I just love autumn. Having spent all summer not really wanting to expose myself—bar the last day of a holiday where suddenly one's bikini looks banging—I welcome the step-change into colder months with open, distinctly un-toned arms. Cosy knitwear, comfortable coats and knee-high boots are par for the course when the temperature dips, but the runways of this particular A/W 17 season have provided an even friendlier array of ideas for anyone who likes to concentrate on flattering their figures without spending life in a permanent state of Spanx. (PS: If, on another note, you're stuck for understanding your body shape, it's a very good idea to look at our body-calculator tool.)
There are elements of high-octane, fierce, body-con glamour in some corners of the high fashion world for autumn (we're looking at you and your '80s vibes, Saint Laurent), but there are plenty of examples that prove that we're also living in an age where quality tailoring (the kind that does lovely things to your already lovely body) wins out, or where silhouettes have loosened up a tad to allow a bit of bohemian room to breathe/be busy/take a brilliant, billowing Boomerang shot. So we've rounded up the new looks and pieces that have confidence-boosting power without any effort at all.
The "Forgiving" Fashion Dress
Style Notes: AKA the most flattering trouser shape known to man, thanks to their higher-line waist, A-line silhouette and hip-skimming cut. They give a little curve to girls who want them and make the most of the ones you've already got, all while being comfy and easy to style with the majority of your existing wardrobe.
Style Notes: Stretch boots = the dream for anyone who wants to elongate their silhouette with an unbroken line between hem and shoe, but also very useful for those of us with thicker calves who find buying zip-up boots a big chore.
The Blazer-and-Jeans Combo
Style Notes: Hate showing your arms? Then the continued trend for jumbo, elaborate sleeves is your wardrobe's BFF. Even if you're not fearful of showcasing your limbs, you have to admit this is one pretty nice idea to get on board with.
Knots, Ties and Wraps
Style Notes: Right now, stores are crammed full of wrap dresses and shirts galore, as well adjustable pieces that can shift to fit with ties, knots, drawstrings and ruching. This will make everyone happy because it allows you to tweak a piece into the perfect position (and then allow some room for lunch—always a bonus).
Pencil Skirt + Loose Shirt
Style Notes: Pencil skirts—so long as they're not rendered in paper-thin stretch-jersey fabric—are excellent for making you look taller and more pulled-together in an instant. To keep the vibe modern, their best partner is a simple shirt—tuck in for maximum figure flattery.
Peekaboo Back Details
Style Notes: Even the most self-conscious among us have to admit that backless pieces are a liberating and rather sassy thing to wear—they make for a very good after-dark go-to when you want to flash a little flesh but feel like a miniskirt or plunging neckline would be OTT.
Drawstring ruching will make this as fitted or loose as you want.
To be worn with the pencil skirt coming up next…
Diagonal seams make this even more flattering.
Stuart Weitzman's stretchy boots now come with a more unusual heel shape.
Rachel Comey is the queen of roomy dresses.
The most bra-friendly way to do shoulder-baring.
Mango's plus-size range is full of good tailoring.
You can even wear these into the autumn with a black sweater and matching boots.
Just enough peekaboo to generate interest.
A bright red sweater will be your A/W 17 saviour.