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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

Style Tips For The Autumn Trends

Autumn 2016 Trend Tips

Welcome to Autumn peeps, that beautiful season that starts to turn the leaves and prepares us for the Winter Woollies. It all sounds a natural and beautiful transition, which it is, unless you’re STILL hanging onto your lighter Summer stuff.

The wardrobe, on the other hand is shouting “Oi! Sort me out sister”, “I need some snugly separates and boots in here”! Hmm, best take a deep breath and go have a looksee peeps.

Get your layers out of the vacuum packing, if you’re efficient, or that dodgy drawer in the spare room, if you’re like me and assess the situation. Crikey, it’s October!

I know I’ve already pointed out my TOP Trend Picks over on Henpicked, but I wanted to help a bit more with the actual selection process this time, because I know many of you may like certain looks but are unsure on which to choose, or, indeed which will work for you.

As an Image Coach I would like to add at this juncture, that as a guide is important (I think) to the development of your self-confidence and understanding your body structure, it is equally so, to “feel right” in something. So take away with you, the bits that YOU like and apply if required, so let’s get cracka lackin.


It’s all very interesting to know what’s knocking about the shops and what the ‘IN’ colour is, but how do you know if you can pull it off?

The rich Autumnal hues are always obvious in the shops along with the later additions of more vibrant ‘partying’ colours, ready for the festivities, but before splashing the cash ask yourself a few questions first and try them on…

  • Which colour are you drawn to this season?

  • How do you FEEL when you wear that colour? Listen to your intuition

  • Does it lift your features and colouring, or does it drain?

  • Would it work in your wardrobe, with other colours you have? At least 3 items is my rule.

  • Is it required? Fashion update or to serve a purpose? Maybe to make a statement?

So what’s popular out there at the mo? Pantone knows, heres a few...

ColourTrends Autumn 2016

Khaki– it’s a good colour to use as a neutral but if you’re quite pale in the skin and eyes, the cool version can drain you a bit, so liven it up with something that lifts your colouring or try a print with it. Khaki and black is chic, but dark, so this combo suits deeper skin tones better if paired with a complimentary colour such as deep red. As Khaki has a casual vibe to it, it works well with denim, leather and tweeds and is great for soft/muted colour directions, but as it comes in varying shades you can find one to suit. It's a hue that the high street has popularised.

Evergreen– much more vibrant for darker skin tones or if you have a bright contrast between skin hair and eyes, jewel like almost. If you feel a bit exposed wearing a bright colour then don’t wear it as a statement piece, but if you want a bit of it try a knit, maybe a polo neck or part of a pattern.

Reds, if vibrant, are not for the faint hearted but do give an air of assertiveness and any pink will carry through to next season, trust me.

Burgundy is everywhere and looks great with deep auburn manes or brunettes alike and also mixes well with the greens, mustards, military blues and rusts also a plenty on the high street. If you’re fairer in hair and features, wear lighter accents with it especially near the face.

Mustard is a warm yellow, so can make a cool skin look sallow, but here you can add a khaki to level it out or a warmer green to take the edge off, if of a more golden constitution.

Colour combinations in the right tonal families can save or lift an unflattering colour, so play around, look to nature or to the colours the stores have placed with it for inspiration. Or book me, cheeky plug.


As the colour palette reflects the visual changes in the season, the fabrics reflect the feel, so cosy and plush are king.

Velvet, which is mahoosively popular this season is opulent and thick but shouldn’t be dismissed as a bulky foe. On the contrary, with the right fit and pile, it can skim those curves and smooth out lumps and bumps by way of a blazer or trouser. It’s the thin, stretchy, sometimes, cheaper cousin that should be treated with caution as it can be tricky to pull off, moves about awkwardly over hosiery and likes to hug body parts in an unflattering manner.

A darker hue will lessen the impact, but anything with a higher shine, crushed or brighter in colour, should be put on an area of the body that you feel comfortable with.

If not swayed yet but love the feel, then definitely invest in an accessory….stroke a clutch bag, slip into a glove or don a shoe. Snug!

I want to mention lace and ruffles too now, as the current trend of Victorian-esque blouses with lots of high necks and volume at times, can be gorgeous and beautifully feminine. However, some can lack structure and create a ‘galleon in full sale’ look which can drown the more petite wearer or indeed, bulk up the already shapely frame.

high neck blouse

In addition to this, if you add a high neck and/or ruffles to a generous bosom it can be a proportion killer and yet on the opposite scale, a form giver to the lighter chested of ladies. So do keep assets in mind and style to your strengths.

To combat such bosom niggles, I find a lacy insert or chiffon panel to the front of these types of tops are better for a larger chest, due to the fact that more skin seen, decreases the size of the bust visually e.g. v necks and scoop neck principles.

Try to keep lines neat to your form and shape in these instances or avoid frills in fleshier areas, put them elsewhere, maybe a peplum to add shape to a narrow hip.

Fluted or frilled cuffs can elongate the look of a fuller arm and a looser fit around the upper arm is indeed an ally. Avoid the puffball or frilled cap sleeve though if you’re not friends with your upper arms, it just enhances their fullness.

Pussy bows easily add a fab touch, why not make your own by adding a luxury bit of ribbon from the market, under a shirt or blouse collar.


Obviously, knitwear is always in abundance, ranging from cashmere sweaters to chunky Arrans and to ribbed polo necks. Just remember to think about what other layers you need to put them with and keep to finer layers if you’re worried about looking swaddled. You can check out my tips to layering here.

Texture is great to play with and I would say a bit of leather, suede or denim never looks amiss paired with woolly favourites this season.


If you love a print but never sure what to try, then you’re spoilt for choice this season as there’s something for each Wardrobe personality and garment.

I would say though if you’re not sure, start small. Introduce accents into your look first, there’s no need to go full on if it doesn’t feel right, you should only wear what you feel good in and that which excites. If you’re a bit of a wallflower then a loud print shirt dress or coat may not be for you, yet.

If you’re a bit of a CLASSIC there is the offering of checks, tweed and dog tooth. You can keep it conservative with the usual soft countryside tones or chic monochrome varieties or, add more character with more upbeat and brighter colours. If you're shapely and small, beware the large check, it can be a curve killer.

For the more DRAMATIC of you, we have (once again) the beloved Bet Lynch of pattern, the leopard print. You either love it or hate it but it’s important to note that it doesn’t have to be in the usual golden brown tones. It can be found in other varieties that may sit better with you, greys, burgundy and blues for example. Experiment and make it your own.

The same applies to snake print which is still around and seems to love a shoe or bag and it too, adapts to any colour.

snake skin bag

An eye for the detail in clothes is an EXPRESSIVE/CREATIVE trait and can be satisfied with brocade or touches of embroidery this season. Anyone can use it as a beautiful focal point on jackets or indeed tops or dresses to draw the eye to your face or other parts of you that you like. This means that a bothersome tummy can be overlooked by a gorgeous adorned neckline.

If you have a quirky and more GAMINE skip to your step then why not try a funky polka dot or bright garden floral. The garden floral will take you through to Spring 2017 too, as will the smaller check (gingham) and stripe – worth investing in a bit eh?

In fact, print is a great camouflager as well as a personality advertiser. The scale of a print can reduce, increase, distract or enhance a body part and should be embraced…it can be loud or subtle.

Briefly the scale rules for prints are... larger prints are better on larger surface areas whereas smaller ones are better on smaller ones, so think about your proportions.


Shoulder appeal, whether it’s as a peep hole, Bardot neckline or one shoulder lovely, they can be seen everywhere and are all great show casers for a universally sexy area of the female form. They create great lines and asymmetry can balance the broad shouldered and look very chic if worn with some serious ear adornment instead of a necklace. If you’re narrower up top then try the bardot to balance and keep the bottom half slinky.

The flat pleated skirt isn’t for everyone and at the moment remains on the midi length (calf) which can eat into leg length or be a strong calf killer, but I think you don’t have to go that low and if you choose to, it’s nothing a good neutral leg and heel or boot can’t rectify. These skirts look great with simple sleek lined tops, maybe whip on your polo or fitted denim shirt or laced blouse.

leather pleats

Heavier fabrics such as leather (faux too) create less bulk in skirts and crisper vertical lines too, which sit better over a tum and creates less of a bump. I really believe that leather adds interest to knits, lace and more in an outfit, as a texture and isn’t just for the young. My advice is just to keep the style sensible and simple and comfortable for you.

We can’t talk Autumn and Winter trends without mentioning coats and the Military style. The lengths vary from floor-length to crop, but for practical reasons I would aim for the hem to sit above or below the widest part of your hips for a jacket and probably a three quarter or knee length for a coat.

Depends what your requirements are and your individual proportions of course, but if you do have a waist you can go drapier or belted in style and if you are straighter in the body try a more structured or linear style if you like.

A coatigan, is also a fab investment this season and can instantly update jeans, boots and polo necks if you want a bit of flexibility and don’t want to purchase yet another coat, much easier on the purse. I've more information about coats and styles this season too here


So I’ve mentioned that pearls are back and they’re big. Layer or wear alone it’s up to you and because they are a great neutral, they can be put with any colour. If you want to be different try them in a metallic or bright hue.

A layered look of fine jewellery can add interest to a petite frame or create a focal point over a plain top, equally it can fill or camouflage the décolletage area if you don’t want to feel exposed or give away too much skin.

Anything with a longer length such as a pendant creates length, so can do wonders to a shorter torso or neckline.

pearl necklace

Too tight a choker or too short a piece will chop up your neck length and even give focus to your chin, not great if you don’t like it or them. A better idea is to draw the eye away with sparkles, we are all a bit like a magpie… ooh blingy bling what’s that?…a brooch on the lapel.

Statement earrings and hair gems are much more on the scene than necklaces this time and I think that’s great. Not only do the earrings give focus to the face and neck but now your barnet is getting pimped up too.


Ah we’ve reached the feet. The great friend or foe to a finished outfit. On a practical note we have the block heel in every style, thank god, the saviour of the shapely calf.

Ankle boots are given the block heel treatment too and the more decorative the better, great for jazzing up a trouser leg or opaque tight. A bit of jazz can be added to any plain shoe too, by way of a decorative shoe clip, bling for your feet. Jimmy Choo sells them so that’s good enough for me, though I’m more Etsy bound.

block heel boot

If the higher heel is a little daunting then flats are still Queen, this time with straps and buckles as emphasis, you could try a Mary Jane or strappy boot. Though as with the tight choker effect, a thin strap on a shorter leg or fuller ankle can be a bit unfavourable, so take heed.

Blimey, I’m done as ran out of body parts for now.

I so hope you’ve taken at least one thing from my waffle and now have more of an idea of what to look for in a trend you fancy.

Fashion really can be fun when you know how to work it.


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