Join the country style alliance

Dudley News: Join the country style alliance Join the country style alliance

Seek out some country living with this season's cosiest trend. Lisa Haynes reveals how to work the heritage look.

 

If summer was all about patriotic red, white and blue, then this winter is a celebration of British heritage style.

Racing greens, muddy browns and burnt oranges are key tones for this look. The colour palette may be more subdued but it's a winning look for autumn 2012.

Tartan, tweed, cosy knits, faux fur and riding boots also feature, making the countryside trend the perfect fashion formula for cosying up on Bonfire Night and seeing you through the colder months.

Shake off the city slicker vibe and escape to the country in style.


Tartan traditionalist

Take inspiration from Downton Abbey by opting for country classics.

Look to Kate Middleton's off-duty outfits for ideas - she is right at home in riding boots, traditional knits and outdoorsy waistcoats.

This trend is smart and practical, so think flats for country walks and leave stick-in-the-mud heels at home.

Checks and plaids are also staples of this style. Hunt out earthy colours and accessorise with a sweeping coat to take to the moors in dramatic Wuthering Heights fashion.

If you don't want to look like you're walking your dog, smarten up with some tailoring. A check pencil skirt will give you an instant air of manor house chic.


English eccentric

You may have no intention of actually venturing out into the sticks, but that doesn't matter - you can still adopt the country style in a playful way. Think Vivienne Westwood prints.

Look to modern tweeds with a flash of bright colour, like teal or orange, that bring the look bang up to date. To really make a statement, try super-sizing your checks.

Mixing fabrics and textures is another way to do country cool. Seek checked coats with leather sleeves or tweed jackets featuring velvet trim lapels.

Don't be afraid to introduce clashing prints alongside checks, too. This season's dark winter florals will work particularly well for a double trend hit.

For a stylish pairing of opposites, mix up countryside woolly knits with sparkly sequins for a look that works for day or night.


Heritage hesitant

If a tartan overdose is too twee for you, merge town and country style for a much more subtle ensemble.

Instead of the statement top-to-toe looks that trotted down the catwalks, adopt one accent piece, like a blanket winter coat or wax jacket. Country outerwear instantly pares down uber-girly dresses, a la Alexa Chung.

Give a nod to heritage with the ultimate countryside staple - a hat. A farmer's flat cap might be too much so try a stylish felt fedora with feather trim detail.

Accessories like scarves, bags and boots can transform a look for a country edge. Try stomping out in riding boots if you like knee-highs, or Chelsea boots if you find ankle length more flattering.


Work the country look

:: Avoid going top-to-toe country, unless you want to look like an extra on a costume drama. Either work an outfit, or accessories. Both can be overkill.

:: For authenticity, flat and chunky boots work best with this look so skip the stilettos.

:: Beware of big checks. Stick to fine checks and tweeds if you're conscious of over-emphasising your curves.

:: Heritage is more of a low-key daytime trend so steer clear if you're looking for full-on glamour.

:: If your country get-up feels too dark, add one or two bright contrasting bright colours to make your outfit 'pop'.


Get the look

(Sky)fall in love with Naomie Harris's Bond Girl premiere look by Marios Schwab. She's wearing the catwalk creation but you can get a less bankrupting version of the sheer sequin gown from the designer's new Marios Schwab Edition at Debenhams range, £150, in stores now.


Buy it now

Girls Aloud are back and they've got bracelets to celebrate the occasion. To mark their 10-year reunion, Pandora has created five charm bracelets, each designed by the girls themselves. Get your Cheryl, Kimberley, Nicola, Nadine or Sarah wrist candy, priced from £99, available now in Pandora stores nationwide.


Fashion flash

:: One night stand

With all that Christmas shopping on the cards, women are turning to dress rentals to counteract the cost of party season. More than a third of women (37%) are planning to rent dresses for Christmas parties to save money, according to MyVoucherCodes.co.uk. More than half of respondents (55%) hope to wear a new outfit for a festive occasion. The average woman purchases three new outfits each party season, accruing a total cost of £238 on average.

:: DIY heels

Made-to-order luxury shoe label Upper Street is launching its first app, Shoe Designer. To celebrate, the brand is offering 50% off footwear ordered via the iPad app for a limited period. Every aspect of the shoe is designed by the customer - from the style and heel height, to the toe design and strap options. For more information visit www.upperstreet.com/blog/

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