Big jumpers and cosy coats. Here are some of the best

Time to belt up and borrow from the boys to produce that timeless and idiosyncratic look

When Coco Chanel, then in her 40s, donned the Duke of Westminster’s old tweeds and oversize sweaters and was famously photographed with a broad smile on her face, she set a trend that has never diminished; that of borrowing the boyfriend’s gear and looking great.

Appropriating traditional male signifiers has long made stars famous – just think of Marlene Dietrich in tails and top hat or Audrey Hepburn looking fetching in a trench coat in the 1960s. Others, like Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve and Charlotte Gainsbourg, made the trench part of their style ensuring that old clotheshorse’s enduring cool. (Hepburn’s Burberry, by the way, recently made £67,850  – about €76,000 – at auction, 10 times the estimate.)

Dressing in sharp tailoring – either in a mannish suit with womanly flair or simply understanding the power of a well fitted jacket – is what makes many of the combinations in this shoot work. Teaming a shapely or flared jacket over a full skirt makes for a well defined silhouette with a lot of impact while a suit usually imparts a certain authority depending how and with what it is worn.

Borrowing from the boys is one thing –men’s T-shirts are so comfortable – and winter sweaters, chunky and cosy this season, are the ultimate unisex item, close fitting on a masculine figure, roomy and comfortable on a smaller boyish but feminine frame making for a companionable exchange.


Tailoring is coming into its own again with the trend for the more pronounced shoulder, nipped in waist and even the double-breasted jacket giving a 1940s look to many collections. From Calvin Klein and Celine to McQueen and Stella McCartney, their new take on a familiar combination gives it a fresh twist. Zara has been quick to follow.

Key accessory for the season? The belt. So breathe in, notch it tight, accentuate the shapely curve but wear the trousers this season.