Words by Second Hand Rose

The December chill is here so your wardrobe may need a little upgrade. Whether it’s to help keep you cosy or bring you up to date with the latest trends, here are a few of them to help get you started.

Yep, the 80s is a trend for this season, just when party time is beginning. Power dressing is back! However, it is mainly focused on eveningwear – think 80s cocktail attire. Lots of satin, ruching, asymmetric cuts, as well as fishnets and spiked stilettos. Leather, lace, latex and Lurex are also popular materials; no after dark outfit can escape some shimmer, perfect for being the belle of the ball at your Christmas party.

Exaggerated sleeves and arms, with a tiny body hugging silhouette and gigantic waist belt is a great way to pay homage to the glitziest, in your face decade of the 20th century. For the day, you can go with one-shoulder dresses, tops with ruffles and stirrup leggings. You can always tone down the look, but still join in, just by wearing a blazer with sharp shoulders. It doesn’t need to have ones that will poke your eyes out like in the 80s, you can go with a softer 2016 cut, which is less deconstructed. It can help transform an outfit but not be too over the top.

Jewellery wise, earrings were big in the 80s. Literally. So, have a statement pair be the focus of your accessories and they don’t have to be jumbo clip-ons that hurt your ears for days after. Gold jewellery was very popular as well, just don’t go overboard with the hairspray and try and avoid the blue eye shadow as much as the 80s lover inside you will let you.

Velvet is the warm luxurious fabric favoured for this season. Gone are the days where it was just seen on dark, gothic clothes or only for the evening – it’s made its way into daytime wardrobes in an array of bright hues and lustrous colours. It is wonderfully soft and you can wear plain, patterned or crushed velvet.

Velvet has been a favoured fabric since the 1920s, when it became easier and faster to produce. It was used to make beautiful garments favoured by the upper class and was the ultimate luxury.

Evening gowns and shawls were made from plain velvet, crushed velvet and velvet adorned with a beautiful, decadent pattern. It became popular again with the glamorous vibe of the 70s and 80s and crushed velvet was also loved in the 90s. You’ve probably seen it around with the 90s revival this year, so it won’t be too difficult to find something that you like.

Deep reds, royal blues and bottled greens are available as well as soft draping velvets in pastel colours. Play it safe with deeper tones like midnight blue, black and deep maroon.

You can be as adventurous as you like with so much to choose from, including: velvet jumpsuits, midi skirts and dresses, crop tops, trouser suits, thigh-high boots and even a gorgeous blazer that will completely up your style game. Velvet looks particularly good when worn with metallic accessories: there’s a great contrast between them.

One item of velvet is enough though and you can do it justice with accessories, like 90s style thin chokers or a clutch. Whichever way you decide to try it, make sure it has no folds and crimps in it by giving it an iron before wearing and you’ll have it looking beautifully sleek.


The capelet is the latest fashion cover-up. It is a classy wearable addition to any outfit and is exceptionally stylish. Capelets are defined as a cropped cape that swings above the hips; you may also find it called a cape blazer with split sleeves. They give a beautiful draped effect that a jacket doesn’t and can give a casual look of T-shirt and jeans, or a little black dress, a fresh new look.

Some capelets or cape blazers will have only small splits up the arm, while others have ones up to the top of the arm. There are plenty of designs to choose from and the split sleeves are a great way to update the cape for 2016.

Capes have been a popular accessory since the start of the 20th century with ones in the 1920s worn open with a tie around the neck. They were worn as a fancy evening wrap adorned with beautiful prints and beaded designs. Wealthy women wore them during the day as an elegant accessory. Still fashionable in the 30s, they were primarily made from velvet, satin or brocade. They disappeared during the war due to fabric shortages but they made a comeback in the 1950s. They had simple lines and were made of tweed, check or mohair fabrics. Later, they were given a makeover in the 60s and woollen ones were longer and were worn at the hip or the knee.

Capelets were seen all over the Autumn/Winter 2016 runway and can now be found in high street and online stores.

Here are three trends you can explore this winter, whether it’s for your Christmas party or to keep you looking luxe whilst trying to keep the cold out. You’re bound to find something that will work for you.

Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!