Credit crunching fashion
A new fashion season is upon us but spending money isn't so trendy at the moment. Can you still look stylish without breaking the bank? Gloucester's Emily O'Leary says yes and she knows how...
We can all appreciate the recent change in the economic climate as many of us are experiencing a lack of funds for personal pleasures lately.
This can be a particularly hard time for the fashion conscious.
As the new Autumn/Winter trends have hit the catwalk and the high street, we find ourselves longing to take on these new and exciting looks whilst still living sufficiently within our means.
The dilemma we face is how do we stay fashionable without paying an arm and a leg?
No fear my fashion friends…for I have found a way.
As a 21 year old postgraduate female residing in Gloucester, I have very little money, yet a desire to still look good.
I have hunted around the shops of Gloucester city centre for the key pieces that I feel embody the mood of the current fashion scene.
Key Looks this Season:
English Heritage…Oh so very British!
A mix of tweeds, tartans, silk scarves and pearls hit the catwalk recently.
If it looks countrified, to the point that you look like a farmer's wife… then it's in!!
Think roll neck jumper, patterned silk scarf tied over hair or around neck with a large antique looking brooch.
Team with tweed jacket or skirt (but not both…way too much!) and flat leather boots that resemble riding shoes.
Cardigans and capes also work really well with this look. Finish with pearl accessories, either earrings or bracelets.
The Swedish clothing company, H&M, stocks a great range of original and affordable fashion.
Great for essentials such as jumpers, which come in a range of styles, sizes and colours.
H&M is definitely a great place to go for silk scarves, as they have a wide selection and retail at under a fiver.
Check out Freedom jewellery in Topshop and Accessorize for brooches and pearls.
Model Daisy Lowe, in blazer
New Goth…Deliciously dark!
A particular favourite of mine, the catwalks are sporting a great deal of lace, leather and lots of attention to detail.
This is not a look for the faint-hearted as the high street is full of leather jackets, skirts and waistcoats, pushing the limit to leather trousers and even leather leggings.
The black lace slip dress is also a popular choice this season, which can be worn alone or teamed with leggings or thick black tights.
Black, fitted blazers with rolled sleeves can be seen on many celebrities in the gossip mags. Finish with dark make up, smokey eyes, plum coloured lips and black nails.
Again, H&M is bang on trend, stocking a short black leather skirt for only £15. They also have a number of waistcoats and other black items.
Topshop has some gorgeous blazers and pairs of leather trousers.
Cheap leather jackets can be found in Primark, Peacocks and New look. Visit Superdrug for any cosmetics, and look out for their cheaper brands, such as 2True.
Sienna Miller with dark lips & nails
Modern Minimalist…a sharp dresser!
A futuristic style, cut to look awkward, even uncomfortable, yet commands presence.
Keep lines clean and symmetrical, and materials should be plain and dull coloured.
It is a look perfect for the office, with skirts and dresses cut just below the knee.
Unusual cuts round neck and shoulder area add detail to an otherwise simple dress code.
Always finish with sky-high heels and a platform.
River Island has always had a great range of smart office wear, and this season is no exception.
Pencil skirts and fitted shirts with an added twist can be found in store and online.
Again Topshop and H&M are producing a wide variety in the minimalist style.
Do not be afraid to check out the local charity shops also, as minimalism is a classic look which can be portrayed through timeless pieces and vintage items.
Finally, I would suggest keeping your new wardrobe to a minimum.
Try to stick to plain basics and clothing that can be mixed and matched to any style.
Use accessories as a means to expressing this season's key looks, and only fork out for a piece that can adapt to any look.
It is more worthwhile to buy a classic dress that can be worn again and again with a variety of accessories, than to buy a dress that has a gothic feel to it, but can only be worn this season.
After all, fashion is constantly changing and can be as unpredictable as our recent economy!
This article is an external contribution and expresses a personal opinion, not necessarily the views of the BBC.
last updated: 17/12/2008 at 09:55
Have Your Say
What are your money-saving fashion tips for this season?