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Key pieces worth spending money on

How often have you spent money on a piece of seasonal clothing only to discover that after a few washes it doesn’t look half as good as it did when you first bought it? The trouble with buying cheaper items from the high street is that they often don’t have longevity so while you might feel like you’re getting a bargain at the time, usually you will end up having to repurchase a similar item time and time again. This season it might be time to consider some investment purchasing. Taking time to save up and purchase one item rather than spending the same amount of money on a number of cheaper alternatives will prove more sustainable and worthwhile in the long run.

These items will underpin your wardrobe and become the basis of 'your style'. Paring down your wardrobe in favor of fewer pieces that you truly love, rather than an abundance of clothes you may never wear. This is something that I do when I work with clients; to re-educate them on re-establishing a 'working wardrobe' that fits into their lifestyle and budget. I for one have become a huge advocate for this way of living as it’s made getting ready in the morning a hundred times quicker.

Below are the pieces that I believe are worth spending money on, the ones that will stand the test of time and you will still be wearing in years to come. The key thing to look out for when purchasing investment items is making sure that you don’t purchase a trend piece, instead go for a classic style so that it won’t date. This season make room in your wardrobe for the most trusted pieces that never go out of style.

These timeless pieces are wardrobe investments; season after season, year after year these are the pieces that you will be pulling out of your wardrobe with confidence.

1. Leather Jacket

While a real leather jacket won’t come cheap, nothing beats the feel and look of real leather. A jacket that will almost see you through all seasons so this piece is certainly worth the investment once you consider cost-per-wear. Leather jackets from Whistles and All Saints are top of the shopping list.

2. Jeans

The importance of a good pair of jeans is unrivaled, these are often the most reliable and well-worn item in your wardrobe. Brands will come and go but nothing beats Levi's for me at the moment, they have re-established themselves as a key player against expensive more fashionable brands. Go check them out.

3. Leather handbag

Perhaps the ultimate investment piece a leather bag is the everyday piece that you’ll carry for years to come. Designer handbags are also great investments as some even increase in value over time, such as classic Chanel bags. You don’t need to splash out on high end designer for a long-lasting handbag, but do aim for genuine leather as it will maintain its shape and appearance longer than any other material. I love British designers such as Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch and Sophie Hulme.

4. Coat

Once you know your body shape and what is the best coat for your shape then buying the perfect coat is key. Once you go for a great flattering style with not too many modern or ‘on-trend’ details this piece won’t date and will serve you well for years to come. Look at brands such as Max Mara, Joesph and Reiss.

5. Ankle boots

Not only practical but stylish too, the easiest way to sharpen up a casual outfit is with a pair of leather ankle boots. A pointed toe will give an added element of sophistication while a classic round toe or slightly square will also look stylish for seasons to come. Black is a classic but you can also go for brown, grey or deep burgundy, shades that will be hard workers in your wardrobe. Shop at Kurt Geiger or Whistles for some more affordable yet still sturdy, long-lasting options.

6. Shirts

I think shirts are a style staple and the most versatile item in your wardrobe as there is more than one way to wear a shirt. Easy pieces such a denim, checks, stripes and a plain white shirt will never go out of style, but you might change the way you wear them season to season. Look at &other stories, Zara and Boden for some good quality shirts.

7. Belts

Belts can be worn for waist definition or just an added outfit perk. By wearing belts with your jeans you could be rocking a statement in itself, or wrapping them around a chunky knitted jumper you could be using the belt to accentuate your waist. Whatever the purpose of the belt make sure it isn't boring. A leopard print belt or studded biker belt will change up your outfit taking it from drab to fab!

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Edits guide to the best coat for your shape

Firstly it's true to say that I am totally obsessed with coats!

As an ex-coat buyer I am full of joy when every winter comes around and I can but yet another new addition to my collection. My wardrobes are unfortunately not getting any bigger whilst my coat collection is slowly getting out of control!!

Not all outerwear is created equal, and if you’ve ever dressed up for an evening out, only to then toss on your everyday puffer coat, then you know what I'm talking about! There are actually tons of options for your winter-wear; an amazing coat can upgrade a less than stellar outfit. At the same time, the wrong coat can ruin a best-dressed list worthy look.

When it comes to outerwear, fit and proportion are everything –  whether it’s a £5000 designer label, or a £50 vintage find, if it's not the right coat for your body shape (paired with the wrong outfit), all you’ll be left with is a big zero! So whilst checking out the trends for this season on coats I also had to ask myself, which coat style would suit my body shape best?

To make things simple, I've separated body shapes into 4 general categories: Apple, Pear, boyish and hourglass. With also some tips for Tall and petite gals too.

Here are my tips so you can rock the right coat for your shape -

APPLE - broad shoulders & narrower hips

Coats that nip in at your waist or are belted will give the illusion of a smaller waist and trim your tummy. Look for coats that have a deep v neck line as this will draw attention up top and distract from the roundness of a fuller figure. The right length coat for an apple should fall right below the waist to mid-thigh and never at the widest part of your hips because it will make your hips look wider. Another tip is to stay away from shoulder pads as you don’t need to accentuate your shoulders further.

PEAR - narrow shoulders, wide hips & thighs

Pear shaped body types tend to have sloped shoulders so coats with shoulder pads will enhance your shoulders and balance them out with your hips. Pear shaped gals should stick with coats that are fitted around the top half and looser around the bottom half. Double breasted coats will draw attention upwards and the fitted styling will give the desired balanced look. Avoid shorter coats that end at your bum as this will draw the eye to your large middle section with a horizontal line.

BOYISH - narrow hips & smaller bust

For women with a small bust size, look for tailored coats with exaggerated collars. A coat that's cropped to mid-thigh and has beautiful little tailored shoulders and big curvy lapels will give you a feminine shape. If you want to give the illusion of wider hips, then wear a coat that flares out from the waist and stops at the hip. Using a belt on your coat will also give the same affect.

HOURGLASS - bust&hips nearly the same size

Fitted, tailored coats will be one of the best choices for an hourglass figure. It's well fitted shape will slim down into the waist and will emphasize your figure beautifully. As an hour glass, you are able to pick any length tailored longer coats especially with belts or small pleated waist detail.

TALL

For Tall shaped gals, I recommend looking for a longer, loose, oversize drop-shoulder or cocoon coat, which works best on a taller frame, whether you're curvy or boyish.

 

PETITE

Petite girls should do the opposite and make sure you avoid the voluminous shapes. A cropped fitted Peacoat is the ultimate shape if you are on the shorter side.

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