I've Created the Perfect Autumn Capsule, and It's Made Up of These 11 Pieces

Sorry to all the summer fans, but autumn is by far my favourite season. In the warm months, I find myself struggling to know how to put together an outfit that manages to look good, stay true to my personal taste and not instantly make me a sweaty mess. Come autumn, things are blissfully easy. This is largely due to the fact that you can create a season’s worth of looks with just a few key pieces. It’s the most satisfying game of mix-and-match, where the reward is looking impressively put together with minimal effort.


(Image credit: @_livmadeline)

Autumn style tends to be rooted in the classics, making it the perfect time to see where the gaps in your transitional season wardrobe may be. A trench coat and crisp white shirt will always look incredibly chic and on trend.

But since this summer has largely been, to put it kindly, mild, I feel as if I’ve already been getting a lot of wear out of my transitional staples. So to keep things feeling fresh, I’ll be swapping some of my typical go-tos for pieces that are trending this season, but I know will keep coming back in fashion. That means I’ll be trading my white trainers for ballet flats, straight-leg denim for wide-leg jeans and mid-length hems for ankle-sweeping maxis that will keep coming back into fashion.

With these styles acting as your wardrobe foundations, you’ll have this autumn’s outfits sorted, and some new treasured staples to turn to year after year.

1. A White shirt


(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

Style Notes: It's the ultimate wardrobe staple beloved by everyone from Grace Kelly to Victoria Beckham. An oversized style is arguably the most versatile—wear it open over a tank top for warmer days, or tucked into tailored trousers for a more polished look.

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2. Tailored trousers


(Image credit: @chrystelleeriksberger)

Style Notes: This autumn, tailored trousers are absolutely not just for the office. Wide-leg silhouettes and deep, rich tones are the key look this season, so add a belt if you want to add some more definition. 

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3. Wide-leg jeans


(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: It's official — wide-leg jeans are the jeans of the season. Embrace the bagginess with slouchy knits or an oversized blazer, or refine the look with a tucked in shirt. 

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4. Collared Knits


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

Style Notes: When it comes to autumnal knitwear, styles with a collar detail just look that little bit more polished. 

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5. Maxi skirt


(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: Ankle-sweeping skirts may be trending this season, but they'll always be in style. A slinky slip version is the most useful—just pair with trainers and a tee or light knit for a casual yet chic outfit. 

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6. Knitted Dress


(Image credit: @abimarvel)

Style Notes: Blissfully comfortable and versatile, once you find your perfect dress you'll be turning to it all autumn long. 

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7. The Cardigan


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)

Style Notes: A cardigan is a layering essential. Pull over your dress or tank to guard against the chill, or button it up and wear as a top. 

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8. Classic trench


(Image credit: @borislavasekova)

Style Notes: There's a reason why trench coats have been a staple of British style for over a century. Lightweight, waterproof and effortlessly chic, they're the perfect outerwear for tackling autumn's sudden downpours. 

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9. Wool Blazer


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Style Notes: For the days when you don't need the full coverage of a coat, a blazer is the ideal outer layer. Style over a white shirt for a polished look, or over knitwear and your wide-leg jeans for more casual occassions.

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10. Ballet flats


(Image credit: @kristincabat)

Style Notes: While I love my white trainers, this autumn I'm determined to get out of my footwear rut and put ballet flats in my rotation. 

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11. Tall boots


(Image credit: @louisahatt)

Style Notes: This autumn, swap the ankle boots for taller alternatives—they work with every hem length and elevate any look. 

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Next Up: Experts Agree: These Autumn/Winter 2023 Fashion Trends Really Count

Freelance Fashion Editor

Jess Kelham-Hohler is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist. She has been a contributor for Who What Wear UK since 2023. Currently based in London following six years in Washington D.C. and New York, she was previously the Digital Editor for Soho House & Co, an international group of private members’ clubs for creatives. She has interviewed a range of artists, creators and more, including Alighieri founder Rosh Mahtani, photographer Misan Harriman and fashion editor Lindsay Peoples Wagner. Today, she writes primarily about fashion, travel and culture for various publications, and has worked as a copywriter and content strategist for brands such as Belstaff, Olivela and Equinox.