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There are undeniable downsides to winter – whipping winds, dark afternoons, the perpetual ‘taking off items of clothing whenever you enter a heated room’ thing – but, thankfully, fashion simply isn’t one of them. In fact, most well-heeled women will tell you that winter is their favourite sartorial season – an opportunity to experiment with layering, invest in statement outerwear, and break out a fantastic rotation of rain-friendly footwear.
For those looking to splurge on new-season winter staples at a fraction of the cost, a trip to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands is non-negotiable. With more than 50 luxury brands (think Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Reiss and Lacoste) available for up to 60% less than the usual retail price, the outlet is a sprawling fashion mecca, complete with delicious culinary locations – so you can keep your energy levels up as you shop.
Among in-the-know fashion types to fall for the outlet’s charms is ELLE’s Fashion Editor Georgia Medley, who road-tested McArthurGlen’s new-season offerings to craft five looks that channel her favourite winter trends. ‘There are lots of great discounts – quality statement pieces from previous designer collections but at far more affordable prices,’ she says. ‘And it has a great selection of key staples, as well as transitional items and basics.’ From soft neutrals to buttery leathers, masculine-inspired denim and oversized knitwear, let Georgia lead you through the cooler seasons in style (with a cheeky visit to Wagamama thrown in for good measure).
1. Total Knit
‘My first stop is Reiss, where I pulled together this look. I’ve paired its wide-leg “Adele” jeans in a mid-blue wash with a chunky cashmere roll-neck jumper.
‘This is a good outfit for autumn, when it’s not particularly freezing, and can be worn on its own, without a coat.
‘I love the oversized look — the big jumper with the wide-leg trousers gives off a chic, clean-lined Celine vibe.’
THE LOOK | Jumper: RRP £148, Outlet Price £99; Jeans: RRP £150, Outlet Price £75
2. Puffed Up
‘The puffer is one of my favourite trends of the new season. There were a lot of quilted coats on the runway, and some great styles have ended up in store.
‘I love this statement coat by Reiss, it’s a nice clean colour and keeps you warm with such a minimal approach to the design. I’ve combined the coat with a roll-neck jumper, the same Reiss “Adele” jeans, a smart, heeled boot and Reiss’ cross-body “Lexi” shoulder bag.’
THE LOOK | Coat: RRP £345, Outlet Price £135; Bag: RRP £250, Outlet Price £115
3. Dark Denim
‘After making a pit stop for lunch (Wagamama followed by a hot chocolate from Starbucks), I headed to Levi’s, where I pulled together this double-denim look.
‘I’m wearing a Levi’s denim shirt with the classic 501 jeans, both in a dark grey wash, and chunky boots from Kurt Geiger.
‘I love the way this look experiments with a clash of masculinity and femininity. The jeans are high-waisted and I’ve styled them by tucking in the shirt to pull me in at my waist, which makes the look feel more femme, but the boots add a slight androgyny, which feels really cool.’
THE LOOK | Shirt: RRP £70, Outlet Price £49; Jeans: RRP £95, Outlet Price £66; Boots: RRP £129, Outlet Price £99
4. Leather Dash
‘Leather is always a favourite for me, it’s so cohesive – you can wear it down or dress it up – so I was excited to play around with leather, shearling and faux fur when I stopped in at Coach.
‘My favourite pieces were the classic trench and shearling muffler, which is great for warmth but also the perfect layering piece for winter days when you don’t fancy wearing a coat.
‘I paired the look with leather trousers (my own), and Coach’s heeled leather boots. It’s such a great full-leather look, and it doesn’t make you feel overly heated.’
THE LOOK | Trench: RRP £795, Outlet Price £439; Bag: RRP £395, Outlet Price £199; Scarf: RRP £395, Outlet Price £189
5. Shearling Chic
‘This is a way to do fun, casual outerwear while keeping it on trend, thanks to the touch of shearling.
‘A casual jacket style, such as this one from Calvin Klein, is perfect because it keeps you warm without the feeling of wearing a weighty coat. Bring on the winter season!’
THE LOOK | Jacket: RRP £140, Outlet Price £98; Hat: RRP £35, Outlet Price £25
Shop the latest trends at McArthurGlen. Plus, get into the Christmas spirit at the Festive Boutique, brought to you by ELLE, on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November at McArthurGlen West Midlands. Find out more here
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