Winter is fast approaching - temperatures have dropped, the leaves are (finally) falling, and the Christmas drinks are well and truly flowing. Which means it's time to dig out your weather proof style essentials and prepare your Winter wardrobe! And what better way to get started than with a Winter lookbook? Here's a couple of outfits I've been wearing during the hit and miss weather of the end of Autumn period.
1. Contrasting Patterns
Coat - Zara / Sweatshirt - Whistles (similar here) / Skinny Jeans - Zara / Scarf - Accessorize (similar here) / Brogues - Russell & Bromley (similar here)
Red tartan is a British staple, and what better way to incorporate it into your wardrobe than in the form of a big cosy scarf? And maybe along with some contrasting patterns, for example the breton stripe, and a bit of leopard print. I got these brogues years ago from Russell & Bromley, and I've only just rediscovered them - they are the perfect pair of flats for the changing weather, and can amplify any outfit with their chic yet fun style.
2. Denim & Knee Highs
Trench coat - Aquascutum (similar here) / Roll-neck thermal - Wolford / Skirt - Stradivarius / Knee-High boots - Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley (similar here)/ Bag - Coccinelle (similar colour here)
An outfit that I would wear for a London city day out. The denim button down skirt and roll-neck combination gives that hint back to the swinging sixties, which is something a love. Add a classic beige trench coat, and then some added height (and warmth) with these classic black knee-high boots, and what else would you need?
3. Thrills & Frills
Coat - Mango (similar here) / Shirt - Ralph Lauren (Outlet) (similar here)/ Trousers - M&S (Per Una) (similar here)/ Ankle Boots - Russell & Bromley / Bag - Furla
A slightly smarter, but still casual enough look that's perfect for those days when I want to inject a bit of Victoriana into my wardrobe. Paired with these olive green peg-leg trousers, and boyfriend style coat, I think this is a perfect Autumnal outfit that is also capable of transitioning into Winter territory.
4. The Patchwork Boots
Many people would classify a shirt as floaty and ethereal as this one in the 'Summer-wardrobe-only' category - but not me. I think when paired with the right Winter pieces, it really gives life to an outfit - who says we can't wear white blouses in the colder weather? Especially when paired with these suede patchwork boots in Autumnal colours. Keep your Winter wardrobe alive - you don't need to just wear black, brown and aubergine.
5. A hint of Punk
Coat - Zara / Jumper - Vintage (similar here) / Trousers - Ralph Lauren Outlet (similar here) / Patent Boots - Topshop (similar here) / Bag - Coccinelle (similar colour here)
Another addition to my tartan collection are these green tartan jeans that I found in the Ralph Lauren outlet store in Bicester Village. They add a great element of punk to any outfit, but are still smart, especially when paired with a black roll neck jumper and a pair of patent leather pointed toe boots.
6. The White Jeans
Coat - Vintage / Sweatshirt - Whistles (similar here) / Jeans - Topshop / Trainers - Adidas Superstars / Neck Scarf - Bits & Bobs Vintage / Lipstick - NARS Hard-Wired in Deadly Catch (similar here)
I don't think white jeans should be conformed to the 'Summer-wardrobe-only' category as well, as when paired with the correct items, they can make any Winter outfit pop. Paired with a faux fur collar-coat, some french-style additions, and a bright red lip, why not?
My friend Gaby - effortlessly cool without realising it, can style up pretty much anything. She can wear a rainbow crochet top with a bright pink jacket and somehow not look twelve years old, but instead, like a really fun and kooky individual. Maybe it's the relaxed and positive attitude she exudes, or maybe she really is just that cool. I decided to snap some photo's of her on a casual day out in the Summer, and talk to her about why she wears what she wears, where she gets her inspiration from, and her favourite charity shops.
Kat: Hi Gabz, where would you say your favourite place to shop for unique clothes in London is?
Gaby: I mainly like to shop in charity shops around London, for example in Hammersmith, Richmond and Ealing, and whenever I'm out and about in London and see one, I'll pop in and have a look. I also really love vintage and thrift stores. I like going to The East End Thrift Store in Stepney Green, and also to shops in Brick Lane and Covent Garden, like Rokit and Blitz, and to vintage markets.
Kat: Thats ace! And where did you find this amazing pink jacket?
Gaby: I almost forgot, another love of mine - car boot sales! I found this jacket at the Chiswick car boot sale for a quid. Screw Topshop - car boot sales are where it's at!
Kat: What do you think most influences your style? Pop culture, music, other people?
Gaby: Mostly other people, I guess. When I'm walking around and I see someone wearing something I like, I try to remember it and then look out for something similar. I also watch quite a lot of tv shows set in the 70's, 90's and early 2000's, and so that gives me inspiration as well!
Kat: If you had to pick one charity shop to be your favourite, which would it be?
Gaby: Kat, I can't give away my secrets like this - I'll be clotheless! But honestly, I don't really have one. I guess one I really like in particular is Octavia Foundation in Ealing. It's always really cheap but with cool, individual items.
Kat: And lastly, what are your everyday staple pieces?
Gaby: Thats actually quite a difficult question, to be honest. I think I usually base any outfit with a denim item, and sort of work around it. And obviously that varies season to season. I really like mom jeans and flared trousers (a nod to the 70's and 90's seperately), and I have one pair of vintage Calvin Klein mom jeans that I found at a charity shop in Richmond that I love. I prefer them to Levi 501's as they're more comfortable and seem to suit me better. I guess another staple of mine is thrifted printed t-shirts, and items with bright colours, like knitted jumpers and jackets, so items that make any outfit pop.
I'm hoping to make StyleChat a regular segment of the blog - so keep posted for more coming soon! Thank you to Gaby Foley for her time and face - you're fabulous, chica.
Pea Coat - Gant / High Neck Jumper - WAH London x Asos / Peplum Jeans - Asos / Trainers - Adidas Superstars / Bag - Coccinelle
Today's OOTD was based around this fab jumper that I found on Asos. One of my absolute staples for Autumn/Winter is roll neck and high neck jumpers, most of which I own in black, which is why I was even more inclined to purchase this one as I knew it would stand out. The colour is really unusual, one that I rarely see on the High Street - on camera it comes up more like a perriwinkle blue, but in real life, it's more on the lilac side. It's also a nice thick cotton with added cashmere for that extra bit of cosiness. It's comfortable, but right on trend as well. I'm also a huge slogan shirt lover, and with 'Royal' embellished on the front (and 'Loyal' on the back), I couldn't resist.
I paired it with some eye-catching trousers, a favourite pair at the moment, my high waisted, slim-mom peplum jeans (also from Asos - they make any outfit pop), a pea coat (for added warmth and a bit of classic chic), and my trusty Adidas Superstars - they give any outfit a more current and laidback feel.
People always ask me what article of clothing has become my staple over the last few years, and the first item that truly springs to my mind is a pair of well-cut culottes. I feel effortless in them. They're equally stylish as they are comfortable, and they seem to work really well for my height (I'm only 5'2'') . As it turns out, they seem to be a flattering cut for all heights and all body shapes too, so I couldn't recommend them enough. They must, however, finish at your mid calf at least - any shorter and they'll verge on bermuda's, which is not so much a flattering look. When paired with the right materials, they can look very put together, and less casual, as well. Here are a few of my favourite pairs (I've managed to acquire quite the collection), how I style them, and why I love them.
1. The Navy-Blue Linen Culottes
Linen Culottes - Whistles (AW15) / Ankle Boots - Russell & Bromley / Navy Roll Neck - Nicole Farhi (Factory Outlet Sale) / Bag - Furla
Unbelievably soft to the touch, with an effortless flow to them, these linen culottes can be made to look casual, or more dressed up, depending on what you pair them with. The tie waist detail adds an extra bit of interest and structure.
2. The Frayed Denim Culottes
Denim Culottes - Topshop / Cropped Striped Jumper - Topshop / Coat - Joules / Bag - Furla / Ankle Boots - Russell & Bromley
An edgier pair, with a raw cut hem at the bottom. Looks cool with just about anything, and lengthens the leg even more with the super high waist.
3. The Black Floaty Culottes (a classic, summer piece)
Black Viscose Culottes - &OtherStories / White Shirt - Topshop / Leather Jacket - Reiss / Ankle Boots - Office / Sunglasses - Spitalfields Market / Bag - Longchamp
Culottes - Same as above / Roll Neck - Nicole Farhi (Factory outlet sale) / Pink Biker Jacket - Zara / Patent Ankle Boots - Topshop
The classic 'goes-with-anything- pair. Flatteringly skims over the legs and settles almost like a midi skirt due to the thick viscose material. The perfect Summer-trouser.
4. The Wide Leg Denim Trousers
Cropped Denim Trousers - Whistles (SS16) / Top - Primark / Sunglasses - Rayban / Shoes - Underground (creepers)
A more retro pair. Darker denim, eye-catching pocket details, and a longer length. Good for those who aren't as ready to venture into the shorter culotte region.
Where can I find them?
Here are a few links to my favourite culottes on the market at the moment.
1. The Denim Light Wash Pair: Similar to the ones from outfit #2. Classic nineties style and raw hem cut.
2. The Kooky Pair: Slim leg, classic black, but with a twist - who doesn't love pom-poms?
3. The Office Pair: Smart tapered leg, tie waist, with a mini check pattern. What could be more office appropriate (yet stylish)?
4. The Zip Pair: A classic wide leg cut, with a chunky metal zip. Simple, and chic.
5. The Salmon Pair: A floaty, satin-look pair, that add a statement colour to any outfit.