How to build the perfect autumn wardrobe

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Having adopted the colder and ever-changing climate of the UK many years ago, I had to learn (through trial and error) about how to dress for the seasons, what worked and what didn't and where to shop. I also learnt about layering. Over time, I have developed my individual style preferences and accumulated a reasonable amount of shopping wisdom. Here are my building blocks for the perfect Autumn wardrobe along with a small dose of Autumn street style inspiration.

1. Base layer: As the days grow colder, a set of good cotton or silk camisoles are perfect for providing an extra layer of warmth and interest. M&S do really good cotton lace camisoles that are also excellent value. For a simple and more basic version, try Uniqlo or Gap. If it's luxe you're after, Agent Provacateur and Bodas are worth trying.

2. Fine knits: I prefer lighter knits for Autumn and would rather save my chunkier jumpers for the depth of winter. Fine knits are also great for layering under dresses or over silk shirts. Uniqlo's extra fine merino and M&S cashmere are both excellent bets.

3. A shift dress: I find shift dresses great for transitional wardrobes as they can be easily layered for warmth. They can act as pinafores or as pseudo skirts. I'm a big fan of Cos and & Other Stories as well as sister brand H&M for well tailored shift dresses. Vintage and charity shops are great for unusual gems.

4. A skirt or culottes: The latter option is one I've been obsessing over for a while after seeing Yasmin Sewell in the emerald Isa Arfen number. You could also try indie brands or new designers either directly or via sites such as eBay and SilkFred for sourcing cool statement skirts. For a more subdued versions, try Joules or Banana Republic. And try good old Zara for a skirt or a pair of culottes with the right dose of fashion forwardness.



5. Trousers: I despair when I see bog standard black poly trousers... trousers could be so much more!! I must admit I've worn these myself, albeit very briefly and a long time ago. If you want a fashionable wardrobe, I'd recommend wool, silk or textures such as leather and velvet. I believe that even your basic black trousers should add oomph to your outfit.  Try Zara and Topshop for their variety for styles and Joseph for beautifully tailored wool or leather trousers.  As for me, I'm currently lusting after a pair of J Brand Coated black jeans...

6. Hosiery: The perfect pair of tights can complete an outfit. Wolford and Falke are solid choices and wash well. I actually love the M&S ladder-resist versions too...

7. The trench: This is one item that will get *constant* wear through Autumn and back again in Spring. I doubt if it will ever go out of fashion! Everyone wants a Burberry but I love my Micheal Kors versions. If you crave Burberry but don't have the funds, try vintage and charity shops for vintage versions at much cheaper price! I've owned an H&M version for a while which cost me £13 in the sale and always brought me bags of compliments!


8. Waterproofs: Autumn can be wet although most seasons in the UK are! A solid brolly and a showerproof mac are worth investing in. Fulton do excellent brollies and I've recently sourced a super raincoat via ASOS.

9.  The bag and shoes: Autumn weather is made for boots...or is it other way round? I prefer ankle boots for Autumn and *love* Ash for their style and comfort. Their most popular and versatile styles are the Jalouse and Spiral (which are almost identical) and they go with pretty much everything in your wardrobe. 


10.  Accessories: No wardrobe is complete without a couple of happy accessories. I love Boticca and Etsy for new and indie designers as well as handmade accessories. A Uroco Obi belt and a Jennifer Loiselle necklace are currently on my Autumn wish list. And I *cannot* wait to wear my new Helen Moore vixen scarf!!


Have you got any further ideas around building the perfect Autumn wardrobe? Do share! Ann x

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