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Claudia Winkleman's Traitors wardrobe is making me rethink my own - so I went shopping for a little Traitors-core makeover

Can a Barbie pink loving girl be tempted by Claudia Winkleman's earthy palette on The Traitors? It's time for a shopping trip… 

Claudia Winkleman on the traitors and Leanne Bayley from HELLO!
Leanne Bayley
Director of Lifestyle & Commerce
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If you've been watching The Traitors on BBC One you'll be obsessed with the drama and you'll probably be obsessed with Claudia Winkleman's outfits. Dubbed 'Traitors-core' I can totally see why her countryside aesthetic is hitting all the right buttons with fans. 

I should probably tell you that I dress nothing like this. I don't do knitwear, I don't own many earthy shades in my wardrobe, I've never owned anything tweed or plaid, and I mainly do bright colours and sparkles. Claudia's look is a world away from how I dress in real life. Actually, the prim pearl button blouses are within my remit but I'd most certainly be teaming a blouse like that with a pink blazer. 

But here's the thing, Claudia has made me re-think my wardrobe choices. I can see with my perfect 20/20 vision that she looks amazing. She's comfortable in her skin and she looks cosy and warm. And as it's freezing outside, that cosy vibe is what I'm after. 

Claudia Winkleman in khaki and plaid on The Traitors© LLARA PLAZA
Claudia Winkleman in khaki and plaid on The Traitors

So I decided to head out to the shops as a mini challenge to myself. Could I really do The Traitors-core aesthetic?

If you're expecting head to toe looks here, you'll be disappointed. I'm starting with the outerwear and the textures that her incredible stylist Sinead McKeefry chooses. I love Sinead and how amazing she is at selecting pieces for Claudia, whether it's for The Traitors or for Strictly Come Dancing. She knows her client so well. In an interview I did with her a while back, she told me that the pair go on the hunt together, saying: "We shop together but that usually ends in ten minutes of trying on and then a three hour coffee and a gossip."

Who wouldn't love to go shopping with the hilarious Claudia Winkleman and her expert stylist?! Sadly, I had neither and I had to fly solo on my lunch break. 

Claudia Winkleman on the traitors© Mark Mainz
Fashion fans are obsessed with Claudia Winkleman's outfits on The Traitors

First up I headed to & Other Stories. I don't consider myself to be an & Other Stories girly but I do enjoy having a browse. I bypassed the sparkly headbands, pretty hair bows and the baby pink new-in pieces that I would normally gravitate towards and went straight to brown. Yes, brown. I haven't worn anything brown in, since, well, literally forever. I have never worn brown. But my eyes darted towards a £165 brown blazer. £165? For a jacket that looks like you got it at the local charity shop? It's a lightweight blazer and I just decided to try it on in-store wearing my Levi's jeans and a white tee. 

Writer Leanne Bayley wearing an & Other Stories blazer© Leanne Bayley
This & Other Stories blazer came straight home with me

Guess what, I only went and loved it. Yes, while on this work 'research' trip I fell in love with a new colour for my wardrobe - go figure?! I begrudged spending £165 for it but I instantly felt cool but not in that look-at-me-cool. It's understated cool, and kind of rich money vibes. I also felt put together and confident. I bought a size 12 for reference, but I deliberated a while on whether the 14 would look slightly 'cooler'. 

Also in & Other Stories I tried on a pea coat - I just can so imagine Claudia in this winter warmer coat, especially with the military design on the front. I sized up for the Claudia aesthetic but decided this wasn't going to come home with me. I only own one black coat and the rest are every colour of the rainbow. Could I be swayed by a coat like this? Probably. I tried on a medium and the size drowned my size 12-14 frame. I couldn't find it online to link to, but definitely take a look in store if it's up your country lane. 

Writer Leanne Bayley channeling Claudia Winkleman in black oversized coat
This short coat felt very Claudia

Moving on to Mango I decided to try another coat - a colourful one. Well, it's khaki green and Claudia has chosen a lot of khaki within her style choices on the show this year. 

Claudia Winkleman wearing a khaki coat© Llara Plaza
The vibe I was going for

This was Mango's long 'lapels wool coat' and wow, it looked so expensive in real life. Can I also give a round of applause to Mango for epic changing rooms. While I put this £109.99 coat on the no rail, I haven't stopped thinking about it, and maybe now is the time to add some khaki to my rainbow of shades. FYI, I'm 5ft 3 and as you can see, the jacket was a good 'midi' length on me. 

Leanne Bayley wearing a long khaki coat from Mango© Leanne Bayley
The coat that's living rent-free in my head

H&M had two blazers I gravitated to while on the quest to be more Claudia. First up was a very oversized double-breasted grey blazer. I do wear grey from time to time, but it's very rare. I felt like the masculine fit was keeping with the Winkleman way but I sometimes feel like I've accidentally picked up a man's blazer. Still, it's very on trend and it was a reasonable £44.99. I tried on a medium here so definitely don't size up. 

How does Claudia rock the oversize look so well? I struggled in that department© Leanne Bayley
How does Claudia rock the oversize look so well? I struggled in that department

The next blazer was a herringbone grey blazer. This also gave me similar vibes to one of the impressive outerwear pieces that Michelle Keegan wore in Fool Me Once. Was I foolish not buying it? I did like this jacket, and felt like I needed some black leggings and riding boots and a big chunky scarf. This was £54.99 so it's not cheap but the quality felt good and it felt a lot warmer than my expensive & Other Stories blazer I'd purchased earlier. I tried this on in a 14 and I liked the way it had some wiggle room without being too oversized. 

I really liked this one - perfect for as easy to wear blazer with jeans© Leanne Bayley
I really liked this one - perfect for as easy to wear blazer with jeans

Last but not least, I tried M&S. I decided to make a beeline for knitwear. Claudia wears some great knitted pieces in The Traitors, but it was a big no from me for this mustard knitted jumper. I think mustard suits the tanned Claudia with her jet black hair, but I can't pull it off. Never again!

Leanne Bayley wearing mustard jumper from M&S© Leanne Bayley
Mustard? No thank you

I did try a nice beige blazer, priced at £79. This is a trending new item on the M&S website and is described as the 'Tailored Herringbone Blazer'. I liked this, but you have to size up. It's a little snug. I'm wearing a size 12 here, and that's the size I'd usually pick in M&S for a blazer, but alas, it wasn't the look I was going for. 

This is a trending blazer on M&S right now© Leanne Bayley
This is a trending blazer on M&S right now

According to the website, this tailored blazer is crafted from brushed herringbone fabric, making it perfect for the chill. I liked this jacket but would prefer to try it on with the right accessories, and size up for a slouchier fit. 

So what's my verdict on Traitors-core?

Well, I bought the & Other Stories blazer and I really liked the Mango khaki coloured coat and the tweed-looking blazer from H&M. Next, I think I need to ditch the jeans and try shorts or a mini kilt with thick black tights and chunky boots. Claudia has been rocking that look in some recent episodes and she just looks phenomenal. While I don't think I'll be ditching my Barbie aesthetic for Traitors-core, I'm not against it. Right, who's ready for a jolly good trip to the country, darling?

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