Why so uniform?

Break the rules this autumn and wear the trends on your own terms, says Exposed fashion blogger Kate

Words & photos: Kate Mitchell

Styling & makeup: Heather Hawkins

There’s something about autumn that gives me a buzz of anticipation, a sense of new beginnings. Perhaps it’s because I will always associate September with a new school year and with it, that trip to buy school shoes; the first day back was made bearable by a pair of Kickers or Doc Martens. Fortunately, in adulthood we have a new season of fashion to look forward to in September, not a scratchy school uniform, and there’s even more temptation in your favourite shops at the moment. This is because traditionally, autumn/winter collections are a big deal for the fashion industry. It’s a time for designers and brands alike to press reset – an opportunity for a complete change of direction.

If you’re skeptical about following trends, remember that it’s all about balance. I like clothes to express my own taste and personal style but I also enjoy the variety trends provide; they’re not a restrictive school uniform for grown-ups, they’re an endless supply of inspiration. And you’re right not to let them dictate what you should be seen in – that’s your job.

So to get you started, I teamed up with publisher and trainee makeup artist Heather Hawkins; her confident, assured style feels very current without being held captive by trends. Together, we’ve interpreted some of the key AW16 trends using Heather’s own favourite looks.


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You’ll be seeing a lot of tweed this autumn; designers fell back in love with it and used it for dresses, skirts and tops in their AW16 collections. It might work hard, but there’s a reason tweed is such a classic. With an air of gentility and rural practicality, it’s ideal for sophisticated autumn layering and simultaneously chic and presentable – perfect for relaxed work wear.


Heather styles her tweed jacket with knee-high boots but softens the equestrian feel with patterned tights. Her stripy top is a nod to Parisian chic, and the skater skirt is a playful twist. So you see, tweed doesn’t have to feel haughty – it goes with just about anything you want, from smart dresses to your ripped jeans. If you don’t already own one, the investment will serve you well. A traditional mustard or navy can feel like safer starting points if you feel like tweed is more of a statement than you’d usually go for, but do experiment with some of the modern variations like brighter blues and pinks.

Mooch Vintage on Division Street has some great tweeds for men and women but if you fancy investing in a new one, our top picks are:

SplurgeBodenBarbour, Jack Wills



Sassy lips

If you’re usually timid with your lipstick, try a rich, unapologetic plum for autumn. Fashion has embraced the dark lip more than ever recently so there are some lovely shades out there. Inject a little attitude into your makeup bag with one of these bold, dramatic hues:

SplurgeChanel Coco Rouge Stylo in 212, Recit

Heather is wearing Mac lipstick in Rebel

Save: NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Transylvania



Luxe punk

Leather is bolder and sassier this season; spiked heel boots, studs and wet look vinyl will no doubt make their way onto the high street. But there’s no need to take it to extremes and end up with outrageous boots you don’t feel comfortable in. The humble leather jacket is as versatile as it gets for adding attitude to your favourite outfits. A lightweight biker like Heather’s is the ideal transitional layer for late summer days when an autumnal chill is creeping in.

Leather jackets also toughen up floaty dresses like Heather’s amazing maxi dress from Mooch Vintage. Birkenstocks are a casual touch where ballet pumps might look too polished.

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Don’t be afraid to add whimsical accessories!



SplurgeH & M, All Saints

SaveNew Look

The anorak


It’s a British staple for unpredictable weather, but catwalks declared the anorak a new ‘It’ jacket this season, so there is some satisfaction to be had from the fact that resurrecting your old anorak now means you will be totally on trend this autumn. If this leaves you cold, the other benefit to be had when fashion turns its attention to old classics is that they often get a stylish update – there are dozens around in the new season collections all looking a little sharper.


Some designers paired their anoraks with evening wear on the A/W ’16 catwalks, but I am wary of such extremes and think it looks a little like you couldn’t find the right jacket in time for a big night out. Approach with caution.

On the other hand, anoraks do make a surprisingly good companion for your smart day dresses; think ladylike meets urban, the perfect balance of coquettish and cool.

SplurgeAbercrombie & Fitch

Save: La RedoutePull and Bear @Asos

Follow Heather on Instagram @Heatherhawkins_mua & Kate @littlechicstories


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