Photo:Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst, Jason Wu.
I recently found myself rewatching the documentary The September Issue for the hundredth time—you know, the one which follows American Vogue staffers (specifically Anna Wintour) and offers a glimpse into what that “glamorous” world looked like back in 2007. As you’d expect, there are many memorable quotes, but one that stuck out to me on my latest viewing was an editor’s exclamation that “the jacket is the new coat”. Working in fashion myself for the last decade, I like to think I can take the industry with a pinch of salt and appreciate the absurdity of sweeping statements like this—declaring one thing “in” and another “out”. But it did get me thinking about how cyclical fashion is, and how jackets and all the exciting jacket trends for autumn 2023 are taking up an awful lot of my brain space right now. More so than, say… coats.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very into outerwear, so if anyone can appreciate a good coat, it’s me. But I do think coats are more likely to be classic, timeless pieces you invest in and pull out year after year—a camel Max Mara belted number, a perfect beige trench, or a tailored, black wool style, for example. Jackets on the other hand, are there to have a little fun with, and whilst every purchase should be a thoughtful one that fits with your personal style and budget, it feels like there’s more room to play around with texture, shape and style within the realm of jackets.
So, what’s on the agenda for the ultimate transitional wardrobe piece for autumn/winter 2023? Well, I’ve scoured the catwalk collections and have been keeping very close tabs on emerging street style trends, not to mention tracking the jacket styles that high-street brands are backing in their fresh autumn drops. And I can confirm there’s a whole spectrum of trends to choose from—no, literally—ranging from toughened-up bombers and bikers at one end to ultra-ladylike waisted blazers and buttoned tweed styles at the other.
Somewhere in the middle you’ll come across the tactile trends—baby-soft wool styles and touchy-feely textures. Some you'll recognise as evolutions on jacket trends that have been gaining traction over the last few years, but others feel really fresh and new for A/W 23. One thing's for sure—whatever your style vibe is for the season ahead, you can be certain there’s something here to make your heart beat a little faster.
Scroll on for the six key jacket trends you’re about to see a lot more of in 2023 (and well into 2024). You’ll also find my expert shopping picks for each trend so you can bag the best autumn/winter jackets now, before they inevitably sell out. You're welcome.
Photo:Courtesy Gabriela Hearst, Tove, The Style Stalker.
It's not often that leather isn't a trend for autumn/winter, but more than ever we're seeing leather in all forms as the cool-girl jacket of choice for 2023. Tough, oversized bikers and aged leather styles are back with a vengeance, but there's also a more modern, refined look emerging, with buttery-soft leathers and minimalist designs (see Toteme and Whistles' sleek versions and COS's double-breasted blazer).
Bouclé jackets have been on the rise again for a few seasons now, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Of course, Chanel led the charge at the autumn/winter shows with iterations of its famous buttoned-up styles, but this is one trend the high street is also leaning into massively for autumn 2023—all the better for our bank accounts.
There's something luxurious about wrapping yourself up in swathes of wool when autumn comes around, so the rising trend for wool jackets (especially super-soft, double-faced styles) should come as no real surprise. The slouchier and more minimal, the fresher they look for 2023—think scarf detailing, belts and shawl collars, all in an expensive colour palette of camels, chocolate browns, creams and greys.
The Elevated Bomber
Bomber jackets never really go "out" of style, which is why I'm such a fan. However, despite being linked with more casual streetwear for the last few years, for 2023 they're looking a lot more elevated—and nothing feels more now than a leather version, thanks to Saint Laurent and Miu Miu sending sleek styles down their runways, and of course, the cult Acne Studios version that screams cool girl.
Last year, we saw shearling take off as an outerwear trend in a big way, not least because of Toteme's dreamy toggle jacket (as seen on Jessica Skye above), which we're predicting will be just as in-demand this season, too (we've spied some pretty epic high-street versions in the works as well). For 2023 though, anything fuffy, textured or tactile will do the trick—from cosy bouclé to soft suede and fleecy teddy jackets.
After many seasons of the oversized, "mannish" blazer hogging the limelight (which is still very much at play, don't worry), there's a new, more "feminine" blazer shape joining it at the top of the jacket charts. The waisted, hourglass or fitted blazer featured in so many of this season's chicest designer collections—most notably at Versace (Gigi Hadid kicked off the show in this femme-fatale, all-black number above), and in bold colour at Jason Wu. Luckily, this supremely stylish yet easy to wear shape is already trickling down to more affordable brands, but if you're looking for a way to get the look without buying anything new, simply add a waist belt to your existing styles, et voila.