The grown-up guide to autumn style

Alyson Walsh / 09 October 2015

Stay eternally chic with easy-to-wear clothes – and slip on sparkly shoes and add vintage gems as necessary.



Want to know what’s ‘in’ for autumn? Being a grown-up, that’s what. Ageless style has become the catch phrase du jour, as brands vie for our attention having finally realised that it’s not a bunch of fickle 20-somethings who have the money to spend on clothes. 

And what do grown-ups want? From my experience, I’d say eternally chic, wearable clothes plus eye-catching accessories, to prevent simple and timeless morphing into bland and boring.

Fashion expert Nayna McIntosh aims to address the ageless phenomenon with her new label Hope. Think easy-to-wear tunic dresses, everyday layering, subtle prints and plenty of perennially wearable monochrome – as seen on the gorgeous 65-year-old model Pia Gronning. Designed to ‘empower women over 40’, Hope is available online at www.hopefashion.co.uk and also through ‘social selling’, which is a bit like a Tupperware party but with dressing up. 

Apparently this new/old way of shopping is incredibly popular in the USA and, as well as being quite handy, allows women to become ‘flexible entrepreneurs’. McIntosh has industry cred: she’s worked for George at Asda and Per Una at M&S and was a member of the M&S management board under Stuart Rose. His Lordship knows a thing or two about the fashion business and is investing in Hope, so this is definitely one to watch.

If, like me, you tend to wear the same bottom half a lot, then investing in a couple of grown-up tops offers a swift, new season update. Start by getting knotted with an elegant pussy-bow blouse. I’m a huge fan of this style and avoid the Margaret Thatcher-effect by keeping everything else relaxed. Think faded jeans, black velvet trousers or needlecords and a pair of patent loafers. One of my favourite styles is the Lauren tunic from Winser London - www.winserlondon.com, which has a detachable tie fastening for those days when less is definitely more. 

And, who doesn’t love a polo-neck jumper? Always chic in a beatnik-y, Audrey Hepburn way (if you haven’t seen it, the Portraits of an Icon exhibition is on at the National Portrait Gallery until 18 October - www.npg.org.uk. Banish all thoughts of Crimplene pinafores and try layering one under a lightweight dress for a thoroughly modern Seventies spin. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that – unless the central heating has packed in – the emphasis here is on the ‘lightweight’. We’re talking silk dress, not sweaty mess.

Useful links

Hope - www.hopefashion.co.uk

Winser London  - www.winserlondon.com

Phase Eight - www.phase-eight.com

Clarks - www.clarks.co.uk

LK Bennett - www.lkbennett.com

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