Budget Fashion: How to get the luxe look for less
Bairbre Power has done her homework and shares her top finds for stress-free, back-to-school chic on a budget
New term, new attitude, new wardrobe. This week, we point you in the direction of clever buys that take the stress out of dressing when you're running late for lectures.
You know the feeling -- 8.35am and all you can put your hand on is 'going out' clothes from last night or gym gear.
The Indian summer was all too short and now it's time to look to autumnal buys that pay their way to Christmas and beyond.
You can't argue with the €90 spend on the heritage-feel jacket, print dress, nutty brown bag and tan, plaited belt in our main image (left), all from the F&F brand at Tesco. The faux-fur trim adds a touch of luxury to this long jacket, a catch-all buy that has a rus-in-urbe (countryside in the town) vibe, and works equally well with dresses or jeans.
Fur was a key look on international catwalks this season, with Gucci making a particularly strong statement, rolling out sensational jewel-tone furs over co-ordinating satins. Aquascutum featured tactile collar trims on its beautifully tailored coats and, this season, the high street has delivered realistic-looking faux furs that capture the glamour of the real thing.
F&F's strong daytime looks boast second-glance qualities, like their turn-up shorts (€18.50) with sheer shirts (€16.50) and lace-up ankle boots (€26), which actually zip at the side.
You'll find the F&F clothes are at Tesco Extra branches, and I found the branches at Balbriggan and Maynooth particularly bountiful. My favourite look was their check cape (right) full of catwalk chic, featuring contrasting leather ties and traditional duffel toggles.
Girls love duffel coats on their boys and, this season, Debenhams has two really cute duffels for girls, an orange one from Mantaray costing €143, while Mr Cool himself, Henry Holland crossed the duffel with a cape (I'm christening it the dape) and at €118.50, it has true Alexa Chung appeal.