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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 29#

Is this a going out outfit? A day wear outfit? I’m not quite sure yet, but I know that I love it, and I would happily wear it day-in, day-out… it just looks so comfy, and yet, throw on a pair of amazing heels, and it’s perfect for a night of dancing wildly… even if replacing slippers with heels does make it a bit of a contradictory statement…

8-sep

1. Toga Satin-Trimmed Crepe Jumpsuit. £340. Available here.

2. NastyGal Runs Deep Crop Top. £23.38 £6.98. Available here.

3. River Island Beige Bow Front Leopard Toe Cap Slipper Shoes. £25. Available here.

4. Diesel Likke U S Fur Shoulder Bag. £470. Available here.

5. Wallis Gold Cut Out Cuff. £12.50 £8.75. Available here.

6. Chloé Triple Stone Ring. £250. Available here.

7. ASOS Snake Chain Necklace. £15. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the day 13#

The trend of layering a lace trimmed slip under a baggy fit jumper-dress has spread like wildfire since last year, and while I love the lace-and-knit, wool-and-silk look, I’ve been trying to think about how to do things just that little bit differently, and looking to those in the street who already do. I’ll always have room in my wardrobe for silk or lace kimonos, but it’s reached a point of being just that little bit too chilly to wear them alone. I’m looking for the perfect knit cardigan collection to layer over a growing kimono collection; some tacking or pinning of the customary sleeves of kimonos will be required here. A fur gilet would also look great; or layered over the cardigan and kimono. It’s sunny today, so I’ve opted for simple flats, but if the weather turned gloomy, I would switch for baggy, thick knit socks and a great pair of lace up boots.

23-Aug

1. Whistles Aya Tie Waist Skirt in Ivory. £195. Available here.

2. Topshop Satin Soft Crop Button Top. £26. Available here.

3. Topshop Ruffle Soft Lace Kimono. £60. Available here.

4. Vero Moda Long Open Cardigan. £23.97. Available here.

5. Zara Flat Shoes with Bow in Navy. £19.99. Available here.

6. Ted Baker Botanical Bloom Print Lady Bag. £109. Available here.

7. My Flash Trash Amethyst Slice Silver Chain Necklace. £14.50. Available here.

8. River Island Silver Tone Encrusted Leaf Thumb Ring. £3. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 12#

It’s a graphic t-shirt day, a break from the usual full midi skirts, satin shirts and Nasty Gal bustiers that became my staple pieces of the summer. I’d wear this Alexander McQueen tee tucked loosely into the Oscar de la Renta silk trousers; I love the combination of an edgy youth and sophisticated chic. Throw a co-ordinated knit in there for the evening, and a pair of beautiful slippers, and I’m (in my imaginary dress up world) ready for my day.

Seriously though, does anyone want to take me shopping?

22-Aug

1. Alexander McQueen Floral Embroidered Skull T-shirt. £450. Available here.

2. Oscar de la Renta Printed Silk and Cotton Blend Straight-Leg Trousers. £282. Available here.

3. Oscar de la Renta Spanish Mule Embellished Linen and Leather Slippers. £400. Available here.

4. Toga Intarsia Mohair-Blend Cardigan. £365. Available here.

5. Rochas Two-Tone Leather Tote. £820. Available here.

6. Vickisarge Artisan Gold-Plated Swarovski Crystal and Feather Earring. £190. Available here.

7. Arme De L’Amour Gold-Plated Finger Bracelet. £215. Available here.

8. Thierry Lasry Painty Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses. £330. Available here.

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AW14: How to wear… Folk Fairy Chic

You don’t have to look hard at this season’s runways to the heavily layered influences of folk and fairy tales. From romantically dark, Grimms brother-esque graphics to sheer, floating florals, woodland decals and Germanic prints, all __ atop a deep pallet of emeralds, navy’s, rubies and deep golds. This trend compliments the overruling trend of statement coats, capes and ponchos perfectly, combining to create a romantic, whimsical look which will send us all harking back to those childhood days of playing make-believe as our favourite fairy tale characters.

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti

D&G

Dolce & Gabbana

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci

etro

Etro

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Temperley London

Temperley London

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Valentino

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Valentino

Get the look…

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1. Traffic People. £100 £58. Available here. 2. Topshop. £55. Available here. 3. Topshop. £55. Available here. 4. Free People. £58. Available here. 5. ASOS. £38 £15. Available here.

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1. Mata Traders. $79.99 $55.99. Available here. 2. ModCloth. $59.99. Available here. 3. American Apparel. £12. Available here. 4. Mantaray. £29. Available here. 5. ASOS. £60 £30. Available here. 6. Topshop. £14.50. Available here. 7. My Flash Trash. £22.50. Available here. 8. River Island. £8. Available here. 9. River Island. £3. Available here.

To recreate this look this winter, opt for keeping warm with thick tights, rather than packing away your dresses and skirts; have you ever seen a fairy tale princess in trousers, after all? As the air chills, swap light, floating fabrics for thicker fabrics like velvet, wool or flannel; brocade, embroidery and gemstone shades are all in. Team with leather accessories, and keep yourself snug in a thigh-skimming cape. If you find one with a hood, even better, but if not, pinning a fur collar will complete the look.

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If you’re a fashion minimalist and so not a fan of the woodland-animal themed motifs and extravagant florals that have flocked to the runway, you can still inject some folk influences into your look. Stick with block colours as your base; such as this dress or this skirt and top combination, teamed with folk tale themed jewellery such as this or this and a laser-cut leather handbag, such as here or here. Keep yourself with a blanket cardigan such as this or this coat, while this scarf would look great tied in a bow around the handle of a leather tote. A cute pair of leather boots, and of course, don’t forget those thick winter tights (or socks, if you’re feel you can brave the icy winds), and your look is complete.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 9#

White is, and will always be, the best colour of summertime, and just because we’re now creeping towards winter, that doesn’t mean that I’m quite ready to give up this clean, summer look just yet.

19-Aug

1. All Saints Iris Shirt. £138. Available here.

2. Alexander McQueen Silk-Blend Satin Dragonfly Trousers. £2675 £936.25. Available here.

3. Nicholas Kirkwood Textured-Leather Point-Toe Flats. £295. Available here.

4. Victoria Beckham ‘The Victoria’ Matte Leather Tote. £1995. Available here.

5. Maria Black Tube Gold-Plated Necklace. £130. Available here.

6. Astley Clark Faceted Ring. £75. Available here.

7. Valentino Rome Safari Silk Scarf. £255. Available here.

8. Bvlgari Crystal Cat Eye Sunglasses. £727. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 1#

Like most girls, I have for years enjoyed wasting hours of precious time on various Fashion blogs, or perusing Lookbook.nu, perusing with green-eyed envy the carefully styled outfits of the globe’s most glamorous bloggers, photographers, models, students, graduates, interns and general ‘average Joe-anne’s; those in the same boat, it seems on the surface, as myself, (recent graduate, recently moved to London, pushing, like everyone else, for that big career break), and yet they are magically able to somehow afford what constantly appears to be immaculately designed, sweeping white-walled apartments and bottomless Narnia wardrobes.

I know that bloggers carefully design their public persona. Some may spend a week completely redesigning their entire work area simple for a quick ‘what’s on my desk’ post, while others swap and borrow from a long list of friend and family members’ wardrobes in order to constantly appear to have been on the shopping spree of the century. The more well-known bloggers may get sent free stuff, or take home goodie-bags from a range of events that their magical spot of the internet grants them access to.

These past few months, I’ve fallen in love with blogging, in the same way that I love my photography. It’s become very much a part of who I want to be, professionally… though I’m still figuring out the logistics of that. However, I do not have an immaculately designed, sweeping white-walled apartments, nor do I have bottomless Narnia wardrobes. I moved here to London in June, with one 10KG, carry-on sized suitcase… partly because I did not realise at the time that I would actually be moving to London, rather than simply passing through on my travels… that decision rather hit me like a ton of bricks. Therefore, 90% of my wardrobe remains locked away in my Dad’s spare bedroom in Derbyshire, waiting for my return. Not to mention that last summer, I decided in a stubborn fit of nomadic wanderlust that I would be living indefinitely out of that same suitcase, and so I had the clear out to end all clear outs. Yes, yes, I know. Silly, silly me. My wardrobe is calling to be built back up to its former glory of all colours, all fabrics, all designers.

Hard to do when you find that you’ve suddenly (a madly, willingly) gone from the luxury of nomadic travel, in all of its rent-free, bill-free, other-‘settler’-related-bills-and-taxes-free glory, to… rent, bills, other-‘settler’-related-bills-and-taxes. I find myself constantly asking where my money has disappeared to, checking my bank statements in a panic, convinced that I’ve been robbed, only to realise, ah, of course… it was rent day yesterday.

It’s been a shock to the system, to say the least. The past twelve months have spoiled me. However, from this came the ‘If Only’ series; an insight into my personal fantasy land, where I can live a-la-Sabrina-the-teenage-witch (you remember? She wore a completely fresh outfit everyday with a zap of her finger, because she could), and wear whatever I want; a completely fresh outfit everyday. Go on, indulge me. It will be so much more interesting than anything in my actual wardrobe.

11-Aug

1. Kate Moss for Topshop Jumpsuit. £90 £50. Available here.

2. Valentino Embellished Suede Cape. £10,440 £6264 . Available here.

3. Guiseppe Zanotti Fish Embellished Sandals. £640. Available here.

4. Reed Krakoff ‘Mini’ Atlantique Tote. Available here.

5. Love Moi Black Gold Triangle Statement Necklace. £17. Available here.

6. Links of London Diamond-cut chain necklace. £110. Available here.

7. Assad Mounser Swarovski Crystal Chain Necklace. £400. Available here.

8. Venna Crystal Pendant Spike Chain Necklace. £485. Available here.

9. Venna Crystal Spike Pearl Necklace. £435. Available here.

(7, 8 and 9 twisted, twined, quite possible taken apart entirely and worn, reassembled, as bracelets)

10. My Flash Trash Bronze Six Grill Ring. £48. Available here.

11. Saint Laurent D-Frame Acetate Mirror Sunglasses. £195. Available here.

12. Alexander McQueen Resin Skull-Handle Collapsible Umbrella. £330. Available here.

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