I’m back with some excellent wardrobe essentials to see you through the Autumn months. From the best boyish coat to the sexiest mid-length skirt, I have every angle covered. Bear in mind that I still have a bit of a baby tum and massive matronly bosoms and have therefore dressed accordingly. Or at least tried to. Hopefully that’ll help a few people who are in a similar sartorial situation – I find that consciously pulling in my stomach muscles until they ache does help a bit with straightening out a lumpy torso!
We shot the photographs for this post at the wonderful No15 Great Pulteney hotel in Bath. It’s a new boutique hotel that’s very quirky and cool – Mr AMR and I (the world’s smallest fashion team) had keys to a few of the rooms and they were gorgeous. Unusual art works, dolls houses with tea-sets inside them – we did toy with the idea of keeping the keys and not ever leaving. If you’re planning a trip to Bath, you can find out more on No15 here.
But on to my first wardrobe essential for Autumn: the chunky knit. This one from AND/OR at John Lewis* is a gorgeous blush colour and has a really flattering cut. I’m wearing it with grey skinny jeans (also AND/OR*) and some amazing – very comfortable – brown boots from Dune.
These are the Powars boots* and have just enough height in the heel to make you feel a little bit dressed up. But not enough to snap your ankles when you run for the bus. Always a bonus! I think that these look really smart – slightly equestrian, perhaps, in this chestnut sort of shade, but a really good shape for wearing with skinny jeans.
This swallow-print shirt from Boden* is a nice little wardrobe addition for the colder months as it’s made from jersey, so a bit thicker than your traditional silk or thinner cotton shirt. It’s very warm and has a soft, cosy feel. This has gone into the sale since I bought it – it’s £35 instead of £50 here*.
Also cut from a lovely thick, warm fabric; the Alexandra dress from Hush, here*. It has a soft, ribbed finish and a drapey, generous top that sits nicely over the tighter skirt section.
It looks very chic with heels – the long sleeves and voluminous top half of the dress give it a slightly eighties feel – but brilliant, thankfully, with flatter, more casual boots. These are the Merlin boots from Topshop* – very on-trend, apparently, with the rock-chick studs and buckles!
These are quite unusual in that they have a biker-boot feel, with the buckles, but then the daintiest, pointiest toe! Excellent with black drainpipe jeans and a leather jacket, also to toughen up more feminine dresses and pretty prints.
A coat with a boyish cut is a brilliant buy for Autumn – one that looks relaxed and effortless can change the look of even the most basic of outfits. This cocoon coat from Kin at John Lewis* has cropped sleeves and finishes just below the knee so that your wrists and legs look all dainty.
I like it with pale denim and a pair of smart court shoes. These are the new Sledge shape from LK Bennett* – keep your eyes peeled for a special post about them next week.
The new shape comes in a few different colours, but I really like this Oxblood suede. You can’t get more autumnal than a berry shade!
The cricket jumper: I’ve been procrastinating about this “oversized” sweater from Boden*, but I think it’s a keeper. It’s not actually oversized at all, really – at least not my idea of oversized! – but still has a generous cut and sits nicely past the hips. Keeps the kidneys warm, which is very important when the weather gets cold! (So says my Mum. Blimey, what is happening to me?)
At any rate, I like the unusual, colourful banding on this one. Very cheerful. What’s next? Team AMR had very little time left in the hotel, at this point – our key had to go back to reception – but we still had to shoot what I think is my favourite outfit. A bit of a pattern-clash (animal print on tweed!) but an easy way to spice up your wardrobe, if you’re bored of plain denim and classic jumpers:
Check me out, the femme fatale waiting for her illicit lover! In reality, that would have been a bit awkward, because Mr AMR was – y’know – right there, but a girl can have a storyline. So: tweed pencil skirt from Boden here* – it comes in a number of patterns and colours and I would say that it comes up slightly large, just in case you’re wondering. I’m wearing a 10, but could easily have shimmied into an 8, I reckon.
The top has the same print as the shirt I wore in last week’s fashion post – both are from LK Bennet here*. It’s a gorgeous, lightweight little number, but the neckline is high and wide so wear with caution if you’re big-bosomed – it needs to be nipped in at the waist otherwise it will drape from the boobs and make you appear wider than you really are. Cinch it with high-waisted jeans, a pencil skirt or a thin belt to create a gorgeous hourglass shape.
So there you have it. Some (hopefully!) helpful wardrobe ideas for the transition into the colder weather. I haven’t really featured a bag in this story, but I do find that my good old Mulberry Lily* goes with just about everything.
I’ve had it for years and years, now, and though the fact that it’s un-lined bothered me greatly when I first bought it I must say that it has weathered quite a few storms and still looks great and relatively non-battered. A good investment piece – although it was a much smaller investment then that it would be to buy it new now…