While we love nothing more than unearthing new microtrends and patiently awaiting our favourite designers' fresh looks at the start of each season, we don't necessarily recommend building a wardrobe from trends that disappear as quickly as they arrived. Instead, your wardrobe should integrate timely pieces, such as of-the-moment colours and prints, with more everlasting staples that you'll love and wear for years to come. This balance is the key to ensuring your outfits always hit the mark.
So as we gleefully discuss the many impressive trends that will define the season ahead, we also need to consider the classic autumn fashion items you can wear with them. These pieces will practically guarantee that every ensemble you wear over the next six months will be stylish and timeless.
Our editors put their heads together to come up with the ultimate autumn capsule for you, and we've concluded which 11 items absolutely need to make the cut.
Chances are you'll find some of these pieces in your closet already, so you won't have to start your own capsule from scratch and can hit the ground running when autumn rolls around. Scroll on to see the 11 classic autumn fashion items our editors consider to be immortal.
1. TRENCH COAT
Style Notes: Trench coats are the perfect autumnal cover-up because they provide just the right amount of protection from the elements without making you feel too hot during the inconsistent autumn weather. Plus, they're just so chic.
2. KNITTED DRESS
Style Notes: Knitwear and autumn naturally go hand in hand. The most stylish way to wear knit, particularly at the start of the season, is in dress form. Wear yours with a pair of knee-high boots and a leather clutch bag for an elevated look.
Style Notes: Wide-leg, loose-fit denim is still trending for autumn, but if you're looking for blues that'll never go out of style, we advise investing in a pair of straight-leg jeans in a classic, vintage colour.
4. CHECKED SHIRT
Style Notes: Over the past few seasons, flannel shirts have been adopted by fashion people and are now the ultimate choice for autumn. While they work seamlessly with straight-leg jeans, we love the idea of styling them with a slip skirt.
5. PRACTICAL KNEE BOOTS
Style Notes: Chunky track-sole boots might be considered trendy, but any terrain boots are an important and practical autumn fashion item to invest in.
Style Notes: Cardigans are an essential layering piece for the colder months, but while temperatures are still somewhat palatable, wear V-neck cardigans with nothing underneath for a cool shirt alternative.
7. LEATHER MIDI SKIRT
Style Notes: Autumn is the ideal time to start reintegrating heavy textures, such as faux and real leather, into your outfit rotation. Trousers are always a good idea, but so are midi skirts.
8. WOOL BLAZER
Style Notes: During the months when it's still too warm for a full-on winter coat, a woollen, heavy-duty blazer is a good solution. The fabric will keep you warm when there's a chill in the air, but the cropped length will keep your autumnal outfits from feeling too wintry.
Style Notes: We're not fussy—your autumn outfits will benefit from any type of loafers. But if you want a more directional option, look for loafers with stacked platform soles.
10. TAILORED TROUSERS
Style Notes: 2021 is undoubtedly the year of the trousers, and designers have chosen to bring wide-leg, tailored styles to their autumn collections. Don't be afraid to get experimental with your colour selection, as the sleek silhouette will ensure your choice looks elevated and classic.
11. ROLL-NECK TOP
Style Notes: It pays to have a roll-neck top or two at your disposal. Wear them on their own now, then layer them under cardigans and knitted vests when the temperature starts to plummet.