The Coulda Woulda Shoulda Have List

It’s that time of year for taking stock. Everything changes – telly improves, the nights draw in and the school terms starts again with what seems like so much energy I’m almost fearful for the lead up (or roll down) to Christmas. I am also moving house and so it is a perfect time to pack away the summer wardrobe and start thinking about what to wear in the months ahead. As you know, I’m never keen to wrap up until October but this week even I am feeling the chill in my strappy heels and short sleeves.

And so here it is, my bi-annual look at what’s hot and what’s not and what, if you just can’t help being a slave to fashion, you should snap up right away. There are ‘must have’ lists everywhere at the moment, indeed I have today received an email from Next telling me what I NEED right NOW. One of these things is a khaki A-line skirt that looks like part of a soldier’s uniform. Not only do I absolutely not need this skirt, I can’t think of anyone I know who does either, although I’m sure it’s really very nice and all that. So my list is more of a ‘could have’ list because after all we’re not all built the same or in the same shade and it seems  a shame to ostracise people this early on in the new season.

  1. The Pretty Blouse
Blouse £44.99 at Mango

Blouse £44.99 at Mango

Ladylike blouses are everywhere and actually with the right neckline and a flattering colour this is a look which will work on anyone. Not only that, the blouse is work appropriate but can also be worn into the evening. Wear with jeans, skirts, culottes and even under dresses to be bang on trend for Autumn Winter 2015. This piece is a Cost Per Wear Hero!

 

 

2. The Poncho Style Coat

Poncho Coat £39.99 at Zara

Poncho Coat £39.99 at Zara

I wasn’t convinced when I saw the Mexican style poncho look start to appear. I’m still not convinced for me personally as I don’t think my figure lends itself to excess bulk but oh, doesn’t this look cosy? I do think this is the perfect in between season cover-up and at least this one opens at the front meaning you could add a belt for a bit of definition at the waist. Less austere / matronly than the cape.

 

3. The Seventies Boot

Suede over knee boots £165 at Uterque.com

Suede over knee boots £165 at Uterque.com

I am terrified these boots are going to sell out in my size before I get my hands on (or feet in) a pair. The price tag is what’s stopping me splurging immediately as they are this season, the PERFECT boot. Brown suede – tick, over the knee – tick, mid heel – tick; I don’t like how they’ve been styled here by Uterque because it takes away from the utterly fabulous seventies-ness of them but imagine them worn with the floaty dress below and you’re on the right track.

 

4. The Floaty Dress

Midi Dress £45 at Marks and Spencer

Midi Dress £45 at Marks and Spencer

Here is another piece which will work for many different body types with its flattering below the knee length and softly tailored cut and long sleeves (HOORAAY for long sleeves!). The midi style is one that just won’t go away so if you’ve resisted buying into it for the last two years, perhaps now is the time because if nothing else, it will go so well with the long boots, poncho and polo neck on your list. M&S – about whom I have known to be harsh in the past – has pulled it out of the bag with this little number.

 

5. The Polo Neck

Polo neck £85 at French Connection

Polo neck £85 at French Connection

The funnel necked Zara sweater I bought last year was my most complimented item. It’s so soft and cosy my son even wanted to snuggle up with it in bed. That makes it sound horribly unsexy, it isn’t, but it is undeniably useful. I wore it with everything from a sequin skirt to shorts. Style this French Connection one as a dress or tunic. The shorter sleeves means it will also work over a dress. Skinnier polos are two a penny currently so work out what works best on you and get one. Bigger busts beware.

 

6. The Sleeveless Jacket Thing

Sleeveless trench £55 at Top Shop

Sleeveless trench £55 at Top Shop

Hmm, jury’s still out on this one. It looks cool on the catwalk and for weather such as we have now, not too cold and not too hot, it works beautifully. But what of the days when you get caught in an unexpected downpour, what then? Turn up at work, take off your sleeveless jacket and there you are with arms wet up to the shoulder, as if you’ve delivered a calf or something. Maybe while I decide if this one’s a keeper you could just chop the arms off an old coat?

 

7. Culottes Again

Culottes £55 at FineryLondon.com

Culottes £55 at FineryLondon.com

I tried on A LOT of culottes before I found the right ones. There’s much to consider with culottes – the length, the fit, the fabric, the colour, the pockets… In my opinion you need a lightweight fabric in a darkish colour, a flat shape around the hips like this style here and that means no pockets. Midi length is best as long as you’re at least 5’5 and don’t even think about wearing these with flat shoes. It’s a high maintenance look but surprisingly versatile.

 

8. The Shoulder Trend

Cold shoulder top £29.99 at H&M

Cold shoulder top £29.99 at H&M

I had a massive response to my blog about cold shoulder tops in the summer so I know this is a very popular trend. We absolutely should celebrate our lovely youthful shoulders that don’t require expensive creams or regular exercise! There is a new batch of tops and dresses featuring off the shoulder, one shoulder and cut-out shoulder details and it’s a gorgeous evening look for any age. I’m coveting the H&M one here; softer than black, slinky fabric and just look at the adorable cuff tie. Ooo I’m almost looking forward to winter now – I must check in on the availability of those tan boots again, no-one is allowed to buy them in size 37 until I’ve cleared my credit card, OK?

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About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing) But it here:
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