Whether it's Molly Goddard's tulle showstoppers or Cecilie Bahnsen's whimsical frocks, BDE (Big Dress Energy for uninitiated) has been the reigning aesthetic of 2019. Perhaps a reaction to the "naked" dresses that proliferated last year, but these frocks are unashamedly frumpy—a word we are happy to reclaim—and bear an uncanny resemblance to Victorian nighties and school-girl smocks. Just look at that Zara polka-dot dress, which was ridiculed by many for its shapeless silhouette, yet a large proportion of the UK's female population has embraced its throw-on-and-go charm.
The voluminous treatment is now spreading. Not only content to encapsulate dresses, the bigger-is-better approach has taken to everything from blouses via supersized sleeves (aka Big Sleeve Energy) to fit-your-life-in bottomless totes (aka Big Bag Energy). Clearly the Olsen twins were way ahead of the crowd, with their distinctively loose-fitting approach to fashion, and we are so ready to follow suit. There's something that feels so joyful about this trend: It's statement-making, but not in a self-conscious way, and it's so clearly divorced from any traditional conceptions of what is considered flattering. For me, that is pretty liberating.
So, really, it's just a case of deciding what your big mood is this season. Layering lovers will adore the roomy coat trend, as seen in Zara and Mango, which will look ever-so '80s when belted over tailored separates. Anyone who prefers a little more shape, however, should check out autumn's super-wide-leg trouser offering—they're a surefire way to pack a punch when paired with a white tee and chunky chain necklace. Scroll down to see the five ways to rock the oversized trend this season—just think of it as 2019's answer to the power suit.
Style Notes: The smock, the trapeze or the tent—whatever you call it, it's clear that dresses are getting the supersized treatment this autumn. Wear with knee-high boots for casual polish or swap-in pointed kitten heels for a more formal spin.
Style Notes: A big coat might not be the most cutting-edge addition to our wardrobes, but therein lies its charm. Channel a little '80s energy with a tailored iteration thrown over a suit, or for a more urban flavour, try Arket's padded coat with jeans and a cream roll-neck.
Style Notes: Hooray, a bag trend that actually works for real life! We are more than happy to join the roomy tote tribe (Alexis Foreman is the leader), which has taken to embracing the minimalist vibes of an oversized shopper. Just style with pared-back separates.
Style Notes: This is one of our favourite ways to embrace the oversized trend and it's also probably one of the easiest. Rather than consuming your whole look, a standout sleeve can be paired with your favourite jeans or used to elevate an otherwise simple dress silhouette. At the top of our list is Burberry's gingham shirt, which is a great option if you're not into the puffed-sleeve finish.