Fashion: Summer is now so last season

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Is it still summer? Or are we in autumn now? The High Street can’t seem to make its mind up. Stephanie Smith looks for stylish mix-ups.

You can always rely on fashion to make a virtue out of an awkward glitch in time.

Just take the trans-seasonal theme – I mean, what exactly is it? What does it all mean?

Well, what it actually means is that a huge proportion of fashion shops, both tangible and online, are in a state of flux, as the summer stock hangs on the sale racks and the new autumn/winter stock edges its way inexorably further and further into the retail space.

Lights and florals mingling with the new deeper, richer autumnal hues – it can all look a bit of a hotch-potch but no one seems to have come up with a better way of ensuring that people still can find must-have bargains, and/or last-minute holiday dresses and strappy tops, while simultaneously being enticed and inspired by that first delicious taste of the new autumn stock to come.

And, actually, it’s perfect, because the fashion is trans-season and we are trans-season.

An eclectic mixture of texture, pattern and colour, a blending of the seasons, this is exactly what we need and want to wear when we can experience sunshine, showers, winds, slight nips and baking heat – all in the one day.

That strappy summer dress has an added injection of life and versatility when worn under a roomy, boyfriend-style jumper or cardigan and chunky ankle boots.

So does the flirty cotton print skirt. The same treatment works for this year’s all-in-ones, from long-leg jumpsuits and dungarees through to short cotton romper suits.

Layering, as ever, is key to the look, and it’s easy to get very wrong indeed, so don’t make the mistake of just flinging everything on and setting forth. Check out proportions and how the layers fall and interact, teaming filmy silks and chiffons with soft but denser knits. Take a look in the mirror to make sure you don’t look like a walking lampshade or a bit part in The Hobbit.

On a personal note, I am delighted to see that the old trick of tying your shirt around your waist is making a comeback and I will be ignoring my daughter when she looks at me and scoffs: “You’re not at primary school, mother.”

So yes, it’s all a bit of a hotch-potch in the shops at the moment, but make the most if it. Trans-season can last for ever, after all.

Brow guru Shavata, left, at Harvey Nichols Leeds last week with the Laura Moore and her new defining brows.

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