The third week of December, (aka the countdown to Christmas), is not only an appropriate time to drink larger amounts of wine than usual, but also the perfect time to wear it. Bordeaux, claret or merlot – it's a colour that fashion brands never tire of renaming, and a more warming shade would be hard to find.
It was apparent on many of the Autumn/Winter 2012 catwalks, from Alexander McQueen's second line, McQ, to Chloé, which gave us long velvet skirts, and Gucci, whose glamorous goth theme came in a deep, bloody palette.
The high street has also been saturated with this autumnal shade, lengthening the list of nomenclature with berry, cranberry, oxblood, rust and even prune.
There's something about berry hues that lend themselves, rather than to print or pattern, to texture. Leather and suede are more popular than ever, while one might draw the line at velvet for daytime. Try maroon mohair, cashmere and different kinds of faux fur, including, and why not, that shaggy Mongolian style around just now. Each of these materials have much greater depth in a deep red than they would in black.
It'd be hard to find anyone who wouldn't suit a wine-coloured item – and into whose wardrobe it wouldn't slip pleasingly. Gothic types can blend it with black ensembles, trend-followers will find many items in leather or with leather sleeves in berry shades, as well as mohair and waffle-knits – all in vogue this season.
Those adventurous with colour will be able to mix an oxblood piece with bright red, orange or even bubble-gum pink and those who like their fashion chic and understated can also join in – as it blends beautifully with soft grey woolly tights and a pair of lace-up brogues or chunky ankle boots.