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Trend of the Season: Ponchos, Capes, and Really, Really Big Coats

While there are many great trends for us all to focus on during the frosty winds and rain of AW14, none have got me quite as excited as the oversized outerwear trend. Be it ponchos, capes, or coats, I swear each winter the size of our outerwear is swelling, and this year, it’s definitely a case of the bigger the better. That doesn’t, however, make puffy marshmallow coats ok. Ever. Even if some brands, such as Wood Wood and Stine Goya try to convince us otherwise. It is on the list of regrettable fashion choices, and so do not give in to it just because it may be a fad trend. Stick to capes. Capes are cool.

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However, as much as I’m sure most of us would love to be able to buy one of Burberry’s already iconic blanket ponchos (especially if we could have a monogrammed one.. please?), sadly, very few of us can afford to splash out the needed £900. Therefore, I have been scouring the internet for the best bargain buys, so that even if, like me, you can’t afford Burberry, you can still feel amazing in a big coat… because nothing feels quite as good during cold winter days as a really, really big coat. Best of all, I’ve stuck to a budget of £100, to show that anyone can look amazing in a statement coat this winter.

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Topshop: Checked Cape. £32.

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River Island: Camel Colour Block Waterfall Jacket. £70.

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River Island: Dark Brown Faux Fur Lined Waterfall Jacket. £85.

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ASOS: Cocoon Coat in Pink. £85.

Also available in camel.

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ASOS: Coat with Faux Fur Collar. £80.

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Beyond Retro: Vintage Wool Coat with Fur Lining. £54.

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ASOS: Cape in Black, Camel or Cream. £25.

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Free People: Sunset Hooded Ruana. £58.

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New Look: Cream Chevron Tassel Hem Blanket Wrap. £24.99.

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New Look: Green Check Faux Fur Coat. £64.99.

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H&M: Coat in a Wool Blend. £79.99.

Remember last year when we were all being told to choose a pastel coloured coat for AW13? Well, apparently that trend hasn’t died entirely, seeping through into H&M’s AW14 collection. While I haven’t been a pink coat fan since a rather disastrous pink puffer jacket fiasco of mine – yes, my earlier advice is based on personal experience – ten years ago, this one is a winner for me, and I think it looks to be worth so much more than £80… probably not the coat to choose if you have a ‘one-coat-for-every-look’ mindset.. pink is rather picky, after all.

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By Zoe: Cape with Fur-Lined Hood. £87.40.

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Very: Savoir Longline Shearling Coat. £89.

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Very: Rochelle Humes Fur Collar Wrap Coat. £99.

This one just manages to scrape into our £100 budget, sparing you a precious pound for your savings. It is a beautiful coat, from Rochelle Humes’ Very Collection, and once again harks back to last winter’s pastel coat trend. Oh, I want it so badly.

Also, while I know, this post has become a bit more of an ode-to-ASOS than I intended, for those of you looking for a great bargain (aka, all of us), you have to see this… ASOS is currently selling a range of beautiful Helene Berman capes for £98, reduced from £170, available in a range of colours. You’re welcome.

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Tips of the Trend:

1. Silhouette should no be abandoned entirely. While this is a trend that revolves around baggy, oversized garments, give a moment to think about your silhouette. You want to find a coat that still nips in slightly at the waist. A fur lapel will help to create a natural hourglass figure. A defined silhouette also prevents the oversized look from becoming frumpy-hobo. It’s simply more flattering.

2. The same rule applies to what you are wearing underneath. For example, when wearing a blanket cape, your outfit will be visible, and so don’t swamp your figure in a shapeless, oversized shift dress, unless you’re deliberately going for the maternity chic look…

3. It’s all about the details. Toy with chunky waist belts over a blanket cardigan, pin a fur lapel to your coat, sew (with tiny tacking stitches) a statement necklace to the plain neckline of your poncho to really give your outerwear the same wow-factor as the rest of your outfit. Just because you’ll be taking it off the second you arrive at your destination, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t look amazing. You never know who you’ll bump into in the street, after all.

4. If you are going to break the silhouette rule, show of your skinny pins with a great pair of heels, and avoid wearing anything that sits below the knee.

5. Have fun. Experiment with colour, patterns, fur… try things even if you’re not sure that it will suit you. That’s the great thing about shopping for outerwear – you don’t have to queue for hours like cattle to be hurried into a stuffy, generally quite dirty dressing room (unless you can afford the champagne-inclusive luxuries of design houses, of course) – every shop includes a scattering of handy mirrors around the shop floor, and so you can just try on every option right there, between the knicker aisle and the wall of hats.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 26#

Today, I’m going for vintage (I blame my binge-reading #GIRLBOSS yesterday afternoon), and so a bit more imagination than usual will probably be required to see this outfit in quite the same way that I do. That’s the great thing about vintage; rarely does it appear before you, a bright, sparkling gem of a find. Usually, you have to be willing to painstakingly rake through every corner of every charity/thrift shop in town to find that diamond in the rough, and even then, it takes oodles of imagination to see what it could be, because in that moment, the sad little thing hanging limp in the hanger in your grip is nothing more than an ill fitting, tattered bit of rag. But once you’re smothered it in some TLC and added a personal touch, voila, you find yourself with a completely unique look, rather than simply being another fashionista in Topshop and Urban Outfitters (not that there is anything wrong with that either, of course).

PS. My use of the term ‘vintage’ is very lax… anything from the twentieth century is classed as vintage, in my opinion. Hell, anything pre-2010 is vintage, to me! Such as, you know.. these circa 1990s shorts…

Also, this is probably my most experimental outfit yet, and just goes to show that while this OOTD project started very much with myself in mind, sometimes my mind will stay into photo shoot territory, and I’ll find myself beginning my day by styling imaginary models. I find that it’s a great way to prepare myself for a day of fashion-driven productivity, like a morning exercise. But never, in all my years, have I ever pieced together plaid and tweed – or any outfit, for that matter, and thought, ‘you know what this needs? A sequined turtleneck. I can’t even stand the feel of a turtleneck’s high collar against the skin of my neck… my neck needs it’s space. I’m more surprised than anyone by today’s look… nevertheless, I love it.

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1. Beyond Retro Vintage Casual Shorts. £18. Available here.

2. Malene Birger Zio Sequined Turtleneck Top. £325. Available here.

3. Burberry Brit Plaid Cotton Shirt. £250. Available here.

4. River Island Black Metal Trim Platform Ankle Boots. £50. Available here.

5. Michael Michael Kors Jet Set Textured-Leather Tote in Burnt Orange. £220. Available here.

6. American Apparel Ribbed Modal Over-the-Knee Socks in Navy. £11. Available here.

7. My Flash Trash Dipped Amber Necklace. £15. Available here

8. Forever 21 Antiqued Faux Stone Ring Set. £2.50. Available here.

9. Forever 21 Stacked Midi Ring Set. £3.50. Available here.

10. Forever 21 Etched Faux Stone Ring Set. £3.50. Available here.

11. Dorothy Perkins Black Casual Skinny Belt. £4. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 25#

I think today’s styled outfit is inspired by London’s art galleries, many of which I have today frequented on a grand artistic tour of idea fuel. From the colours, the painterly skirt and the vintage-print blossom top, I’ve mellowed the mass of patterns and brights with Burberry’s beige trench cape; a modern twist on their classic, reliable beige trench that works so well to balance a busy outfit. The boots and crochet are probably considered an unusual choice with the skirt and top, but I think it would work really well.

4-sep

1. MSGM Printed Satin Midi Skirt. £325. Available here.

2. Warehouse Blossom Print Tee. £15 £10. Available here.

3. Jigsaw Soho Leather Lace Up Boots in Cream. £169. Available here.

4. Chloé Medium Marcie Cross Body Bag in Blue. £789.63. Available here.

5. Burberry Gabardine Trench Cape. £795. Available here.

6. Reiss Belluci Hammered Metal Belt. £69. Available here.

7. Oasis Crochet Trim Sock in Grey. £3. Available here.

8. Ben-a-Mun Gold-Tone Bead and Tassel Necklace. £122.50. Available here.

9. Zalando House of Harlow Bracelet. £44. Available here.

10. Astley Clarke Halcyon Days Bracelet Stack. £525. Available here.

11. Maison Martin Margiela Four Finger Cuff Rings. £280. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 19#

For all of my styling experiments, this outfit, here, is my ultimate style; this is when I am at my most comfortable, and my most confident, when the clothes I’m wearing become less of a statement and more simply, like a second skin. I’m all for monochrome and neutrals, modern twists on classic silhouettes, vintage influences and elegant simplicity. Yes, it is very modern Audrey Hepburn, isn’t it? I blame all of those old Hollywood movies over the years…

29-Aug

1. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Everly Pleated Stretch-Crepe Skirt. £670. Available here.

2. ISSA Esther Off-The-Shoulder Bandage Top. £250. Available here.

3. CLU Silk and Lace-Trimmed Wool and Cashmere-Blend Cardigan. £430. Available here.

4. Jimmy Choo Walton Suede D’Orsay Point-Toe Flats. £395. Available here.

5. Marni Leather Tote. £1050. Available here.

6. Burberry Prorsum Printed Cashmere Scarf. £695. Available here.

7. Aurelie Bidermann Organic Feathers Gold Necklace. £920. Available here.

8. The Row Cat Eye Leather-Trimmed Acetate Sunglasses. £295. Available here.

9. Valentino Wool-Blend Felt Cape. £1915. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 5#

I have little to say about this (it’s all there, what needs to be said, after all?), only that, I am in love with this co-ordinated Nicholas Crop top and full skirt… beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I mean.. wow.15-Aug

1. Nicholas Navy Stripe Silk Bonded Crop Top. £168/$270. Available here.

2. Nicholas Navy Stripe Silk Ball Skirt. £372.70/$599. Available here.

3. Jacquemus Cropped Jumper. £339.73/$546. Available here.

4. Christian Louboutin Sakouette Flat Crystal-Embellished Velvet Slipper. £895. Available here.

5. Burberry Small Leather Bowling Bag in Red. £895. Available here.

6. Ettika Spike Body Chain. £44.93. Available here.

7. Topshop Orange Stone Collar. £18.50. Available here.

8. River Island Black Chain Insert Rope Bracelet. £4. Available here.

9. River Island Gold Tone Mixed Ring Pack. £8. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 3#

Today I’m feeling very English country, because what’s that saying? You can take the girl out of the [tiny Derby-skirting village/series of European hostels], but you can’t take the [country/wanderer] out of the girl? Something like that. Of course, I had my exact outfit of the day in mind… only to realise that all of my wonderful baggy jumpers are still locked away in my Dad’s spare room, waiting for me… so instead… if only. Besides, it’s too early to tell yet which way the weather will turn. You just never know. Sunny sundress or farmer chic?13-Aug

1. John Lewis Ghost Keira Tea Dress in Blush. £60. Available here.

2. Stella McCartney Faux Leather Wedge Ankle Boots. £355. Available here.

3. American Apparel Sheer Luxe Shapes Over-the-Knee Socks. $15. Available here.

4. Burberry Medium Grainy Leather Bowling back. £1350. Available here.

5. Topshop Acid Wash Jumper in Khaki. £40. Available here.

6. Topshop Assorted Bead Necklace. £18.50. Available here.

7. My Flash Trash Gold Chain Green Stone Bracelet. £20. Available here.

8. My Flash Trash Gold Chain Turquoise Stone Bracelet. £20. Available here.

9. Topshop Enamel Arrow Finger and Midi Ring. £6.50. Available here.

10. Asos Felt Floppy Hat in Camel. £20. Available here.

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