The intelligent consumer: My giddy aunt

ready to wear

Well I am pleased to have this double-page spread back. So much more room for the pictures to breathe... The Nineties, with their much more relaxed approach to fashion, spawned a great look, which, over the years, has been updated and given new labels: thrift-shop chic, eclectic, antique. But underneath the changing headlines, it's basically the same: being able to throw together different fabrics, periods and patterns; mixing satins with wool, tweeds with lace. But although it is an excuse to relax conventional "what goes with what" rules, you can get it wrong: it can look too "tried at", the look can be too "busy" or you could just pick truly disgusting clothes. The one thing that will really update your wardrobe and give you that slightly dotty aunt look, is a "hairy" collared cardigan (makes you look like Marc Bolan). Warehouse do a fabulous one, or you can get fake fur collars (Oasis, Fenwick) and stitch them onto whatever you want.

Gold crochet vest (sizes 8-14), pounds 89.95, Karen Millen, 262-264 Regent Street, London W1, and 12-14 Queen Victoria Street, Leeds. Enquiries: 01622 664032. Gold check trousers (sizes 8-14), pounds 110, Whistles, as before. Black boucle fake fur-trimmed jacket (sizes 8-14), pounds 150, Kookai, 123 Kensington High Street, London W8, and 66 King Street, Manchester. Enquiries: 0171 937 4411. Burgundy mules with asymmetric strap (sizes 3-8), pounds 195, Gina, 19 Sloane Street, London SW1. Enquiries: 0171 235 2932

Above: red velvet-trimmed V-neck jumper (sizes SM/ML), pounds 39.99, Kookai, as before. Black embroidered skirt (sizes 8-16), pounds 24.99, Oasis, 292 Regent Street, London W1, and 10 Clayton Square, Liverpool. Enquiries: 01865 881986. Black jacket with fake-fur collar (sizes 8-14), from pounds 225, Karen Millen, as before. Burgundy stretch-suede knee-high boots (sizes 3-8), pounds 450, Gina, as before

Plum nylon lace cardigan (sizes SM/ML), pounds 45, Kookai, as before. Black viscose side-split skirt with embroidery and lace trim (sizes S, M, L), pounds 59.95, Biba, 15 Shorts Gardens, London WC2, and House of Fraser, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Enquiries: 0171 226 1788. Check tweed jacket with fake-fur collar (sizes 10-14), pounds 134, Jigsaw, 126-127 New Bond Street, London W1, and 2 Queen Victoria Quarter, Leeds. Enquiries: 0171 491 4484. Black tights by Aristoc, from major department stores nationwide

Left: black single-breasted fake fur-trimmed coat (sizes 8-14), pounds 160, Kookai, 123 Kensington High Street, London W8, and 66 King Street, Manchester. Enquiries: 0171 235 2932

Flesh silk tattoo bra dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 637, Clements Ribeiro, Koh Samui, 65 Monmouth Street, London WC2. Enquiries: 0171 240 4280. Striped chenille coat (sizes 8-14), pounds 245, Whistles, 12 St Christopher's Place, London W1, and 15 Princes Square, Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Enquiries: 0171 487 4484

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