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Maxi, maxi, maxi is all I hear this autumn, along with brown, brown, brown. This is no news to me, because my skirts have been either short or very long for years. Despite what fashion dictated, I never had anything to do with all those in-between lengths: on the knee, just above the knee, mid-calf. What tosh. Quite frankly, who has the time? It's either short or long. The nice thing about this maxi stuff is that the general idea is fairly classic, so if you don't buy anything too obviously "now" (geometric prints; too fitted; Seventies shaping) then you can wear it lots. Slightly clumpy heeled boots or shoes, or flatties if you prefer, are the shoe shape to wear with maxi styles. And long flowing scarves. But remember Isadora and make sure it's tucked in before you drive off.

Main picture: navy V-neck merino sweater, pounds 230 and maxi skirt, pounds 370 both Gucci, 33 Old Bond Street, London W1 and 18 Sloane Street, London SW1 (0171 629 2716).

Above left: brown polo neck sweater with striped cuffs, pounds 19.99, Top Shop, branches nationwide (0171 636 8040). Brown pinstripe maxi skirt, pounds 110, Whistles, 27 Sloane Sq, London SW1 and branches (0171 730 9819). Purple suede belted maxi coat (back view seen) pounds 200, Warehouse branches nationwide (0171 278 3491).

Above right: purple suede belted maxi coat, pounds 200, Warehouse, as before. Graffiti print multi-coloured lace strapless long dress, pounds 422, Corinne Cobson, to order from Jones, Floral Street, London WC2 (0171 379 4299). Black patterned tights, pounds 22, Wolford, from department stores nationwide (0171 935 9202). Gold T-Bar shoes, pounds 192, Patrick Cox, 8 Symons Street, London SW1 (0171 730 6504).

Above far right: grey felted jersey maxi coat, pounds 460, Ally Capellino, 95 Wardour Street, London W1 (0171 494 0768). Black long halter-neck dress, pounds 55, Warehouse, as before. Black suede platform knee-high boots, pounds 370, Gucci, as before.