Fashion: Winter warmers

Red evening dress, �250, John Lewis ; Caplet, �60, River Island
Red evening dress, �250, John Lewis ; Caplet, �60, River Island
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A woman’s winter wardrobe is a wonderful thing. There you will find layer upon layer of fabric to keep her frost-free this festive period.

It is a time when excess is welcomed and the classic fashion phrase “less is more” is cast aside – and with the temperatures plummeting it certainly makes sense to dress warm.

Black sequin dress, �250, East ; Shoes, �75, River Island; Jacket, �79.99, Zara; Scarf, �59, Reiss; Belt, �20, Topshop

Black sequin dress, �250, East ; Shoes, �75, River Island; Jacket, �79.99, Zara; Scarf, �59, Reiss; Belt, �20, Topshop

Layering is not just a trend, it is a perpetual state of readiness from now until our clocks spring forward next year.

And as well as being a guard against the biting cold, it is also a fashion technique that allows you to play with different trends, materials, textures and colours all in the one outfit. So it’s perfect for the indecisive dresser and the true fashionista.

When done correctly it creates a great silhouette which gives shape and structure. And when you have good structure it takes a high street outfit to the next level, giving a designer feel to your look without bursting the bank.

The key is to get your foundations right. It’s true for building houses, and it’s just as true for frocking up.

Orange coat, �99; Teal velvet dress, �95, Bag, �12.99, all H&M

Orange coat, �99; Teal velvet dress, �95, Bag, �12.99, all H&M

You are not looking to over dress or create bulk. It’s about enhancing shape. The use of belts and scarves is crucial in layering so there is definition in your dressing.

When attempting this look, think ying and yang. Layer light or sheer fabrics under wools and knit, you want to strike the right balance to complement both components.

It’s about mastering the marriage of style opposites. Putting masculine and feminine fabrics together is what makes layering interesting.

Do the same with day and night looks. Wear a sparkly party dress during the day by belting knitwear over the top to dress the look down. Or stick some flat boots and a plain blazer over a sleek black beaded evening dress and see how easy it is to go straight from the office to a Christmas night out.

Pink dress, �85, Cardigan, �55, Shoes, �65, all Topshop; Scarf 19.99 H&M, Jumper, �38, Warehouse

Pink dress, �85, Cardigan, �55, Shoes, �65, all Topshop; Scarf 19.99 H&M, Jumper, �38, Warehouse

The concept still applies when using colour. Be confident wearing a wide range of shades together. Layer up this season’s jewel tone trend with teals, oranges and pinks all in one outfit to create a rich look.

You want to completely disregard everything Coco Chanel said when she told the fashion masses remove one item from your outfit before leaving the house – for layering you need to add an extra item before venturing out.

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