While we optimistically don our shorts for the last few days of summer, the fashion world swiftly turns its head towards autumn dressing as we welcome in the beginning of the new season.
And what a season it is! Expect leather, tartan, boucle, parkas, fluffy knits and chunky chains.
The trends for autumn fall into six main categories but the great thing is they are interchangeable and can be combined with ease. Why not use the new season as a chance to reinvent yourself?
Going back to uni or college is the perfect time to invest in a new look.
ALICE CRUICKSHANK guides you through the season…
Last year’s gothic velvet and crosses are being replaced by tartan and safety pins as the fashion elite embraces the punk look.
With punk being the theme for this year’s Met Ball, it is no surprise that this look is set to be one of the biggest of the season.
Wrap skirts, mesh, studs and chunky boots are key to channelling the punk vibe. The good news is last season’s leather is key to this style, making it a trend to seamlessly carry you from summer to autumn.
However, the real buzz-word on the catwalks was tartan.
While many designers opted for a plaid-on-plaid look, you can make this trend everyday by adding a touch of tartan to your outfit, be it a belt or a scarf.
How to wear
– To Uni: tartan pinafore over a slouchy jumper, teamed with Doc Martens
– On a night out: leather dress or skirt and spiky heels
b) Best of British
Even if your style is more classic than The Clash, you can still work the tartan trend this season.
Moschino made this punk staple preppy by styling it as a fitted blazer, beautiful wool coat and traditionally influenced mini-kilt.
British country style is a look that graces the autumn catwalks again and again and 2013 was no exception.
The colour palette remains mostly the same, comprising burgundy, forest green, navy, ruby red and mustard but there was a surprise addition to the mix this year- pink.
English rose and dusky pinks ruled the catwalks, particularly for outerwear.
These subtle hues add a soft touch of colour to your autumn wardrobe- just be sure the look is sophisticated rather than ultra-girly.
How to wear
– When meeting friends for coffee: a fitted blazer over jeans, finished with a pink scarf
– To Uni: A cable-knit jumper over an autumn coloured skater skirt with riding boots
c) A Touch of Glamour
The catwalks for autumn 2013 were abound with texture.
Boucle, jacquard, houndstooth, waffle, cable, mohair… this season it’s all about outerwear and knitwear that feels as good as it looks.
Chanel was all about classic textured boucle jackets but kept the look modern by teaming them with matching mini skirts and chunky belts.
While textured fabrics may seem rather traditional and formal, it’s easy to make this trend modern and practical by focusing on the knitwear aspect. For a really high-end look, don’t be afraid to combine several textures into the one outfit.
How to wear
– When studying on a lazy day: an oversized, waffle-knit jumper over leather-look leggings
– On work experience: a coordinating textured skirt and jacket combo from Topshop
d) Wrap it Up
To say coats are a big trend for autumn is a no-brainer. This year, however, it’s all about using your outerwear to make a statement and the bigger the better.
The main look on the catwalks was oversized, masculine coats in camel, black and pink.
If this isn’t your thing, then turn to the trusty parka as it makes a return for another season.
However, this time around look for ornate embroidery and touches of fur to make this military staple glamorous.
What’s not to love when a major fashion trend is not only practical but super-cosy too?
How to wear
– To Uni: an oversized wool coat over a tea dress, paired with opaque tights and brogues
– When meeting friends for coffee: an oversized textured knit over shorts and tights, finished with a fur-lined parka
e) As Time Goes By
To channel a classic look into your autumn wardrobe, look to the 1940s.
Yes, this autumn it’s all about war-time fashion, but contemporary fabrics and prints keep the look modern.
The great news is last season’s essential midi cut perfectly fits this trend. Apart from this crucial skirt shape, think tweed, peg trousers and elbow pads on knitwear.
To finish, style your hair in loose waves and add a touch of burgundy lipstick.
This is a look that is both versatile and sophisticated.
How to wear
– Having lunch with the parents: an autumn-coloured bodycon midi skirt over a Breton-stripe top
– On a night out: a silk-slip style midi dress with pointed stilettos
f) Sports Lux
This was a big trend over spring/summer and it remains prevalent in the new season.
Think smart jogging-bottoms teamed with a printed bomber, wedge trainers and a chunky gold chain or two to finish the look, a la Balmain’s Resort Collection.
To keep the trend up to date, be sure to trade your snapback for an oversized beanie so you’ll be stylish and cosy!
This is arguably one of the trickiest looks to pull off this autumn – it’s easy to step one white stiletto out of the haute couture zone and into Chav Central. The best way to keep your look classy is to invest in pieces in luxurious fabrics or ornate prints.
How to wear
– To Uni: Jersey peg-leg joggers, teamed with a varsity-style baseball jacket
– On a date: silky printed peg trousers with a pointed stiletto and a chunky chain necklace
This autumn there are a few key accessories to bring your look into the current season.
When it comes to footwear, it’s all about the monk shoe (think a brogue crossed with an ankle boot) and it’s perfect for channelling the punk trend in a subtle way.
For a more formal look, turn to the pointed stiletto. While chunkier styles are still a fail-safe fashion choice, this year designers and bloggers are enamoured with this classic shoe.
Metal panels are also set to be big, be it on the toecap of a boot, on a waist belt or on the edges of a clutch bag.
If you prefer a more classic look, then go for a fur trim. This season, however, don’t feel limited to a fur hood – fluffy pom-poms on boots and handbags were all over the catwalks.
On the subject of handbags, this autumn fashionistas are shunning shoulder bags and instead turning to a more vintage-style, short-strapped bag, either held in the hand or hooked over the crook of an arm.
Alternatively, go for an oversized envelope clutch.The texture of choice for accessories this season was ponyskin. Yes, this not-quite-suede, not-quite-fur fabric looks stunning in a rich burgundy or a classic black and adds a touch of something luxurious to even the most simple boots or clutch.
The real key accessory every girl needs this season is a chunky gold chain necklace.
Balmain, Givenchy and Chanel are only a few of a long list of designers who featured this style of jewellery in their autumn/winter collections.
TOP TIPS FOR AUTUMN
If you’re not prepared to buy into a trend wholeheartedly then jewellery is a perfect compromise.
Studs and safety pins as earrings hint subtly to the punk trend; a necklace emblazoned with a stag head is ideal for the British heritage look.
Peg-leg trousers are such a great investment.
They are as comfy as sweatpants but can look really elegant and smart- definitely a must-buy!
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Some of autumn’s most intimidating pieces, such as a midi skirt or leather, are actually the most flattering and stylish.