Best of British: The hottest designers are unashamedly celebrating our fashion heritage this autumn

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Military

Seen at: Alexander McQueen, John Rocha

There's no room for slackers with this season's sharp styles as tailoring takes centre stage. Nevertheless, military needn't mean masculine, as proved by this sexy Temperley dress (£590, www.netaporter.com). Vary your silhouette by covering up with a cape – the brass buttons on this striking Jaeger number (£499, www.jaeger.co.uk) are a suitably soldierly touch that add the definition necessary to prevent you being swamped by the fabric. Pair it with a slim-fitting pair of trousers or skirt. To add a tough edge to other outfits, these sturdy but chic boots (£249, www.toast.co.uk) and dashing leather gloves (£24.99, www.riverisland.co.uk) should pass muster.

Tartan

Seen at: Matthew Williamson, House of Holland, D&G

Anyone with a family tartan should be feeling very smug this autumn, as designers have gone criss-cross crazy. For the rest of us, there are countless variations to suit. Make it part of your daily wardrobe with a coat: this belted mac is a handy style short-cut (£100, www. warehouse.co.uk). A tartan blouse such as this bargain number (£10, www.matalan.co.uk) will look equally good dressed up with a skirt or down with denim. And while red is the colour of the season, this blue-and-black jacket (£35, www.newlook.co.uk) gives you another option. For a punkier edge, pick up this tote (£55, www.frenchconnection.co.uk).

Country pursuits

Seen at: D&G, Ralph Lauren

Take your inspirationfrom none other than Her Majesty herself, but avoid state jewels and opt for relaxing-at-Balmoral mode. A chunky knit such as this Topshop Fair Isle jumper looks cosy and cute (£32, www.topshop.co.uk), while this checked A-line skirt is a pleasingly subtle alternative to tartan (£50, www.lauraashley.com). Finish it off with the ultimate in landed-gentry chic, a crocodile clutch (£245, www.twenty8twelve.com) and a headscarf knotted below the chin for a demure look to make your granny proud. If you can't afford the iconic Hermès silk square, head to Aldo for a bargain version (£15, www.aldoshoes.com); the touch of leopard print will keep it modern too.

Bloomsbury chic

Seen at: Anna Sui, Temperley

A high-brow take on boho, the trick is to look as if you are too busy working on your latest oeuvre to pay too much attention to what you are wearing. A vintage-looking tea-dress such as this floral Whistles design (£140, www.johnlewis.com) should form the base of your outfit, paired with an oversized cardigan (£235, Tibi from www.netaporter.com) for an artfully dishevelled look. Keep warm with woollen tights or – if you're lithe of leg and feeling adventurous – stockings (£85, with vest and knickers, www.day.dk). Accessorise with this 1920s-style leather cloche (£29.99, www.hm.com) and an obscure Penguin Classic.

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