Pancakes.  I want pancakes.  And – to sashay out of the house on my way to Sunday Brunch looking like Jessica Alba, or one of those other insta-mums.  But let’s be honest, that’s not real life. I don’t have a makeup artist, professional photographer and wind machine on standby on the weekend.

I do have my old jeans and a t-shirt and lots of comfy shoes…  and now – a free downloadable checklist and Pinterest mood board to help me build my new Winter look!

Want to know how I got there?  Read on!

Autumn can be an awkward season in Australia.  It’s too hot for that gorgeous winter coat you’ve only worn once and too cold for your favourite summer dress.  But – it also just happens, that Autumn is one the most practical times to update your wardrobe. So I asked Sydney Stylist Alarna Hope, that effortless bitch (no, seriously, that’s the name of her blog “That Effortless Bitch”), for her hottest Autumn style tips.  AND to help us create this handy (and FREE!) downloadable checklist for all our wardrobe must-haves.

Hi Alarna!  OK – they’ve had enough of me talking about pancakes and comfy shoes – bless us with your expertise.  Why is it that Autumn Fashion gets ignore by so many of us?

Autumn is one of those seasons that I think gets forgotten about in Australia when it comes to style. It’s hot most of the year and our winters aren’t that cold, so filling up the wardrobe with too many warm things can seem like a waste.

Many people updating their wardrobes tend not to shop in Autumn for a few reasons:

  • Autumn clothes come out around time where small business have taxes to worry about
  • When all of the jumpers, jackets and thicker pants are released it’s only February!
  • Kids are heading back to school and we’ve got backpacks, lunch boxes and scented crayons to buy
  • It’s not cold enough to buy coats and heavier wardrobe staples

With all of these completely understandable reasons not to buy in Autumn, I have to put my Stylist hat on and let you in on a secret: IT’S THE MOST PRACTICAL TIME OF YEAR TO BUY WINTER CLOTHING!

OK, OK – you’re the expert, we’re listening.  But why exactly is it the most practical time of year to buy Winter clothing?

When I’m shopping with my clients, we go nuts for Autumn clothing, in fact, we’re less likely to shop in winter for big updates (unless we’re going somewhere really cold) because most of the pieces are just too heavy for our Australian Winters.  Sure it gets cold, but the number of times we’ll actually wear those statement coats we see in those shop windows can probably be counted on one hand. So this is why Autumn fashion is so great – for all of its trans-seasonal and practical goodness.

Makes sense.  OK – So what should we be looking for this Autumn?

First, add some colour.  Autumn is a great time of year to add flattering colours to your wardrobe.  At this time of year darker, richer jewel tones are released and these colours can help us water down the sea of black and grey that most of our colder months are filled with. Think amber, topaz, emerald and ruby.

OK, “buy colour” added to list.  But how do we even start? Any hot tips for those of us who may not be able to afford a Personal Stylist?

When you’re getting ready to add to your autumn wardrobe the first thing you should do is go through your tops. This is often the most underrepresented area of our wardrobes.

You’re going to need some with sleeves that can be worn by themselves but can also be layered if need be. This is a perfect time of year to stock up on basics so instead of buying new printed items to add to your wardrobe, add some plain pieces you can layer and wear with other statement pieces you already own.

When you’re going through your wardrobe don’t forget your shoe section. This is an area where we can over-do it on black, and I get it, black shoes are practical and we can often justify buying black over colours but have you imagined how much more exciting your outfits could be with a little colour in the shoe department?

A little trick I use with my clients, to help them work out what shoe colours they’re overdoing is to have them line up all of their shoes in a row and group them by colour. When you’ve done this, you’ll see what you have too much of and not enough of.  Take a photo of your shoes lined up so you can refer to them next time you’re buying some, this will deter you from adding colours you already have enough of.

OK.  Shoes I’ve got covered. Long sleeve tops and layering pieces, check. 

Actually – can you shed any light on how these insta-mums pull off the whole “layering” thing?  Somehow managing to look effortlessly stylish and not at all like the Michelin Man? Is there a trick to it?

There are a few fabulous ways you can layer in Autumn; you can transition almost anything with the addition of boots, brogues or sneakers and a jacket (denim or leather are staples). A summer maxi, sundress or even something as simple as jeans and a tee can become Autumn ready by just changing up your footwear and adding a jacket.

Other great layering pieces that you may already own are shirt dresses that you can wear open and tied at the back (like you would a trench coat) over jeans and a top. Or you can use gilets (sleeveless jackets)  and waistcoats to layer over knitwear or lift a simple pair of jeans and long sleeve tee outfit.

OK – my shoes are on, my handbag is packed (with enough supplies to conceivably survive on a deserted island for at least a week) – I’m on my way out the door.  Any last minute advice before I start throwing down the credit card like a Kardashian?

One last thing to remember when updating your wardrobe for Autumn, is to get inspiration and work out what your style is before you shop!  

If you go to the shops knowing what type of look you’re going for, you’ll more likely come away with it.  If you’re hoping for a bolt of inspiration to hit in the stores – you might just leave with a mismatch of different trends.

I love to use Pinterest for inspiration and now you can even segment your boards into sections which is fantastic!

Damn.  Taking the shoes back off.  Handbag down. Looks like it’s off to Pinterest for me before the credit card gets to come out and play.

Thanks Alarna!  And stay tuned for me sashaying out to brunch in my new Autumn/Winter wardrobe any day now!

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a downloadable checklist of our must-have pieces that feel so right this Autumn/Winter, as well as those cool-weather basics everyone should have in their wardrobe.

What are some of your Autumn staples? Let us know in the comments!6

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