Ten Easy Steps To Building An Elegant Wardrobe For The Festive Season

Channel some Italian influence for a sophisticated look

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It's a brand new season and, truth be told, it is our season to shine. We Irish are made for winter dressing - we have this cosy-jumpers-and-warm-accessories thing covered. There are a few ways to optimise your winter wardrobes this year though, and we've got the know-how. 

We're looking to Italian fashion for inspiration - classic, timeless and great quality pieces that'll see you into 2017 with style. Here are the ten easy steps to building an elegant AW16 wardrobe.

1. Out with the old 

When a new season begins, it's easy to get caught up with all the new and shiny on-trend pieces. Before you start to splurge, it's time to purge. 

Spend an hour going through your wardrobe and be brutal - if there are bobbly jumpers, pieces you haven't worn for years (or have never worn at all), disheveled boots and accessories and things you've worn to death and are totally sick of, pack em up and donate them to your nearest clothes bank or charity. 

The sooner you declutter, the better. Who do you want to be this winter? You're not going to see Monica Bellucci in a baggy jumper!

2. Back to basics 

An elegant wardrobe starts with the basics. Look to classic Italian designers like Armani - he keeps outfits so simple, just a couple of pieces that'll cover all of your main bases. 

This means plenty of neutral coloured vests, long-sleeved tees and leggings. These will be so handy underneath jumpers and dresses, keeping you warm and giving you the right basis for a great outfit. 

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3. Tone it up 

Now that your wardrobe has been decluttered and you have your basics sorted, it's time to start shopping. When it comes to elegant colours this winter, we are loving the cool, muted tones on the highstreet. Pale pinks, mint greens and caramels are very chic. 

We saw these all over the catwalks in Milan this season. If you're feeling extra brave, look to Dolce & Gabbana, whose pinks and blues were just stunning. 

4. Denim rules

The skinny jean will always be around but, this season, the most elegant trouser is wide-legged. Mom jeans and culottes are the thing, so New Look's denim culottes are top of our trouser wish list. 

5. Return of the Mac

Trench coats are always a classic look and one of the key elements of sophisticated Italian style.

Thankfully, they are plentiful on the high street this winter. The most elegant of all overcoats, one of these babies will take your wardrobe to new heights. Instead of the usual beige, you could experiment with this orange number from ASOS for extra autumnal vibes. 

Trench

Mac, €100 at ASOS

6. Get shirty 

No-one does a crisp, white cotton shirt quite like the Italians. And no wardrobe - winter or otherwise - is complete without one. Pop it on over a tee with jeans, layer it under a jumper, tuck it into a leather skirt, the merits of a great shirt are endless. 

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7. Bag it up 

There's always room for a new bag each season and we are all about a beautifully soft Italian leather clutch by Prada.

If your budget won't quite stretch that far, try a high-street alternative like a super handy cross-body handbag from H&M. It's tidy, will fit all of the essentials and is totally on trend this season, but will never go out of style. 

8. Fancy foot work 

You'll definitely be needing a really amazing pair of boots this winter (Irish weather and all that).

However, it is another Italian staple that we have our eye on. Loafers are always stylish and we love these River Island ones. They look just like the Gucci loafers as seen on the catwalks for AW16, they're super comfortable and make for the perfect party shoe. No unseemly wobbling away on the dance floor, you'll strut proudly in these all night. 

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Loafers, €75 at River Island

9. Added extras 

Now on to the shiny things! Beautiful, versatile jewellery is so necessary all year round. For the perfect addition to your winter wardrobe, look to & Other Stories (the Grafton Street store just opened). Their pieces are inexpensive and on trend but will last. For catwalk inspiration, we always look to Italian fashion house Miu Miu. 

10. Stay true to you

It's easy to get caught up in wanting to reinvent your wardrobe when a new season dawns, but the most important thing is to stay true to your own style. Wear what you're comfortable in and you'll always look great. Happy AW16! 

Written By

Jo Linehan

Jo is a writer, stylist and explorer. She loves fashion, knows great style and is interested in people and great stories. She lives in Phibsborough and is in love with Dublin.

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