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The Rise of Over-Sized

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No, not another piece bemoaning the terrifying onset of national obesity, but good news from fashion's frontline. Over-sized clothing is this season's most dominant trend and one that finally allows most of us can participate in without inflicting a savage battering on our self-esteem.

It's rare that big is considered beautiful in fashion, but the runways of Autumn/Winter 12 were awash with oversized blazers, huge cocoon coats and wide trousers. Claire Waight Keller's second season at ChloƩ was one of the collections to embrace this new silhouette most enthusiastically with billowing, jewel-toned slouch pants and midi-skirts. Acne, the former jeans brand which now leads Scandinavia's impressive fashion renaissance also sent out roomy coats which could have concealed entire suitcases in their depths had they so wished, and at Balenciaga models appeared to have snatched their structured, almost futuristic jackets right off the back of a Stormtrooper.

But on the runway everything looks good. It's the translation of this trend into real life that makes it worthwhile. Here are three big reasons why if you're going to stick a toe in the world of trends this Winter, this is the one to pick...

1. You can double your wardrobe without buying anything new
Girls have been stealing their boyfriend's clothes for slouchy Sundays forever, now you can extend that to going out in public. And if you're single fear not, since this look works better with tweeds and heavy fabrics, dads and granddads are an even better target.

2. It makes you look thin
There are very few trends that will ever allow you to do this without the aid of a crash diet. And whilst wearing over-sized clothes is not about to give the impression you've shed three stone in a week, it's very difficult to tell apart the body of a model and the body of a normal person when it's clad in a coat the size of Texas.

3. When it gets cold you don't have to choose between warmth and style
I have spent several Winters trying to stuff a quilted Barbour jacket under every kind of coat imaginable in a bid not to catch frostbite whilst waiting for London's permanently delayed buses. This year I could probably comfortably fit a couple under there and still walk around shamelessly at Fashion Week.