Autumn 2012 Essentials

Ikat print scarf – Ed and Dulwich Trader £38

My face is parched from the central heating, the whole family have colds and I’m seriously considering buying vitamin D supplements – slightly cheaper than a house in the Caribbean.

It can only mean one thing, autumn is here and winter is well and truly on its way. If that all sounds rather gloomy there is a light at the end of the tunnel; the shops are full of fabulous winter clothes and now is the perfect time to breath some new life into your wardrobe

The magazines predict about 20 new trends at this time of year (covering all bases I think) and if you don’t know your ‘gothic-fetish’ from your ‘sports-luxe’, I’ve listed my top five ‘keepers’. These are items that rise above the trends, fit seamlessly into your wardrobe and will be around longer than Russell Brand’s latest girlfriend!

Grey leather jacket – Question Air £479

Biker jackets – practical and the one-step way to sharpen up a look. They add a touch of cool to the compulsory jeans and striped top combination as well as toughening up a pretty dress. Wear cropped and tight. If you’re feeling flush you can splash out on a soft as butter designer one but there are some great cheaper high street versions too.

Ankle boots – much like the biker jacket, these too add a modern edge to jeans and dresses alike. They also alleviate the hassle of the long boot tuck-in when you only have 30 seconds to leave the house. On top of that they are perfect for when the weather is not too hot and not too cold…most of the time then!

Black ankle boots – Question Air £160

Printed scarves – add a new one into your wardrobe every season for an instant wardrobe update. For the record this season good old leopard print is very much on trend. Look out for styles that are blocked with bright colours and patchworks.

Fur-trimmed parkas – worn by movie stars, models and ‘mums on the run’ alike. They never date and look a lot better than a cagoule on a rainy day – yes we’ve all been there!

Bag and scarf £120 and £35 resp – Bias Bellenden Road

Smart leather bags – I’m not a fan of the ‘it’ bag phenomenon but I think every women deserves a decent leather bag. A cross-shoulder bag is useful for days in the park and travelling light.  However if you need to carry around the kitchen sink, a large leather tote is perfect and is currently having a fashion moment.

Whilst I don’t believe in slavishly following the trends, adding some new season fashion pieces into your wardrobe is good for the soul. Here are my top five key trend pieces for the season:-

Printed trousers – if you’re feeling bold go for a loud floral. If you would like something more sedate then an optical print might be more your thing. There are some gorgeous metallic jacquard ones around too, which are perfect for the party season.

Eric Pruna – red satchel at Ed £165

Military coat – you would be right in thinking that we’ve all seen them before. This season, however, they have been updated with some clever details. Look out for leather patches as well as colour and fabric blocked styles.

Knitted jumper – I could write a whole article on this as the high street is full to the brim with them. They are slightly trickier to negotiate than some of the other trends and it’s important you choose the right one for your body shape. As a general rule if you are bigger on top then avoid chunky knits and loud patterns. Instead choose a finer knit on a soft flattering colour – of which there are plenty around.

A statement necklace – by this I mean a chunky, jewel encrusted piece that sits on the collar bone. They are a brilliant way to finish off any outfit.  The fashion pack are wearing them with casual t-shirts but you can wear them with anything from a denim shirt to an evening dress.

Parka – French Connection at Ed £169

The slipper loafer – arguably the new ballet pump. Choose from studded or leopard skin or the two combined may take your fancy. Probably best used as slippers this time of year as they aren’t made for winter weather.

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Fancy a fun night out? Come along to the next Style Lab, brought to you by Queen Bee Styling and Lawler Steel hair salonTaking place on 29th November at 7.30pm, Lawler Steel Salon,90 Park Hall Road, West Dulwich, SE21 8BW.

The evening will host a showcase of local business talent. Experts will be on hand to give you live demonstrations on make-up, hair and fashion. You can also sample delicious canapés, sip a glass of wine and view work by local artists.

This is a free event and spaces are limited. If you would like to be involved or to book your place please call Lawler Steel on 0208 670 9969 or email

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