Make a beeline for an A-line
There is something of the school uniform about this season's coolest skirt shape - the A-line.
The school uniform departments have provided the inspiration for many a fashion designer, not least Helmut Lang, whose trusty stylist, Melanie Ward used to raid the Back to School rails for the perfect flat-front trouser.
But this time it's the turn of the A-line skirt and it is precisely its uniform, utilitarian aspect that makes it such a key item.
Strict, austere, no-nonsense perfectly cut, the A-line requires a certain amount of precision, along with a really good, luxurious piece of cloth.
I seem to recall making an A-line skirt as a school sewing project. The basic cotton fabric left it a bit stiff and this time around, I'm looking for a lovely soft flannel.
But it's the perfect introduction to proper dressmaking. Find yourself the right pattern, and you can run a different skirt up for every day - and evening - of the week.
While a nice bit of printed fabric can be very seductive, I feel that this season's A-line skirt should be plain - in grey or camel - to be totally on-trend.
But if you want to throw in a splash of retro print, Clothkits.co.uk has a design called Alice which comes complete with a seventies floral print cotton all marked out so you can forget the pattern stage and cut straight into the cloth and get sewing.
All prices on the site are in sterling, with the Alice design cost £35, plus £9 postage to Ireland. The kit comes complete with cotton lining fabric, zip, thread, label and straightforward instructions. Your sewing teacher would be proud.
Of course, if you don't want to do the hard work yourself, you could splash out on this coral coloured coat from AWear (€50) or print skirt from Littlewoodsireland.ie (€84).