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Each season we build a capsule wardrobe of versatile garments that will mix n’ match with ease to create a whole range of looks that will have you at your most stylish and confident best. Here’s you classic pieces with an A/W11 twist to see you through the season and beyond.
Like many classic pieces, the roll-neck jumper has had a fashion resurgence for Winter 2011. Well, to be fair it has always been a hard-working, versatile, affordable, go-with-everything capsule piece but with its sleek 60s style or androgynous leanings it is definitely on trend for this season.
This ribbed roll-neck from M&S will go under and over anything in your wardrobe. It’ll give your jeans a hint of Parisian chic and bring some sleek luxury to your tailored trousers or pencil skirt. Team with your pencil skirt and knee high boots for 60s chic and add in colour and/or interest via your printed shopper, chunky necklace or coloured skinny belt. Wear with the wide leg trousers, black skinny belt and Fedora for a stylish androgynous yet feminine take. It will also look great worn under your tunic with knee high boots and tights for another 60s nod or more simply under your simple knit jumper for an instantly updated knitwear look.
Roll neck long sleeve jumper
Available in black, charcoal, chocolate and ink
The Fedora completes this season’s take on glamour. Wear with your pretty dress, boots, faux-fur-tippet and long gloves for a full-on 40’s take or simply with your dress and snakeskin courts for ladylike chic. Distill some 70s-esque glamour and team with your tunic and trousers and sling over your maxi coat for added effect or if you like your fashion turned down a notch then a Fedora will add interest and lift even the simplest of jeans and jumper or jeans and jacket looks.
Not only will a fedora, like this one from Monsoon, keep you stylishly warm but it will also draw focus upwards, adding height if you’re petite or drawing attention away from a curvier bottom half. So there’s every reason to get your Fed-on!
Felt Fedora with contrast band
The allure of a woman in a man’s suit jacket never wains. And with masculine tailoring strongly on the radar for winter, the multi-purpose blazer comes into its own and is an easy way to work this girl-meets-boy trend. This blue blazer from Next is a day-to-night staple which will add a quick and easy splash to city looks and smarten up off-duty denim. Team with your pretty dress and court shoes or your blouse/shirt and wide leg trousers for an interesting take on colour blocking.
A neat-shouldered, single-breasted jacket is kindest to most figures. A colourful blazer will draw focus upwards and balance out a curvier bottom half. If you require more streamlining then wear a darker colour in one long lean line under your jacket. If you’re bigger up top then balance this out with flared trousers or a wider, flowing skirt.
This season, the tunic and trousers emerged as the winning double act in what is an effortlessly chic combination. The relaxed, loose silhouette covers heavier thighs and tummies if you’re apple or pear shaped and the long block of colour will help to lengthen and elongate if you’re petite. Slim, pared down pieces in wool and jersey work best by day, while at night look to slinky silks and metallic accents. Or look for a combo that will go ‘double-duty’ such as this option from Debenhams and team with your choker necklace and snakeskin heels for a unexpectedly sexy look that will also add height as well as depth and interest.
This tunic-trouser look is one that says sophisticated but not slave to trends. The pieces work decidely well on their own too. The tunic dress is long enough to go solo with your snake skin heels or knee high boots and the trousers pair up nicely with the colour block blouse, simple knit and knee-high-boots. You could also try tucking the tunic into your pencil skirt to give it even extra mileage.
Betty Jackson.Black Tunic Dress
Betty Jackson.Black Wide Leg Trousers
The fashion world continues to be charmed by the snake this season and snake-skinned shoes and bags are key statement pieces that will add a sexy slink to your wardrobe. Successful stylists have a great knack of mixing different coloured prints and patterns – simply wear your snakeskin shoes and bag together to stylize any outfit – simple as that!
A chic shopper like this one from Isme is not only big enough to fit all your bits and bobs but a clever trick to remember is the bigger the bag the smaller you will look. Finally, just like the snake, carry it carefully – on your shoulder to draw focus upwards or swinging low to drawn attention away from your top half.
Grown-up, sophisticated accessories are the way to go this season. A pair of beautiful gloves will not only keep you cosy and complete your outwear but they’ll also act as a ‘finishing’ school for your looks. Go forties inspired and team some longer length gloves such as these from Marks and Spencer with your ladylike dress, heels and fur tippet. Also try a pencil skirt, blouse and chunky choker ensemble if you really want to for all-out retro glamour.
Black Long Gloves
Marks & Spencer
Stand-out coats were making their own style statements on the catwalks this season but a great coat is a key link in your capsule wardrobe any season and can pull all your looks together in a cinch. If you want to find out more about the latest coat trends then take a look at our October latest fashion trends page.
A great coat must deliver not just on style but on warmth, longevity, and versatility and this coat from BHS really does deliver. Floor grazing coats are big news this autumn/winter as well as those in a rainbow of shades. This coat checks both boxes but its classic cut and chic blue hue will mean it will pep up your outfits for many years to come.
The slimline shape that curves in the waist will compliment curvier figures and the soft A-line shape will deftly flatter bigger bottom halves. The open wider-cut collar will flatter a bigger bosom and the set-in sleeves with square shoulder pads will straighten round, narrow shoulders. The long block of colour creates a lean, elongating line. If you’re tall then a brightly-coloured skinny belt will break up the long line. If you’re petite or curvy opt for a more tonal belt option.
Simply slip on over any of your capsule wardrobe ensembles for an instant shot of chic and to make maximum impact with minimum effort!
Designers have turned their gaze to knee-length numbers this season – perfect for autumn’s retro Sixties stylings. Knee-high boots with a heel are one of the most versatile shapes you can buy. They work under trousers. They look great under slim or full knee-length coats. They look slick with a pencil skirt that hits just on the knee.
A tailored style that skims and therefore streamlines the leg is the most flattering style especially if you have bigger calves. These fitted black suede boots from Duo will do just the trick. As you know at www.howtolookgood.com we love Duo boots as their boots come in 21 different calve sizes to perfectly show off your pins.
Team your boots with your ladylike dress, black opaque tights and fur tippet or with your pencil skirt and simple v-neck jumper. These boots were made to walk with any outfit!
Mimosa Black Suede Knee High Boots
Sizes 35-42 and calf widths 31-49
Available in black suede and taupe suede
Chokers are the must-have addition to your jewellery box for autumn/winter. It’s been a while but a decorative piece will instantly upgrade any look at any hour. A chunky choker demands attention and should be your sole statement maker so forgo other jewellery when wearing such a bold item.
A smaller choker fitted tightly at the neck will compliment slender necks and narrow shoulders. If you have a short neck or large shoulders look for something that sits a little lower (more on the collar bone) and that fans out wider such as this necklace from Wallis. Also the larger your body is, the larger your jewellery needs to be – a well balanced necklace will make your neck look more slender.
Wear your choker over everything from your ladylike dress, on your faux fur tippet to inside your blouse/shirt for an instant glamour injection!
Gold, Black and Red Squares Necklace
A great dress that fits you perfectly and shows your shape off to its best is the backbone of any wardrobe and will make you look polished and pulled together in an instant. If you don’t have such a get-out-of-a-fashion-dilemma dress then this red one from Debenhams with its Forties Flair, perfectly encapsulates the current sophisticated and elegant fashion mood.
You can go full on ladylike and style with a faux fur tippet and last month’s snakeskin heels or play it down and give it your own individual style twist. Experiment with accessories to keep the look modern and so don’t forget last season’s capsule statement necklace and chandelier earrings! Wear September’s shirt/blouse underneath for a more androynous day look or slip on a simple coloured knit over the top for alternative colour-block chic. This dress will also style with last season’s capsule items such as the chainmail cardigan for a more relaxed take.
This season’s Forties-esque ladylike looks are all about soft draping that flatters tummies, hips and thighs and an emphasis on the waist as seen on this dress. The v-neck will also flatter a larger bust and the addition of a skinny belt will further show off your waist.
J by Jasper Conran Red Pleat Wrap Dress
It’s been a long time since the humble sweater has had so much fashion cachet, but it’s come into its own this season, featuring eye-catching motifs, OTT detailing and bright shades. This blue jumper from Evans will add a pop of colour cool to any outfit while keeping you warm. Its streamlined shape will gently show off curves without adding bulk and the v-neckline will compliment a fuller bust. The brighter shade will balance out rounder hips and thighs but if you are top- or tummy- heavy then you can still opt for colour just go for something in a deeper, richer shade.
This jumper will go with everything – from over September’s colour block blouse, leather skirt and snakeskin heels look to over a ladylike dress for a daytime look.
The jumper doesn’t seem so humble now!
Blue V Neck jumper
The faux fur tippet is the Autumn/Winter transformation item – it will revamp an outfit in an instant, giving it this season kudos. Channel this season’s luxe Gucci 1970s look by slipping on a rich faux fur stole over a faux coat, pussybow blouse and wide leg trousers or the season’s 40s style over a tea dress and nipped-in jacket.
A faux fur tippet like this one from Ann Harvey can be worn alone over everything from tailored jackets to evening gowns as a glamorous, cosy, and very right-for-now accessory. It will add volume to a slender bust and balance out a bigger bottom half. It can be worn in a variety of ways – draped snugly around shoulders (to balance out narrow shoulders), knotted under the chin (to compliment a less-than-perfect neck) or over one shoulder and belted into place.
It’ll go with any of your capsule wardrobe items – from the colour block blouse, leather skirt and snakeskin heels, the simple coloured knit and leather skirt to simply with the ladylike dress.
Faux Fur Tippet
The pencil skirt is always a key capsule piece and it takes centre stage this Autumn/Winter season. This leather one from Isme perfectly encapsulates the feel of the season, striking a perfect balance between provocative and chic.
Team with the buttoned up shirt and snakeskin court shoes for a look that embodies refinement and drop-dead sex appeal. The pencil skirt writes its own rules though and can be worn in so many ways to reflect your personality. Style with your pretty printed blouse and minimalist heels for a seductive look, with the simple tee and blazer for a sexy androgynous take or with the Breton top and chainmail cardigan for a little je ne sais quoi glamour.
The fit of your skirt should hug your hips and waist (but not too tight) so that it creates a curvaceous shape. If you’re pear shaped then balance out the silhouette with a voluminous top tucked into the skirt. Add a belt for extra definition at the waist. Similarly, if you’re slender then this look will give curve definition. If you’re top heavy then opt for a darker toned, slimline top.
Leather Pencil Skirt
Available in black and tan
One of the season’s hottest pieces is a languid, fluid blouse with shirt-like sensibilities. It’s more streamlined and figure-skimming than the boxy shirts of yester-season without overt feminine frillyness. It blends the line between masculine and feminine and will wear well with pretty-much any bottom half.
As well as this season’s leather skirt, style with your spring/summer capsule wardrobe wide leg trousers and wedges or pleated skirt, skinny belt and minimalist heels.
The colour blocking trend gets a Sixties spin this season as well as playing some body shape trickery like this blouse from Whistles which draws focus upwards and outwards (away from tummies and adding height) as well as drawing a elongating line down your torso.
Colour Block Blouse
The pointy court shape together with the coloured snakeskin print combines to create one of the season’s hottest shoe looks. These statement shoes from Kurt Geiger will add a classic-but-sexy and glamorous touch to any outfit.
Colour shoes can cause foreshortening by drawing focus downwards but the black and red snakeskin print pares this down and creates a more ‘camouflage’ effect. The pointy shape of the shoe, higher heel and ‘low toe cut’ helps to elongate legs.
As well as adding a refined finish to autumn’s ladylike looks or a twist to androgynous tailoring, style up with last season’s capsule wardrobe trench dress or the wide leg trousers, simple tee and blazer.
Eden Court Shoe
Available in pink and black