It’s a cruel truth about fashion, that often it takes you almost as long to come round to the idea of a trend as it does for that trend to rise, flourish and die on a Primark sale rail.
The classic cycle tends to go something like: you spot a trend. ‘Purple breeches’, let’s say. You do not like the trend. You cannot picture a time when purple breeches are ever going to work their way into your wardrobe. For one thing, you wore purple breeches along with everyone else 15 years ago, and they looked stupid then. But the trend persists, and as you see more people in purple breeches you come around to thinking, ‘ok, perhaps on very trendy types. But not me.’
This continues for a few weeks, until you finally start to want a pair of purple breeches. You dither, you ponder, you send texts to friends asking ‘Can I pull off purple breeches, or do I look like a psychedelic Mr Darcy?’ And eventually you take the plunge and buy a pair of purple breeches! You love them! Or at least, you love them for approximately three weeks… before purple breeches tip over into being officially a bit ‘done’ and the fash pack all start wearing tapestry cagoules or some such.
This is the problem with trends.
So logically, the correct thing to do (aside from not buying into trends, an option we’ll just temporarily ignore) is to buy stuff before you actually like it. That way you’ll get maximum wear out of them before they end up watered down so far they’re on a mannequin in the BHS window.
Spring is now so close we can almost smell the fake tan and panic, so there’s no time to lose in buying things you might possibly want to wear in another two months. Hopefully. Here are the things you should start trying to like now*.
A trend so rare people confuse it with small, sweet onions, culottes are having a BIG moment this year. Start wide if you’re more comfortable with a skirt, or narrow if you’re more comfortable in trousers, and gradually work up to the full hybrid.
L-R: Leaf print culottes £42 from Topshop, grey Love culottes £36 from ASOS, black culottes £20 from Atterley Road, oxblood scuba culottes £25 from Topshop.
The good people at Pantone have declared it their colour of the year, and this rich, earthy red/brown is all set to become bigger than lime green and orange were in the summer of ’98. Admittedly it’s disappointing when you realise it’s ‘Marsala’, not ‘masala’ the chicken tikka curry – but hey, wine is delicious too.
Suede shoes never really went anywhere, but this season is ushering in next-level suede. We’re talking button-down A-line skirts and belted trench coats. We’re talking Wild West be-tassled/off-duty Anchorman 2/Brett Anderson blasting at full volume/can’t go out in the rain-style suede. Buy an umbrella.
L-R: Green suede skirt £99 from H&M, pink suede mules £62 from Topshop, suede popper skirt £65 from Miss Selfridge, suede fringed coat £70 from Beyond Retro, fringed bucket bag £49.99 from Zara, fringed faux suede jacket £20 from Missguided.
You’re going to have to banish all thoughts of your pregnant mum in the 80s, because dungarees are really happening again. The holy grail is Alexa Chung’s artful ankle-swingers for AG, but thankfully the high street has plenty of lookalikes for a tenth of the cash.
L-R: The Tennessee dungarees £324.80 from Alexa for AG Jeans, tailored pinstripe dungarees £35 from Missguided, Moto denim dungarees £65 from Topshop, indigo flared dungarees £49 from Miss Selfridge, blue denim dungaree dress £55 from Urban Outfitters.
Or more specifically, slim-legged knee-high boots with a (slightly ugly) block or stiletto heel, preferably in suede, patent or snakeskin. This is yet another manifestation of fashion’s obsession with the early 70s this season, which means the sensible flat leather pair you keep at the back of the wardrobe for snow days probably isn’t going to cut it. Sorry.
L-R: High leg snake boots £150 from Topshop, black over-the-knee platform boots £70 from River Island, blue knee-high boots £67.50 from Atom Retro, tan patent knee-high boots £130 from Topshop, black patent over-the-knee boots £25 from Pretty Little Thing.
*Of course, if you already like them: bonus!