Winter Wardrobe Tips: Scarlet, Bralets and Wool

Fall trends are recycled year after year, yet I still manage to end up clearing out then refilling my wardrobe when it comes to September. I think it's because every season I seem to find and hook onto a particular image that I want to emulate, whether I spot it on a stranger's Pinterest or on a celebrity. I really feel I used to overthink the way I dressed, whereas now for me it is all about comfortable chic. My absolute winter staple is a go-to, never-fail sweater; one that will go with jeans, skirts, shorts and over dresses. It's got to be the perfect length, texture, thickness and fit. Of course, I have more than one sweater - they are in fact overcrowding my wardrobe - but I am forever on the hunt for a new one that will take over from my previous loyal friends as my safety blanket on dull days.
    This is my overall advice for knitwear. If you're going to wear a knit over a crisp white shirt a la Fleur De Force, it's got to be that little bit cropped, or the shirt gets swamped. Likewise, it can work the other way round. I like to layer cropped peter pan blouses underneath full-length or even extra length jumpers so that their collars peek out and create that super cute layering look but I don't get too hot. If you want to make a jumper that little bit more dressy, go for an off the shoulder or a cut-out back sweater. I have a really heavy-weight black sweater from ASOS (it's so oversized, I had to get it in a UK size 4 instead of my usual 8/10) with a ribbon tie back which sort of ruches down to the bum, and though it's like the thickest thing ever, to show a bit of back makes it almost going 'out out' worthy! You could also add a neutral or black lace bralet underneath these sorts of jumpers for a touch of (dark) romance. Sometimes woollen jumpers can look a bit overpowering; keep an eye out for soft silhouettes and hints of ladylike detailing, such as the tiny eyelets on Jennifer Lawrence's red and cream knit below, to take away from any masculinity. 

Jen in Vogue UK's December 2012 Issue
Topshop Deco Lace Bralet, £25
   Speaking of red, a fab and festive way to add vibrancy to the catwalk-inspired khaki, camel and coal shades that I presume may be dominating your closet as they are mine, is to embrace the generosity of this colour. You've got a choice of scarlet, burgundy, wine, crimson, vermilion...the list goes on. One thing to remember is that this pillar-box hue is no longer designated merely for Postman Pat, pre-school art class, or Halloween. It's not a colour to be afraid of, or associate with those girls excelling in the confidence stakes. I recently dared to buy this bold red Primark skirt, not sure of whether I would actually wear it, or whether it would make me look like a bit of a bimbo paired with my blonde hair, but the truth is- I adore it. I wanted to start wearing this skirt every day because of the pop it gave to my otherwise sombre colour palette and my mood.

My Little Red Skirt- worn with simple black velvet boots, a staple channelled by Olivia Palermo below

If there's one thing I've learnt so far this season, it's that red is timeless; not to be over-worn, but oh-so-good when done simply. Take it from Sophia- a slick of Monroe-esque lippy, a peep of cerise around her jacket neckline and her "look at me!" bag perfectly compliment the darker maroon in her trousers, without drawing away from the elegance of her attire.
   As for outerwear, there's been so many beautiful coats to choose from in the shops, right from when they hit the rails back in August, but I do think that with a coat simplicity is key and it's okay to revert to a traditional, safe hue like camel, beige or cream. My coat for instance, also by Primark - their stuff has just been so on point, it's no wonder probably 3/4 of my fall wardrobe contains their label- is a no-brainer to throw on over almost everything. The only thing is to really watch out for spillages when consuming wintery treats like Starbucks lattes...
I love this coat; it's made of an almost fluffy, ridiculously soft but not itchy material and it's also a good length for me, being 5"3. It is a tad oversized but that just makes you feel all the more snuggly. Deep pockets are always good too- I think the coat's boyfriend fit looks even nicer when my hands are sort of lounging in them! I was pretty chuffed when I found this picture of Emma Watson in an identical coat to mine! One of my key combinations at the moment is to wear this coat with my leopard print scarf- I think it looks classic yet a bit adventurous at the same time as it's another of those prints a lot of people are wary of. All I'll say is, do not go for the whole leopard-spotted anorak-y thing aka doing a Pat Butcher (EastEnders). Search for subtle little accessories, like utilising a purse, clutch or a pocket patch on a jumper as your dose of leopard spot- ASOS also have some cuteee hair ribbons like this alice band, which will only set you back like the price of two good coffees. :) 
ASOS Leopard Alice Band with Ribbon Tie, £8


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