Every year when the cold comes around again and I free my knits from their vacuum-packed slumber, I seem to have totally forgotten how to layer. I also have to rediscover which boots to wear with dresses and which coats fit over my jumpers. Anyone else?
Don’t get me wrong—this time of year is undoubtedly my favourite time to get dressed, if only because classics reign and the power of a good coat completing an outfit can be fully appreciated. It’s just that we all need a refresh at the beginning of the season to inspire us again and bring life to those sleepy knits.
I took to Instagram for inspiration from some of the most stylish women I know, and I think I’ve cracked the formula for 2019 autumn dressing. I saw these seven items over and over, and they all seem to work together to make outfits feel really modern. If your plan is to invest in a few great pieces to update your look, let it be these.
1. The Oversized Trench
Style Notes: If you don’t already own a trench, I have no idea what you’ve been throwing over every outfit for the past few years. Although a classic style will always be chic, this season’s update is an oversized shape which makes you look instantly cool. I’ve fallen in love with this one from sustainable brand Bite and cannot stop thinking about it.
2. The Wide-Leg Trousers
Style Notes: Since seeing Katherine Ormerod’s tonal look for Paris Fashion Week, I’ve decided wide-leg trousers will be my preferred office attire going forward. As she shows, a cosy knit works just as well with them as a T-shirt and one of the above trenches would. We like them best with heeled boots for autumn.
3. The Knee-High Boots
Style Notes: I usually wait a few seasons before investing in a trend, just to check that it’s not fleeting. By those rules, the time has definitely come to invest in a pair of knee-high boots and I’m currently on the lookout for the perfect pair. Wear with all of those long-sleeved midi-dresses you have from last year or even with summer dresses and a chunky knit. It’s now acceptable again to tuck your trousers into them like this showgoer did in New York, meaning there are even more outfit options to try.
4. The Cropped Cardigan
Style Notes: No longer a tired old throw on, this season cardigans are coming to the forefront in their own right as Lizzy Hadfield shows us here. Wear cropped styles buttoned up as a solo knit tucked into your favourite jeans or try with one of the pleated skirts below. To nail the layered look, add a polo underneath and a tailored overcoat or trench as the temperature drops.
5. The Pleated Skirt
Style Notes: The pleated skirt has been top of my shopping list since fashion month, where I spotted so many showgoers making them look easy to wear. Whether paired with the knee-high boots above or mules like @modedamour, just tuck in a classic shirt or layer a knit over to complete the look. An uneven hem gives extra style brownie points.
6. The Leather Shirt
Style Notes: We all know how key a classic shirt is to an autumn layering outfit. We also know how expensive leather can make an outfit look, so what’s not to love about this season’s update which merges the two? Perfect to elevate a pair of jeans or tucked into wide-leg trousers. They are also being seen worn open over a vest or T-shirt like on Alexis Foreman, which I’m very much into.
7. The Utility Jumpsuit
Style Notes: A jumpsuit is such a no-brainer for this time of year when it’s not too cold and not too hot. It’s basically a full outfit, which makes it really easy to get dressed in the morning (especially as it gets darker and colder). There are a lot of utility boilersuit styles around, but this Kitri number is still smart enough for the office.