The 11 Autumn Style Staples I Prep My Wardrobe With Year After Year

Dressing for autumn? It's a challenge I'm always happy to take on, whether it's assembling interesting layered looks or keeping cosy in knitwear. Autumn is when I come into my sartorial own. So you can imagine how happy I am that I can now shift my focus to planning my autumn outfits.

Now, I do understand why some get anxious about the shift in seasons. Chances are you feel like you've just gotten into your summer style stride and now there's another time of year to think about. However, I genuinely believe that dressing for autumn is easy—at least it is when you have a handful of autumn fashion essentials at your disposal.

Over the years, I've curated an autumn capsule that's versatile and sleek and will ensure you don't need to spend frivolously over the next few months to look good. In my edit, you'll find 11 autumn fashion essentials that will never let you down and can be worn in a multitude of ways with one another.

From the simple sweater I wear day in, day out to the dress switch I'll be making to see me through the next few months, here are 11 autumn fashion essentials I can't get dressed without—scroll on to see them.



(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Style Notes: A few years ago, I streamlined my knitwear collection after realising that 99% of the time, I was only wearing cream sweaters. Trust me—it'll go with everything

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(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: I've invested in more adventurous jean styles over the years, but I just never get adequate wear out of them. Now, I only allow myself to buy classic jeans, and in transitional autumn, I find a blue wash to be the best option. 

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(Image credit: @dianekari)

Style Notes: One item I rely on come rain or shine is the trench coat. It's up there with one of the most versatile pieces I own, and I can't help but gravitate towards statement iterations as well as classic tan. Use them to layer over plain summer dresses to make them feel more autumnal. 

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(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: The perfect pairing for blue jeans, Breton stripes appear on all of my most-worn tops, and I don't think that's a coincidence. When temperatures truly drop, I like layering them with a black roll-neck underneath. Somehow, it still feels pleasingly French.

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: When it's still too warm to wear a full-on winter coat, I reach for an oversized blazer. The key is to look for styles that are roomy enough to wear over knitwear. My preference? Goes-with-everything beige. 

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(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Florals, polka dots and block colours tend to dominate my dress wardrobe in the warmer months, but come autumn, I always switch them out in place of my checked styles. 

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(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Style Notes: I've never been all that into trainers, so as soon as it's time to pack away my sandals, you'll find me in boots. I'm keen to add a pair of lace-front boots to my collection, of which there are plenty for autumn 2023. 

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(Image credit: @claudia_berresford)

Style Notes: What I love most about slip skirts is how easily they can be dressed up or down. I have a couple that I practically live in during autumn and style them with my chunky (probably cream) knitwear and chunky boots.

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(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

Style Notes: Leather is to autumn what linen is to summer—it just works. I'm contemplating investing in a leather blazer, but you can't go wrong with a pair of black leather trousers. 

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(Image credit: @basicstouch)

Style Notes: For the days that allow me to step out without a jacket, belted cardigans are my go-to. The overlapping front, held together by the belt, really keeps the heat in.

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(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Style Notes: My year basically consists of me waiting for suitable times to dig out and wear a beret. I absolutely don't need any more in my collection (I think I already own four), but I advise investing in a classic black colourway as well as an earthy tone, both of which are sure to go with everything you pair them with.

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This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.