We're kicking off the spring season with some fresh style advice and a new feature aimed to answer a few of your recurring outfit troubles and wardrobe woes. Enter fashion journalist Kate Finnigan (previously Fashion Features Director at The Telegraph) who this month is tackling your spring style dilemmas and piecing together some select key looks for the season ahead…
Style Notes: Kate Finnigan
Is it too late to buy into the slogan trend?
The good news? No, it isn’t. Surprisingly, the slogan or slogo – a fusion of words and branding - was not the one-season wonder that everyone thought it might be. The idea of making a statement with your clothing is staying around for spring 18 too, so catch it while you can. A hint: positive statements work best. Stick to sharing the love, the hope, the dreams…
What’s the best way to introduce colour into a new spring wardrobe?
As soon as possible and preferably in pastel tones. Shades of pink, lilac, baby blue and primrose yellow were hugely favoured by designers at the international collections. And it’s an easy and flattering trend to buy into. Many designers did looks in one head-to-toe shade. This looks great on the catwalk and packs a punch in photographs – hello, Instagram – but committing to one pastel colour all over can feel a bit like you’re in a marketing campaign for a garden centre. Accessories are the most subtle way in, like the Brayebrook Trainers in baby blue, but the right pastel can also be very flattering to your complexion - so don’t ignore the clothes. A pastel t-shirt, shirt or knit worn with mid-blue or white jeans with trainers or loafers always looks fresh. If you’re bored of Millennial pink then shift into lilac or coral.
Is it possible to navigate the tricky transitional weather, stay comfortable and look stylish?
Of course it is. But the key to that is your central word – comfortable. And for that you need to be realistic and prepared. I’m a big fan of wearing a sleeveless vest or a fine t-shirt under pretty much everything. It gives you an extra layer of warmth and is a good base to start your outfit from. In February and March rain and showers, this, plus straight jeans or trousers, a warm knit or a colourful sweatshirt with a scarf in a similar have been my basic uniform (and a big coat, of course) For smarter days, it’s been a mid-length skirt, ankle boots and the same knit or sweatshirt. Although I’m obsessed with white shoes and trainers, I’m putting them on hold until the rain and muddy puddles disappear.
What would be your top 5 investments for Spring?
New trainers in black and white, coloured loafers, a block-colour pleated skirt, more sweatshirts, and lots of comfortable trousers for days when I’m working from home but then have to suddenly leap up and do the school run!
How do you recommend updating your work wardrobe for a more smart/casual office?
The mid-length pleated skirt is a big help here. I like it with a button-down shirt or a finer knit that can be partially tucked into the waist. A belt in a contrast colour will instantly define the waist and is just a nice extra detail. Some people find pleated skirts difficult – but it’s worth trying one on anyway as it will often depend on where the waistband lies and how wide the pleats are as to whether it suits you (some pleats skim the bum rather than mould themselves around it!). A jumpsuit can be surprisingly office-friendly these days – wear one over a pale blue or white shirt or t-shirt for a hint of school uniform. I like the Contrast Trim Trousers in midnight and jolly green (below). They’ve got a sporty feel that lends energy to a work environment. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
Illustrations by @zoedrawsfashion.