Today, as promised we’re going to look at easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19. Hopefully since the A/W19 trends post you’ve had a chance to think through what you already have. This perhaps includes blazers, jumpers and jeans for a simple start, maybe midi-skirts and dresses too and a couple of pairs of wide leg trousers.

Thinking back to the ‘how to build a capsule wardrobe course‘ we did in January, I’m hoping that you’re still using the rule of thirds and sticking to the solution that you found was best for your body. For example by breaking outfits below the ribcage if you have a long torso and shorter legs or at mid-thigh if you’re the other way round. (If you’re a new reader – and I know quite a few people have joined us recently – it’s worth doing the course. It’s completely free, I don’t use it for datacapture by asking for any of your details but it does take a bit of time and commitment).

As part of our focus on conscious shopping, I’m going to try to help you avoid shopping for things you don’t need. So with your wardrobe in mind, I’m hoping you’ve worked out where the gaps are. The simplest way of adding a touch of new season to your look is via accessories and today I’m looking specifically at boots and bags. First however, I suggest that you think about what kind of boots will work best with your wardrobe and it will depend on your aforementioned proportions.

If you have a long torso, I’m hoping you’re now finding that midi-lengths and wider cut cropped trousers worn with shorter (or tucked in) tops are working for you. If so, you might want to make sure you have one or two pairs of knee high boots this season.

If you have long legs, you’ve undoubtedly been celebrating the fact that skinnies have been declared a classic and so wearing them with a longer top will probably continue to work for you. Mini-skirts are also around again thanks to the Mary Quant retrospective so you may be able to work with those too, even if you wear them just above your knee. If this is you, you probably need to address your ankle boots because shapes and leather finishes have moved on and a new pair will quickly bring your look into 2019.

A quick word on navy

Before I go onto specific styles though, I just want to address colour palette. I think there was a collective shiver on Friday when I said there wasn’t much navy around so I just want to clarify. The lack of navy is something I picked up when I assessed photos from the catwalks and the press shows I’ve been to. I don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t wear it, in fact I think navy looks ultra-chic when paired with this season’s browns – and that just goes to show how new accessories can breathe new life into your existing wardrobe. What I should have said more clearly was that I think we’re going to see navy becoming less available in the shops over the next few seasons.

Although Pantone are including a lighter tone of navy in their AW19 palette, I don’t find them to be very reliable in terms of predictions. However I do think it might be quite a strong colour for eveningwear – as it becomes less visible for everyday wear, it may translate into the luxe arena. The thing is that nobody can forecast with confidence any more. Whereas designers used to ‘own’ fashion trends, the ubiquity of social media means that the power has passed to the people. So, as we’ve seen with skinnies, the woman on the street may just refuse to let navy go… and if she does, retail will bow to her demand.

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19: Knee high boots

Right, back to wardrobe updates. Let’s start with knee boots for our first category of long bodied people – and remember if your legs are short in proportion to your torso, a small heel will always make a big difference. Here’s a selection for wearing with midis and wide leg crops.

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19 - knee high boots


  1. Mock croc leather boots with chunky block heel: these have real retro 70s appeal, bang on trend with brown mock croc and likely to last for years (also available in black)
  2. Black suede boots with low block heel: I know some people prefer black and these are some of the nicest I’ve seen with a cool squared off toe and walkable low heel (currently 20% off with code AUTUMN03)
  3. Pointed mock croc boots with sculpted block heel: I love these, they’re leg-lengthening and elegant as well as being on trend
  4. Long Chelsea Boot with low heel: particularly good for anyone with wider calves who doesn’t want an elastic panel at the back – here it’s been cleverly integrated into a classic design (also available in black, currently 20% off with code AUTUMN03)
  5. Chestnut boots with high polished effect: these aren’t leather so if you’re not sure about brown, they’re a low investment way of dipping your toe in the water (couldn’t resist that – also available in snake or black)
  6. Simple flat boots: classic riding boots will throw your look back to the noughties, these however have had all of the horsey detail pared back so they just look like a simple burnished brown boot (also available in black)
  7. Western style black boots; cowboy boots are a trend that keeps bubbling on, these nod to it without being full-on Wild West. I’d love to try them because they have elegant lines but they’re sold out in my size.
  8. Tan flat boot – another easy to wear option, the stitched detailing down the side makes them more urban and takes them away from the stable (also available in black).

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19: Ankle boots

This season ankle boots are worn less with midi-lengths because so many people have started to dislike the ‘leg gap’ or the expanse of flesh that shows between hem and boot. However they still work well with skinnies and of course mini-skirts and tights, particularly if you’re petite or have longer legs than your torso.

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19 - ankle boots

1 Chocolate brown mock croc boots: oh how I love these – I don’t need them because I have a pair of brown ankle boots but I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to resist them (also available in navy).

2. Glossy Chelsea Boots – Chelsea Boots will always be a key component in a chic capsule wardrobe however they are not all equal. You need to look at how they will project your stance. Some are very flat and will make you sit back on your heels so that your hips tilt forward and your tummy sticks out, giving you a Max Wall effect. Of course this can be fine if you’re skinny with long legs but it doesn’t do you any favours if you aren’t. See this pair for example:

So it’s better to try to find a profile that helps to align your spine like the ones I’ve featured in this round-up.

3. Python print block heeled boot – updating the animal print trend with a darker brown snake effect from a new Scandi brand (also available in black and white snake).

4. Black block heels – lovely shiny mock croc boots with a squared off toe for ultimate chic (also available in ivory)

5. Snake print boots – a lighter version of python for anyone who finds chocolate to be too dark. This pair has a rounded sculptural heel detail that will taper the ankle when worn with a skirt.

6. Conker brown Chelsea Boots – another personal favourite, a little pricey but they’re classics and will last for years (currently 20% off with code AUTUMN03).

7. Turmeric boots – for the last few seasons, red suede boots have been the key pop of colour for street stylers. This year it’s moving on to orange and these are both comfortable and affordable.

8. Oxblood boots – I think anyone can wear brown boots because it’s so far away from your face but it you’re not a fan, here’s an oxblood version – a colour that’s surprisingly difficult to find this year so far.

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19: Great bags

Another easy way to bring this season’s colours, textures and shapes into your existing wardrobe is by adding a new bag to your collection. These colours will work with navy, black, grey or brown; giving your outfit a lift above the ordinary. Note how the focus is on texture – glossy leather and particularly mock croc are driving the look.

And this is where I feel sad because I spent a lot of time in Turkey designing a fabulous collection. The trouble is, I have to pay for my bags in dollars and with inflation running at 25% in Turkey and then the exchange rate issues on top, it just doesn’t look as though it’s going to be viable this season. Yet another example of Brexit uncertainty throttling a fledgling enterprise – and all of the people it supports in the supply chain. Anyway let’s move on to happier things than that.

Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19 - bags

  1. Chocolate brown mock croc crossbody – very similar to one of my designs although mine had a solid mock croc strap. This isn’t leather but it’s great value.
  2. Tan leather bucket bag – I love the informal structure of a bucket bag and this one is in well-priced leather (also available in navy or black)
  3. Oxblood satchel – as you can see bags are quite small this season but this will hold your essentials (also available in grey or black)
  4. Wine red mock croc micro-bag – there’s something pleasing about this shape, it’s unusual (also available in black)
  5. Leather backpack – when I was down in London last week I noticed that a lot of chic women were carrying leather backpacks again. I’m glad they’re in style, they’re so much better for your back if you’re carrying a laptop et al
  6. Navy mock croc bag – I’m including just one navy example because navy bags are always hard to find and this is a way of introducing the texture of the season if it’s a colour your prefer (also available in leopard, oxblood or deep green)
  7. Dual textured bag – for people who need a bigger bag, this is a great colour and shape – and practical too
  8. A lovely mock croc tote if you carry a laptop, don’t forget it will add sass to most neutral outfits (also available in dark grey).
  9. Pared down crossbody – for fans of the Scandi look, a simple, chic, no fuss way of introducing tan to your wardrobe

And that’s it for today, I hope I’ve given you a few instant updates. On Friday I’ll be talking about what’s going on behind the scenes at M&S and trying a few of their Autumn looks. Until then, have a great week.

Disclosure: ‘Easy ways to update your wardrobe for AW19’ is not a sponsored post

Recent posts you may have missed

Autumn/Winter 2019 trend analysis

Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo AW19

Dipping a toe into new season – M&S AW19

Family holidays with teens – Turkey 2019

When life plays cat and mouse

Summer looks from JD Williams

Best nude lingerie and what I’ve been wearing

Absolute beauty essentials – things I take with me wherever I travel

A long weekend with teens in the French Riviera

Going grey gracefully – how to approach it


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