With another Fashion Month behind us and an exciting season of dressing ahead, there is plenty of new style inspiration for those looking for an easy wardrobe refresh in the upcoming months. While the runways might have given us some standout moments we won't forget in a hurry (Loewe car dress, I'm talking about you), when it comes to what we actually want to wear this autumn and winter, the first place I always look for inspo isn't to the shows, but to the crowds outside.
Street style is the place to go to see how catwalk trends translate to real life, and every city has its own distinct style. In New York, you'll find the androgynous cool girls who champion tailoring and up-and-coming brands; Milan is your destination for statement, high-octane glamour; and Paris is the capital of supremely polished haute-couture, leaving, of course, London.
Living and working in London means I've spent a fair amount of time decoding the wardrobes of stylish British women—what they like to wear to work, the brands they regularly shop and what makes them feel their most confident, and the results are clear. London women are all about style and substance. You won't find us trying flash-in-the-pan trends or shelling out on impractical pieces, we like to know our money is being well invested. And with a chilly autumn fully setting in this month, our focus is on the new-season trends that London is banking on, and in turn, those that are better left to the runway.
Our comprehensive trend report covers all of the looks that made a splash last season, and after a year more divisive than any other, you're either in one fashion camp or another, so I searched the streets of London to find out the way influencers, fashion editors and cultural tastemakers are really dressing right now.
Of course, style is entirely subjective and when it comes to trying a new look, it still has to feel authentically you, so there's no right or wrong way to tackle this season's biggest trends. Just consider this a steer on how some of the city's most stylish are making the most of their new-season wardrobes, as it might just help solve some of your dressing dilemmas. So, keep scrolling for six autumn trends that London women are saying no to, and the six that are most definitely sticking around.
1. BAGGY JEANS
Photo:Courtesy Of Diesel
If you grew up in the UK at any time between the late '80s and early noughties, you'll have vivid memories of the baggy denim trend that came into full effect with the pop-punk renaissance. Should you have been (un)fortunate enough to be a teenager in the 2000s, you'll probably still be able to feel the soaking wet hemlines of dragging around this ultra-wide-leg denim in the pouring rain, and are surprised to see it swishing its way down the runways. We have the Y2K revival to thank for this trip down memory lane.
SWAP FOR: STRAIGHT-LEG JEANS
Style Notes: The London girls have spoken and baggy jeans are best left to MySpace. Instead, they are loyal to the most universally flattering denim fit: straight legs. Roomier than skinnies but without the weighty fabric of wide legs, it's the practical, everyday jean style you can rely on.
2. CROPPED JACKETS
Let's face it: No matter how cute they might look, it's far too cold in the capital for an exposed midriff. As everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Coperni showed the shrunken fit. The mini jacket followed in the footsteps of its natural accompaniment (the micro miniskirt) in a bid for viral success, but unlike the short skirts we wore all summer, this time, the weather isbn't on our side.
SWAP FOR: MAXI COATS
Style Notes: Maxi length, maximum style. From trench to wool, the longline coat has always been a safe bet that never goes out of style, and its now coming into its own for layering up against the seasonal chill. Pair with an oversized cashmere knit and the much discussed "puddle pants" to play with the coats generous proportions.
Photo:Marine Serre AW22
Britain, and more specifically London, is the birthplace of the punk subculture that influenced an entire generation of fashion. From The Sex Pistols to Vivienne Westwood, if you think of anarchic fashion, London isn't too far behind. After a couple of years of relatively polished and ladylike dressing, the rebel attitude is back (albeit with an elevated edge), and everyone from Alexander McQueen to the buzzy Marine Serre showed plenty of tartan, studs. rips and leather, but the front row of the shows told a different story.
SWAP FOR: '90S MINIMALISM
Style Notes: Among influencers and fashion editors, there is currently an unspoken uniform of simplicity. Minimalism as reimagined by the likes of The Row, Jil Sander and Khaite continues to reign supreme, and of all the silhouettes that are favoured the most, the streamlined '90s fit is by far the most popular. Straight-legged jeans, tube skirts and cardigans are top of the agenda for an easy look that always looks put together, no studs or safety pins required.
4. MAXI SKIRTS
Photo:Courtesy Acne Studios
I have a soft spot for the maxi skirt. It's elegant, flattering silhouette suits just about every body type, but granted, it might not be the most practical choice for London. Despite some persuasive inspo from Burberry, Chanel, Carolina Herrera and ACNE, Brit girls just aren't into swishing around the mulchy leaves in a floor-sweeping maxi.
SWAP FOR: MINISKIRTS
Style Notes: And just like that, we're back to the mini (granted this time around it's with a knee-high boot and a pair of tights). The runaway success of the micro mini shows no sign of slowing down, and whether you're layering it up for the office, or dressing it up for party plans, the mini hem is sticking around for another season at least. Just pair with a cosy knit and longline coat to beat the chilly breeze.
5. BARBIE PINK
This was one of those trends you just couldn't miss for obvious reasons. Bright, bold, unapologetic pink burst onto the Valentino runway earlier this year and sent shockwaves through an industry that had gotten comfortable with normcore dressing post-lockdown. Coinciding with the announcement of Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie, so the term "Barbiecore" was coined, and the vibrant hit of dopamine felt like the antidote to a very bleak year. Still, it didn't manage to win over everyone with its intense hue.
SWAP FOR: RED
Style Notes: You might have neon fuchsia in your wardrobe, but the chances are more than likely that you've given red a good go. Confident and strong fiery red is the equally bold but far more wearable cousin of Barbie pink. A little more grown-up. Basma Kahie and Andrea Sheen prove just how easy head-to-toe red is to wear for the evening, simply by nipping in at the waist and adding a heel. So next time you reach for a classic all-black ensemble, consider swapping it for red.
Photo:Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com Courtesy Balmain
Time and again when we survey our editors' opinions on the trends we're ready to see the back of (quite literally in this case), the cutout always tops the list. There is a time and place for peekaboo cut-outs, and while a clever keyhole or exposed shoulder does still sometimes add a point of interest to a look, more often than not they are strategically placed in a part of the piece that makes it feel unwearable. When we want our clothes to make us feel at our most confident, there is nothing worse than having to readjust a bra strap here, and compromise on our comfortable pants there, all in the name of flashing patches of skin.
SWAP FOR: SHEER
Style Notes: Just to prove that we aren't prudish, the way London women are choosing to show a little skin is with subtle, sheer, mesh dresses, skirts and tops. Not only is there the illusion of nudity without actually having to strip off, but clever layering gives you the option to show as much, or as little, as you'd like.