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Wednesday 24 August 2022

Planning and Storing Your Autumn Collection

& #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. As the long days shorten, and Strictly Come Dancing and soccer are with us again, thoughts inevitably turn to the new season's clothes.  

If you're like me and short on wardrobe space, your autumn/fall and winter clothes may be stored away. I make sure I always have a few lightweight cardigans, wraps and jackets to act as transitional items before the coats and thick jumpers are brought down from the attic.

In this post I'm going to cover autumn/winter trends and what I'm looking for, before turning to the subject of making our existing wardrobe work better for us by understanding what we need.  Get yourself a cup of something, it could be a long one.


At this time of year I usually share the predictions from Vogue. I also looked at the predictions from Elle UK and Glamour, and do you know what?  They were all different.  So three fashion editors saw the same runway shows and came away with a different interpretation of what would direct the retailers for the next year or so. 

The only thing they all mentioned was corsetry, or rather, bustiers and garments with boning, which is good news for older women because it gives great shaping. Gucci and Bottega Veneta both featured this look. Here's the latter's corseted mini. It's probably a No from me, and in particular to the leather waders (!). 

I've cherry picked the most wearable trends from Grazia UK's predictions.

1) Tights.  Hoorah! Extravagantly patterned tights, lacy tights - they're all in fashion. I adore tights of all colours, textures and thicknesses, and with the shorter skirts that are in vogue, we will be able to show them off.  My go-to for tights and cute socks are UK Tights and Tights Tights Tights
2) The miniskirt suit. This is for the bold among us. The skirts are very short, but on older women that looks fine with opaque tights if you're nervous about it. 
3) The shacket with contrasting necktie.  I have never got into the shacket trend (checked jacket which can be worn in between seasons), but I know a lot of you like them.  Add a neck tie to bring yours up to date.
4) Bold colours.  Halpern, Gucci and Marc Jacobs all used vivid hues such as the brightest reds, greens and oranges.  There are also plenty of the more traditional autumn shades. Below: dress by Uterque, £189.

5) Baggy Jeans

I feel we've been hearing this for a while. Designers have been trying to wean us off skinny and boot leg jeans for ages, it seems. This is the shape for the new season from Alberta Ferrati. 

6) Knits

We all love our cosy knits for winter and every designer went big on jumpers (sweaters), sweater vests and ponchos for this season. Below: Balmain with a super look, although I would find it too warm for indoors. 

As the new drops arrive online and in the shops, it's tempting to go mad. But with all the questions around the sustainability of fashion, plus the squeeze on incomes caused by the energy crisis and rising inflation, a different approach is called for. Thrift shopping - buying from charity shops - has never been more popular.  I also like to take a scientific approach to what I actually need. 

How Many Hangers?

One question that's been doing the rounds on social media is how many hangers do you use?  I haven't counted mine but the number is nowhere as high as the others I've seen, probably because I squeeze three garments on most hangers if I can! As I mentioned, I have two fairly slim wardrobes plus a chest of drawers. For your edification, my wardrobes. This is my Kettlewell wardrobe, colour coded. Below the rail are a couple of baskets for swimwear and tights with my handbags on top, and to the left, a couple of baskets for gloves, hats and scarves. 

Since my re-rating to Spring  (in seasonal colour analysis) I have bought a few spring pieces, which are predominantly the cream, brown and pink items on the left. I've made a few pre-winter purchases too, silky roll necks and a smart fleece jacket for my walks.

And this is the wardrobe of shame, which is my non-Kettlewell stuff, mostly summer clothes except for a few favourites. It's the wardrobe of shame because there are a couple of pieces, such as the pink dress, that have never been worn for reasons I'll come onto.

Below the clothes are boxes of shoes and more bags. There are more bags, shoes and boots under the bed too  (I hope Mr Mutton is not reading this!). And my bulky winter coats are in one of his wardrobes.....

The strange handle that you might spot is a snow shovel. I bought it years ago, to stash in my car when I was commuting very long distances. But it's never been used. Mr M gets cross when he sees it. 

Buying the Wrong Clothes! Guilty as Charged 

One of the things I've been guilty of is buying things for a lifestyle which is no longer mine. Four years ago, when I first started working at the tech company I've recently left, I bought some smart pieces - asymmetric skirt, spot blouse, fairly high heels (!) and so on, and only realised when I got there that nearly everyone else was casually dressed in jeans and fleeces. 

I adapted my look and became known for my collection of fun shoes and boots, but it was an important lesson. 

Another mistake I have made for years is falling for something sequinned or feather-trimmed, thinking I will surely have an occasion on which to wear it, but the reality is, now I'm not working, I don't. The pink dress you can see on the right hand side of my wardrobe is a classic mistake. I love the shape and colour of the dress, but it seems quite formal, the sort of dress to wear to a wedding. I'm probably going to sell it. 

Being a blogger means I tend to hoard things. I take part in a monthly challenge and it sometimes throws curve balls at me. Eye of the Tiger? I don't have any tiger print, but instead managed to busk it by wearing a tiger eye pendant instead. If the challenge calls for something I simply don't have, I'll buy something in a charity shop. 

My first tip to planning your wardrobe/closet is to be clear on your lifestyle and what clothes are required. Here's my example. I don't work so my wardrobe can be fairly casual. For autumn/winter a typical Going Out outfit would be colourful jeggings, brogue shoes, a short jacket and a top with a striking necklace or scarf. I don't need dresses or sequins.  I do a lot of walking, including in wet weather, so I also need to make sure I have what I need for that. 

Now that I'm clear on my lifestyle demands, I can identify my priorities:  what I really need, based on gaps in my existing winter wardrobe.  

The Gaps in My Wardrobe

1. A pair of brogue shoes

For my warmer spring wardrobe, which now includes brown, I'm looking for a pair of brogue shoes in a cream or tan shade.  (And reader, I have found them for just £15 in the Joe Browns outlet! Be still my beating heart). 

2. Brown skinny trousers

I adore M&S jeggings and God love them, they have a pair for autumn in chocolate. Sorted!

3. New rucksack 

I haven't had one for several years and my pink one is falling to bits. Fortunately I have an extensive collection of fleeces, walking trousers and weather proof jackets - which are expensive - so no need to buy anything else.

4. A couple of Essential V or Cosy Cotton tops from Kettlewell

These are the workhorses of my casual, relaxed wardrobe. I'm looking for colours like peach, coral and geranium, colours which suit me that you can only buy all-year-round from Kettlewell.

5. Something new for the sake of it (!)

I know I'll get bored if I only buy the essentials above, so I'll also be wanting something that tempts me, for John to give me for my birthday and Christmas. 

Are You Wearing all Your Clothes?

One of my Kettlewell friends, Clare Smythson,  has a great way of organising her wardrobe. 

Clare, who runs Ornately Lanterns, decided that in 2022 she would wear all her clothes. So she bought slim velvet hangers and hung everything up, one item per hanger. The hangers of items that haven't been worn were turned the other way. Then she attached a label to each hanger and ticks it every time an item is worn.

Says Clare:  "It works brilliantly - I've worn everything at least once. So now every hanger with an item that's only been worn once is back to front...and so on." Here's Clare's rail. 

I think this is a brilliant idea. To make it workable for me, I'm going to sell or donate clothes in the wardrobe of shame, plus anything in storage which isn't working for me. Then I'll have enough room to put everything on one hanger. If you want to check out what I'm selling on eBay, visit my "shop" before Friday (26 August).  Part of the proceeds go to Shelter. 

How do you approach a new season?  Do you have a "system" for making sure you wear everything? Do let us know in the comments.

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink,Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up. Bloggers/Instagrammers can find new readers, plus readers can find new blogs to read. 

Last Week's Favourites (Most Clicked)

Self-Esteem for Women over 60: A Key to Happy, Healthy Living by Carol at Scribbling Boomer

Function of Beauty Ruined My Hair by Jennifer at Curated by Jennifer

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  1. I'm always looking forward to see the new collections. Not a fan of a shacked, but do love tights.

  2. Me too - skirts with tights are more cosy than jeans -and more flattering, in my opinion!

  3. Thank you for featuring me and happy you loved my post. I hope you are having a lovely week so far. I just love your picks here! Knits are my favourite it just feels so cosy and it’s one of my favourite seasons. https://www.bauchlefashion.com


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