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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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A Perfect Pyjama Party

As you eagle-eyed fashion followers may have noticed, pyjamas are following suit with lingerie’s underwear and outwear rebellion and are no longer bedroom-only garments. And no, I’m not talking about those lazy pyjama days slouched with a box set in front of the TV in your living room. Pyjamas are venturing outdoors … they are leaving the building! It’s been toted as the best solution to the summer heat, and frankly, I think it’s a great idea.

Like all trends, this one began on the runway, seeping into the consciousness of the catwalk models who clearly can’t help but draw fresh inspiration from each show, from them to the celebrities who line the runway each year, and now, dear readers, we have begun to sit up and take note. Vogue is talking, and we’re listening.

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Stella McCartney.

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Clements Ribeiro.

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Jonathan Saunders.

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Haider Ackermann.

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Ferragamo.

This trend, however, is not an opportunity to be lazy. Styling is still required to transform your nightwear into sleek day wear or elegant evening wear; have accessories at the ready, and a killer pair of heels!

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Cara Delevingne.

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Rihanna in Pucci.

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Jessica Alba

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Sofia Coppola

I’ve been scouring the internet and have put together my favourite pyjama-inclusive outfits in all their adventurous glory!

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Olivia von Halle. Lila Nika striped silk-satin pyjama. £330. Available here.

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Olivia von Halle. Bella silk-satin pyjama. £185. Available here.

Carine Gilson. Silk-satin pyjama bottoms. £415. Available here.

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La Perla. Stretch-silk pyjama bottoms. £245. Available here.

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Raphaella Riboud. Roxanne Silk-crepe pyjama shirt. £648 £324. Available here.

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Temperley London. Silk-satin pyjama set. £160. Available here.

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Altuzarra. Redwood printed techno-satin trousers. £605 £220. Available here.

This entire outfit would cost £2640… so what’s that? One kidney, or two?

And for those of you us who who are looking for this trend on the high street, at high street prices, here are a few more affordable options for you to consider:

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1. Rosie for Autograph. Floral short pyjamas. £29.50. Available here.

2.  Untold Memoir. Plain silk pyjama shirt. £65. £52. Available here.

3. Topshop. Floral cigarette trouser. £38. Available here.

4. Topshop. Floral chiffon robe. £32. Available here.

5. Topshop. Geo jacquard trouser. £42. Available here.

6. River Island. Light pink floral shirt. £38. Available here.

7. Topshop. Clean rose cigarette trouser. £42. Available here.

8. River Island. Black and white striped shirt. £15 £7. Available here.

9. River Island. Dark red floral print slim cigarette trouser. £40. Available here.

Also, I’d just like to point out, I was wearing a silk pyjama top as a shirt way back in 2011… and I’m pretty sure that as a kid, I managed to slip by my parents a few times in my pyjamas (the top, anyway.. bottoms would have been too conspicuous) when when reluctantly accompanying them on their boring grown up errands… does that make me a trendsetter? I’m going to count it.

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