Winter Preview

Out with the bikinis and summer dresses and in with the plaid skirts and skinny jeans. If you're about to hit the shops for an autumn/winter 2012 wardrobe update, make sure you find out about this year's hottest trends first.

Winter fashion

The cooler weather and the falling leaves are your warning signs that it's time to move the summer clothes out and the winter clothes in. Some staples can of course be adapted for winter wear -- a short skirt looks great with a pair of winter tights, for example. But the turn of the seasons is also the perfect time to update your wardrobe. It gives you a chance to check out the latest trends, invest in a few key seasonal pieces and accent your wardrobe with some statement items. Check out our list of winter wardrobe staples below, then browse autumn/winter 2012's hottest trends to pick your favourites.

Winter wardrobe staples

  • Fitted black tee: This piece can be worn as a base item under jackets and sweaters, and looks great paired with quality jeans and a necklace.
  • Collared white shirt: Choose a cute collar that will look great popping out from under a cashmere sweater or a cardigan.
  • Lightweight knitted sweater: A knitted jumper is a great piece to have on hand for weekends at home or teamed with a pencil skirt for work. Go for quality and comfort (think cashmere), and always keep it flat and folded as clothes hangers will distort its shape.
  • Cardigan: A cardigan in a neutral colour like black can be thrown over most outfits when the temperature starts falling. This is a handy item to keep in your bag or office to take you from day to night.
  • A pair of jeans: Jeans shopping may not be the most enjoyable experience for most of us, but it will certainly be worth the time and effort when you find the perfect pair for your body shape. Aim to find a pair that will stretch enough to let you move freely but will still hold their shape. Focus on finding the most flattering shape for you.
  • Coat: If you live in the southern states, a quality coat is essential. Opt for a classic style and colour so you can wear it over anything.

Sparkle sparkle

Add a twinkle to the gloomy season with shimmery make-up or sequin statement pieces. Shimmer looks great paired with classic black so wear a metallic top with a classic black skirt or a silver necklace with a black tee. Nothing says glamour quite like a shimmery evening gown, so browse the racks for a short shift dress with sleeves for extra warmth and sequin detailing to bring sparkle to the room.

Retro styles

We saw vintage bikini styles for summer and now the retro trend is continuing into winter. Channel Mad Men's Christina Hendricks with pencil skirts, belted dresses and retro prints. The classic '60s look flatters most body shapes, particularly curvy women or those with larger busts.

Skinny jeans

A pair of quality jeans is a winter essential, but this season you can shake up your options with a coloured, skinny pair. Muted tones like maroon, army green and grey look great with classic white tees, or be brave and embrace the colour blocking trend with brights.

Print clashing

Thought pattern on pattern was a fashion no-no? Think again. This autumn and winter designers are advocating a mish-mash of patterns and prints, so if you're feeling brave go for a clashing combo like stripes and florals. Look to the runways for fashion inspiration but remember to tread carefully -- it's a fine line between cool clash and chaos! Keep your accessories, hair and makeup minimal to leave the focus firmly on the prints.

More tips for winter

Start your own DIY winter veggie patch
Best winter weekend activities
5 Winter workout ideas

Tags: winter fashion winter fashion tips winter fashion trends

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