Friday, 19 September 2008

Your Autumn/Winter Wardrobe On A Budget

Fashions, seasons, money; they all come and go. The one I’m making it my mission to help you get on top of is money, and with a whole new wardrobe twice a year, you’re never going to hold on to much of it are you? Here are my tips for pulling together your perfect autumn wardrobe with what you may already have, plus a few key items.

Golden Rule: When buying new for changing seasons on a budget, you should seriously consider versatile, basic items that work with what you already have.

The Good Coat

If you spend wisely, a good coat can end up paying off dividends for years. If you splurge foolishly, you’ll likely need a new one next year, for which you’ll probably have less money to spend than you do now. The key is to go for the best quality you can afford, note I say ‘quality’ and not ‘label.’ You need a well designed, well stitched, waterproof, warm, comfortable coat that looks divine on you. (Warning: this may take a little searching to find!) Don’t be tempted by anything too ‘trendy’ or ‘now.’ It’s not going to be ‘now’ next year is it? Invest in a timeless, classic style that will deserve its spot in your wardrobe for years to come. Hats, scarves and gloves are cheap, new-every-season ways to update your look. You may already have the perfect coat stuffed away in the attic, or even right under you nose. Think about it before you hand over your cash!

The Good Jeans

Again, most of the rules for your good coat will apply here. I try not to fall into the trap of wearing jeans every day, yet I do, unyieldingly. So it’s good to know I’ve got my trusties. Seriously, I’ve got pairs I’ve had for years, hand-me-downs even, which are still going strong. You should only really need one or two good quality pairs of jeans. Figure out the style that suits you best and make that investment! Or consider what you may already have.

The Basic, Long-sleeved, White, Cotton Top

Available in great shapes all year round from H&M, they’re my magic winter ingredient to turn my summer wardrobe into a winter one. Get layering! Small summer tops can look great over long sleeves, therefore opening up massive possibility in your wardrobe. You could layer over a colourful long-sleeved top if you liked, but then you’ll probably need a bigger selection and we’re looking at key, versatile pieces, so white or black are probably best.

The Selection of Cardigans or Sweaters

Again for layering, go for a neutral one that’ll go with anything; then a couple in your favourite colours to look cheerful on those rainy days. Quality pays off, I can’t say it enough. If you invest in a timeless style you won’t regret it but, equally, wools are a great way to make a statement and, if it suits you, you can easily update your look each year with cheap’n’chic high street steals. Thin, long cardies are big at the moment.

The Hosiery

Tights are huge this season and have always been a favourite with me for keeping toasty! And, conveniently for winter versatility, woollen ones won’t rule out wearing skirts already in your wardrobe. Obviously, tights are a cheap way to update your wardrobe every year. Right now, bold print and lace are huge; bright jewel colours and footless tights are still hanging about from a few seasons ago; and I currently have a penchant for both white and flower print tights, and over the knee socks.

The Good Boots

And here we have the piece-de-resistance. A fab pair of boots, suitable for gloomy conditions and to go with all outfits, will never fail you. Make them as comfy as possible and don’t be afraid to splash out a little extra for them if you’re honestly sure they’ll last for seasons to come.

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What are your autumn/winter season staples? Comment away!

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