Autumn/Winter… what have you got for us?

Posted on: 10th October, 2016

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

I guess it’s time for a major wardrobe update! People keep asking me “what should I be buying now?” This season, more than at any other time in fashion, it’s all about wearing whatever you like! You can mix stripes with loud, big patterns; gold-silver-metallic have all been rolled into one; tailored pieces can be outrageously accompanied by a voluminous piece; colour, colour and more colour; and better still, clashing seems to be completely on-trend.

You simply can’t beat quality – investment pieces will always pay you back in more ways than one. So what should you invest in? Does it drive you nuts when you buy a dress for €300 and see the knock-off version on the highstreet for €30? They look almost identical and you feel cheated because you know that lots of people will be buying the €30 dress… which ultimately means that you could end up looking the same as someone else at an event. I have a very short and simple answer to that… get over it. If you have the money for designer clothes there is nothing wrong with treating yourself because they last, have a tailored cut and when you are no longer in your 20s or 30s an expensive cut is very forgiving! Your €300 dress will look as good the tenth time you wear it as it did the first time, so spend your money carefully and only invest in pieces that are not too recognisable so that you can get lots of wear out of them; in other words – less of the stripes and crazy patterns, go to a high street shop for those pieces.

Stella McCartney has a gorgeous metallic/gold long pleated skirt in her runway collection, a Carmen pleated long skirt to be specific, and you can buy it for a little over a €1,000. Yes it looks beautiful, yes it will see you through many a festive event, BUT Dunnes Stores have an almost identical copy, a few inches shorter than Stella’s skirt, and  the price is somewhere around €40. I think I’ll be heading to Dunnes. While gorgeous, this skirt is very much ‘in fashion’ and so could fall ‘out of fashion’ very quickly. ‘Fashionable’ pieces should be bought only from high street shops… style is what you should pay for – style will last.

As for some of the craziness that is going on in the fashion world – I think that it is fantastic; most high street shops look like you are walking through a carnival. It makes me smile. Shoulders are huge, billowing sleeves (the bigger the better), huge puffy parkas, lace and tassle jumpers, and velvet! With wild abandon you can raid your Granny’s closet and wear her twinset, multiple layers of pearls, tweed skirt… and then throw on fishnet tights and biker boots. This is a pimped-up version of a classic look, which I am very sure will be embraced by ‘young ones’.

The geek look is also a front-runner this season, geek-glasses, headscarves and socks worn with sandals, loose-fitting jumpers with flared below the knee skirts – think Velma from Scooby Doo! On the other hand, corsets are taking centrestage – you now wear them over your clothes. Choose the right dress or top for underneath and the look is fantastic.

I’m sure not many of us will be investing in an over-sized puffa jacket to be worn slightly off the shoulder. To be perfectly blunt, the look is ‘this jacket was left at my house, it’s too big but I am so hungover I’m going to wear it anyway’. Yet this is a mega-trend. Balenciaga encourages you to wear one with your most glamorous eveningwear, at least that’s what they ‘threw’ down the runway.

I really don’t know what I think about velvet. I suppose I like velvet cushions and my daughter had the most divine velvet dress when she was three… but would I wear it? Velvet is one of the most-utilised fabrics this season – you will find it in everything from thigh-high boots to trouser suits. It is no longer only to be found in dark shades, velvet has arrived on the scene in an array of bright hues, making a somewhat startling transition over to daywear. I must admit that I saw a pair of raspberry skinny velvet pants and, believe it or not, I thought they looked amazing. That said, you need to have the legs and the bum to wear them. The trend is to wear velvet with metallic accessories, yes it does work and very well at that.

Military jackets and coats are gorgeous, at least the subtle/feminine ones are. They add a certain class and confidence to any ensemble.

Tan was everywhere at the New York fashion shows and I believe it is perhaps the chicest, most classic, most wearable colour there is. Enjoy shades from a strong tan to a soft camel – pull out anything that you already have in that colour and wear it to death!

Polo necks, or turtle necks as they are known in the States, are taking on a new life this season. The idea is to wear them under dresses. This might sound unusual but it allows you to wear slinky, glitzy dresses through the winter. Obviously, you need to find a really thin knit or sheer polo-neck, otherwise you will be adding bulk. For those of you who are always cold, try it out, you might just love this new trend.

I came across the most fabulous idea for a present. Yes, Christmas is what I’m hinting at. I picked up the brochure for Rainbow Therapies in Clonakilty recently and rang the number as I wanted something different. Jade, the owner, explained that they offer couples massage; it can be any two people, you and your partner, yourself and your Mum or you and your best friend – a fab idea. You can pick whatever combination of treatments you like or whatever fits into your budget, so it can be for an hour or 90 minutes. There is also some time set aside afterwards for some light refreshments. Jade even suggested that people could bring along a bottle of bubbly and continue to relax with that! I love this; can you imagine how much better it would be to go along with your special someone, or your best friend, or your Mum? Sharing a relaxing experience with someone is very special and Rainbow Therapies is on my list.

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