These H&M Pieces Looked So Good Online I Decided to Try Them in Person


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

Welcome to The Great Try-On. With fall on the horizon, we seized the opportunity to try on some of the best fall pieces from some of your favorite brands, documenting the process along the way. We believe that the most foolproof way to shop online is to see an item IRL and to read candid reviews, so we hope that this leads you to some successful fall purchases.

I'm no stranger to a splurge, but like most people, I like saving my money. Whenever I'm in the mood for fashion that's on-trend and affordable and that won't break down in one wash, H&M is like my home base. As a faithful shopper of the brand, I can also say that the quality has greatly improved over the years. Add to that its growing commitment to sustainable materials, and I really can't find a reason why I'd shop elsewhere. 

It's not uncommon for me to do mid-season hauls from the store on my own, but this time, I was able to take a few new arrivals for a test-drive as soon as they hit the site. And if you're well versed in the language of H&M, you'll know that all the brand's best hits are only available as online exclusives. I scrolled through and uncovered a bunch of pieces I eagerly wanted to try IRL, including some seasonal knit staples and a few funky bits that really caught my eye. To hear my unfiltered thoughts and to see how everything fit, keep scrolling below.

H&M Cable-Knit Sweater Vest & Ribbed Pants


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: Last season, I couldn't open my laptop without seeing a knitted sweater-vest. It was a ridiculously huge trend in 2020, but admittedly, I didn't jump on it right away. It doesn't seem like sweater-vests are waning anytime soon, so I eagerly added this one to my closet. Honestly, it's one of my favorite pieces of the haul. Truly, it's so cozy yet intentionally stylish, adding an element of polish. I've worn it with a silk ruched Helmut Lang skirt (one of my current go-to looks), but for more laid-back scenarios, I love to pair it with these easy ribbed pants. I can say definitively that I'll be wearing this combo all season.


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

Shop the Cable-Knit Sweater Vest:

Shop the Ribbed Pants:

H&M Sleeveless Jacket & Ankle-Length Pants


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: If it isn't obvious by now, I love a good matching set. When you're juggling events, work, and a social life, a structured suit is the easiest way to toggle between everything without a precarious outfit change. This vest suit set is unlike anything I currently own, and I'm so glad I took the plunge. The sleeveless jacket really works for the unpredictable September weather, and if it really gets chilly, you can easily layer a turtleneck underneath. Sadly, this particular two-piece is low in stock, but H&M is the home of affordable suit sets, so there are plenty more like it available now.

Shop the Sleeveless Jacket:

Shop the Ankle-Length Pants:

Shop another suit I love:

H&M Sleeveless Shirt Jacket & Wide High Jeans


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: Another round of applause for vests. This denim topper isn't something I'd pick out instinctively at a store, but I'm all for experimentation. To my surprise, it was flattering without being shapeless, and the mid-blue wash made this feel like a vintage find I'd spend years looking for. I put it together with one of H&M's basic tanks (one of my favorite basics of all time) and a pair of loose cream-colored jeans. Altogether, this was a look I could see myself throwing on when I want to go for a quick drink or to run errands. 


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

Shop the Sleeveless Shirt Jacket:

Shop the Ribbed Tank Top:

Shop the Wide High Jeans:

H&M Lacing-Detail Crop Top & Wide-Cut Lyocell-Blend Pants


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: This really doesn't look like H&M at all. You could totally fool people into thinking this came from someplace like Ssense or Opening Ceremony, but the reality is it costs way less than you'd expect. The contrast stitching really sets it off, but if there's one thing that stopped it from becoming a complete win for me, it was the super-short length. I'd advise wearing it with high-waisted bottoms (like these pull-on pants) to counteract the cropped look, but I'm sure fans of the Y2K wave will go for ultra-low-rise jeans. On the flip side, these pants are quite comfortable and are an all-around useful staple.

Shop the Lacing-Detail Crop Top:

Shop the Wide-Cut Lyocell-Blend Pants:

H&M Smock-Detail Satin Dress


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: I could go on and on about the perks of a midi dress like this, so I'll keep it brief. It's a quintessential throw-it-on-and-go piece. The gathered waist and silky satin material add an air of elegance that makes this number look special and expensive. A note on the fit: You'll want to size down unless you want an oversize look. I wore this with snakeskin boots for my try-on, but H&M also sent me these rugged tall boots, which made for an equally stylish combo.


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

Shop the Smock-Detail Satin Dress:

H&M Knit Pants & Ribbed Tank Top


(Image credit: @indyabrown)

My review: It's with a heavy heart that I admit I wasn't the biggest fan of these pants. They had all the makings of a cool, memorable piece, but the material was a bit too thin for my liking. Conversely, the pleats are fun and extremely on-trend.

Shop the Knit Pants:

Next up: I Got to Try On Whatever I Wanted From Reformation—These 7 Pieces Won Me Over

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.