Staying Business-Ready in Unpredictable Weather

It’s that time of year again: crisp, bright mornings; fall foliage in a stunning palette of gold, red, and orange; the freshest picks of the fall harvest. Autumn has so much to offer – yet here in Toronto, I already felt the first pangs of longing for the recent summer when the weather turned bitter, wet and windy last week. Navigating through that harsh weather is certainly an adjustment – not to mention, a major hazard to your business attire if you have to confront rainy city streets on your way to work or a meeting! Not to worry: there are many ways to stay stylish – and protected from the elements – even in the wet weather’s worst.

My first go-to piece when the conditions turn cool is a classic trench coat. These heavy-duty coats are timeless for both men and women, and will work well with almost any outfit underneath. Women, if you usually wear dresses, look for a longer trench; a shorter cut coat will go well if you prefer to wear pants. This double-breasted tan trench coat from Burberry is a classic, but there are many variations on this model to add a bit of panache: many designers (including Burberry) offer the trench coat in a variety of colours, with an extra fur trim on the collar or lining, or with a single breasted cut instead of the standard double. I also like the creativity that the belt on a trench allows: you can choose to fasten the buckle, tie the belt into a knot or a bow, or even replace the cloth belt entirely with a leather one of your own.

If you would rather stay dry under a traditional raincoat, there are many great styles that you can choose from without wearing a one-size-fits-all plastic poncho to the office. Finding a fitted raincoat isn’t hard: I love this French twill raincoat from London Fog. The cinched waist is key in an elegant raincoat, and the interesting silver buckles embellish the jacket without going over the top.

Let’s discuss footwear. Do you walk to work everyday, or spend time walking between your home and your means of transportation? If so, you probably want to wear a different pair of shoes or boots than you would wear in the office – it will keep your heels or dress shoes in better condition for a much longer time if you wear them outside as little as possible. In an upcoming post I will discuss some of my favourite styles of leather boots for fall, but on those awful rainy days, consider a pair of chic Wellington boots or rain boots for full protection from messy puddles. In the past couple of years, rain boots have become a trendy option for everyday footwear with brands like Hunter and Tretorn, available in a range of colours and heights. I recommend wearing them only for transit between work and home on wet days – they might look great on a casual day on the street but are inappropriate for the office. Be sure to have a pair of work shoes either in storage under your desk or in the closet of your office, or carry a pair with you in your bag.

And it may seem obvious, but a good umbrella is fundamental – I always keep a spare under my desk for those unpredictable weather days. How often have you been caught in a downpour and have gotten soaked to the skin when merely catching a cab or heading to a meeting off-site? Avoid those frustrating moments of having your professional appearance go from composed to chaotic in just moments by keeping a reliable umbrella in both your home and your office. You never know when you might need it.

That’s the dilemma with this season: one day, the weather is bright, sunny and refreshing; the next, the drastic difference threatens to rain on your parade. But, as you can see, it’s easy to stay prepared and polished – even in the worst the weather has to offer!

Winter Dresses – Keep Warm and Stylish

So, here comes the new season, autumn/winter, with new collections in all your favorite stores.

After a seemingly endless summer of sunshine, you are probably really looking forward to wearing your winter wardrobe again. In fact, you can’t wait to put on layers and thick fabrics, and you are probably getting frustrated with your wardrobe and are keen for an update.

As you must be aware, dresses were a really big staple of every woman’s wardrobe this summer, and the catwalks for this season show no different. Dresses have been taken from special occasion wardrobes to everyday wardrobes, and so if you feel a little clueless, do not be afraid, help is at hand. Here are some tips on how to update your look and wardrobe for this coming season.

1. Country style.

There are some things that just keep appearing on the catwalks every winter season, one of which is this idea of country. Tweed, leather, suede and fur were the fabrics of choice for designers such as Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana. To update your wardrobe with this style find a gorgeous fitted tweed jacket, something that suits every body shape and size.

2. Accessorize with a beanie, tights and high heels.

Simply put, the beanie is coming back, bigger and better than ever before. If you haven’t got one in a cupboard somewhere, go out and buy one. Thick, wool and cream are the kinds of beanie to buy, seen at Burberry, Pucci and Pollini shows. Another great accessory is a pair of tights, the most popular of styles is a brown ribbed footless pair, but thick black tights are just as great. To really show off your legs in these tights, opt for a pair of gorgeous high heels in bold red or luxurious khaki.

3. Waist cinching belts are still here to stay.

The shape of the season is certainly knee length, which is great because this suits every figure. The shape is also very loosely fitted, sweeping over your curves. The best part of this season is that you don’t have to throw out last seasons belts. Waist cinching belts in all sizes and patterns are a must for your wardrobe, it can change the whole look of an outfit.

4. Masculine styles for women.

Tailoring is a really big thing for this season. This follows on from the rocker look of black skinny jeans and cropped jackets. Paul Smith launched his new capsule collection, Men Only, this season to satisfy an increasing demand for male clothing cut for the female shape. If you want to go down this route just slightly, choose a large overcoat to pop over your dress. If you want to go down this route more, choose a wide fitting leg when buying trousers this season, and be surprised at how long they make your legs look.

5. Forest colour palette.

Though many have decidedly said that black and grey are this seasons colours, they must have missed out the huge proportion of shows that were sporting browns, greens and reds. These are also much more flattering colours on most people, and lets face it, they are just nicer colours overall.

6. Pull on a jumper.

When wearing a knee length dress, try pulling over a jumper on the top and then putting a thin waist cinching belt on as well. This will look beautifully stylish and is a very simple way to wear last season’s dresses now. There were really only two neck lines that really wowed the crowds at this seasons shows, plunge and crew. Another great thing, because a crew neck will look phenomenal on those with small chests, as plunge necks will look amazing on larger chests.

Children’s Fashion Clothes and Bags

As someone who cares about fashion and style, you will want your child to look just as stylish as you. Children may be messy, but they do appreciate beautiful clothes. Children also like to feel special, and wearing well-crafted designer clothes will certainly let them feel special.

Below is a selection of designer clothes for children. The designers featured are also well-known makers of beautiful bags and other accessories, so you and your child can shop together.

Gucci has a wonderful line of children’s clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories for both girls and boys. All situations are covered, from pretty party dresses to casual shorts, t-shirts, jeans and other accessories to let the youngster share the pride in top quality boy’s and girl’s needs.

A wonderful choice for a girl would be the beautiful orange tote with interlocking G detail. This bag is leather and small enough for a child to carry. It is also very pretty and will go with almost anything, from a formal dress to a casual t-shirt with shorts. The rust colored leather belt with bamboo buckle would go particularly well with that bag.

Gucci did not limit themselves to girls; their boy’s line is equally beautiful. If you want your boy to match your own impeccable taste, you could choose the handsome GG Supreme Canvas school bag. This bag is a perfect example of a bag design as it combines functionality with superb style. The bag is beige and blue canvas with leather trim. Adjustable straps make it very easy to carry, a very important feature for a school bag. The bag would go really well with a pair of leather high top sneakers in navy, red and white leather. These sneakers are extremely comfortable and stylish.

Another fashion house that does both the adult and children’s fashion equally well is Burberry. Their lines are stylish and excellently suited to children’s needs. The Heart Shaped Exploded Check bag is the perfect example of their design. The bag is fairly small but big enough for most girls’ needs. It made of durable polyamide with leather trim. It is practical because of its size, material and the zip closure as well as being pretty and whimsical. In other words, it is a perfect combination for a young girl.

A boy would love the Leather Detail Nylon Backpack in parade red, as it combines the stunning designer looks with practicality of an excellent and versatile bag.

New Season Autumn Trends 2010

Understated Chic

A strict palette of navy, black, camel, grey and white determines the look on this seasons catwalks. Effortless and unfussy, minimalist pieces in deluxe fabrics combine to elegant effect. Accessories are kept to a minimum. Simple pared down chic is the key Autumn/Winter trend.

Colour Explosion

Amongst the muted shades of Autumn there is an explosion of colours, vibrant greens and blues alongside fizzy yellows and rose pink can be found in the collections of Versace, Balenciaga and Jonathan Saunders. Worn in varying tones of the same shade, this flamboyant trend is all about colour and creativity.

Outerwear

A favourite wardrobe staple, the camel coat was evident in every style possible from floor length to trench coat. The shades varied from the lightest buff to the darkest cinder toffee tones. Cosy and comfortable Capes were a surprise addition to most collections. Real and fake fur in shaggy cuts and shrug styles abound. Animal stripes and winter whites were joined by light rose and antique pink shades creating a softer look!

Evening wear

Romance and retro were the key looks for evening wear. 50s inspired smart pencil skirts or circle skirts and prom dresses with featured belts to display ultra feminine tiny waists, full hips and a generous bust line. Teamed with retro framed handbags and elbow length leather gloves. Elegant long evening skirts combined with slouchy knits, as were long floral bohemian dresses in grey, fawn and toffee shades. The collections were over flowing with sheer lace looks. See through gowns and blouses over body suits or stockings and suspenders for a daring sensual look!

Seperates

High Waisted Trousers, beautifully tailored, creased – front, leg lengthening styles are sweeping away the harem pants and jodhpurs. Wear with killer heels and signature belt as seen on the catwalks of Chloe, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton. Also predicted for this Autumn is the change of hemline to midi. Either stretchy and tubular or straight and silky, again with your highest heels. Team with a Leopard print coat or jacket as demonstrated by Miu Miu, Emilio Pucci and Lanvin recently.

Reflecting current affairs, the military influence has been evident in Dior’s bomer jacket and pencil skirt combos and Burberry’s aviator jackets, with designers Donna Karan and Prada introducing military influenced pieces into their latest collections. The prevailing colour theme appears to be red this season with all the top houses exploring it in their collections. Socks and shoes were seen across all collections, taking its lead from the summer’s tribal ikat colours and delicate lace offerings,. Hosiery visits new style frontiers this winter, sheer ankle socks add extra style points. Shoes are seductive, adventurous and ladylike. From platform stilettos to grown up kitten heels and knee high sock boots with tractor tyre soles. Gloves are elbow length ( leave them long or scrunch down your forearm). Handbags are classic smart styles in beautiful natural tone leather. Slimline belts are a must this season.