New season rules

I‘m a personal-style blogger, focusing on what my peers and I wear and I shop for trend-led style. I’ve been working with CollectPlus for over a year now on various campaigns – from guest-writing its ‘How to…’ fashion blog posts to creating styling tips videos. I really enjoy working with the company because it has so many different retail partners on the books, so there’s a huge variety of items from which to choose. I really enjoy the challenge of finding pieces from different brands and pulling outfits together.

CollectPlus plays an important role in my job because I travel so much – I’m just back from Amsterdam and Paris and I’m away again to LA this week. But yet I still need to order clothes and accessories while I’m away from home. Not having to worry about being in the house to sign for a parcel makes my work so much easier. They offer delivery to thousands of locations around the country, such as my local corner shop, so I can fit them in when it suits my own schedule. 

For this shoot I’ve pulled together an edit of my top autumn/winter essentials. The checked blazer was the starting point. The high street has exploded with checks this season and for the days when you just want to wear jeans and a T-shirt, throwing on a gorgeous blazer and some bolder shoes turns it into an altogether more standout outfit. It’s so simple and there’s minimal effort involved, which makes dressing a pleasure. And this philosophy works with more casual pieces like a simple claret sweatshirt. Red’s a huge trend this season and I’ve been converted because it looks so good with indigo denim. It’s a simple but strong combination and, again, paired with a navy longline blazer, like this one here, it instantly becomes more interesting.

On the whole for autumn/winter, I try not to be a slave to trends, simply because in Britain our winters are so long. If you buy into all the autumn trends at the start of the season, you might find pieces in the mid-season sales that you wish you’d saved your budget for. Instead, I recommend following a few rules. Firstly, invest in your outerwear by buying a coat made of at least 50% wool. Then treat yourself to two or three good pairs of boots – a flat style, a mid-heel and a statement pair, because shoes can instantly freshen an existing look. 

And consider your core essentials like jeans and T-shirts. Pay attention to the fabric composition on your basics and knitwear and you’ll find the pieces hang better and last longer. And you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune for luxurious fabrics; high street cashmere is strong at places like Marks & Spencer and Asos at the moment. And when you’re shopping for jeans, always order a couple of sizes so you can return the ones that don’t fit.

When it comes to styling touches, tiny tweaks lift your outfit. For example, take a simple wool cardigan like this chunky nude one but tuck it into jeans, maybe with an interesting necklace or find a simple black belt you love. 

Inject trend pieces like the velvet bag into your wardrobe but do it strategically. Applying checks to a classic piece like a blazer, which will be useful for years to come, is a clever investment. And the red boots here – apart from being incredibly comfortable – are going to carry through well into next season. They’ll look great with bare legs and a denim miniskirt when it gets warmer. And remember, don’t focus on the trends too much because you might find you’ll get tired of them by December. And we’ll still have a few more months of winter to go.”

WIN £500 towards your own autumn edit

Deciding which new trends to invest in is one of the pleasures of the season. Because, let’s be honest, there is a certain joy to be taken in pulling on a snug, tailored overcoat, unbobbled cashmere jumper and pristine pair of boots, safe in the knowledge they will not only keep you warm but on-trend too. And here is your chance to build that bulletproof winter wardrobe with a considerable helping hand. CollectPlus is offering one lucky winner £500 of vouchers towards their very own autumn edit, using its huge number of partner retailers including Karen Millen and John Lewis. Five runners up will also be the lucky recipients of £100 vouchers. 

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