As you are planning your new wardrobe or keen to makeover your fashion
image, you may be vaguely aware that the fashion seasons are merging.
Soon I suspect there will be fewer hard and fast rules about
what fashion trend to buy for the new season.
Well the season is becoming one continuous fashion show as
designers present almost as many collections as there are months
in a year. High street clothing retailers have followed
suit and are hot on the heels of catwalk extravaganzas. The latest
'must have' high
fashion trends are soon copied. Leader high street stores like Zara
have their own model versions within a
fortnight of catwalk sightings. Demand Based Flow methods
get fashion apparel to you fast, as retailers track the
desirability of the latest fad before the momentum is lost to another
need to know those little detailed differences to make your
personal look seem fashionable and fresh.
FIRSTLY - Get
simplest way to update your Autumn Winter 2007/8 wardrobe is with the latest fashion trends in new footwear
of boots or shoes. Fashion boots create the fastest
update and are essential to any winter look. Go purchase
either demi-shoe boots, the latest ankle boots, cropped
walking boots, to the knee shiny patent heeled or flatter biker boots.
Above - Dune Tan demi-shoe, Pitch, £80/115; French
Connection Taupe leather ankle boot £115; Debenhams
Accessories - J Jeans by Jasper Conran 3 buckle boot
£55/85; Shellys Shoes - Bonita Buckled Ankled Boot £75
Colour: Black/ Tan/ Blue/ Red. Biker Boots James Lakeland.
Boot images from left courtesy of Dune,
French Connection, Debenhams, Shellys. Biker boots in
heading and right by James Lakeland.
SECONDLY - Get a
The coat is the 'must have' fashion garment of fall
2007/8. Coats are so important this autumn that you
can read even more about new coat styles on other
fashion pages, especially
2007/8 coat page.
You have two coat style choices.
Roomy or slim fitting (military influenced) coats.
From roomy coats select either A-line swing styles, or cocoon
coats like this turquoise coat from Designers at Debenhams.
Betty Jackson coat £250/387, Red Herring roll neck dress
Miss Average will
find the best value
fashionable coat pound for pound, dollar for dollar,
will be a military inspired pea coat. These can be
fitted slim silhouettes or have A-line fullness.
Notice how several of these coats have cuffs to rein in the
proper seafaring style pea coat will
prove to be a workhorse garment for all sorts of everyday
and casual wear. With double set brass buttons
it is one of the 'must have' cover ups of the season.
True pea coats have a bit of the seagoing wayfarer about
them and are best in navy blue, Captain Bird's Eye style!
Note how shoulder lines are widening. The trend for
broader shoulders is thanks to Martin Margiela and Nicolas
The return of the high waist in trousers,
shorts skirts and empire line dresses, means that the high waist seam has
also appeared on jackets often, as two piece or as yoked
Autumn 2007/Winter 2008 will see plenty of retro inspired volume coats
with oversized buttons. A-line empire coats and easy swing
coats are an alternative to the trench coat, which is a belted
shirt style. Chic coats with wide stand collars have a
Princess/Jackie 'O' sixties feel. Wallis do this look very
well. Volume in new
versions of the coat is wearable and softer than earlier versions.
Rules for Wearing Volume here.
The variety of
coat styles available will be greater than you
have seen for many a shopping year. There should be plenty of
opportunity for you to have several different fashion
silhouette styles in
different colours. View these variants as fast fashion coats, rather
than investment buys. You will tire easily of coats made in big tartans and
checks, so consider such purchases as fast fashion items.
Necklines get higher, shoulders get wider and the waist gets
defined. 1940s screen siren is the influence behind new
emerging forms. Power dressing is clearly returning with a
well defined, but increasing shoulder width, now evident in so
- These are the latest fashionable alternative to the casual touch a hoodie
finish gives. Until this season a hoodie added a relaxed
appearance to easy casual wear styles.
There are many funnel
stand neckline styles around and within that plenty of
minor variations. The easiest stand and funnel necks to wear are those that can also
fold as a flat collar. Paul Costelloe does a great
winter coat with a high funnel collar for chill winds, but a
collar that folds flat for easy wearing.
grey mix high street fashion garments in the centre above are from River
Island. The teal blue short coat above left is from
Monsoon and the royal Parka above right is from Wallis. Each has
a variant of a funnel stand neckline. Note the charcoal grey
jacket above right, and how it shows ribbed knit under sleeves
rather than bare or gloved arms. This is the most obvious
practical solution to wearing shorter sleeves.
Above left - White jacket image
courtesy of Internacionale (No details). Above right
-In Store September 2007 Monsoon Autumn Winter 2007, Teal Blue
Naomi Coat - £95/150; River Island Clothing Co. Ltd, Grey and
white herringbone coat £64.99/109.00; River Island Clothing Co.
Ltd, charcoal grey Funnel jacket; £59.99/100.50; Wallis
Autumn Winter 2007 Cobalt nylon jacket £50.
Wardrobe Tip -
Invest in a high fashion garment with an up to date collar line.
cropped jacket has been master throughout 2007 and the
short more casual jacket continues to evolve.
This year these cropped jackets have had more interesting bell
or ruffle frilled sleeves. Flat collars, wide stand collars and
as winter approaches fur trims and zipper effects have all
appeared. Big noticeable buttons with popper under
fasteners are often the means of closure.
Acceptable short coat alternatives to biker jackets
and leather coats include short swing loose jackets like this
short boxy jacket. Many swing jackets have a centre
The easy green jacket left is from
Debenhams. The green jacket with its circular yoke has a
collarless faced neckline, making it perfect for a high neck sweater
or similar under garment with a funnel neckline. Image
left courtesy of Debenhams - J Taylor green jacket £70/109, Red
Herring roll neck dress £25/39.
Wardrobe Tip - Always team a fuller more voluminous jacket with
a narrow skirt or dress or perhaps hip hugging trousers.
is used for coats and short jackets. Leather coats are
often softer looking than those we have come to expect from
leather styling. This tiered leather coat from Debenhams
shown right, should
see you through more than one season as tiers in the skirts of
clothes gain in popularity. Supple leather knee coats are
teamed with skinnies and roll neck sweaters.
Biker Babe - Leather multi zipper biker jackets, sans
studs means that jackets with bold visible zips are the gear to
get. The Armorial look often runs into the
biker look and is one that gets extra hardware with bold,
visible zips. Some garments are made of reptilian textured
leathers for the perfect warrior woman look. These leather
jackets ranging from fitted, semi fitted to swing are all available on
the high street. Marks and Spencer has a selction of leather items
to suit a variety of shapes, sizes and prices.
Notice how the fuller style
of sleeves that have ruffle bands, or fuller wrist lines have
migrated to leather garments. The central leather taupe jacket
shown centre below, will easily accommodate flounced sleeves.
Left - John Lewis - Betty
Barclay leather Biker jacket; Centre - Dorothy Perkins Taupe Leather Jacket - £120;
River Island leather Jacket £120.00/201.50.
Images courtesy of those stores.
Wardrobe Tip -
Invest in a coloured leather jacket that will look good next
spring too. Tan or olive are especially good choices as
terracotta and green gain momentum.
Sleeves continue to
have plenty of volume. Many sleeves are still three quarter or
elbow length bell style, but now found in cool weather ranges. This means that demand
for autumn interesting long opera or gauntlet gloves has grown.
Consumers can opt instead to put their under sleeves firmly on
show as contrast sleeves peep
beneath jacket, or coats.
Look out too for
fingerless gloves. Marks and Spencer are selling
fingerless rib knit gloves that reach to the elbow, so you can
wear that short sleeved jacket without being frozen to death whilst
appearing to wear knitwear beneath the jacket sleeves.
Wardrobe Tip - Buy a long pair of long gloves.
long gloves with a high sheen or armorial texture is a must have
perfect accessory for cooler weather.
Far left - Purple
blouse Principles Autumn Winter 2007 - Petite Collection; Centre
-White Lee Blouse - £35/54 from Monsoon Autumn Winter 2007/8
collection - in Store August 2007; Far right - Topshop
Autumn/Winter 2007 - Dark green batwing dress £70/104, Gold
star studded clutch bag £15/22, navy blue opaque tights £4/6.
Just above left, note the elbow purple puff sleeve set into a
narrow cuff band. The
purple Principles blouse is
also teamed here with a high waisted pencil skirt, which
highlights the waist another attention element of this season.
Wardrobe Tip - Diary note -
Purple is possibly the
most fashionable colour to be seen wearing for autumn 2007.
In the centre this
Monsoon white blouse has a similar, but fuller balloon sleeve
which is three quarter length. Finally, the dark green Topshop dress has
full bishop sleeves set into a long, deep fitted cuff.
Many of the cuffs are trimmed to highlight their new importance
to a garment silhouette. Piping is a common feature inserted into cuff
Wardrobe Tip - Buy
a garment with full bloused sleeves and/or deep cuffs.
are fewer traditional sleeveless garments, but more items with
small cap sleeves, interesting sleeves, huge cutaway armholes or halter variations.
See below how the red blouse has a dainty cap sleeve set into a
Arms and shoulder
blades feature strongly in their own right, especially in evening
or clubbing dresses. Read more on
Look out for jewel
embellished halter necks, asymmetric one shoulder dresses and
cutaway armholes. This striking little black dress left with its
single sleeve is somehow daring, yet modest at the same time.
Image left courtesy of River Island Clothing
Co. Ltd - Black Knitted One Shoulder Dress £34.99/58.50 and
Patent Elastic Belt £19.99/33.50.
The halter dress
right from Miss Selfridge is an LBD of the moment with its
large crystal cut beads and cabochon trim. Make sure if
you opt for such dresses that your skin is body scrubbed and
moisturised to perfection, as these dresses are certain scene stealers.
Each is the sort of wow factor dress to make that ex-boyfriend's
eyes sting when he recalls you are no longer an item!
Wardrobe Tip - This autumn 2007 if you do have a waist then draw attention to it.
You will find
a huge array of attractive belts in the stores. This belt
right really fits the mood of the era. It has
shimmer and glistens with its golden iridescence contrasting the
Throughout the past
12 months the dress, or the shorter tunic dress, has rivalled all
other garments for popularity. If hourglass bodies are a
distant memory to you, try the sack, trapeze or pinafore dress
alternatives. The easy, body skimming shift is just
as available as the more figure hugging body con dress that
emphasises hips, breast and waistline.
dress is here to stay for a while at least and so it really is
worthwhile investing in some classic basic dresses that suit
Grown up dressing is
for girls who emulate 1940s satin clad sultry sirens and gives
us the screen goddess dress with an incredible nipped in waist.
Some stores like Monsoon and Debenhams do this look really
really well and at a high street price.
waist trousers - If you still feel the dress is not for you,
then try a suit with either a full, or pencil skirt, or the latest
high waisted trousers which also draw attention to the waistline
area. Androgynous dressing in
tailored pants, or tuxedo masculine trouser suits are a
practical way to dress in winter.
Image left is from
Autumn/Winter 2007, main collection. Note the oversized swag bag
and see more
bags here. Orange silk top £39/59,
grey high waisted silver square military button trousers £39/59
euros, necklace from a selection at Principles.
Principles Stockist 0870 122 8802. Belt image courtesy of
Skirts have hem interest and many new shapes have
emerged. Of particular note is a new play with tiers in skirts.
Boho gypsy tiers, more fifties couture like this
designer suit right. Far right Dior image
of tiered suit courtesy of IFTF. One company that
has a version of this tiered look is Coast with their Bernice
Dress £175.00 Style code: 2224610592.
In addition to tiers
many skirts have bold decorative hemline interest, beading, braiding,
lace, feather or fringe trimmings.
wardrobe is likely to succumb to at least one item from
oversized knit ranges. Just make sure you don't land up
looking like an oversized cuddly toy.
Much of the
available knitwear is in bright colours, and some is in grey or creams like this feminine Aran cable coat
left. This coat does look beautiful on this model.
Do remember that bulky textured knits can also make you look
colossal if you are not super slender and you have large shoulders.
If you are Miss Dainty then you will look divine in such a knit.
short boxy textured cable cardigan, far right, would be especially
suitable for someone who is petite on her upper torso with
narrow or even sloping shoulders and needs to balance her
smaller upper body to a heavier bottom half.
Some of the bulky, chunky knits on offer are for serious
hibernation - in private. But as long as the shoulder line
is fitting correctly you will find the chunky knits look better overall.
Left - Autumn/Winter 2007 Designers at Debenhams, John Rocha
cream cardigan coat £65/101, Collection cream roll neck.
Monsoon Autumn Winter 2007 - Cream Cassie Cable Cardigan -
£60/95 In Store October 2007. Cable knit
images courtesy of Debenhams and Monsoon.
Wardrobe Tip - Textured knits look lovely, but they can
add pounds - ten at a time. Select bulky knits with
caution and using a triple mirror.
Trims or the lack of them can make or break how
fashionable a look is in any given fashion era. A change of haberdashery trim
can bring an old garment bang up to date in the fashion stakes.
For Autumn Winter 2007/8 the fashion trend is for decorative trims
of gold braid or
gold beading. Look out for self colour contrasting texture on
texture trimmings. Patent, croc and other fancy leather is also
frequently used as a finishing binding touch.
and embellishment or deluxe gold trim is textural and chunky
with many large
crystal cut beads and cabochons.
The trend for army and navy dress, means Sergeant Pepper
braids, brass buttons and gold hussar frogging compete with
Big buttons have been a developing trend for a couple of
years on coats, jackets and arty cardigans. This winter some
fastenings reach mammoth size. Too many buttons have
become so large they are pure decoration. The actual
fastener is a jumbo press stud and popper set beneath the sewn
on button. This is because an extra big button would require too large a
Tip - Watch out for oversized quality zippers. Consider biker jackets
with zips that bare their teeth as a fashion feature.
Coloured tights take over from leggings and enable women to wear
shorter clothes than they sometimes feel comfortable.
Coloured hosiery gives a sparkly jolt to tunic dressing,
especially when worn with ankle boots or colour coordinated
bag and footwear, an acceptable way of styling again.
Every colour and metallic texture of pantyhose is available this
AW season 2007/8.
Right - image courtesy of Internacionale
fashion fall 2007.
Give new life to your fashion image, assess what aspects
of your silhouette can take the strongest elements of the new
season. Let's face it the best choices for most women are
the garments that make them feel slimmer and feel good about
The best wardrobe fashion tips are always the same.
Don't forget the importance of an up-to-date hairstyle.
Make sure your hair is regularly trimmed and colour
Note the ever growing importance of
hot accessories, especially 'must have' bag or shoes, copy or
Buy into seasonal colour trends, but select only
from 1 or 2 of the season's colours that enhance
If you prefer to wear fashion classics and many women
do, updating to this season's colour, getting a new hairdo and
new shoes will reinvigorate your image no end.
The shoes certainly will be essential at
some point, unlike a handbag which is a 'must have' rather than a
'need it' replacement item.
After considering the 3 points above for updating
your image and wardrobe, review the most fashionable and classic items you already own. At
the same time remember the most important factors for
consideration with the new season's fashion items are colour and
Wardrobe Tip - Check fit and colour against current
Need some more fashion wardrobe tips?
To assess any new fashion look, always work your way down
the body as I explain in the How to Assess a Fashion Look pages. The pages are in my Image Planning section here (part 1) and
here (part 2). As you regularly tidy up your wardrobe
and review, select and reject the hanger contents, keep these
working down or up the body image steps in mind.
From about 20 fashion themes, some three or four key looks
will always emerge stronger than others. Need and instant
this season - I suggest you concentrate your buys on what are bound to
become the workhorses of your wardrobe.
If you can get
away with rock chic then opt for a quality
leather biker zip jacket. Almost all keen shoppers should consider a
silhouette conscious coat (buy fitted or loose dependant on your
personal style), some ankle
boots, a new fuller skirt and colourful tights. Boost
those basics with a tailored jacket and add a slim line matching dress
to create a two piece go anywhere outfit. You could also keep your eye out for knee high
biker boots, a shiny or croc armour texture clutch handbag or
hard case minaudiθre, plus a new knit in grey or black.
Gleam and Sheen - This look embraces many garments
especially coats and posh frocks. Bold fabrics like rich
tapestry metallic brocades help create futuristic
shapes. Heavily embellished
fabrics drip with over sized crystals and Pailettes. Oversized
crystals, coin sized Pailettes and saucer style beads and
buttons embellish simple shapes such as tunic dresses or t-shirts.
Tone the look down by staying away from dainty footwear and team
these deluxe looks with more robust pieces, the new boots will
it a warrior woman look.
This autumn choose colour for a free and easy free choice take on
the latest trends.
Colours include the bold brights as well
as the neutrals of grey, creams, golden camels, brown, navy and
black and white.
bright jewel colours include warm hues such as gold, orange, terracotta,
coral, pink, garnet and chilli red. Cooler colours embrace emerald green,
chartreuse, Peridot green and amethyst purple. These are the key
trend colours for Autumn Winter 2007/8. Often these
placed in juxtaposition to each other as in this vibrant dress
shown left and
Wallis Autumn Winter 2007 teal and magenta jersey dress £40.
If you cannot wear strong hues next to your skin, then use colour as an accessory interest to the more sombre greys, earth tones, brown, navy or black
and to the dusted colours.
Wardrobe Tip - PURPLE - Any tone, any shade as long as it's purple.
Amethyst, aubergine, puce, purple, mauve, lilac, lavender all
compete in the purple haze. Consider
adding instant pizzazz with the hottest fashion colour of purple,
or any other jewel tone that lifts your complexion to a knockout
MONOCHROME - Black with white optical effects, grey
knitwear and tailoring. BLACK ON BLACK - Black
texture is laid beside other textures. Matte against shiny, or
dull against shimmering black.
They may be selling out of them at
Matches, but the watered down version that hits the high street
will be a poor imitation of the original catwalk inspiration.
If you can afford designer cut Balenciaga jodhpurs, that truly
are a designer take and the creation of a new denim silhouette
then fine. In the main I believe body moulding jodhpurs
are not for the faint hearted and best kept next to a horse!
A tall slim woman is the best person to adopt jodhpurs.
If you are 5'3'' tall forget it. This fashion can so easily be
saddle bag suicide.
My slender niece who is 6 foot tall, once wore cream jodhpurs whilst on holiday
in Hong Kong. She wondered why everyone was staring at her
as she shopped in one of the world's busiest cities.
Jodhpurs attract attention and not always the right sort of
the same reaction once in the early 90s when following a larger
than average woman wearing beige leggings and a too short top.
This was a truly nasty experience close up, but just as alarming
from a distance. Body hugging beige, cream or flesh
toned skinny trousers of any variety, can look quite nauseating
to the onlooker on even the smallest of posteriors. Think
of male ballerinas in their on stage tights and you get the
Unless you ride horses, do yourself a favour keep them away from your neighbours and
me - please, even if your jodhpurs are in denim.
Wardrobe Tip - Updating your wardrobe should be straightforward.
accept that the seasons are merging and that to stay fashionable
you need to grasp the small fashion details that make the difference. New garments and accessories should relate to the
following themes of
glamour, shine, embellishment, bold bright colours, military
tailoring, relaxed easy to wear coats, leather, dresses,
oversized knitwear, and black on black texture. With any of these new additions you and your wardrobe will
soon pass muster.
Monsoon Fusion moves into its third season looking stronger
than ever. The diffusion line holds its edginess and drives the
range forward while still retaining incredibly competitive price
points. The collection is designed exclusively in house and
fuses Monsoons distinctive signature style with a reactive
trend driven punctuation. Fusion is stocked in 100 Monsoon stores
nationwide and also available online at Monsoon. The Fusion
collection is available in sizes 6 18. Prices start at just £14
up to £100 for a beautiful leather biker jacket. The new
season Fusion collection launches in store on 3rd September 2007.
Check out Monsoon online.
Dorothy Perkins have a new range of limited edition leather jackets
this Autumn 2007. The jackets
are all made from high-quality, luxury super soft leather and
come in a variety of colours and styles. The Swing, with
its characteristic bell sleeves, is available in classic black
and neutral taupe.
Check out www.dorothyperkins.com
from 5th September to ensure you snap up this exclusive line.
Special thanks to David of
with images courtesy of Dune, Debenhams, Principles, Monsoon,
Shellys, French Connection, River Island, Wallis, James
Lakeland,Internacionale, Miss Selfridge, John Lewis, Dorothy
IFTF. Header image of Biker boots courtesy of James
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