Granted, it might be hardly noticeable after the great washout summer, but it's true: winter is fast approaching. As any self-respecting fashionista knows, the change of season can mean only one thing: a great excuse to go shopping!
Cold weather doesn't have to mean more clothes, just warmer ones. So you can choose whether to bulk up with cosy knits and snug, thick fabrics, or go for clever layering; team funky accessories and outerwear with your favourite key pieces from the spring and summer. That way, you don't have to banish cute tea dresses and floral skirts to the back of your wardrobe for another year; just mix it up by adding jeans or opaque tights and legwarmers, an oversized cardigan or batwing jumper, and those essential winter boots.
Perhaps the most important key item, and the biggest investment you'll make, for your winter wardrobe is a coat that goes with everything. Boiled wool swing coats in deep colours are set to be big this year, while a nice fitted leather trench or double-breasted mac never goes out of style. The silhouette is nipped-in waists and wide skirts, which is very flattering for all sizes. This look is actually quite retro, so have a rummage in vintage stores or even the back of your mum's wardrobe - you never know what you'll find! - and you might just bag a unique piece to make you the envy of hipsters everywhere.
As for colours, remember winter fashion doesn't have to be funereal. While black, grey and charcoal are all very well and grown-up, they can be harsh and make you look slightly washed-out, or just plain boring! Instead try a dark, rich, luxurious colour which flatters your hair and skin - purple, maroon and chocolate are all good - and accessorise with flashes of colour in brighter shades of the same hue. So a deep purple coat will look great with a funky fuchsia scarf and gloves; bottle green or navy are best with the lovely bright turquoise and peacock blue tones which were all over Spring-Summer this year. A bright colour worn near your face will grab attention and warm your complexion, so consider a cute beret or cloche hat in a colour you might think outrageous for bigger pieces.
Of course you'll need a fabulous new bag to go with all this gorgeous outerwear. A black patent tote or oversized shopper, with buckle or strap details, will keep you on-trend while making a subtle style statement. It also gives you somewhere to stash those hats, gloves, scarves and extra jumpers when you're indoors, so no excuses for leaving them on the train! Other key pieces this season shape the overall dynamic, which is very feminine but never frilly: cutesy angora jumpers, puff sleeves and empire lines cosy up to corset belts, bold 'statement' necklaces, high-waisted pencil skirts and shoe boots for a chic, kitten-with-a-whip kind of vibe.
Many of these winter must-haves will be versatile from now right through spring - and, if this year's gloomy weather trend continues, into next summer too. So, don't wait for the first frost before splashing out on something snuggly. The final accessory that every girl should have is, of course, a good [http://www.moneynet.co.uk/credit-card/index.shtml ]credit card; with many offering 0% on purchases for several months, you can enjoy your new look now and pay for it later without feeling the burn of high interest rates that often come with store cards.