Autumn...it’s a bit like marmite for a lot of people.
You either love the end of the summer, the return of that light breeze, misty mornings, dark, cosy nights and of course, the beautiful autumn colours.
Or, you just want summer to stick around for just a bit longer!
One thing we can all perhaps agree on is that autumn in the UK at least does not start immediately at the end of ‘summer’, which most of us consider August.
September is usually quite lovely and can be as warm as late summer.
But, even when early autumn days are lovely and sunny, autumn nights can get quickly get colder. The breeze gets a little sharper too.
Fashion for autumn and fall is often called transitional fashion. Fashion for autumn and fall should allow you to effortlessly transition from summer to winter without too much stress or hassle.
There’s a bit of an art to transitional fashion - read more to find out how to dress for autumn and how to dress for fall in 2021 and beyond!
Autumn Leaves, Autumn Tones
The beautiful autumn leaves are many people’s favourite thing about autumn.
It probably comes as no surprise that these autumn tones are replicated in autumn fashion. From leafy browns to ochre, dark yellows, red-browns, browns and brighter yellow-orange, think of the autumn leaves when you think of a classic autumnal outfit.
Vogue recently called these ‘camel colours’. Suede, leather and similar natural materials partner really well with these sorts of colours. Look for trench coats and other long jackets in camel colours this autumn.
The Best Autumn Colours
We’ve created this article on the best winter colours which is well worth a look for autumn too, but actually, there are some pretty big differences between that deep winter fashion December to February and that late-summer to autumn fashion running until around November time.
Namely, autumn fashion colours tend to be a little more matted, a little more inauspicious and quiet. They help express the sensations of nature in autumn That’s why ‘camel colours’ work so well in autumn - they're natural and evoke the colour of autumn leaves.
But, if you want to add more colours to your autumn outfit then feel free. Think deep forest greens, strong reds (like Daredevil red - check out our article here for more on that awesome colour!) and also teals, royal blues, yellows and orange.
Most people enjoy slackening off the bright colours in autumn, though. It’s an excellent time to think about getting cosy, to think about relaxing after a (hopefully) long summer.
Autumn Starts Cold-ish and Gets Cold
Autumn starts with “hmm it’s a bit nippy isn’t it?” and progresses to “corr, it has got cold hasn’t it” within the space of probably a month from the end of August to the beginning of October.
For fashion, this means wearing clothes that adapt to the weather.
Autumn is the best month for layering clothes. A thin long-sleeve top, a light jumper, a medium jacket = perfect early autumn layering. Opt for warm fleece jackets - they’re super-trendy and keep you warm at night. As mentioned, trench coats are a winner in autumn and they’re usually available in all your classic natural colours.
For bottoms, the thicker leggings usually come out for autumn. Who What Wear says the leggings + sports jacket combo is an excellent autumn outfit. You can get some very high-quality thermal leggings for autumn.
The Best Autumn Footwear
That’s an easy one, it’s tough to beat boots. Boots rock in autumn, whether we’re talking polished knee-high boots, ankle boots or something a little sturdier like Dr Martens. Boots are the best shoes for kicking your way through the autumn leaves. If it rains, boots come out trumps. If it’s muddy, you’re wearing boots so who cares (obviously you might if they’re super-expensive boots, but still).
And then, there are welly boots. Welly boots are massively trendy - brands have been creating their own fashionable ‘welly boots’ for a while now, Barbour probably leads the way in that department. Ok, you probably wouldn’t want to roll about London in welly boots unless you’re spending a lot of time in Hyde Park, but for those who live in leafier areas, wellies are pretty much a wardrobe staple for casualwear.
If you want to rock a bit harder then Doc Martens have to rank highly for autumn boots. In fact, any military-style boot is perfect for transitional autumn to winter clothing. They look awesome with leggings, then just throw on a jacket to taste and the jobs done!
Glamour Magazine recently covered some autumn and winter fashion trends for 2021. There are some pretty ‘out there’ styles on there, but one which really sticks out are the ‘mega knits’.
As you might imagine, mega knits are quite literally very large knitted clothes. They can be anything from a massively oversized cardigan to a full dress, or a jumper. The chunkier the knit, the cooler it is. Of course, mega knits also look ridiculously warm and snug too. Below is a striking chunky fleece jacket, not quite a mega-knit but similar in style.
If you’re not feeling the full-blown mega knit vibe, then any knit is good for autumn. Classic cardigans to knitted jumpers and dresses are all excellent. Knitwear is also pretty easy to get your hands on and there are so many options out there in almost any colour you can think of.
Plaid, Check and Fair Isle
Autumn patterns include plaid, check and Fair Isle, all of which sit firmly in the ‘cold weather’ camp.
Plaid and tartan are so timeless and it’s really tough to make it look bad. Brands like Burberry are literally built around these kinds of square geometric patterns, which says a lot about their longevity.
Plaid patterns can come out to play whenever it’s cold. Some awesome items to own in plaid are plaid skirts and plaid jackets.
Check clothing ticks all the same boxes as plaid. Think lumberjack style, that sort of Canadian forest vibe that suits the autumn vibe so well. Chequered clothing suits outerwear better than anything else - a heavyweight soft fleece chequered jacket is a tough one to beat for cold but dry nights.
Fair Isle and Nordic patterns are also super-hot for the cold weather. Fair Isle patterns are just so interesting, they always get a little glance as they’re somewhat hypnotic.
Puffer jackets are also a little like Marmite. Don’t wear them because you like to cover and smother yourself in synthetic rolls, wear them because they keep you super-warm in virtually all conditions.
From your classic sportswear puffer jackets to more upmarket offerings, there’s a puffer jacket for everyone and they’re superb for casualwear and keeping warm on trips out, walks, etc. From timeless brands like North Face, puffer jackets provide an excellent opportunity to don a classic - a classic that’s fit for autumn vibes!
Oversized Shirts and Lumber Jackets
Oversized shirts in plaid or check are so fall - or autumn. They really rock, they’re warm and go very well with everything from leggings to jeans and trousers.
Shirt dresses in heavy flannel materials are also superb for autumn. Thicker, heavier fabrics suit autumn well and provide a good combination of warmth and softness.
For colours, it goes without saying perhaps that lumberjacks look great in those classic red or green plaid or checks. The same goes for thick flannel shirts and shirt dresses.
As always for autumn, natural colours that reflect nature do the job very well.
Autumn is when those winter hats start getting heaved out of the back of the cupboard...and don't forget the scarves!
From beanies to trapper hats, there are tons of awesome hats for autumn. Beanies come in tons of varieties from classic styles to tassel beanies and pom-poms. Trapper hats are a super-warm super-stylish type of hat that looks superb with lumberjacks and plaid shirts for that true Canadian look.
But don’t forget fedoras and even bowler hats. They look sincere but stylish and work well with sophisticated outfits, e.g. trench coats, smart trousers and smart shoes or boots.
Soft Touch Hoodies and Tracksuits
Autumn is a soft month. The transition to a more indoorsy, cosy atmosphere brings the softer, comfier clothes out of the wardrobe. Soft-touch clothing is all the rage - it’s kind of velvety or has piled fleece for a warm, bear-like feel.
Tracksuits are an autumn/winter staple and when the shorts start going back in the drawers, the tracksuits start coming out. Tracksuits have been rocked in all sorts of contexts - even for semi-smart or smart casual wear!
Overall though, tracksuits are your go-to for popping down the street, to the shop, or shopping in style. With tons of brands offering tracksuits, you can go as cheap or upmarket as you want.
Summary: How to Dress for Autumn
And there we have it...how to dress for autumn.
Autumn is a great season for many reasons, though it’s bound to bring some blues that we’ve got another half a year to wait before things start properly heating up again.
The trick is to just embrace it. Embrace the autumn colours, the cosiness, the opportunities to wear more than just shorts, t-shirts and tops. Jackets, trousers, boots and coats are comfy as well as stylish - dressing well for autumn can help keep those winter blues away!
Autumn Fashion FAQ
How do I dress for autumn?
Think of the leaves, the cool breeze, the darker nights and the wind and the rain. Think of outfits that reflect this - natural colours, heavy fabrics, sturdy footwear and hats. Autumn fashion is about the rain and shine, it's about staying warm and dry with layers whilst not smothering yourself. Suede is an awesome autumn material, soft jackets and long coats look great when paired with boots or sturdy footwear. And don't forget hats!
What are some autumn outfit ideas?
Take a trench coat or long jacket, pair it with a knitted jumper and t-shirt and a pair of leather leggings, dark trousers or other thick leggings. Sling on a belt if wearing trousers. Grab some military-style or Chelsea boots, or Doc Martens, and add a hat to taste. Voila! The perfect all-weather autumn outfit.
What are the best autumn fashion colours?
It's got to be natural colours that reflect the season itself. That means dark oranges, natural yellows, forest greens and 'camel colours' like suede. Colours have their place too - use brighter colours as accents. Overall, though, autumn suits bold and deep or dark colours with heavy, thick materials and deep pigmentation.