Summer dress - Fabrics for summer

I have a tried and tested wardrobe management process that means that I know exactly what I have AND I know where the gaps are. This stops me from over buying but also ensures that I have enough of the right kind of things for my lifestyle.

We are about to follow this process as a group within my membership, The Style Club. They’ve been itching to get started and now that Autumn is well and truly within sight, it’s time!

As much as I love summer, there is something about Autumn that makes me very happy. I love the cosiness, the fire being lit, switching from white wine to red, the coats, the boots….It’s my favourite season.

Part of my wardrobe management process is assessing my hero pieces. These are the ones that I have worn to death, (mostly) over several years and that I would replace in an instant if they were to need it.

I thought you might find it useful to take a look at my hero pieces and then work out what yours are. Then you can check whether they still in good nick for the coming season, if you have enough options to see you through, and whether you need to do a spot of shopping.

Remember that your hero pieces will likely be different to mine. Because you style is yours and mine is mine. We are all beautifully different which means we suit different things.

I hope this inspires you to get your wardrobe ready for Autumn too!

My Hero Pieces

1. Leather leggings:

I love these because they are funky and make me feel sassy. They are warm on cool days and evenings and the silhouette of outfits that are more fitted on my lower half and floatier on my top half is the most flattering way for me to dress my figure. Oh, and they are one of the most comfortable pieces I own.

It’s VERY important for me to point out that you absolutely do NOT need to be investing this amount of money in anything. I bought these around my 40th birthday as a HUGE treat and I have worn them almost non-stop ever since. So for me, they were a great investment. Considering the all import up cost-per-wear theory, they have cost me less per wear than many of my more reasonably priced pieces, simply because I’ve worn them SO much.

Tip: I recommend you size down in these, if you are going to try them. If you’d rather try a less expensive pair, please, please read all the reviews. Too many leather leggings lose their shape very quickly – especially around the knee. These are still going strong after a gazillion wears.

 

2. Uniqlo heat tech thermals:

I highly recommend these lovely, fine layers that are perfectly discreet under most of my shirts and blouses, so I can continue to wear them in the cooler months. I wear them for glam nights out AND under a thick and cosy jumper when I’m watching my kids play football and they keep me cosy and warm.

Tip: I like the ballet necklines because they are wide enough to be hidden under my blouses. They also come in cami styles, roll necks, short sleeve, long sleeves, different colours….take a look.

 

3. Cashmere jumpers:

Another luxury item that I wouldn’t be without. I have some neutral tones and a couple of brighter options and am always looking to grow my collection, since I practically live in them over winter. My favourite places to buy cashmere are, Whistles, John Lewis & Partners and M&S. John Lewis & Partners have this one in a very soft light pink and a neutral (light camel) colour too if bright pink isn’t your bag.

Tip: Treat your cashmere kindly and it’ll serve you well for years. Get yourself a cashmere comb to keep the bobbles at bay. Much of the cashmere on offer will go on a gentle cycle in the machine BUT check the label to double check!

 

4. Silk shirts and blouses:

I wear these all year round. I used to wear a lot of polyester, until I realised how DREADFUL it is for the environment and how sweaty it can make you when you reach a certain age! Buying silk blouses in colours and prints that I love are a great investment and whether I wear them with comfy jeans, tailored trousers or my trusty leather leggings, (I’m not a skirt wearer), they always make me feel fab. I often pick up a silk blouse with a great print from a local boutique Doodie Stark, who now sell online too. Other great options are Pure Collection, John Lewis & Partners and Mint Velvet look to have some nice ones this year too.

Tip: A patterned blouse is a great way to add interest to your outfit but please make sure you know the shape and size of patterns that work for you. If you go too small for your personal scale you can make yourself look bigger and if you go too big the shirt will wear you. Check out this blog post I wrote to check in on your personal scale (it applies to accessories too!)

 

5. Stomper boots:

I bought into this ‘trend’ after admiring it from afar for a while. Being a trend pieces, I didn’t splash out. I got this pair from on a weekend in Copenhagen last September and they were a bargain, incredibly comfortable and pretty durable.

Tip: I tend to wear them with my cropped jeans on a cooler day. They just fill in the ankle gap nicely! I love the look of stomper boots with a dress, but I don’t wear dresses often enough to get enough wear out of them this way.

 

6. Chelsea boots:

Another pair of boots! Sorry but it’s what I live in during autumn/winter! This style of boot is fail safe for most people. It’s a great smart/casual boot which makes it a very useful style to own. And they are usually easy to style and go with anything. I have a black pair from Dune which have served me very well for many years. The pair pictured and linked here are similar.

Tip: I’ve had my Chelsea boots re-soled twice over their lifetime. This keeps them working hard for you for years. It’s a cost-effective way of keeping them in tip top condition.

 

7. Black jeans:

A great alternative to my black leather leggings when they aren’t quite right for a situation. They give the same silhouette (this is the outfit formula idea in practice!) and look pretty smart. This pair from AG are also incredibly comfortable. I got them in New York in Bloomingdales sale but would pay full price when they need replacing. I sized down in these to get the best fit.

Tip: If your black jeans are starting to fade and don’t look as smart as they used to, try bunging them in the washing machine with some Black Dylon. It works a treat!

 

8. Animal print boots:

I use my boots to add a splash of drama to my every day looks. They look great with my camel coat too (see below). Mine were from Air & Grace a few years ago but these look very similar.

 

Tip: If you like the idea of adding a splash of drama to your outfits but aren’t an animal print fan, these come in pink and red suede too. Just protect them with a LOT of spray before you wear them!

 

9. Camel coat:

I have always LOVED winter coats. Please don’t bung an old anorak over a lovely outfit. If you only buy one thing this winter, make it a gorgeous winter coat. I have rather a large collection of coats these days, but they all serve a different purpose (so that’s ok…).

My camel coat (pictured here with my friend Pip, after having our make-up done at Trinny London) is from Jigsaw. It’s a few years old, so longer available but it’s been my saviour. I love how it ‘lightens up’ my outfits which tend to be darker in the winter. It goes over just about everything and I’ve worn it SO much that I will need to replace it this winter.

 

 

Tip: A neutral coloured coat is a great idea to go over all of your outfits, BUT camel isn’t the most flattering colour for everyone. It’s perfect for people with ‘spring’ colouring. You might be better with another neutral shade.

I might replace mine with this Jaegar number.

 

So, they are my hero pieces for Autumn Winter.

What are yours?

Share in the comments, I’d love to know!

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