I Know Cult Items, and These 8 Autumn Pieces Have "It" Written All Over Them

It might seem easy to pinpoint It buys thanks to the many paid marketing pushes brands do around the looks, trends and items that fashion people are genuinely putting down some hard-earned cash for. However, no proliferation of #ads can steer us off course in our quest to quickly uncover the new-in pieces that are destined to sell out fast. With our minds and shopping baskets clearly turning to autumn, a fresh batch of noticeably popular pieces is on the rise. 

You can use this list in one of many ways. First, you can bookmark and shop directly should something speak to your personal style on a deep level. Second, you can use it as a guide to source second-hand and vintage alternatives. For example, you can see below that slip dresses and quilted jackets are trending, and these are very easy to pick up in thrift and charity stores. You just have to keep your eyes open. And finally, you can use this as an indicator of what to pull out of your wardrobe again. Sweater-vests started hitting the mainstream two winters ago, and they're still going strong now. But you don't have to have the exact version influencers, editors and stylists are going for. These days, it's all about making your wardrobe work hard to achieve your aesthetic, not someone else's. 

From The Frankie Shop's super-popular cargos to a classic designer comeback, these are the early autumn It buys I've seen around.


Twenty twenty-two has been a non-stop march of great trousers coming through, many of which have been wide-legged and high-waisted in silhouette, aka the cut that suits almost everyone. Next in line for the pant throne is (yet another) pair from cult brand, The Frankie Shop. Their tailored, pleat-front styles have already been selling well throughout the year, but now the fashion crowds have turned their attentions to the sportier sister, the cargo. What's great about these patch-pocketed pants is that they still have the same flattering, grown-up polish of tailored trousers only with the added benefit of being a little bit more casual and fun. You can pull in the toggle on the hem to create a tapered line or wear them as a wide-leg.


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Grece Ghanem styles hers with a cropped Breton.


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Loïcka Grâce smartened hers up with '90s heels and a blazer.


Last winter, this cosy jacket became a phenomenon almost overnight on Instagram and sold out faster than we could swish a scarf over our shoulder—all of the influencer set fell for its cosy charms and after being seen on the likes of Monikh, Anouk Yve, Jessica Skye and India of The India Edit, its popularity hasn't waned a jot in a year.

For 2022, it now comes in an additional beige/cream colourway as well as a plain camel iteration without the fringing and whipstitching, and it continues to sell like crazy. This jacket can be credited with starting the entire scarf-coat trend, which many other brands have now emulated by just not the same standard as Totême.


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The cream does look great set against black jeans.


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An conversely, the black against white jeans!


Maison Margiela's iconic Tabi-toed boots and shoes are not new, but they are certainly enjoying a renaissance. Considered the insider's ultimate choice when it comes to quirky footwear you can actually spend all day in, they speak to people in the know and are very seldom copied by other brands because the design is so complicated to achieve. "For the Tabi, he [Martin Margiela] was referencing the Japanese worker's shoe, which traces its lineage as far back as the 15th century. Tabi began as socks. The split-toe design was thought to promote balance through the separation of the big toe—a holistic reflexology strategy that promotes a clear mind. It’s also considered to be connected to your sense of self, and it just happened to fit the thonged sandals commonly worn at the time," explains the writer Arabelle Sicardi on Ssense.com of the style that first graced the runway back in 1988.


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Peeking out from underneath some jeans—subtle.


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There are flats as well as heeled boots to discover.


Since we first documented this jacket last year, it continues to fly out of stores, but we know from previous experience that a restock will come. So don't panic. Just prepare yourself. The trend for quilted and puffer jackets and coats continues, but this season, there's some extra drama in the form of voluminous shapes and a green colour palette. This is the kind of item that looks directional but is also incredibly practical, so it's no great wonder that it's retail catnip right now.


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The perfect partner to leggings.


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But equally good with a lovely dress.


Every now and then, a high-street piece comes along that is too good to ignore, and it's this unusual intarsia knitted tank from COS that is warranting such attention. Maybe it's the autumnal colourway or the abstract leopard print. Perhaps it's the fact that all we can focus on right now is knitted tanks and how to wear them… What we do know is that it's just as good IRL as it seems on the internet, as our very own shopping editor has tried it in-store and loved it. While we patiently await a restock, below are some similar items from the store that are just as strong.


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Cute for a preppy look.


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And a super little layering tool.


It's a slinky little number that's been doing the rounds on social media over the past few months, but the Gia dress has plenty of potential for rewearing into autumn/winter. Thanks to that dark-brown zebra print, demure coverage and long hemline, it can easily work with tights, boots and a coat during the colder months. Expect to see much more of this dress on your feed!


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It does make for a great holiday companion—a very throw-on-and-go kind of style.


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Zebra as a pattern has been coming back into style.


These boots were made for walking… right into your wardrobe! Ganni is no stranger to an It boot or cowboy boots, so it makes sense that when this retro style is hitting its peak comeback moment, the brand would step in and offer the very best pairs around. 

I have it on good authority that they are very comfortable—affiliate editor Emily Dawes (pictured below) wore hers to fashion week and found them great to be in all dang day.


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Let's take a moment to appreciate that stitching.


(Image credit: Michaela Efford @michaelaefford_photography)

Easy to combine with jeans, dresses and skirts.


In the case of today's It bags, the message is go big or go… really teeny tiny. The fashion camps are divided into those who like their handbags to be all-but-the-kitchen-sink spacious and those who want room for a phone, credit card and little else. The jumbo Saint Laurent Icare Maxi Tote appears to be winning out thanks to its unique hobo-style shape, signature quilted and iconic gold logo. It's a little bit of glam for your everyday life and selling like luxury hotcakes: Some retailers are all out stock, and I've seen them going for double the price second-hand on Vestiaire Collective.


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An all-black ensemble brings the drama.


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Enough space to pack all your essentials and then some.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.