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Medal-ling with style
8:25am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in Retail Therapy
SHINY: Leather silver pencil skirt, £59.50, Mary Portas at House of Fraser (020 7003 4000/www.houseoffraser.co.uk).
THE summer sales and rainy weather may have temporarily turned the high street into a jumble sale but every cloud has a silver lining... or gold, or bronze.
Sparkling amidst the rails, style magpies will find this season's glossy metallics.
The Olympic medals have proved to be a winning inspiration for designers. Hi-tech, high-shine fabrics in glistening shades of gold, silver and bronze - or even a medal fusion mix - is this summer's blingiest trend.
Usually reserved for party season or evening glamour, a metallic palette has the wow factor for day or night and sparkles against sun-kissed skin.
Choose your precious metal and outshine the competition.
A colour made for glamazons, golds vary from the palest champagne sparkle to a bold crown jewels shine.
Experiment with different shades against your face to find the gold that flatters your skin tone and brings out your eyes.
Gucci led the way with gold glamour partywear on the catwalks. Inspired by the Great Gatsby Twenties era, seek out copycat black and gold beaded art deco dresses.
Decadent gold brocade is also a hot trend for autumn/winter so buy now and you'll be one season ahead of the Games.
If you want to pare down the bling for an everyday look, stick to wearable separates like t-shirts or cardigans to add a rocky edge to plain jeans.
If you prefer icy, cooler tones, silver is the shade for you.
Try it as an alternative to summery white if you're looking for a pale colour with extra pizzazz.
Avoid looking like tin foil by steering clear of anything ultra-shiny. Seek out non-clingy fabrics in a matte effect to wear your silver with a smile.
Thanks to Louis Vuitton, silver accent shoes have become one of this season's must-have accessories. Stick to sleek shapes like pointed toes and stiletto heels for legs that go on for miles.
Laser-cut leather in silver is another big trend if you dare. Team with white for a contemporary sci-fi look.
Bronze medallists may come in third place on the Olympic podium, but it's a winning tone for your wardrobe.
Arguably the most versatile of the metallic family, bronze hues have all the glamour without the drama. Seek out burnished shades for low-key razzle-dazzle.
Copper tones work especially well on redheads, strawberry blondes and brunettes with auburn highlights.
A matte sequin dress is versatile enough to wear as a summer bronzed goddess through to winter festive fairy. Just keep your accessories to a minimum and your make-up matte and simple to let your metallic do all the talking.
METALLIC MODE STYLING
Not sure how to embrace the metallic look?
Mad Men stylist Janie Bryant says: "There's no better way to make a statement than to opt for a material that literally shines on its own."
Here are her top tips:
:: Survey your closet. If you see only solid woollens or cottons, it's time to invest in a few sumptuous metallic pieces that create instant impact.
:: Shop vintage. It's a great way to score plush fabrics like metallic brocade for less.
:: Think beyond eveningwear. Look for metallic separate staples like gold ballet flats or silver lurex sweaters.
:: Try statement accessories. Bold metallic jewellery, shoes or bags will animate any conservative outfit.
:: Beware of sequins. They can add pounds - you can always opt to accessorise with a sequinned belt or beret instead.
BUY IT NOW
Support your favourite sport during the Olympics with Jewellery Personalised's Games pendants. Just about every discipline is available in either gold plated or sterling silver, priced from £32 (www.jewellerypersonalised.co.uk).
:: PUDSEY PALS
Let the little people go dotty for Children in Need. A host of designers have joined forces with Debenhams to create spot theme t-shirts to raise money for BBC Children in Need this summer. The likes of Julien Macdonald, Matthew Williamson, Jasper Conran and John Rocha have all designed tees to fit in with the 'show your spots, let's raise lots' campaign. The range of 14 t-shirts are priced from £7, available now, with all profits donated to the charity (0844 561 6161/www.debenhams.com).
:: GREY MATTER
Hit novel 50 Shades Of Grey is prompting a lust for new lingerie. Underwear giant Ultimo has seen a big rise in the number of saucy messages being sent via their 'Send a Hint' service on their website linked to the book. The service, which allows users to send an email with details of their lingerie size and desired style, has been inundated by users looking to boost their sex lives by sending provocative messages to partners. Many are even addressed 'For my Mr Grey'. Check out the 'Send a Hint' facility at www.ultimo.co.uk