Sunday, 24 October 2010

The mane secrets of equestrian style

For some time now, Heritage has featured heavily on the catwalks in London, but it never really makes its way boldly to the high street like it does this winter.

I walk into all manner of shops and I am delighted to see tweeds, checks, and tartan all over the place. As a lover of all things country (Barbour, the Lake District & Alex James) I have never been happier with this trend and I encourage people to really invest in a few key pieces.

Style Secret Number 1: The riding boots.

The riding boot is an absolute staple if you really don’t want to horse around with this trend and there are absolutely bags of choice in the shops to guarantee you nail this look. Wear with leggings, jodhpurs, and jeans and see if you can find some over the knee socks to wear with them as well. My favourites are this leather pair from Dune@Asos for £160

Style Secret Number 2: The quilted jacket.

Still not going away, last year’s quilted jackets are back and even better than before. The quilting fabric means it contains air so will keep you cosy and warm as the cold weather hits in. For real pizzazz invest in a genuine Barbour, but for those who want something with a little more glamour try River Island for this fabulous piece at just £39.99

Style Secret Number 3: The saddle belt

For those that aren’t really feeling the all over big pieces of equestrian style, there are the accessories. Personally I think this is where people who are a bit unsure about this trend can begin to integrate it into their wardrobe. Add a saddle belt to a coloured silk shift to give it that extra hint of Heritage Chic. Once again River Island come up trumps and have one available for £19.99

Once you have the jacket, the boots and the belt everything else should fall into place naturally. You’ll soon find yourself picking up that horse print cardigan, or snatching up that horseshoe and saddle print scarf. Who knows, maybe you can channel your inner Betty Draper and add in a black riding hat to team with your winter coat. The Heritage trend is all about good quality wools and enjoying our British love for the great outdoors. So make like the Lady of the manor and ride this trend right through to next year.

Get on your boots!

It’s getting near to that time of year again when we all shake off the dust from our winter coats and pull out last year’s boots in preparation for the cold. For last year’s will have to do until we spy that perfect pair this season that will take us through to spring. Ankle, knee-high, mid-length, over-the-knee, heeled, wedged flat, there are just so many to choose from and often it takes a lot of looking to get your perfect winter pair.

I’ve always been very picky with boots as I have a bit of a chunkier leg than most and so I find it hard to find an ankle boot that doesn’t make my legs look like sausages, always envying the girls with slim legs that can wear any boots especially the little pixie ones. And its after years of trial and error that I have now found not one, but two styles that I know I can pull off.

Boot number one: The Clarks Desert boot £75

Now I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t LOOK very stylish or glamorous. But the appeal of the Desert boot is that it’s so understated. A bit of a cult favourite, I have noticed these suede numbers popping up on both men and women all over the major cities in the UK and celebrities such as Professor Green, Ashley Olsen and Robert Pattinson have all been seen sporting a pair. Ranging in pastel colours, various shades of this season tan, black and brown, they’re a staple. There was even a limited edition Liberty print in paisley earlier this year.

If you’re not into this laidback style then there’s a few lovely heeled and wedge versions floating about. Like these from Office £78

Boot number two: The Chelsea boot, River Island £29.99

Like the Desert boot, the Chelsea boot is both for men and women. It once again plays on the understated. There isn’t a lot to say about this boot, they've got a lot of history and I don’t think it will ever be unstylish. Vintage finds of this style of boot are probably the best as they have their ow


little quirkiness. I recommend scouring eBay and your local Vintage shops to find your pair, but here are some of the best from the high street

Topshop £65

Urban Outfitters £45

Boot shopping is always difficult. By investing in a pair we have to that fulfil several needs; Top priority is keeping your feet warm and dry, followed by the “Can I wear it with both trousers and dresses?” and then we have to think about Recession looming again and ask ourselves the question “Will this still be stylish to wear next winter?”

My pick for this season are these beauties from Topshop, a steal at £35