I’ve Been Collared!

I feel like I’ve been harping on about sheer shirts, so it seems only right for me to finally write about this trend. Last year we did the boyfriend and ‘oh so comfy’ flannel but, as you’ll probably have noticed, this year fashion got frumpy. In A/W 2010 the only way to wear your shirt is buttoned up.

I have many style icons, past and present, but no matter how hard I’ve tried I can’t help

Alexa buttons up nicely...

but look to Alexa Chung for trendspiration. I have a girl crush. There, I said it. And she definitely pops her collar.

The best thing about being buttoned up (apart from keeping out those winter chills) is that you don’t really need anything new; ideal if, like me, you’ve been saving your pennies for Christmas presents. A crisp white shirt is surely a wardrobe staple and all you need to do, is do it up. It really is that simple. If you don’t have one handy, a wee trick I learned from a stylist a few years back: go to a charity shop get any white shirt and cut the collar off. Then you have a ‘collar necklace’ that can be teemed with high-necked jumpers and dresses to cheat the look.

Jill Sander for Uniqlo

At first this ‘look’ might seem matronly or even slightly schoolgirl but paired with the right elements (a little bit like over the knee socks) there’s no reason for this trend to look contrived. And a shirt goes with everything, from carrot pants to shorts and mini shirts. Wear your buttoned-up-shirt tucked into high-waisters or go floaty and romantic and a little less well behaved… I’ve been wearing mine with some leather shorts and last year’s black with gold bobble jumper from Topshop (A/W 09) or with a black ribbon as a tie to add detail to the neckline.

I’ve a feeling that this trend might well run into the Spring (and Summer, given the British weather) so I reckon it’s probably worth buttoning down for the long haul!

Farmer Fashion

Most people (well, around 12 million) have now probably seen the Yeo Valley advert cleverly sandwiched each week in the first ad break of the X Factor (if you haven’t you can check it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOHAUvbuV4o), aside from it being genius advertising, it also milks (sorry) this winters new crop (I just can’t help myself…) of Farmer Fashion.

When I first heard murmurings of this trend, I have to say, I wasn’t convinced. My

Nice look Miss Chung

parents wear Barbour’s. They tried for years to make me wear something equally practical but I tended to stick to the ‘less is more’ side of winter fashion. Now, top of my wish list are a cosy knit, a waxed jacket and a nice pair of sensible shoes. Really.

I’m not sure when country wear went from sheep to chic but there’s something incredibly British about the whole idea: tartans, tweeds, flannel shirts and wellies. A black Labrador, however, is optional.

How to get rural…

First up: the coat, as I said khaki waxed jackets are very in right now, as styled out by Alexa Chung. The idea to keeping it modern is to pair it with the unexpected, like evening wear. Whilst, the other top coat this winter is the Cape; not as hard to wear as you might think but for the best silhouette pair with slim line trousers or tights.

Next, ditch the high heels. Never thought I’d say those words! Hiking boots have made a surprising appearance this winter, along with riding boots. Giddy-up! And both are best teemed with chunky-knit, cream socks, just to keep your tootsies extra especially warm.

Jodhpurs are also a big trend this A/W. If you can’t quite see it, just think, who would have thought we would all end up wearing nappy-bum Harems!

For jumpers it’s all about hard wearing wools, like Aran Knits – which, believe it or not, are actually meant to be water resistant! How very, er… sensible!

John Galliano for Christian Dior A/W 2010

Then there are the tweeds and tartans, which work for pretty much anything from accessories, like scarves and hats, to full-on suits or even trousers. I might even be tempted by a tartan maxi, more than just a nod to my Scottish roots!

So, with temperatures set to fall to Arctic this week, you know it makes sense to follow the tractor crowd and channel your inner rosy-cheeked farmer.