All that glitters: Winter wardrobe sparkle

Brighten up your winter wardrobe with twinkling trousers, shiny shirts and jazzy jackets – just don’t wear them all at once, says Harriet Walker

The autumn/winter directive of minimalism and ubiquitous understatement may have dampened the spirits of many a fashion magpie, but fear not – there is plenty of sparkle still to be had. Shiny metallics and razzy sequins are all over the high street, creating a day-to-night trend that bodes well for the upcoming party season.

The trick is not to look too “done” – inserting shiny elements into an already pared-down wardrobe is an easy way to add a bit of bling, and the rule for autumn is to wear your metallics on sportier, more casual pieces. Reiss’s sequinned bomber jacket might look a bit ghetto-fabulous worn with head-to-toe brights, but paired with some rather more sober and formal trousers it becomes an instant hit of shiny chic.

Metallics may be more closely associated with the recent Eighties revival and the vogue for looking a bit space fembot (hands up Lady Gaga), but sequins have also taken on a more ladylike air, scattered across romantic chiffon separates and practical, wardrobe-staple knitwear. Colours are toned down to burnished golds, bronze and matte silver – although feel free to ramp those up a notch.

Those who fear the sequin blazer, cruiseship-cabaret look should opt for some of the metallic-coated tailoring currently floating around the fashionable periphery – such as Warehouse’s silver jacket, which is mannish in cut and fairly restrained. Topshop’s gold-spattered jeans also work as well with grungy knitwear as they do with a more party-friendly top – just save that for when the sun goes down.

One way to wear sparkle this season is to break down the usual codes – try glitzy, embellished pieces as unabashed daywear, mixing sweet separates like Jigsaw’s sequinned cardigan with some jeans and ballet pumps.

Accessories are another excellent way of not jumping straight into the deep end, so look out for clutch bags covered in shiny hardware, or shoes with a bit of razzmatazz. Chanel’s knack for nailing a trend (as it were) with a souped-up varnish continues this season, and its purple-grey Paradoxal shade has sufficient sparkle to lift even the wintriest garb.

Look also for other trends which encapsulate a bit of android sheen – there’s a rash of animal-print pieces with a subtle glow, such as Whistles’s silver snakeskin jumper, or their gold lurex dress, which would work with black tights and a grown-up knit for work or on its own in the evening.

But for those of you who remain devoted to glam, there are plenty of high-octane pieces to carry you up to New Year’s Eve and beyond – French Connection is known for its spangly party dresses, and this season is no different. From bright and disco-flavoured mini dresses to heavily embellished metallic tops, there’s something for every dance-floor diva.

Some rules of thumb apply, of course, and that includes not wearing sequins on more than one garment at a time (the X Factor stage beckons those who take this look too far), nor on a Sunday morning – when a perky party vibe is more of a poke in the eye to those of us still nursing our hangovers.