Overview of New Collections: Best Picks

Felt that slight nip in the air lately as the nights begin to draw in a little? Yes, another summer is almost over and we turn our thoughts to all the joys and delights of the autumn. Misty mornings, crisp bright golden days, crackling bonfires, berry picking, harvest time. So much to look forward to and nowhere more so than in the new season collections at Bonmarche. The Marais Collection is particularly lovely as it manages to blend the lingering last days of summertime into some of its keynote pieces, staving off the impulse to bundle ourselves away into layers of woollies for the next few months.

Look at this long floral maxi dress for example. With its flattering knotted bodice and elegant lines, it could just as happily have seen you swanning down the beach for a sunset cocktail. For a September barbecue, a works drinks or a friend’s birthday, this dress will make you look and feel as if the splashes of poppies are celebrating the season. Team with a shrug for later in the evening.

Florals are garlanding lots of pretty tops too, keeping that summery spirit going. This gorgeous long sleeve floral print blouse is counter-balanced with scrolls of paisley swirls, terribly pretty whether worn with jeans or a long skirt.

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The Chambray dark denim skirt is a new addition that would stand the test of time in any woman’s wardrobe. T-shirts are still a great standby, long sleeved versions helping to bridge the gap into the cooler months and there are some beauties to choose from. The all over print scoop neck t-shirt and the floral print v-neck are two feminine classics, which could be smarted up with a blazer or worn on their own for any relaxed occasion.

There is a lot to be done in the garden at this time of year, pruning, tidying, leaf-sweeping and generally putting everything to bed. The unpadded parka makes a wonderful coat for getting chores done in. It is not bulky and won’t make you too hot as you toil away and its clever drawstring adjusters make it easy to pull in tight if the wind starts to bite. The marvel that is the gilet nicely fills the gap between full-blown big coats and keeping core warmth. Also, by leaving your arms free, it allows lots of movement. Ideal for those Nordic power walks you were promising yourself you were going to start. Also ideal for working on that golf swing.

Last year’s quilted jackets are still around, thank goodness, as they are so effortlessly chic and spell ‘country classic’. You do not have to go to a point-to-point or a gymkhana to feel every inch one of the hunting and shooting set once you pull on one of these. The Marais collection has added a velvet trim collar and pocket trims to theirs, which is charming.


Checks are very in, all the fashionistas are saying, so Bonmarche has come up with a great three-quarter length checked blouse to stay on trend.

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The shirring on the bib front is a delicate and attractive detail which adds elegance to this comfortable loose style. A variation on this theme, in smart stripe Pintuck is a plain blouse, eminently suitable for looking crisp and tailored.

Stripes are in, but do note, they are horizontal this year. The Henley stripe t-shirt is cunningly designed to trick the eye by minimising the size of the stripes in and out of the waist area and emphasising the bust. A ‘body-con’ optical illusion which will sculpt an hourglass out of the most reluctant boyish or apple-shaped figure.

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If ‘back to school’ means ‘back to work’ then don’t be too disappointed. Treat yourself to some new office outfits to start the new term off with a new look and a new commitment. Blouses are practical in almost all contexts and you can afford to be female in them without being at all frumpy. The plain lace insert blouse is a perfect example. It is simple, loose and attractive and come the evening, it will equally as good on you going out for a meal, as it did all day in the office.

Those of you who have fallen in love with the ease and simplicity of the waterfall style cardigans will be pleased to know they are still in vogue. The Marais collection features a really lovely one in marl grey with a fine cable-knit stitching that falls into points below the waist. A beautiful wrap for an autumn evening.

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