Fashion is what you buy, style is how you wear it

Designer and stylist Kay Davidson uses her years of experience to round up this year’s autumn essential pieces.

Autumn fashion

When you buy right first time you can restyle it year after year and even right across different seasons. Quality made garments can give you lasting looks.

A little extra weight, back fat or muffins are part of being a woman and as we age our bodies get softer. It’s just part of who we are. But it certainly doesn’t mean we need to hide. Your focus when choosing what to wear should be on enhancing the parts of you that you love the most. Clothes with structure and layers can keep you feeling fabulous about how you look.

When it comes to how they should fit I always say, ‘clothes should follow the curves on a woman’s body.” The key is the word ‘follow’ not pinch and grab but equally don’t drown your shape either.

An alteration shop will be your best friend. To achieve a great fit they are indispensable. Buying clothes off the peg to cater for the multitude of shapes, sizes and personal taste preferences is always going to be tricky until technology takes over and our clothes are custom made for each of us. But until such time, select the size that fits you the best and then have an alteration done to tweak it to look a million dollars and not just another High Street purchase.

Remember it is about how you feel in what you wear that gives you that feeling of style and the confidence that follows.

The following peices are my autumn essential this year:

Black jeans

Karen Millen

I love these black skinny jeans for several reasons. The fabric weight and construction is heavy enough to give shape and be flattering but super comfortable.The fabric has been reactive dyed so will stay black for longer, also the shape and cut over the tummy gives a little welcome support in this area. The shape and position of the back pockets make them super flattering for most of us. If you need new black jeans this season, these are a cracking good item.

simple top


This is a lovely easy to wear top. It is sheer on the outer front layer with a jersey layer beneath and on the back. The ruffle on the sleeve gives a nod to fashion without dating easily as some of the very wide sleeves which are around. The neckline is also very flattering for all to wear and makes it easy to enhance with either a statement necklace or a long pendant.


Phase Eight

This cardi or long line knitted jacket is going to be super popular and so it should be! At long last one of the brands has got it right, that these longline cardis need to be fitted at the back and have a set in sleeve so they don’t make us look round-shouldered from the back or much bigger than we are. Grab this while you can, the style is straight out of my capsule wardrobe ideas and it’s in a range of colours. Horray! Something we can all enjoy this season!



The colour combination in this just squeals warm and cosy and it feels amazing too. Sometimes all we need to transition from season to season is to wrap up in an autumn coloured scarf and this is a beauty that gives that hint of a seasonal colour but yet links back to classic Autumn Winter core colours also.


Massimo Dutti

We all need a coat and this isn’t going to keep you warm all winter but is a beautiful feminine coat with a hint of classic Channel at a much more sensible price point. So often autumn winter colours are grey and dark, it’s a treat to pull on a lovely cream coat. Pair with a fine layer of cashmere below and you will love to wear this in the springtime too.

fitted blazer

Ted Baker

If you need to update your navy blazer this could be a winner. I particularly like the shaping and fabric in this style. It adds a waist, has a great shoulder and the wrap on the front also suits women you are heavier on the bust. The length, finishing at the high hip is also one of the easiest lengths of jacket for a woman to wear.

cami top


If you haven’t already discovered the joy of wearing these little cami tops under even the most basic of t-shirts, give it a try this Autumn Winter. I wear them and recommend them to all my clients as they give a base layer for the clothes you wear on top to skim and flatter. I call them a second skin as they add back that little bit of structure to the frame that Mother Nature takes away.

Black boot


Did you know that a patent finish on your shoes/boots makes your feet look much smaller than matt or suede does? If you have noticed that your winter boots and shoes always look heavy against your outfits try wearing patent instead, especially in black. This is a great little boot with a heel you can walk around in all day and is easy to wear with any trousers, jean or even a dress.

How to wear

How to wear it – ruffle sleeve top

If you have something like this, I hope these ideas will inspire you and show you how easy it is to reinvent and restyle a particular item so you don’t get bored with your clothes or outfits. Of course, it also makes them work hard for the money you have invested in them. Look good for you, your money and less waste for the good of the planet!

How to wear

I love this top for autumn and decided to show you combinations of ‘how to wear it’ using both the navy and the natural. Remember these ideas are to give you inspiration for items you may already have. You could reinvent a cream or navy sweater in the ways we are suggesting and simply update accessories. This is a really versatile reversible leather tote bag and of course the statement scarf to give a nod to the season.

How to wear

If you were to replace the black tailored trousers in this look with the black jeans from above it would even work for that sometimes hard to define “smart casual” dress code at work. And yes, I have deliberately paired navy and black together which gives a really stylish and edgy confidence to this look. Finish with a long pendant necklace a more formal bag and that great boot.

How to wear

This top transitions perfectly to a very relaxed look too. Pull on some boyfriend jeans, a cross body bag like this one from Radley along with your Adidas Parley trainers (so you look good and do good at the same time). Keep snug with this dusty pink jacket from Zara but I would detach the hood. The fake fur is too heavy and frankly cheapens an otherwise lovely casual jacket.

Kay is not affiliated with any brands, her advice is completely unbiased – it is simply years of knowledge from working in the industry. “Everything featured I have seen in reality” explains Kay. “I have checked the fabric, the seams and as much as possible the fit without trying it on in every size. It’s straight-talking advice from a designer who knows how good quality clothes should be made. My background sourcing and design for the corporate wear market has made me a fabric technology whizz as well as Style Hunter who spots trends and garments worth investing in.”

For further style advice on this year’s autumn trends, visit Askay Style

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 1:32 pm Fashion, Fashion & Beauty