Style File: How to wear...Oversized Blanket Coats
Blanket-style coats are the piece to be seen in this season as outerwear got scaled up with pillowy proportions and cocooning forms for Autumn 2014.
Burberry's Christopher Bailey set the tone when he sent a troop of models down the catwalk draped in enlarged blankets. Elsewhere all manner of woolen capes, knitted ponchos and blankets were seen at Chloé, Chanel and Etro to name but a few.
It didn't take fashion's finest long to jump on the blanket-coat bandwagon with Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo, Anne Hathaway and Cara Delevingne all spotted strutting their stuff in this season's good-enough-to-sleep-in trend. Come winter's harsh mornings, there'll be nothing more gratifying than throwing on an oversized, comfy cape-like coat before you leave the house in what is the epitome of cosy chic.
All that said, the drawback with wearing something that is essentially made to throw over a sofa is the size and proportions, which can leave you completely swamped. The proportions can be overcome with some simple folding. The size and length on the other hand, can be fairly overwhelming if not handled correctly.
Thankfully, it's nothing a belt can't fix to cinch in the waist and bring definition to the silhouette. Invest wisely and a blanket coat will become the cornerstone of your winter wardrobe.
Darren, please help, I have bought a knee-length red dress for a wedding in early October. The dress fabric is pretty classy and neat, I think it's brocade with a lace trim on the hem. What do I wear over it and any idea on shoes?
Darren replies: You've chosen a great base colour for your outfit. The AW14 catwalks were a riot of colour as the traditional seasonal palettes were ditched in favour of bolder tones. Red shone through as one of the biggest colour stories of the season with practically every shade on the spectrum making an appearance. As a colour, red is sophisticated, powerful and incredibly feminine and from what you say, your dress is beautifully textured so I'd keep the styling relatively pared back. You don't want to 'over cook it', so to speak. You can always count on the reflective properties of metal to add a little shimmer to a look. Inject some metallic with your footwear.
The 1) silver high-heeled sandal with ankle strap (€59.95, Zara) will contrast with your red dress, keeping the look contemporary, without stealing the show. You'll also need some outerwear.
The 2) sandstone coloured pure cotton trench (€135, M&S) is a classic, double-breasted style with a waist-cinching belt. This stylish lightweight coat will also keep you dry in a downpour with in-built clever water repellent technology.
To complete the look, play up your texture layers with the 3) leather and check oversized clutch bag (€45, asos.com). If you'd prefer something more fitted, a cropped jacket is another option.
The 4) black and white collarless blazer (€39,99, New Look) has a gorgeous knitted finish. What's more, the cropped length draws attention to the smallest part of your waist while the cut of jacket mimics an hourglass shape.
Pair with a 5) classic black court such as the pointed toe 'Amilie' heel (€145, Dune). The 6) gold leather Sloane bag with shoulder strap by Michael Kors (€250, BT2) offers the perfect finishing touch.
Phillip Lim grey marl sweater with appliqué poodle, €390, Samui boutique, Cork