Winter Wardrobe: All wrapped up
Bairbre Power finds the cosiest layers for winter.
It was Oscar Wilde who introduced the concept of bunburying -- inventing an excuse to head out of town for some mischief.
There was no imaginary character required for our bunbury adventure, though, as we headed west to Athlone to investigate the layering story at high-street stores such as Zara, H&M, River Island, Topshop and M&S.
Reacting to grey skies, we craved rich autumnal and berry tones, and comfy boots, and our curiosity was piqued by Spanish brand Promod and Born Boutique, both of which pull in lots of fashion traffic to Athlone Town Centre.
We weren't disappointed as we tried to achieve a designer look.
While Lanvin's tailored capes this season were divine, they still can't shake off their Mary Poppins image, just as ponchos are dissed because of their Clint Eastwood credentials.
However, we totally love Zara's rust-coloured woollen poncho (€69.95), with its easy-wear virtues, attractive cable knit and handy hood.
An ideal buy for this time of the year when the mercury won't make up its mind.
Cool with shorts/opaques and boots, those of you who haven't been in Clarks since your school days are in for a rude awakening, because its con-temporary styling is crossed with comfort and it boasts a raw Aussie boot appeal.
Over-the-knee ribbed socks are an inexpensive and super-effective way of introducing colour and texture to your autumnal looks.
And don't forget fake-fur tippets and stoles -- an instant touch of luxe for sensible jackets and cuddly cardis.
Don't pass on super-sized headgear, such as the cute furry cossack number (€33) from Topshop.
The faux-fur stole on our opening page is a €59.95 gem from H&M, a super-glamorous finishing touch for those of you who buy into the whole retro, 1940s fashion love affair this season.
It sits seductively over Monsoon's fluid, gently pleated red dress (€110), which has a beguiling, smouldering quality.