Need some fashion wardrobe tips - Give new life to your
image, assess what aspects of your silhouette can take the strongest elements of the new season.
The best wardrobe tips are that you don't forget the importance of an up to date hairstyle, which is regularly trimmed and colour maintained. Also realise the importance of
the hot accessory or current colour trends. If you prefer to wear classics and many women do, updating to this season's colours and getting a new hairdo can reinvigorate your image no end.
Image courtesy of Miss Selfridge.
Then when updating your wardrobe review the items you already own.
Research also suggests that whilst women love new fashions the most important factors when choosing anything for their wardrobe is colour and fit.
This autumn, colours are more sombre with odd splashes of vibrant hues such as gold, red or purple which add a welcome burst of passion to the muted powdery palette. So, first
read my pages on the main fashion looks for Autumn 2006/7 and check out the latest fashion colours as well as scrolling this wardrobe tips page.
When you assess any new looks work your way down the body as I explain in the How to Assess a Fashion Look pages in my Image Planning section here (part 1) and here (part 2). Keep these steps in mind as you regularly tidy up your wardrobe and
review the contents.
As you reassess your clothes rails, consider what items are the backbone of any good wardrobe.
Can you always put your hand on the basics that take you anywhere. Often very simple items with a good cut, but which are quality garments are the ones your hand reaches for. Ask
yourself how often you have had to go somewhere at short notice and your hand just immediately honed in on say that go anywhere fits most occasions taupe trouser suit.
Dark olive, plum, navy, chocolate, charcoal grey, silver grey, taupe, champagne or camel always
work well for the basics such as coats or jackets. In autumn/winter a good winter coat, a wearable trouser suit, an edgy (cropped) jacket, a handful of basic cashmere knit sweaters with
different necklines, a shrug or waisted cardigan or cardigan coat, smooth line tops, perfect black trousers, well cut jeans, a great simple dress are the mainstays of a well turned out women?
Make sure you have these basic items before you move onto fashion fads. The items can still all be the latest cut in the fall colours of 2006.
Fashion wardrobe tip - Visualise putting an existing sweater with a newly purchased jacket
that has an up-to-the-minute collar or sleeve. Choose it in the season's hot new colour and already you know you are half way there. Not every item needs to be this seasons, but
some items must flow onward with new shapes and new cuts. Top garments like coats and jackets are what an onlooker sees first, so try to get this bit correct for you. This season it
could be a cropped jacket, a swing trapeze jacket, a posh parka, a Balenciaga effect cocoon coat or a 60s number.
Details are below and on the main looks page. It's often the small
details like a deep elongated cuff with masses of tiny buttons or the use of exceptionally large saucer effect buttons that make a look seem fresh. So KEY silhouette and theme trends to
consider adding to your wardrobe for autumn winter 2006/7 include:
Fabrics in earthen tones or greys, or black and white schemes
Mannish styling, borrowed from the boyfriend touches
High waisted trousers. Forget pelvic slung hipsters
Skinny trouser or oversized
extra wide slouchy trousers
Smarter understated new Chic Classics - clothes devoid of Boho
Frills and flounces
Lace and openwork mesh fabrics
Bobbed hair styles or chignons
flats, animal print shoes, equestrian and biker boots
Interesting hosiery, leggings or skinnies
The perfect accessory - big bag, mammoth bag, small bag, new clutch bag
The reaction of some to the maximum ornamentation of Boho fashion is now to pare it down and bring a new minimalism into fashion. New Fashion Trend directions advocate the cleaner,
sharper, nouveau looks of minimalism. These minimalist looks are likely to soon wipe out the cluttered excesses of Boho over styling.
Extra volume in clothing is everywhere. The general silhouette is showing a growing acceptance of fullness in all areas. That easy fullness is likely to last a year or so before it
begins to deflate to more form fitting lines again.
Rules for Wearing Volume Autumn Winter 2006/7
Fashion Wardrobe Tip - Whatever your physique the trick to carrying off volume is to avoid choosing a garment that makes the body look over burdened with masses of fabric. You do not want
to look like a walking duvet!
If you have a wide collar opt for a streamlined look below the collar line.
If you have volume in your sleeves try to have some waist definition.
If you wear full wide trousers, top them with a body defining neat top or a cropped jacket.
If you wear skinny jeans or leggings you can afford to have a more voluminous garment like a down puffy parka or fur trimmed jacket/gilet on the top half.
Do avoid wearing a full bubble or full 50's skirt with a smocked yoked blouse with big balloon sleeves and a massive wide turnover picture collar. If you wear the bubble skirt make sure
the top half has a closer fitting bodice, sleek jacket or knit.
If you have good waist, but saddle bag thighs cover the thighs with a cinched waist fuller skirt with hemline interest.
Wear volume to look up to date, but wear volume in moderation.
Think of this volume in moderation rule before you buy.
Hats and hoods are an up and coming trend especially visors and packable hats. If you like hats choose an Oliver Twist cap or a large oversized knitted ribbed beanie or a big fur Russian
hat. Hats in style are either large and voluminous or small and peaked. Or cheat and buy some form of hooded garment usually a fur trimmed hood.
Fashion Wardrobe Tip - One of the most important features we'll see this winter
is the change in necklines/collar types.
Necklines have an air of volume about them. They are larger, wider or
higher. Choose from fabric large wide set bertha or face framing picture collars, wider Jackie Kennedy princess style neat turnover collars to super high funnel neck collars.
Nathan Jenden models wore Napoleonic stand necks
on shirt blouse jackets. In addition some designers are using much, much wider lapels 70s style. There were oversized 1970s collars and lapels at Matthew Williamson. Valentino created
a layered coat over a double coat effect so there appeared to be two collars of contrast coordinating fabrics.
Fur shawl collars are also seemingly larger than ever before in their width.
These shapely collars are often teamed with roomy coats of cocoon volume as this photo left shows.
Whilst the big collar makes the biggest statement, neat collars are also a
stunning way to update. This fall, 60s influenced contrast white or cream Peter Pan collars and cuffs add perky interest to some of the duller charcoal and grey outfits around.
Evening looks featured strapless dresses or goddess asymmetric gowns. Although not strictly a neckline, but more a décolletage, strapless dresses and bustier strapless
tops are a big style this winter. Such strapless tops are often trimmed with fur or faux fur.
Ruffles are also used to create volume at the neck. Ruffles stand up on end, flounce in falls or are used as tiny pleated micro inserts between neckline/collar facings edges and cuffs.
Fashion Wardrobe Tip - Sleeves are currently one of the most forward looking areas of fashion interest. Sleeves styles are defining often minute small changes which have an effect of
seeming to instantly update a garment. A garment with a just below elbow balloon sleeve or a bell sleeve looks correct for autumn. ¾ sleeves were seen at Caroline Herrera.
The most important new sleeve shape is a revived style from the house of Balenciaga. Balenciaga first showed a collection in Paris in 1937. For 30 years Balenciaga dominated
fashion as the most influential couturier. The Balenciaga style cutting on coats and jackets has reintroduced us to a fulsome easy sleeve design Balenciaga often used 50 years ago.
I think of this now as the Bal sleeve.
These same neat double breasted, sometimes empire line coats most often have very large buttons. There is no doubt that the Balenciaga effect is here to stay for a while, so this is a
good look to buy into.
Clearly we can see more volume in all sleeves. There is a lower fullness to sleeves as seen in balloon, lantern and bell sleeves. Full bloused banana and balloon
sleeves or balloon sleeves and fine cuff bands set off cropped waist jackets. Long bloused draped sleeves tail off in a deep cuff falling half way over the hand. Images courtesy of
There are slimmer sleeves, but they have a twist. This fall 06, even straight sleeves often end in an enlarged finish with a frill or ruffle frill as shown left. Volume has also been
introduced in this suit as a jacket peplum, a neat way of adding fullness without too much excess bulk. Fur trimming is everywhere, but especially used to trim cuffs.
Karl Lagerfeld did an interesting wrap dress with lower sleeve detail of fur on both cuffs and skirts.
Average sized Regency puff sleeves with sheer long slim lower arms are growing into more immense Leg o'Mutton sleeves pushed up the arm.Shorter sleeves are also larger with
beret sleeves being one style.
Rising hemlines are easier to deal with if you wear opaque tights.
Modern go anywhere silk jersey dresses
such as those by Issa can be a most useful piece in a wardrobe.
But at a few hundred pounds they may be well beyond your budget.
If that is so, seek out alternatives as there are plenty to choose from at companies like NEXT UK and Debenhams at under £50. These empire viscose and Lycra jersey dresses are both from NEXT and
capture the go anywhere dress.
This season there are far more long sleeved frocks in
the shops than ever before. Many bring the dress back into focus, reinstating the strong position it held for years when so many dresses really were suitable for day and evening.
Look out for swing style short A line trapeze dresses, coats and
jackets. Wear the short trapeze dresses as long tops if you think you are beyond this look.
Twin image left courtesy of Miss Selfridge. Other images courtesy of NEXT UK and
with widening hemlines are a trend and many designers are using fur trimming on hemlines.
Look out for ruffles on hemlines, necklines and sleeves edges all held together with satin bows instead of a button.
Lace hemlines are a hot trend with tatted lace effects, lightening heavier looks. Two inch frills on hemlines are often of contrast lace or a minor abstract or traditional fabric repeats
with variety of scale motifs as in border prints.
Fashion Wardrobe Tip - Leggings were a trend in London in Autumn 2003. The trend has suddenly taken off again, so that key looks may well be slouchy leggings worn with loads of top volume.
Leggings can be teamed like rah-rah skirts, denim minis or off-the-shoulder tunics. Of course boldly coloured tights will do just as well.
Oooohh and don't forget where once the chav adored French manicure reigned supreme in UK, pedicures are now a girl's best friend. But if you can't run to a pedicure, the item you may need
is called a No-show. See them on the shoes page.
Two or three layers of light tops, longer tunics or fine dresses worn over an opaque camisole vest can be topped off with more layers such as a belt, scarf or light as air knit or cropped
shrug. Spencers, gilets or fur trimmed down parkas will speed you into this look just as surely as opaque tights or leggings or skinny jeans will.
If you want a smarter city version just take a grey trouser suit, sweater or two layered vests and layer that further with a scarf. Make sure when the jacket is open that a layered belt
is visible. Add another layer with an across the body bag or messenger bag.
Despite all the glam gals that stride the catwalks there is though a trend toward increasingly casual clothing. Trousers or jeans or cropped pants are often our garment of choice.
For fall trouser choices are very wide and slouchy pants or narrow skinny trousers or legging like hose or hosiery.
Denim is still very important and in UK bleaching, fading, fraying, distressing is out. Best colours for now are dark blue, white or black denim with hot brands being Superfine, Acne,
Nudie, 18th Amendment. Wardrobe tip, denim is worked in every style including tuxedo tops, equestrian denim and boyfriend look denim.
The mood is for black denim and cleaner darker higher rise jeans are being sought.
In LA the jeans with pretty tops look is now considered tired looking. Think Terri Hatcher in daywear. This look is now some 7 years or more old and is well past its sell by date.
Millennium woman is moving toward the next decade. LA women and girls are now wearing outfits with ruffles, lace embroidery and flounced skirts. Pencil skirts and round toed shoes are
very popular too.
Performance of skinny jean sales has generally been weak in some parts of the globe.
Regardless of the fact that retailers have moved skinny jeans to the front of the store the performance of skinny jeans has generally been weak. Some consumers are already returning to
the kinder more flattering styles of boot cut jeans or wider jeans. Dark wax washes, zips at ankles are newer features. It seems women generally prefer straight leg jeans to skinny
legs. They may recognise that this extreme fashion looks better on models than on themselves.
Globally denim is a huge product and many are prepared to fork out for premium denim jeans selling above $70. Punk attitude can be gotten with denim. Denim definitely has attitude.
Denim makes sales. Louis Vuitton found that their denim LV bags helped drive sales.
According to Cotton Incorporated one in two women is prepared to wear jeans when the temperature rises above 80 deg C. Many expect to enter an air conditioned environment and will suffer
the heat for a short journey to a venue. One in three will still wear jeans even when the temperature soars to 90 deg C.
They also found that fit is the crucial factor in consumers being prepared to pay designer prices. But even UK Topshop is prepared to spend 2 days getting the fit of their jeans right for
Fit for denim is important and those that struggle to find jeans to fit, may like the jeans by Bodymetrics. Bodymetrics are a London firm that use a special computer system to view and
measure your body in 3 Dimensions. They then design jeans to fit you particular body morphology at a cost of approximately €250.
I know myself how I have been prepared to pay a designer price for jeans that make the most of my figure, which like many women I always feel could be improved upon. If the jeans fit of
one brand looks marginally better than another, then like those women I will pay that price.
A key element this fall is hosiery with leg wear from ribs to lace textures being very strong for fall layered looks.
Fashion Wardrobe Tip - play with the opportunities these varieties present from airy hosiery to whisper light mohair or cashmere lace knitwear and create gossamer lightness despite piling layer
Crochet is used as whole garments and also as trims of lace such as black crochet lace trim on the hemline of grey suit. Black crochet lace is also mixed with grosgrain trim bows.
Some dresses have sheer lace skirts that you can see legs through the design.
Lace frills and ruffles abound. Choose from flamenco ruffles, ruffle jabots, ruffles down the length of garments, concertina ruffling at edges, ruffles on knit cardigan shrugs.
You'll also notice frilly bags and shirred ruffled belts. Watch for the finest ruffles and narrowest of accordion pleated frills like Fortuny pleating inset in the seam lines of collars and
a frill at top of cuff where the cuff joins the sleeve blouson.
Fabric choices are of opulent shimmering gold brocades or metallics, fake or real astrakhan. Plaids, checks and traditional highland tartans get new colourations. Interesting wools,
cashmeres, silk matelassé, plisse, silk jersey knits, velvets and fine quilted techniques capture the luxe market. Read more about fabrics here.
Look for oversized large buttons, masses of tiny small buttons an duffle style toggles. There is sailor button decoration on pants and also big buttons used in specific arrangements high
on the bodice of coats and jackets. Balenciaga style coats and neat double breasted empires line coats are all trimmed up with very large buttons.
Fashion wardrobe tip, gold braid and appliqué work is still abundant, but showing classic elegance in a more tasteful less deconstructed way.
Marks and Spencer Chartreuse Cropped Double Button Jacket, £55 from the Limited Collection and Black Skinny Polo Neck £15.
First must have is colourful fall rainwear in bright zingy colours - Macs. More and more articles of clothing have contrast linings or printed linings. Sometimes these contrast
materials are just used as binding or facings for finishing a garment. Animal prints, spots, stripes and retro designs are all popular.
Second must have is the less bulky, fine feather, light down jackets which are warmer winter and fall top jackets, but which do not over bulk the body.
The main fall colour combo colours are greys, charcoals, earthen browns, ochre and rust tones, red, burgundy, purple, plum, deep blue, khaki olive, black and white. If you have a horror
of forest floor drab urban jungle tones than simply adopt masses of Eighties electric colours, red or purple or stand out in monochrome black and white. Metallica frenzy is morphing into
glazes and patent finishes. You can read more about these colours on the Autumn 2006/7 colour page
and the colour moodboard page.
I know some of you still love this look, so you will want to know if you can still wear it. Is it in or out you still ponder. Well strictly speaking Fashionisti everywhere will say
it's gone and truly passé, but the fact is aspects are still with us. No wonder you're confused. Many women are still wearing it, but as a more refined
classic folkloric look. However do remember it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and ask yourself have you fallen into the trap of hanging onto a fashion that feels safe.
Newer shapes are around and may be more forward looking bets. I know that for some time I have avoided making any more Boho purchases, moving toward the cleaner more minimalist
understated and more refined less busy looks that are coming into many shops. Remember my TICKS rule - don't buy into a look as it's
fading. I do know it's sometimes hard to resist at sale time, but save those sale pounds or dollars for the next best new trend look.
I'll tell you what I'm seeking this season. A new winter coat with controlled cocoon
styling and generous volume sleeves in a dynamic colour that does something for me. I'll be looking out too for a short jacket or trouser suit where the jacket features a wide picture/bertha
or princess wide collar.
I'm not keen on the cocoon coat having too wide set a collar as it can be draughty in winter
and create problems for the layers beneath, so the wider collars are a better option on lower layers like knitwear and jackets.
I need a go anywhere dress, perhaps an empire line elbow or three quarter sleeve easy wear jersey print dress with some under bust ease over the tummy, that enables me to eat a meal out without
feeling worse for wear. But I also ordered 2 of Marks and Spencer's Magic dresses and they are a success story.
To that I'll add to my existing cashmere knits, a few three quarter sleeve cashmere knits that will sit happily under the
shorter sleeves of the coat. Cashmere knits are always a good investment and look far better when a few seasons old than any high fashion acrylic item might. You'll have the cashmere
knit long after the acrylic knit has been assigned to the charity shop.
I'll be purchasing the largest items such as the coat at the start of the autumn in late August
or September, when the selection is best and not mauled by too many shoppers. Those who insist on high end designer clothes may find they need to purchase that special coat in July or August
as often only 1 to 3 of an item of high end priced goods are ever bought by a store. Recently when visiting one of a few local small shops I popped into
Lynn Craig's boutique for the summer sale in June. Lynne told me that she was already selling newly arrived autumn stock
I'll add smaller items like shoes and skirts which enliven the basics as the season goes on.
Leggings are an inexpensive buy and add that extra fun layer for days when I feel funky as opposed to classic!
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