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Back to School Cool: 12 Staples You'll Need for a Style Refresh This Autumn

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 26 March 2018
As summer fades, your fashion game needs to step up a beat. Prepare your new season style with these essential fashion items for autumn.

The perfect autumn coat

Autumn calls for a coat that hails the new season but doesn’t have the functional acceptance of something like a puffer. It needs to be chic, lightweight yet warm. It needs to acknowledge the summer but look forward to the year ahead, it needs to say ‘fashion’ without the possibility of it falling out of trend within the year.

Eudon Choi AW17 created a perfect offer in grey wool. With oversized lapels, a light hint of padding and rendered in a dreamy shade of cloudy grey, this is the investment you need to make immediately. Otherwise channel similar alternatives, opting for lighter hues and hunting out idiosyncratic twists on standard wool silhouettes. Mid-length also feels fresh after seasons of shapeless duster coats.

© AW17 Eudon Choi
© AW17 Eudon Choi

The only shirt you need

Give your staple wardrobe a fresh twist after a sweaty summer. Find a shirt which surprises you, and is easy to wear with your existing bottoms – nothing too tailored or loud. We love J.W. Anderson’s romantic rendition, replete with pussy bows and copious frills; the gathered hem and bow detail on sleeves adds a romantic twist (and dare we say it, a little French chic), and it allows you to style and re-style as you see fit.

The new jeans

There’s a million ways to wear denim this year, but if you have to make one investment, choose these. A simple mid-rise, straight leg in mid-shade may not feel like a dramatic addition, but we promise you’ll find yourself earning back the investment as you sport them with anything, to any event, throughout autumn and into the new year.

RAEY, £145 | RAEY, £145

The trousers

Denim can be worn on any occasion, but when you want to add a little slink to your style then it’s all about some loose fit, wide-leg trousers. Update classic black designs with a streak of colour, or opt for textured material to keep things fresh.

Light Before Dark Puddle Length Side-Striped Plisse Trousers, £42 | Light Before Dark Puddle Length Side-Striped Plisse Trousers, £42

The casual shoes

You think you’re over white trainers and then Reebok introduces the futuristic dream and suddenly you’re infatuated all over again. Maybe it’s just us, but there’s something about the chunky, nonsensical design of these shoes that makes them the only thing we want to spend the last months of the year in. Camper does a covetable pair, too.

Reebok, £87
Reebok, £87

The versatile dress

Early 2017 hailed the statement dress, a kind of super-style that demanded (and commanded) attention. However as the summer fades, so will the desire to channel that bohemian look; autumn is for understated elegance, not in-yer-face ‘boujis-ness’. As such, it’s time to move back to a classic shift shape, given a chic new twist from Weekday courtesy of a wrap front. Pay homage to the summer with bright shades, or embrace a moodier aesthetic with dark greys and navys.

Weekday Wrap Dress, £45 | Weekday Wrap Dress, £45

The transition socks

Socks are having a fashion moment, which makes them an essential consideration in your new season wardrobe. Forgo boring whites in favour of frills, stripes and splashes of colour.

The big-night-out flatforms

Thanks to the likes of Gucci and Marc Jacobs, the sky’s the limit for how high your flatforms can go. Go big while you still can, with a formidable pair of shoes that will ensure you reach your peak in the last few months of the year.

Gucci Hannelore detachable-platform velvet pumps, £1,290 | Gucci Hannelore detachable-platform velvet pumps, £1,290

The bag

Bright, patterned and textured bags are a must this season, providing a welcome antidote to the prolific rise of the bumbag. Keep it elegant without breaking your arm, courtesy of a handy shoulder bag.

Pink Python Handbag, £650 | Pink Python Handbag, £650

The scarf

As the cold winds begin to bite, cover up with a millennial pink version of everyone’s favourite chunky knit.

Acne scarf, £220 | Acne scarf, £220

The cap

Whether you’re having a bad hair day or just feeling blue, this sunshine cap from skate-wear brand MOOD is an easy way to add a chipper edge to the most standard of outfits.

Mood, $35
Mood, $35

The jewellery

Asymmetric earrings may have taken the catwalks by storm in February, but we predict that moveable earrings will be the trend, come September. London-based jewellery brand Uribe offers versatile, geometric designs that you’ll want to wear again and again.

Uribe earrings, £175 | Uribe earrings, £175