Kick off the new season

The central heating switch isn’t the only thing you should be getting acquainted with around about now.

Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 9:37 am

Autumn/winter’s new trends are ready and waiting for your big wardrobe switchover.

With themes varying wildly from bright jewel shades to fetish black, feminine Forties to boyish androgyny, the biggest decision is which direction to go in.

But there’s no need to fork out for a coveted Forties-inspired Miu Miu dress or the perfect heritage blanket coat from Yves Saint Laurent, because the high street has got it sussed when it comes to this season’s big looks.

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CROWN JEWELS: Black aficionados, read it and weep – kaleidoscopic shades have ousted your favourite hue.

This season has far more to offer than the usual black, grey and navy. so give colour the green light (or indeed red, blue, yellow or purple).

Autumn’s jewel tones are much more muted and richer than summer’s shock-bright neons, though. Opt for luxe shades of sapphire, deep ruby and dazzling amethyst instead.

How you flash your favourite gem tone is up to you, though. Try going top-to-toe in one hue for maximum impact, or go for colour blocking, clashing opposing colours together for a fashion-forward look that’s sure to brighten your day.

MAN UP: Masculine togs are huge this season. The subtle difference is that they’re made to fit the female form.

This boy/girl twist trend of anti-feminine fashion is multi-faceted; it veers from toyboy sexiness with tailored blazers, sharp shirts and oversized coats, to dandy cuteness with dickie-bow ties, tuxedos and brogue flats.

But while you can celebrate the opportunity to ditch your high heels and those body-con-hold-your -breath-at-al-costs dresses, this doesn’t mean losing your inner glamazon completely. Sparkly trousers, embellished tuxedo jackets and sexy silk shirts are all ways to do ‘glam man’ and avoid showing up your husband’s dress sense.

EYE-POPPING PRINTS: Emblazoned on shirts, dresses and trousers, this season’s bold patterns are the clothing equivalent of an art gallery with their elaborate designs.

Plump for pop art by going dotty for spots. From monochrome and colour to polka dot and oversized, circles are winter’s big replacement for summer’s nautical stripes.

The fashion world is also seeing stars – with astrology-inspired prints on both day or night-time wear.

For a more opulent and intricate print, follow the catwalk’s twist on Faberge eggs, moody winter florals and William Morris prints.

RETRO FEVER: If last summer was a Seventies celebration, then this season is a retro love-in.

There’s a decade to re-visit for every style taste, so make a choice based on your body shape and favourite colour palette.

For a flirtation with ladylike glamour, head back to the Forties with form-fitting dresses and two-piece suits topped off by faux fur shrugs, pretty gloves and pearls.

Ideal for petites, the Sixties scene is cute and playful with monochromatic shift dresses, swing coats and graphic prints that embrace the mod period.

Or make a return to the Seventies with this carry-over trend of midi skirts, wide-leg pants and floppy felt hats in muted tones like mustard, rust and teal.

HERITAGE HOUND:Be inspired by the Royals and choose tartan, tweed and Prince of Wales checks this autumn.

This season’s heritage chic follows a forest-inspired palette of mossy green, grey and navy with subtle accents of hot mustard or chocolate.

Go on the hunt for a statement overcoat or try a cheeky twist on the kilt with a knee-length skirt or Vivienne Westwood-inspired dress.

Made for the great outdoors, this is one look that fuses effortlessly with Barbour jackets, sheepskin, cable knits and riding boots. It’ll keep you snug all winter.