25 On-Trend Cotton Items to Buy and Love This Winter (and Next)

Most Wanted is a weekly series in which one Who What Wear team member or friend of the brand will share the top 25 finds on their current wish list.

I love a good trend, and I especially love the challenge of shopping them out at different price points for you guys. Going luxe with designer brands is obviously easy peasy, but finding affordable versions that don't sacrifice on quality is where the real fun begins.

Since online shopping makes things that much more of a gamble, here's a quick tip for figuring out whether an item might be as good IRL as it looks in those e-com photos: Check the description under "composition," and see what materials we're working with. Whether we're talking jeans, jackets, or joggers, a high percentage of cotton is going to help ensure an item is more breathable, touchable, and low on creasy-ness. An added bonus, as someone who is humbly trying to do my bit for the environment, is that these more washing-machine-friendly cotton items equal less dry-cleaning (as well as fewer returns of disappointing online purchases).

So! Back to those particularly good fall and winter trends. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the future is still looking very comfy and wearable, which means now is the time to reinvest in the denim, cardigans, shirts, loungewear, and jackets we tend to dress up or down and live our lives in. Keep scrolling for my high-low mix of on-trend picks, destined to see us all through the months ahead.

Wide-Leg Jeans

FYI, these are the actual jeans I'm wearing in the photo above. I've worn them every day this week, and I'm not sorry.

I'm here to make a case that this ultra-light wash is not just a summer thing.

100% cotton denim means a little more stiffness and a more polished look.

Love the juxtaposition of more casual faded jeans with a heritage print sweater and tidy loafers.

Fashion Cardigans

Love a balloon sleeve as much as I love an ombre stripe.

This, tucked into your wide-leg jeans.

A chunky knit's more breathable in cotton. Also, excuse me, but this looks expensive.

A second set of sleeves to let drape over your shoulders or tie at the neck, if that's more your thing. In other important news, these are the top half of a matching set––shop the ribbed cotton pants here.

Don't hold back when it comes to matching sets.

Belted Jackets & Blazers

Chic utility jackets are having such a moment.

A fraction of the price but still 100% cotton—that slight stiffness gives the silhouette some integrity and makes it feel modern, and the belt and sleeves give that little bit of attitude.

Wear the matching pants for that modern suiting vibe. Highly recommend adding a mock-neck layer for some extra polish.

If Deveaux is not yet on your radar, do I have a treat for you. The New York luxury brand has Tommy Ton (of street style photography fame) at its creative helm, which means you can expect quietly confident pieces that always feel modern and elevated made with fabrics that prioritize durability and sustainability.

The genius of a wrap jacket, just like a wrap dress, is that, by design, it's able to fit you like a glove. (This one even more so, since it's available in three ranges of sizing.)

Oversize Collar Shirts

What started as a micro-trend over spring has emerged as a full-blown fashion moment with no signs of slowing down.

The Ganni S/S 20 runway show was when this really stole our hearts.

This layered under any knitwear is an instant vibe.

If you dig a touch of broderie anglaise, I spied this little treat during my weekly peek at & Other Stories.

As usual, Mango's here to help you dip your toe in the trend.

Elevated Sweatpants

Look, if there were ever a year to invest in quality sweatpants and have zero regrets, this is definitely the one.

I promise: Wide-leg cargo sweatpants will be your blazer’s new best friend.

I've said it before, but if we had to choose a single look that truly defined 2020, this is it.

If you buy these and wonder how the heck they're so soft, it's because Les Tien uses special dyes and wool-steel brushes to ensure their cotton sweats have that ultra-soft, lived-in feel.

These high-waisted joggers are super soft on the inside.