Autumn/ Winter 2016 trends are coming in faster than you can say "but I still have sweat patches from this incessant heat?" and whilst I've already covered the major pieces you can buy now to wear now (and later when the mercury drops), another great way to stake your claim is through buying key accessories that lend a nod to the runway's strongest moods. It's all about trend-led pieces that still retain perennial appeal. So go on, it's payday after all...
I've tweeted notably that Oxford Street is the Mecca for all pick-up artists. During one memorable pounce during the winter, when some man realised he was getting nowhere with me, he preceded to pick at my outfit. Perhaps this was his attempt at negging, but he asked me why I was wearing sunglasses when it was winter. "Do you think you're some kind of celebrity or something?"
Now I'm not sure about you, but I think sunglasses are named SUNglasses for a reason. That being, they protect your eyes from the blistering sunshine. The blistering sunshine which also exists in the winter months. Otherwise, they'd have called them summerglasses. No? So that's exactly what I said, whilst waltzing off into the eye-searing January rays.
For this very reason, sunglasses are an investment with perennial appeal. Here are some of the best.
This chain-embellished Zara bag has certainly got more than its price-tag's worth of airtime on this blog. Riffing on a Chanel design, it incorporates luxe silver hardware with glossy mock-croc faux leather. Yes, faux. It's had a pretty hefty price tag for something that's not real, but I've got a pick of similar ones below with lower price points. Plus, plenty more arm candy to see you through the new season. Mango has become my go-to for catwalk-inspired designs as of late, so any pick from there will have people taking double-takes and asking you who you're bag is by, not where it's from.
When it comes to ankle boots, nobody can be matched for standout statement-making with an affordable price tag quite like Public Desire can. After creating those Dior dupes last season, they've been right back at it creating sporty Vetement's style sock boots and ankle-grazing styles with stick-of-rock-style heels. The marble-heel Allie boots are an insanely good dupe of the Topshop ones in the photograph above, but come in several different colourways. Get disco-ready metallic and luxe tapestry-esque jacquard finishes on your radar now ASAP, too.
Over-the-knee-boots are going to be big news again this season. I've already given a preview of how I'll be styling them, and after trying out EGO's designs I honestly can't recommend them enough for price and fit. I find over-the-knee boots to be notoriously slippy, and when they make such a statement, you really can't afford to be stopping every ten steps to pull them back up your legs. Totally takes away the bad bitch vibes. EGO's always stay super snug, proving there's no need to fork out a fortune to get the right fit.
image 1, 2, 3, 4 by Rebecca Spencer
image 5 by Ella H
image 6 by Lydia Collins
Is this heatwave we're enduring Summer's swansong? It has me melting faster than you can say canyoupassmetheicelollyplease. But as we're on the doorstep of September, it's almost time to be packing away the off-the-shoulder blouses in favour of novelty knits in the style of Gucci (read: almost). But what are the wise investments to buy now that we're still as likely to break a sweat as soon as we set our sights on the Underground sign? It's about incorporating catwalk-inspired trends that'll punctuate your AW16 style diet with your everyday basics, and choosing pieces that have longevity to last all season long without looking dated come January. Then, of course, comes the fun of mixing with all of your wardrobe's most-loved pieces. Striped shirts. Breton tops. Blue slim-leg jeans. A plain white T-shirt. Trench coats. Get yours hands on these most-coveted new-season staples and play.
If ruffles made ripples last season, they'll be making waves during autumn/winter. Quite literally, too, as the bigger, the better, and the more, the merrier. Zara's frill-hem trousers are the perfect way to incorporate the trend without being too flouncy, and make an essential office-to-bar staple. Layer an oversized shirt over a lacy camisole top to slip off when the lights dip and the espresso martini's are sent out. Plus, the eye-catching hemline is exactly what you need to draw all attention to ankle boots with statement heels.
Make this strokable fabric your biggest crush for autumn/winter. It might just bring back memories of that outfit you wore for your school disco circa 2002, but it's far more high-fashion than high-school these days. If you like it plush and piled high, opt for sweeping flared trousers and skirts. If the texture is too much to take for your minimalist style, try out a velvet slip dress layered over a T-shirt to keep the 90s grunge-glam vibes alive.
If you invested in a pleated skirt over the past couple of seasons, four for you Glen Coco, because they're set to stay again as the counterpart to everything from bomber jackets, supersized knits, to band T-shirts galore. Anything goes - whether it's super wide box-pleats, medium splays, or fine plissé - but your style credentials will soar if you make it metallic.
Photography by Rebecca Spencer