11 key ways to upgrade your wardrobe for spring
With February finished, it is high time to perk up and prep for the spring season. Out with the balaclavas and blanket coat combo that served us well, and here’s to a brighter, all-together skimpier and ballet-pump-grounded few months.
If you’re in need of inspiration for the SS23 wardrobe, here are 11 ways to liven up your look:
1. The trusty trench
All eyes are back on Burberry following new creative director Daniel Lee’s debut show in February. As a precursor, his first trench campaign — featuring Liberty Ross, Raheem Sterling and Vanessa Redgrave — secured their place as the number-one item for spring (again). Look to Vinted and Vestiaire to get the classic second-hand online, or head to 282 Portobello for a vast selection of pre-loved styles to try IRL. If their nova check lining isn’t for you, Gant do a good high street alternative, while Magda Butrym’s are leather and loved by the street style legions.
Burberry, Waterloo Trench Coat, £1,790, burberry.com
Gant, Trench Coat, £340, gant.co.uk
Magda Butrym, Oversize Leather Trench Coat in Pink, £3140, magdabutrym.com
2. Pop peplum tops
When selecting your new season shirt, take silhouette seriously. Peplum styles are having a moment, led by Me+Em’s new viscose knit top. “We want this style to work extra hard in your wardrobe,” says design director Tracey Stainer. Its detachable straps mean you decide if it’s a bandeau or strappy, and customers are stocking up. “Its horizontal knit gives it a sculptural feel, and a flattering fit around the waist,” she adds. At a higher price point, Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen makes a statement, teal shade smocked style, while H&M’s come strapless with frilled hems for under £25.
Me + Em, Structured Peplum Knit Top, £125, meandem.com
Cecile Bahnsen, Loretta Smocked Cotton-Blend Peplum Top, £881.30, net-a-porter.com
H&M, Rib-Knit Peplum Top, £24.99, hm.com
3. Ballet flats
If you’ve yet to surrender to balletcore, investing in a pair of pointe-style flats is the place to start. “Ballerina flats champion timeless style that never go out of fashion,” says David Bell, founder of Pretty Ballerinas who make them black leather with diamante studded straps. “Style them with straight leg trousers to channel the timeless Audrey Hepburn looks from the Sixties.” Mango has the monopoly on the high street, while Matches Fashion has upped their offering 84 per cent, counting bestsellers from Miu Miu, Maison Margiela and Vibi Venezia.
Pretty Ballerinas, Kristen, £249, prettyballerinas.co.uk
Miu Miu, Satin Ballerinas, £700, miumiu.com
Le Monde Beryl, Velvet Mary Jane Flats, £395, matchesfashion.com
4. Big bombers
The unrivalled champion of the street stylers seen this fashion month has been the bolshy bomber jacket. Loewe’s meme-worthy leather puffer style takes first place but at £5,500, it is better to start looking for wallet friendly alternatives. The Frankie Shop’s navy croc style was championed by Copenhagen Fashion Week attendees, while Diesel make them in hot pink and black. “They’re super versatile, and sum up the sportier, utilitarian trend we are seeing for the season,” says Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at Matches Fashion.
Loewe, Padded Leather Bomber Jacket, £5500, mytheresa.com
The Franke Shop, Hane Croc-Effect Faux-Leather Bomber Jacket, £415, matchesfashion.com
5. Oversized leather tote
Saint Laurent’s Icare quilted leather tote bag topped Lyst’s report as the hottest product this quarter, having been spotted on Bella Hadid, Zoë Kravitz and Nicole Kidman. The roomy style has enjoyed a 46 per cent spike in searches in the past few months, creating a knock-on halo effect for totes in general — up 55 per cent this quarter. For wallet-friendly alternatives, Dragon Diffusion is a bag maker which specialises in woven styles in similar shapes to Saint Laurent, while All Saint’s Nadaline bag is spacious, with puffy, leather quilting.
Saint Laurent, Quilted Icare Shopper Bag, £3620, harrods.com
Dragon Diffusion, Santa Croce Large Woven-Leather Basket Bag, £350, matchesfashion.com
6. Metallic silver slacks
The most eye-catching garment among the Insta-influencers this spring is shaping up to be metallic silver slacks. Rotate’s high-waisted, croc-effect tin foil-style trousers are behind it, paired with a vest, oversized blazer and cowboy boots by Felicity Bird. Maje make a flared, leather style worth the £479 investment, but Mango offers a similar look for less. Dress up with sling backs and strappy tops for a night look.
Rotate Birger Christensen, Rotie Croc-Effect Faux Leather Straight-Leg Pants, £230, net-a-porter.com
Maje, Silver Leather Trousers, £479, maje.com
7. The huge white blouse
Star of Annie’s Ibiza’s debut collection at London Fashion Week was a pirate-style white blouse. “It is a great one for layering and adding extra drama to a spring look. I would wear it under a tight fitting, corseted dress,” says founder Annie Doble. Similar smocks can be found at COS, Aggi and Altuzarra — or try before you buy and rent one of Rejina Pyo’s currently on Rotaro.
Annie’s Collection, Lennox Shirt, £450, anniesibiza.com
COS, Voluminous White Shirt, £89, cos.com
Altuzarra, Deka Lace-Up Cotton Shirt, £665, matchesfashion.com
8. All green everything
Colour of the season was snagged by Victoria Beckham as she sent out Bella Hadid in a “parrot” green gown at her SS23 Paris collection. Adopt the shade with Me+Em’s similarly gathered, long-sleeved green day-dress, or the co-ord shirt and sweater seen in Massimo Dutti’s spring campaign. Rat and Boa’s Serafia mini dress is a near-perfect colour match to the Beckham dress — or gulp and invest £850 in the real deal.
Me + Em, Ponte Twist Front Maxi Dress, £195, meandem.com
Rat and Boa, Serafia Dress, £150, ratandboa.com
9. Parachute strung dresses
Swap out drab floral midis for dresses with more technical edge this season. Parachute, drawstring dresses took the catwalks by storm, led by Simone Rocha who took the trend to an extreme with her utilitarian strapped ruched detailing. Find these in block shades to heighten focus — Proenza Schouler’s come in sunshine yellow, Stella McCartney makes one neon orange while Róhe does a swoon-worthy variety in rose pink.
Proenza Schouler, Ruched Jersey Maxi Dress, £636, mytheresa.com
Stella McCartney, Viscose Satin Mini Dress, £389, mytheresa.com
Róhe, Jersey Dress, £360, roheframes.com
10. Cracking corsages
High drama floral additions have been the red carpet mainstay of recent months — endorsed by everyone from Harry Styles to Kylie Jenner. While you can opt for brooch styles to spruce any look, the most popular variations are fabric moulded flowers which adorn bright coloured tight tops, like those made by Blumarine and Magda Butrym. or the perfect, romantic spring frock, however, Bernadette takes the crown with their flower fronted, pink off-shoulder dress paired by model Lindsey Wixson with (optional) high heels and socks.
Blumarine, Cotton Blend Crepe Ruffle Crop Top In Pink, £734, farfetch.com
Magda Butrym, 70’s Bell Sleeve Jersey Crop Top in Violet, £765, magdabutrym.com
Hope for Flowers, Violet Crossover Corsage Top, £208.86, saksfifthavenue.com
11. Banker chic
While research by job search website Adzuna indicated suits were out and casual workwear is set to reign, the fashion set continues to double down on tailoring, button ups and ties. “Sportswear became so ubiquitous during lockdown and people got bored,” says stylist Karen Clarkson, whose Portobello Road boutique Found and Vision is a mecca of preloved luxury items. “A suit is for everyone, however the all out ‘banker chic’ look requires a bit more attitude and style savvy. Ganni and Acne have good quality off-the-peg suits in quality fabrics which are stylish and will last well, they cost around £600.” On the catwalk, Ralph Lauren and Dolce and Gabbana lead the way for Eighties workwear dressing.
Ganni, Green Storm Flap Blazer, £560, ssense.com
Gucci, GG Pattern Silk Tie, £180, www.gucci.com