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Must-haves in your wardrobe this winter? Accessories!

Out with the old! In with the new! As the old saying goes: You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it! So let’s begin this New Year wearing our most voguish outfits to complement our wildest dreams.

A simple change from sweatpants to boot-cut jeans, slippers to Chelsea boots, a plain cardigan to a vibrant coloured polo-neck can be the ultimate game-changer and confidence booster.

Ever heard of the expression ‘dress to impress’? Well, 2021 is about dressing to impress yourself … as well as for the occasional Zoom call or food shop of course.

Who said staying home meant making poor fashion choices? Let’s make comfort chic this winter!

Unfortunately, fast-fashion does not equal quality nor warmth… That Prettylittlethings outfit is not worth you catching a cold! It’s time for you to invest in some high-quality pieces…

But do not fret about the cost, since high fashion can also be bought for a bargain. If you’re searching for reasonably priced, good quality items, give thrift shopping a go this winter. Plus, second-hand stores are a great step for sustainability! You’re also far more likely to come across unique vintage pieces in these stores than you are in high street brands.

Stay away from the heavily advertised social media brands that clone thousands of ‘individuals’! Become a trendsetter of your own by making every outfit irreplaceable.

Give charity stores a shot too! Their pieces may not always be branded but when a jacket is warm, eccentric and only cost you £20, who cares about the label! I’ve found amazing pieces at Oxfam.

Lockdown is no excuse to shop fast-fashion when thrift stores are also scattered across the Internet. If you’re looking for high fashion pieces and are willing to splurge a little take a look at Vestiaire Collective. Here’s a Prada clutch I recently purchased on the app:

Bright clothes are my go-to when it comes to spicing up a winter outfit! Why add greyness to an already cloudy day when you could simply add a touch of colour?

If you’re used to wearing all black and not sure where to start … Think pink! Start by adding baby pink into your looks and once you’re feeling brave enough, anything fuchsia coloured will do the trick. Here’s some inspo:

Velvet is also a great way to incorporate colour into an outfit and make you stand out. This fabric is in a league of its own and does not need to be bright in order for it to be noticeable. Take a look at these velvet jackets my mother and I wore on New Year’s Eve.

And boots may you ask? … An absolute winter essential! This year it’s all about ankle boots, platforms, the high-lows and lace-ups (if you’re in the countryside make the most of those hiking boots). But try to resist the urge to participate in the Prada pouch lace-up boot cult, unless your goal is to look like a social media Influencer.

Believe it or not, rubber rain shoes are also in style this season! Just take a look at these Bottega Veneta puddle boots. They’re the new welly! It’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s a hit or miss …

The over the knee boot is a classic and one of my personal favourites. But if you’re looking for a change this winter, give the high-lows a go. These below-the-knee boots are the perfect day-to-night shoe to flatter all legs.

Be sure to also have a snug COAT this chilly winter! A warm, high-quality coat is always worth the splurge since it will last you years and years. To this day, I borrow my mother’s Burberry coat that is nearly 30 years old.

But if your mother isn’t one to share, have a search online for MaxMara outlets. Letting you in on my secret, there is one on the outskirts of Rome, near where I am based, called Intrend which also sells online.

Last but not least: Jewellery … the exclamation point of an outfit!

A touch of gold or emerald green complements all skin-tones and adds sophistication to any look.

If you’re into the golden-goddess look then Vintage Versace jewellery might just be for you! Gianni Versace created some of my all-time favourite golden-girl looks and many of his pieces are still available to buy online today (on apps like Vestiaire Collective).

As the iconic Gianni Versace said himself: don’t let fashion trends shape you, but rather use fashion to shape who you’d like to be. Let’s make the most of the creativity and expressiveness that fashion brings and dress for success this winter!

Giacinta McNaught-Davis

Industry Trends Director

Cambridge University Fashion & Luxury Business Society

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