jacket. If neither of those take your fancy, a scarf tied at the neck instantly elevates a plain shirt or T-shirt. You can even tie it around your handbag for a more subtle option.
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