Mairead Robinson checks out what is trending on the catwalks this autumn
The predictions for this autumn – which were announced last spring, such is the way of the fashion world – have trended towards ‘lots of fabric’. This is actually very good news, especially for those of a certain vintage or size, as it translates as long and flowing. The old maxi-dress and skirt is back, and loose tops with a shawl can make for a very stylish and weather-appropriate look this season.
For everyday wear, loose trousers can be substituted for the long skirt and natural fabrics, such as cotton or silk look best. Regarding colours and patterns, obviously we all go for the colours that suit our own skin tone, but I was pleased to see some warm browns especially in the classic leopard print that brings brown/black and cream together. This is a pattern loved by so many celebrities and one that can inject glamour into any outfit. I like that it is suitable for most ages and sizes also, and has a certain timelessness about it. This means that you might already have some tiger-print at the back of your wardrobe from a few years ago, and anything you invest in this season will still be good to wear for years to come! You will find this ‘feline’ look available in coats, dresses, bags, shoes and jackets as well as skirts and dresses.
And you could also add a touch of seasonal style to a plain black dress with a leopard print belt.
Always remember to dress according to your own size and shape, and it is vital that you feel comfortable in what you are wearing. The most fabulous outfit will not look good on you if you don’t feel good in it!
If you are at a loss what to wear, try a fitted jacket and a straight skirt – it is nearly always foolproof and always look smart for a formal occasion and will suit most shapes and sizes. There are women who love to wear skirts and there are those who swear by the practicality of pants – especially nowadays when most women of all ages will choose trousers/jeans for their everyday wear. However the skirt is still the most acceptable for a formal conservative occasion, unless you have chosen a well fitted trouser suit. The trick is to find the right skirt for you. The two key shapes are simple, tailored A-line or a body-skimming pencil skirt. The latter does depend on a fairly flat tummy, so if you need a little help in that area and a ‘spanx’ will not do it for you, best not go for the body skimmer. The most versatile fabrics for the autumn/winter tropical wools and wool crepes. Remember that any skirt that hits the widest part of your calf will shorten and thicken your leg. The most flattering length for just about any leg hits mid-knee.
With long skirts being in vogue this season remember that this is a great way to hide a heavy leg! If you are tall, you can wear it skimming the floor with flat shoes or ankle-length with boots. This is a great look, and most important, it is a comfortable one too! Shorter ladies are better off with three-quarter length skirts over tall high-heeled boots. The long skirt can look sleek without sacrificing height if you keep the volume under control.
For evening wear, the long skirt’s most flattering shape is an A-line. Unless you are very tall, avoid long, frilly peasant skirts or anything else with too much volume. Bias cut skirts are feminine and are serious effective figure smoothers. Regarding delicate fabrics such as chiffon or lace, these are best over a controlling base. If your skirt doesn’t have a lining that smoothes over your curves, then invest in a slip that does.
Generally the A-line skirt looks good on most people, and will boost your shape best. It is a blessing for both curvaceous and boyish figures. And remember that a finger-tip length layer – jacket, tunic or cardigan – over a skirt in a fluid fabric worn with high heels is a great proportion-adjuster for women with large hips.
So as always when keeping an eye on the season’s latest trends, the trick is to adapt these to your own style. There are some lovely shapes and patterns out there for Autumn, both in the high street stores and in exclusive boutiques. So find what suits you, be comfortable as well as smart, and enjoy.