You’ve spent months in WFH loungewear, but September is coming — and it’s back to the office for many of us.
If your wardrobe is feeling a little lacklustre after months of sweats, consider incorporating a few of these trends.
1. Flirty shirting
Waist-up dressing dominated the first Zoom-heavy half of the year and with it came a focus on bold blouses and conversation-starting shirting; and regardless of whether your autumn working wardrobe requires trousers, statement collars and snazzy shirts remain an excellent way to inject some sartorial sunshine into the new normal.
From the acid-green number that Kaia Gerber wore poking out from her black lapels at Bottega Veneta, to Ganni’s supersized sailor collars and Balenciaga’s fuchsia polka dots, the season’s chemise is punchy, playful and anything but plain or pinstripe.
Matches Fashion’s buying director Natalie Kingham confirms the site has seen an uplift in sales, with London label S.A.R.K’s idiosyncratic pill-buttoned, cigarette packet-print designs (shop here) and Charles Jeffrey’s sailor collars among the favourites. Chloe Street
2. It knits
Craving a return to sartorial polish yet find yourself unwilling to sacrifice your newfound addiction to comfort?
Autumn’s slinky knit dresses and knit co-ords are a tantalising trackies substitute. Worn together with knee-high boots, Christopher Kane’s matching knit midi and shoulder cutout sweater make for an excellent desk-to-sofa ensemble, while Jil Sander’s jersey body-con maxis are sophisticated cocoons of comfort that look just as chic paired with city-slicker stilettos as with slippers.
The key here is to opt for good-quality, figure-hugging fabrics in demure silhouettes — less Kim K, more Nineties Gwyneth Paltrow. CS
3. Lilac Love-in
While red often reigns supreme on the autumn/winter catwalks, this year it’s the turn of the colour wheel’s underdog, lilac. Lashings of lavender were seen at Alberta Ferretti and Jacquemus, while at Boss the hue was injected into the collection in the form of pale purple poplin shirts and matching clutches.
The key to embarking on a successful lilac love-in is to tame down a head-to-toe frisson in favour of a gentle flirtation with the hue; look to influencer Matilda Djerf’s new label Djerf Avenue’s Cotton Candy Pants (£100, shop here) or Ganni’s silky lavender slip (£143, shop here) for super wearable separates. NM
4. Better than all the vest
Harry Styles may have got us all hot under the collar with his JW Anderson cardi that spawned a thousand TikTok knock-offs, but this autumn knitwear’s BNOC (Big Name on Campus) is the sweater vest, with riffs on the quintessential golf dad sleeveless sweater seen at Prada, Gucci and By Malene Birger.
The perfect autumn-winter transitional tank; it’s perhaps no surprise online searches for sweater vests have risen by 133 per cent since the beginning of August. Style yours with a sprinkle of Cher Horowitz’s scarlet stitched vest in Clueless, married with a dose of Friends’ Chandler Bing’s roomy Grandpa-esque iteration. In other words, think Nineties. NM
The secret to this winter’s work-or-WFH-wear is a jacket fabulous enough to add some sartorial jazz-hands to our damp squib of a year. And come autumn, we plan to binge on fringe à la Gabriella Hearst, Prada and Bottega Veneta, all of whom incorporated an abundance of tassels in their autumn/winter shows.
Arriving as a welcome contrast to our well-worn loungewear, fringed jackets bring some shimmy into September. Juxtapose Vetements’ high voltage tasselled number (£3,470, shop here) with a dainty Nineties slip or, for the more muted among us, drape Topshop’s buttery leather offering (£259.99, shop here) over a classic tee and jeans for some demure fringe appeal.NM
6. All loafer it
While you might be oddly excited by the prospect of returning to IRL colleagues, meetings in actual rooms and overpriced Pret lunches, swapping out your slippers for those old stilettos frankly feels a bit much of an ask. Fear not, for one footwear trends to have emerged on the autumn runways was the commute-friendly loafer.
Revisited this time with platform soles, sling-backs and blinged-up buckles, 2020’s loafers are part swashbuckling, part schoolgirl, and every bit the practical pumps we need to tackle whatever Q4 has to throw at us. As perfect paired with black tights for parties as they are for popping to the shops, a great pair of penny loafers are a wardrobe workhorse that’ll see you through till spring. C