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Six-point guide to the new season
timberland The Telegraph Fashion Team has a no-nonsense six-point guide to seasonal satisfaction for autumn/winter 2013
BY Luke Leitch |
23 October 2013
A full skirt's impact far outweighs the effort it takes to wear - Rochas autumn/winter 2013 Photo: Isidore Montag
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1 DON'T BE TIGHTS...
Eudon Choi teams up with River Island The Trendy 20: Pink The Style Maven: all things pink
timberland boots Where's the pleasure in looking stylish if you feel uncomfortable doing it? Answer: nowhere. This season's main challenge, comfort-wise, is staying warm: something that even the hardiest of autumn-deniers should now be goose-bumped into acknowledging.
timberland boots on sale Fashion retailers and PR's know this. It is why our inboxes are as clogged with unimaginative emails about "statement coats" as your guttering is with freshly fallen leaves - and why many mid-season coat promotions have already begun.
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But the key to autumn temperature maintenance, insists the
's stylist Sophie Warburton, isn't via a big statement coat: it's via hosiery. "Cheap tights bobble after a few washes. They are also more prone to ladders, saggy knees and Nora Batty ankles," she says. "Spending more on tights works out as a better investment in the long run. You can get highly effective heat-tech tights that keep you warm when cold, and cool when warm, such as M&S BodySensor. Other good brands include Falke and Wolford." So there you are.
2 …BUT BE PRUDENT
Stop! Before fantasising about the clothes you want, consider the clothes you have. It hasn't been truly chilly since the end of April, so the chances are that your bulkiest winter pieces have been relegated to the back of your walk-in wardrobe. Retrieve them, brush them down, and - if you detect a pulse - despatch to the dry cleaners. With any luck you will enjoy some tender reunions with knitwear, coats and dresses that you'd almost forgotten about.
If, after this, you still need one or two new pieces for autumn/winter, think strategically. If you are on a budget, eBay is a great place to look - especially as people clear out their last-season winter wardrobes before refilling them again with new season clothes.
I came tantalisingly close to buying a near-pristine, £1,500-at-retail, Alexander McQueen cashmere camel coat last week - that eventually sold for £72.69. In womenswear, some of the best-looking winter pieces on eBay yesterday morning were a khaki Balenciaga greatcoat (size 38, Buy It Now, £125) and a black Burberry London sheepskin coat in great nick, (size 10, £122).
Another good option is TKMaxx. One fashion editor we know found a lovely Lanvin coat, massively reduced, at its Covent Garden branch recently. Cue much gnashing of teeth among the rest of us.
3 FULL SKIRTS: THE AUTUMN FAILSAFE
When the full skirt transferred from the catwalk to the high street this spring, it was a bit of a surprise. For we live in utilitarian times, and such a sumptuous silhouette - a little bit Dior's New Look, a little bit
- seemed irredeemably last century. Now the full skirt has taken root and transferred through to the autumn collections (where, if anything, it makes even better sense than in the summer).
With a hem-span that runs from knee down to mid-to-lower calf, the full skirt's equilateral angle comes the stiffness of its fabric or, very occasionally, a petticoat within.
Coast and Topshop have particularly good examples and, designer-wise, we loved Rochas's lovelorn librarian skirts and the faux-folk costume skirt from Eudon Choi (£525, Avenue 32,
). A full skirt's impact far outweighs the effort it takes to wear, making it our first choice evening silhouette this autumn.
Big scarves and full skirts from Eudon Choi autumn/winter 2013
4 SAY NO TO POLOS
This one came straight from the top. Lisa Armstrong, with great vehemence, pointed out that "every autumn we hear great things about the polo-neck jumper. They are shot, they are hyped, one is given the feeling that simply by wearing a polo neck it is possible to be instantly transformed into a gamine Left Bank muse circa 1952. Don't make me laugh. They're never particularly flattering, and they're not all that comfortable either."
That very paraphrased verdict apart, another downside of the polo is just how little versatility it offers. Suki Waterhouse pointed out this week that a lovely big scarf offers all of the neck protection of a polo, can double up as a travel cushion, and can be easily removed for instant neck liberation.
Layering, layering, layering - that's the way to go.
5 THE PINK FACTOR
Something shocking is happening on our high streets this season:
real women are actually buying something that fashion editors suggested they buy six months ago.
IN PICS: Shopping for pink
The item in question is the pink coat. Stella McCartney featured a cracker on her autumn/winter 2013 catwalk, and another was by far the most frequently shot item in Belinda Earl's first collection for Marks and Spencer. Cue pink coat raptures. M&S sold out (but has restocked) and a cute Zara £70-er has accelerated off the shelves faster than even this fast-fashion mecca is used to.
The upshot is that some pink coat consumers are facing the unusual. overblown consensus.
recently ran an almost apologetic piece blaming men for the rise of pink - but
blame men for everything. We say, if you've bought into pink, embrace it. This is the time to blush.
Pink coats at Jonathan Saunders autumn.winter 2013; boots, £125, Timberland,
6 BIKERS, OILED, ARE THE WAY TO GO
The extremities that merit the most extra attention in autumn are your feet. Later, when things get truly grim, is the time to toy with Wellingtons or foul-weather footwear. For now, it's overkill.
Unless you're running an insurance scam, heels should be worn indoors only from here on in. And trainers, however beguiling, are permeable. Biker boots are our autumnal desert island footwear. A solid pair, ideally commando-heeled and in well-oiled black leather, provide top levels of traction, accommodate the thickest of socks, and will resist all but the harshest of environments.
They look great with jeans, cords or black trousers plus a tailored overcoat - or a Moncler or Uniqlo down jacket when it is nippier. Team them with outrageously high-denier tights and a check dress and you'll look like you've fled the Yves Saint Laurent catwalk in search of a doughnut. Perhaps the most satisfying things about biker boots are their buckled straps, which emit a buccaneering clank as you walk.
READ: The style maven: all things pink
NB: These "Nellie" boots from Timberland - lovechild of the wellie, the Aussie sheepskin Ugg and the biker boot - look like a great all-winter option. Practical and fashionable - that doesn't happen often. Bag them now.
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