Fashion: Luxurious layers for late summer

Asymmetric cape, �199, at Cletic and Co.

Asymmetric cape, �199, at Cletic and Co.

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Check out luxe layers as autumn looms ever larger. Stephanie Smith goes in search of perfect indoor/outdoor dressing.

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As summer slips aways and we move gently into autumn’s soft chills and ripening shades, reflective and in bittersweet mood, the time comes to prepare for winter with its challenges, and charms.

But we’ll not let the summer go quite so quickly. Late August and September is when many of us like to take a UK break, maybe escaping to a favourite place by the sea or in a country hidey-hole.

We accept that the weather will be unpredictable by its very nature at this time of year, warm and golden at noon, torrential rain by tea time, and we must pack and dress for all possibilities.

Start with knitwear as the autumn collections are entering the stores now, beginning with beautiful light pieces in fine cashmere and merino, perfect for layering. Two pieces are a knitwear trend we’ll be seeing a lot of, so look out for knitted tunic dresses with matching long cardigan and also twinsets of fine knit sweater and cardi.

Actually, knitwear in itself is a major trend for autumn/winter and there’s a feeling that it has transitioned into an exciting and even stunning way to make a fashion statement. For autumn/winter, Stella McCartney created grey chunky rib asymmetric cowl neck over-pieces, like a cross between a dress and a back to front shin-length cape, while Kenzo layered berry coloured snoods with red shawls and hankerchief hem skirts.

A cape is perfect for a short break away, and a knit one especially, as it folds into a case without ever seeming to come to much harm. Look out for ones with furry trim for an extra dash of cosy glamour. A light cashmere cape, at a length that suits but not too long, also makes a great indoors cover-up, and it’s the perfect travelling companion for planes and trains.

Gilets are another handy indoor/outdoor piece, and there are quite a few options about for the autumn/winter, in faux fur, and also in shearling and alpaca. Team with slim jeans and a cashmere jumper, and they also can work well over a knitted dress, with boots.

For indoors, the loungewear look is becoming more and more acceptable as it becomes ever more luxe and natural. Look to The White Company and Harrogate-based Pure Collection for pieces that are far too lovely for only your family and the postman to witness.

James Steward Bespoke floral wedding dress with Brook Taverner ,orning jacket; grey waistcoat; striped trousers; shirt.

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