Welcome to The Great Try-On. With autumn on the horizon, we seized the opportunity to try on some of the best pieces from some of your favourite brands, documenting the process along the way. We believe that the most foolproof way to shop online is to see an item IRL and to read candid reviews, so we hope that this leads you to some successful autumn purchases.
I'm no stranger to a splurge, but I also like saving my money. Whenever I'm in the mood for fashion that's on-trend and affordable and that won't break down in one wash, H&M is like my home base. As a faithful shopper of the brand, I can also say that the quality has greatly improved over the years. Add to that its growing commitment to sustainable materials, and I really can't find a reason why I'd shop elsewhere.
It's not uncommon for me to frequently shop the store mid-season but this time, I was able to take a few new arrivals for a test-drive as soon as they hit the site. And if you're well versed in the language of H&M, you'll know that all the brand's best hits are only available as online exclusives. I scrolled through and uncovered a bunch of pieces I eagerly wanted to try IRL, including some seasonal knit staples and a few funky bits that really caught my eye. To hear my unfiltered thoughts and to see how everything fit, keep scrolling below.
H&M Cable-Knit Sweater Vest & Ribbed Pants
My review: Last season, I couldn't open my laptop without seeing a knitted sweater-vest. It was a ridiculously huge trend in 2020, but admittedly, I didn't jump on it right away. It doesn't seem like sweater-vests are waning anytime soon, so I eagerly added this one to my wardrobe. Truly, it's so cosy yet intentionally stylish, adding an element of polish. I've worn it with a silk ruched Helmut Lang skirt (one of my current go-to looks), but for more laid-back scenarios, I love to pair it with these easy ribbed trousers. I can say definitively that I'll be wearing this combo all season.
My review: If it isn't obvious by now, I love a good matching set. When you're juggling events, work, and a social life, a structured suit is the easiest way to toggle between everything without a precarious outfit change. This vest suit set is unlike anything I currently own, and I'm so glad I took the plunge. The sleeveless jacket really works for the unpredictable September weather, and if it really gets chilly, you can easily layer a turtleneck underneath. Sadly, this particular two-piece is low in stock, but H&M is the home of affordable suit sets, so there are plenty more like it available now.
H&M Sleeveless Shirt Jacket & Wide High Jeans
My review: Another round of applause for vests. This denim topper isn't something I'd pick out instinctively at a store, but I'm all for experimentation. To my surprise, it was flattering without being shapeless, and the mid-blue wash made this feel like a vintage find I'd spend years looking for. I put it together with one of H&M's basic tanks (one of my favourite basics of all time) and a pair of loose cream-coloured jeans. Altogether, this was a look I could see myself throwing on when I want to go for a quick drink or to run errands.
H&M Lacing-Detail Crop Top & Wide-Cut Lyocell-Blend Pants
My review: This really doesn't look like H&M at all. You could totally fool people into thinking this came from someplace like Ssense or Opening Ceremony, but the reality is it costs way less than you'd expect. The contrast stitching really sets it off, but if there's one thing that stopped it from becoming a complete win for me, it was the super-short length. I'd advise wearing it with high-waisted bottoms (like these pull-on pants) to counteract the cropped look, but I'm sure fans of the Y2K wave will go for ultra-low-rise jeans. On the flip side, these trousers are quite comfortable and are an all-around useful staple.
H&M Smock-Detail Satin Dress
My review: I could go on and on about the perks of a midi dress like this, so I'll keep it brief. It's a quintessential throw-it-on-and-go piece. The gathered waist and silky satin material add an air of elegance that makes this number look special and expensive. A note on the fit: You'll want to size down unless you want an oversize look. I wore this with snakeskin boots for my try-on, but H&M also sent me these rugged tall boots, which made for an equally stylish combo.
H&M Knit Pants & Ribbed Tank Top
My review: It's with a heavy heart that I admit I wasn't the biggest fan of these pants. They had all the makings of a cool, memorable piece, but the material was a bit too thin for my liking. Conversely, the pleats are fun and extremely on-trend.