March means we are heading into the autumn/winter fashion season, and things are changing in the stores. But for many of us, the temperature hasn’t changed radically and expensive new purchases just aren’t on the cards.
It may be time to shop your own wardrobe – which means pulling out things you may have overlooked – and putting things together in a different way.
Ask a stylish friend to come over and make suggestions, as a fresh eye will give you new ideas and help you see options you’d never thought of before.
1. Keep wearing your summer dresses – just put them with a knit. The same pretty, longer-length floral dresses that have been so popular this summer will extend right into winter, by simply adding a oversized funnel sweater over the top, or a generous cardigan/coat. Mix the textures and put the chunkiest knits with lightweight silks.
2. It seems simplistic to say layer, but imaginative layering can make all your pieces look entirely new. Put a bright silk shirt with a pussy bow under a short-sleeved sweater, a skinny black polo neck sweater under a white shirt, a brightly patterned shirt under tweed jacket, a long-sleeve lace T-shirt under a strappy dress.
3. You’ve probably forgotten what jewellery you own – pull it all out and give it a new lease of life – wear earrings in the day that you normally keep for evening, put on three rings on at once, add a sparkling brooch to a traditional jacket, or use it to fasten a cardigan, put a string of pearls with a denim shirt or a sweatshirt. Have fun with it! There’s no reason to keep anything for best.
4. Play with a colour clash mix-up. You’re probably used to matching regulation colours, so now is the time to mix it up and experiment. Layer monochromatic colour, such as a pink sweater, pink pants and pink coat, then add a hit of clashing colour like a yellow shoe, or handbag. If that feels like too much, think about unexpected pairings: a bottle green sweater with a lavender jacket, a scarlet shirt with bright blue trousers, or spots with florals.
You may need to lay out everything on the floor and play around until you find new ways to make the most of the pieces you have. For example, I found that a yellow plaid coat I bought three years ago looks fresh when paired with a raspberry satin shirt underneath.
6. Scarves update any sweater, shirt, dress or T-shirt, and there are no rules as to how to wear them. Again, a hit of clashing colour freshens up previously boring separates, so think about contrasting earrings or sunglasses as well – an orange scarf with green earrings, a pink scarf with turquoise hoops. If in doubt, go leopard. It goes with everything.
6. Change your lipstick and nail colour. As the weather and the light changes and softens, opt for darker shades of red, rust, burgundy and chocolate.