The Sunday Times Style’s Wardrobe Mistress and fashion features editor Pandora Sykes chooses her favourite autumn looks and reveals her must-haves for staying chic at all times
“This dress is age-immune,” says Pandora. “It will look cute on a younger woman and chic on a more mature one, hitting the spot between grunge (which is having a moment again) and romantic dressing.
“It’s the ultimate trans-seasonal frock to wear with bare legs and slightly saucy multi-strap Mary Janes on milder days, then with thick tights, chunky biker boots and a peacoat come winter. It’s also a solid day-to-night option.
“The dress comes with all sorts of interesting details: a ruched lace trim; a keyhole cut-out at the Peter Pan collar; bell sleeves for a subtle flared effect; and two buttons at the neck, so you can wear it either done up, or open a little lower. And with this pretty fabric and flattering design, there’s no need for extraneous accessorising.”
“Wide-leg tweed trousers are an autumn wardrobe staple, particularly for taller women – which I am not,” admits Pandora. “If you’re short, like me, add a pair of high, pointed courts and make sure you show off the waistband to lengthen the look.
“I’ve teamed these trousers with a cold-shoulder knit, a standout piece from the M&S autumn/winter collection. It’s soft and cosy, and the cut-out shoulders give it a modern twist. It would work just as well in the day or evening.
“This cross-body bag is the perfect size: big enough to store water, a book and your other essentials, but delicate enough to hang on the pretty gold chain and not engulf your outfit. The snakeskin detail gives it an expensive-looking finish and burgundy is a great colour for autumn.”
“There’s such a simplicity to a fitted roll neck and a midi skirt,” explains Pandora. “It’s an outfit that hides all manner of sins. This rust-coloured ribbed top is soft on the skin and layers beautifully under shirting and pinafores – so it’s a good extra to have in your wardrobe.
“To balance a voluminous A-line skirt, you want a fitted upper half, so tuck the jumper in to keep the look streamlined. I like to tie my hair up when I wear a tighter top like this and add statement earrings.
“The metallic detailing makes this skirt look expensive and luxurious. It’s the kind of piece you’d expect to find at Marks & Spencer: a really great skirt that needs only simple basics to hit the high notes.”
Photographer: Billie Scheepers Hair and make-up artist: Lucy Pearson