Style file with Weekend stylist Kate Parker
Q. I need a new coat and always play safe with black, or grey. Should I go for a different colour, or a pattern, instead?
A. It's tempting to go for a neutral winter coat, because we think it will go with everything. However, choosing a colour which really suits you and you really enjoy wearing will give you an instant lift. Purple is a key colour for autumn-winter and this single breasted style from Marisota (£55) is flattering and available in sizes from 12-32. It also gives you the chance to try a bright colour without breaking the bank.
Another option would be to go for a different fabrication and this cream sequin coat from M&S (£95) is a neutral shade where the sequins bring light to the face. Worn with boots and a chunky scarf this coat could look more casual, but is totally glamorous worn in the evening with a black dress. This 'Leo' dark green coat from Reiss (£295) is another great option and the colour would be softer on many complexions than 'go to' black, or grey.
Q. I'm going away for half-term. I'd like something practical and stylish to wear for going out and about with the kids.
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A. It probably pays to be prepared for the weather as "there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing." The first thing I would recommend is a coat with a hood so you don't have to wrestle with an umbrella if it does rain – also keeping your hands free to hold little hands. There is a fantastic selection of parkas on the high street and I'm turning to M&S again to show you this one (£75) with a faux fur trim.
This duffle bag from Accessorise (£30) looks great with the parka and means you can easily carry everything you need. Finally, you will want comfortable feet. These ankle boots from NW3 are casual and definitely stylish (£139) and are fantastic worn with skinny jeans or thick tights and a casual dress.