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Forty years of fashion

This season's trends nibble from the Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and Noughties. Here's how to channel the decades but keep your look modern.

When it comes to fashion trends, we all know that what goes around eventually comes around… but always a little bit differently. This season, you can take your pick from decades past: there are nods to the Seventies, Eighties, Nineties and the Noughties in the new season collections. But how to rock these trends and nail your autumn/winter wardrobe without looking like you’re heading out to a fancy dress party? Think subtle nod rather than full-on retro.

1970s style

There’s so much about ’70s fashion that still works for a modern wardrobe. It tends to be the current crop of fashion designers’ decade of choice to reference; largely because many of them were children at the time so there’s a huge amount of nostalgia involved.  Where do we start? Maxi dresses, supremely flattering wrap dresses (Diane von Furstenberg is still going strong), capes (try one instead of a winter coat), lurex for parties, the return of corduroy (a great alternative if you’re bored of denim) and all manner of brown, rust, mustard and orange autumnal tones. Brave souls may even want to experiment with a turban…

Floral maxi dress, Jigsaw £160, Camel cape, Jigsaw, £280, Wrap dress, Next, £36, Glitter stripe jumper, Oliver Bonas, £45, Cropped cord trousers, M&S, £39.50

1980s style

Saint Laurent certainly <hearts> the ’80s right now, with the label’s campaigns oozing cocktail party glamour; mini skirts, stilettos and sheer black tights abound. And of course this trickles down to the high street. Elsewhere power shoulders are back (hello, Dynasty!), argyle-patterned knits, scrunchies, pops of neon and – yikes – the bum bag. Wear the latter cross-body to avoid being mistaken for an American tourist. You’ll also note leather trousers everywhere this season – just like an ’80s hair metal band but cooler. And less tight, thankfully.

Leopard bum bag, M&S, £25, Power sleeve knit, Next, £30, Leather trousers, Jigsaw, £299, Argyle knit, Next, £28

1990s style

Cycling shorts, anyone? Hey, come back, I was only joking. Clearly some ’90s trends are best left to Kardashians but you can re-spin certain ’90s trends in a way that works for grown-ups. Grunge being one of them. I’m hankering after some lace-up stompy black boots and a sloppy oversized knit (just keep the rest of your silhouette neat). The other good way in is via ’90s Calvin Klein style minimalism, a refreshing palette cleanser after all the animal prints of recent seasons. Try a simple bias cut dress with a blazer. And finally a nod to the ’90s which is so practical you can walk the dog wearing it – the humble puffer jacket. Stylish and warm? Yes please.

Blazer, Jigsaw, £199, Satin slip dress, john Lewis, £42, Blue jumper, Mint Velvet at John Lewis, £89, Green puffer, Joules at John Lewis, £99.95, Black boots, Kurt Geiger, £129

2000s style

Hang on, you’re thinking, weren’t the noughties, like yesterday? Isn’t it too soon to revisit? Has nostalgia gone mad?! We hear you but it’s actually almost 20 years since the dawn of the noughties so it’s just about fair game to revisit. And, don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest you start wearing thongs poking over the top of hipster jeans (ugh) or velour tracksuits (yuck). Instead, boho is back and this time it’s a bit more grown-up (as is its patron saint, Sienna Miller) – we rather fancy stomping around in cowboy boots this autumn. We also welcome the return of the noughties classic going out outfit: nice top’n’jeans. Easy peasy.

Western boots, Kurt Geiger, £219, Jeans, Mint Velvet at John Lewis, £69, Boho top, Mint Velvet at John Lewis, £89, Hobo bag, Oliver Bonas, £46, Zebra dress, Oliver Bonas, £75

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