I'm going to go ahead and bravely admit that I truly love autumn. Professing my adoration for the cooler, crisper season sounds like I have an aversion to summer (believe me, there's nothing I love more than lying on a beach in the baking heat), but when it comes to planning from a fashion standpoint, autumn is easily the best season to dress for.
It's all in the layering, after all. When the weather calls for us to wear more, we get to experiment more, and that great blazer you bought last year suddenly makes total sense over your summer dress. Hey—maybe adding a cosy knit around your shoulders makes it even better. Perhaps its the tactile nature of cold-weather clothing, but there's real comfort in putting on your first fluffy jumper of the season. And even better, you don't need to spend a lot to make your autumn outfits look expensive.
The best place to turn to for affordable takes on runway trends? The high street, of course. And although the sun might still be popping up to make an appearance, stores have made the change over to autumn stock, so now is the perfect time to start shopping for the essentials ahead of the September switch.
Linen and florals might have served us well over the few weeks of summer we got to enjoy, but now we're focusing on cosy knits, practical coats and jackets and sleek separates that are perfect for a cold-girl autumn. Still holding out for a bit more summer? Keep scrolling. Here are nine affordable autumn trends so good, you'll be hoping for grey skies for the foreseeable.
1. THE BOUCLÉ JACKET
Style Notes: The bouclé jacket always makes its way onto our lists of the best autumn pieces to invest in. Not only is it the perfect layer for cooler days that don't need a winter coat, but the chic design also makes any simple outfit look instantly more premium.
2. THE MAXI SKIRT
Style Notes: I, for one could not have been happier to see the move from the micro mini to the sweeping maxi skirt last year. This longline trend feels immediately more wearable than the teeny-tiny hemline, and thankfully, its also one that we can seamlessly transition from summer into the next few months.
3. THE BOMBER JACKET
Style Notes: With the focus on smart layering, it's only right we add another jacket to the list, and 2023 undoubtedly marks the return of the bomber jacket (that is, if it ever left). This slouchy, roomy, casual jacket has been in the wardrobes of cool girls everywhere ever since the Frankie Shop made them hot property again. But you don't have to fork out £300 to get the same off-duty look.
4. BUTTERMILK YELLOW
Style Notes: We've said it before and we'll say it again—there's something undeniably chic about this underrated shade of yellow. We might not have had the scorching heatwaves of last summer, but you can bring the sunshine with you in this happy shade of pastel yellow that unexpectedly goes with everything.
5. THE KNEE-HIGH BOOTS
Style Notes: You know it's officially the end of summer when you're ready to pack away your sandals and step into a new pair of boots. The high street has outdone itself this season, and there are so many great boots in the new-in sections of our favourite stores. But if you invest in any boots this year, make it a pair of sleek knee-highs. You'll end up wearing them well into next year, and they work with everything from midi skirts to knit dresses.
6. THE NAUTICAL KNIT
Style Notes: The striped knit has become so synonymous with autumn that it deserves a spot in the seasonal hall of fame alongside Acne scarves and leather biker jackets. You're about to see these stripes everywhere in the next few months, and for good reason. They're perfect for pulling on to wear dressed up for the office or dressed down for brunch, and will pair perfectly with any other item on this list.
7. CHECK PRINTS
Style Notes: Checks are to autumn what florals are to spring, and nothing channels "back to school" energy quite like bookish plaid in neutral tones. Whilst I'm currently taking notes on just about every item in Rayan Xasan's perfect autumnal outfit (pictured above), there are also plenty of checked blazers, trousers and even accessories to inject a little bit of print into your wardrobe for fall.
8. THE PENNY LOAFERS
Style Notes: I don't know what I wore before I bought my first pair of loafers. Although, I confess, I spent a little extra on buying a pair from Prada, I have been wearing them for the last five years, and they were the gateway to what would become a deep obsession. I now collect fun pairs from the high street, and my favourites are always sleek, understated and slim-soled, because they look so good with a great pair of socks.
Style Notes: If there's one piece you can guarantee you'll always see on the autumn/ winter runways, it's a long, statement coat. The epitome of quiet-luxury-meets-fashion-girl-styling, this practical coat manages to keep you warm whilst looking cool, and you'll score extra points for wearing it with a leg-baring mini and of course, penny loafers.