Lynne Coleman's The Fashion Annual - The Algorithm Edition, published by Luath Press, available from Harvey Nichols, £20 -

Lynne Coleman gives her top tips for Autumn

Lynne Coleman gives her top tips for Autumn

Cable knits: 

There is no autumn-winter that passes when you don't see an adaptation of a cable knit go down the runway and onto the high street. Sure as the season shift, snow follows sun, so too do these chunky knits make their annual appearance. For that simple reason it's a no brainer to invest in one that will see you through the decades rather than a season. 

Cable knits originated in the 17th and 18th century starting off life as accessories from socks to underwear. During this time Fair Isle techniques were honed and developed leading the way to cable stitching used on Aran sweaters. It was in the early 20th century that we see cable knits becoming a fashion symbol rather than a practical piece of workwear for fishermen. 


This print is pretty much omnipresent all year round working well in both summer and winter wardrobes. It is a clean, chic textile with chameleon-like qualities working in a multitude of style genres from punk to preppy. What's so great about this print is that for almost a century true fashion diehards have been designing with it and wearing it. I am convinced houndstooth was the real reason The Auld Alliance was created between France and Scotland, you only have to look at the French fashion houses to see the treaty is alive and well. We've been weaving it for them for over 100 years.

Its roots can be traced to the Scottish Lowlands where it was woven into wool cloth. Its fan-base is wide reaching throughout history from Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens being fans to modern giants Alexander McQueen and Christian Dior using it. 


Pop culture is littered with argyle gems. From James Dean donning a beige/black combo in East of Eden to Claudia Schiffer doing off-duty model chic in oversized argyle sweaters all the way to Cher Horowitz wearing her iconic grey and white diamond motif skirt to fail her driving test in Clueless. The model day shift in menswear has really put the argyle back on the map, but there is a lovely duality about the argyle that gives it gender-neutral durably. 

I am a child of the '80s so my memories of this print in history first come to mind on the backs of golfing giants and football casuals. To be frank the 1980s gave this textile a kick-in but the passage of time has smoothed out those Begby Trainspotting edges to highlight almost 200 years of well-heeled dressers wearing it before them. You only have to look at the starlets of the 1940s and '50s to see why this print is so ubiquitous. It goes nowhere so invest in it and it won't let you down.


One of the hardest working textiles on the planet, tartan has been around for centuries. Being the brand guardian of  Scotland's only dedicated hand-crafted tartan mill I have witnessed first hand fashion's love affair with my countries national dress. There hasn't been a movement this textile hasn't covered, much like the houndstooth - which to be fair is a tartan check in itself - this design is adopted by conformists and anarchist alike. From punk and rock and roll all the way through to traditional dressing there is a tartan for everyone. 

All you have to do is identify with the one you love the best, or better still design your own, because I can guarantee you this is one fabric that we flip back to on an annual bases every time the clock goes back.  


The king of all fibres. Cashmere is one of the hardest working, sustainable materials on the planet. It is hand combed off of Mongolian mountain goats each each after they spend harsh winters up on the hills. It is actually the hairs from the goats chin and tummy that are the best, trapping heat in sub-zero temperatures keeps these little darlings warms over winter and it is why it is so soft and warm once it's spun into wool for us to wear.  

Now, you can get cheap cashmere made anywhere on the planet and if you want to buy it - fill your boots. But I am here to tell you that if you invest in the best quality jumper you can afford, that piece will be with you for the rest of your life if you treat it correctly - making its pound per wear prospect cheaper in the long-run. So treat yourself, it's an investment worth making.

The Wrap: 

As a stylist I know there is no such thing as one size fits all. Different body shapes demand different treatment when it comes to dressing. Having said that, there is always one thing that breaks a rule. In this case it is a wrap. Whatever your body type the wrap will be your buddy. You only have to look at the dedicated followers of fashion adoring them throughout the decades to see confirmation of this. From Hollywood royalty to real life Queens and Princesses, this item has a style stamp of approval.  

Our most salacious of cover-ups, the wrap's evolution is one worthy of gossip. Design power house DVF claims the invention as her own, and although it is synonymous with her label, the roots go deeper than the dance floors of the 1970s. We find ourselves heading further back to the 1930s, when Elsa Schiaparelli was delving into Dadaism in her designs, to truly witness the conception of the wrap. It is a winter staple be it in soft knits or classic coating - this shape is one to invest in time-and-time again.  

The Hoody:

This is dreamy-dress down attire. Think weekend lounging, cosy, comfortable clobber that maintains a style edge. If you are doing a hoody, in my opinion, it should only ever be in cashmere. For me the black cashmere hoody is responsible for coining the phrase sports-luxe, and it never goes out of style. 

You may be fooled into thinking this garment is a relative new kid on the block - but you would be wrong. The origins trace back to utility wear in medieval Europe. Fast forward to the roaring '20s and the humble jumper began its metamorphoses into the garment we wear today. Its roots have remained in workwear, its felicitous nature making sportswear its natural home in present-day dressing. 

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