How to dress for Autumn

Lisa Lennkh

Cooler weather and warmer colours call for cosy jumpers and comfy scarves—here's how to dress when the leaves start to fall

September can only mean one thing; cool weather and cosy autumnal clothing are just around the corner! This month, all the fashion magazines launch their biggest editorial features, poised and ready to whet our sartorial appetites for the new trends dropping into stores. But, to be honest, there isn't much originality in fashion this autumn, at least as far as I can tell from the runways. The two major recent themes, "comfort" and "individuality" are still firmly in place; yet they've ventured into even more extreme territories.

In the comfort category, designers are still offering ultra-comfortable shoes. Think squishy trainers, soft fleecy boots that don't look like they were meant to be worn outside, and fancy loafers instead of heels for the evening. In-your-face cosiness provided by oversized duvet-inspired coats is still very much a trend this autumn and winter. If you're a fan of comfy tights (I am!) you'll be pleased to know that they are everywhere this season. Remember in the 1980s when we wore brightly coloured ones with everything? That trend is back in a more elegant way (less fluoro, more jewel tones this time around). Tights look most modern when they're worn to intentionally clash or to elegantly match the rest of your outfit.

autumn fall scarf

The category of expressive individuality continues to gather steam in the fashion world. Miniature quirky bags from previous seasons are now even tinier and quirkier. There are even necklace bags, which look just as ridiculous as they sound. Last winter's sedate heritage tartan has now gone head to toe, and has been tweaked to be bolder and brighter. Suits are still as popular as they were last autumn, but this year a belt is cinched around the blazer to give it an unexpected new twist (and a more flattering silhouette). As far as accessories go, there are few so individual as a hat; hats featured heavily on the runways, in every style and colour imaginable—even worn with evening gowns. I particularly liked the colourful cloche hats at Nina Ricci—I'll look for a more wearable version without the runway price tag.

Many designers showed unique cape coats for autumn, which were as tempting for me as the hats. Capes are both unusual and ladylike. I've learned that they're easy to layer with my winter clothes, and never fail to get compliments. The cape selection at Chanel was particularly beautiful—they came in every hue and ranged from elbow-length to ankle-grazing. I can't imagine anything more glamorous and original than a long cape for winter.

Extreme comfort and extreme individuality trends have been awarded such longevity as (partially due to social media) designers are closer to what consumers want to wear. And, unlike other countries' fashion capitals which tend to show very homogenous themes, London (and the UK in general) has always been very comfortable with eccentricity and individuality. Which is why this season doesn't feel quite as "new".

This autumn, I won't buy or change much about my wardrobe, but I will update my style by being a little braver with hats... and I will see if I can find a good quality long cape like those dreamy ones at Chanel.


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