Alyson Walsh writes for you …

Rather than throwing sequins at everything this Christmas, I’m experimenting with interesting colour combinations instead. For someone who rarely shifts out of neutral, working my way through Quality Street shades is something of a departure. But I find the best way to trial anything new, is to anchor an outfit with a couple of old favourites. Hence, the blue tailored jacket and black jeans help ease the fuchsia pink pussycat bow blouse into my wardrobe without pushing me outside my comfort zone.

T-bar Michelle in plum with matching Bryanna clutch.

T-bar Michelle in Plum with matching Bryanna clutch.

If this outfit were a shoe, it would be the suede Donna heel in Dark Blue or Plum; a burst of colour, a jaunty bow, a go-anywhere attitude. And if Donna’s bows on my toes feel like a decorative touch too far, then the Michelle shoe in Navy or Plum makes a perfect alternative.

The good thing about these elegant suede shoes is that they look great with both dresses and trousers. I’m picturing a tunic style in a beautiful printed fabric that incorporates the shade of the shoes, accessorized with a long string of beads. Alternatively, a chic mid-heel looks fantastic with stretch trousers, a silk blouse and a pair of statement earrings. Or dial it down on Christmas Day with a pair of favourite jeans and a cashmere sweater. When embracing vintage-inspired footwear, it’s best to keep everything else simple and modern. No fuss, no fripperies, no one wants to look like they’re stuck in an episode of Downton (series three).

I know what you’re thinking. What about tights? While showbiz celebrities and fashion editors style it out with year-round bare legs, those of us without chauffeur driven cars prefer not to go around with limbs that look like corned beef. Bring on the opaques! Either match tights to shoes – or go your own way with a contrasting winter shade. Both Navy and Wine suede shoes are easy to wear and look brilliant with Burnt Orange, Royal Blue and Charcoal Grey. Now about that tin of Quality Street…

walshheadAlyson Walsh is a former fashion editor for Good Housekeeping magazine; a regular feature writer for the Guardian, Financial Times ‘How To Spend It’, Saga Magazine and allaboutyou.com. Alyson started her successful style blog, That’s Not My Age, six years ago in order to celebrate the creed that ‘style is forever’. In her book ‘Style Forever’ she explores how the topics of fashion, age and culture are connected. Alyson has also appeared on BBC News and BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour with Jenni Murray www.thatsnotmyage.com .

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