I am not a winter dresser. I hate layering, and fall in a style rut of jeans-and-an-oversized knit rather quickly every year.
However it won't be a problem this autumn/winter season. As ever, Prada has come to the rescue. I was instantly mesmerised when I saw Look 1 come down the runway, and this feeling was only cemented by Look 14.
Let me explain: a chic white ankle-grazing white pencil skirt adorned with a 3D floral motif, paired with an anthracite round-neck jumper. A look that could not be simpler and yet stood out amongst the others, because it reminded me of the enduring power of a jumper and a pencil skirt.
Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons weren't the only designers backing this combo for AW23. Christopher Kane re-imagine the look with a red leather pencil skirt (the hue of the season), which clashed beautifully with an understated grey knit.
Over at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri went for a heritage checked jumper paired with a watercolour print skirt in jewel tones.
Chances are most of you already own similar pieces in your wardrobe, so now's the time to dust them off.
There's an undeniable allure to Prada's whimsical look, which you can recreate with a cashmere knit and an embellished or lace skirt. You can also play around with the rule book, going for a denim pencil skirt or silk printed slip style.
As for footwear, try this season's court shoe or ballet pump for ladylike vibes, or dress down with chunky boots and trainers.
Shop the trend below.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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