I Have Modest Style—6 Outfits I'm Looking Forward to Re-creating this Autumn

2023 has granted us a year of defining trends and sweeping fashion phenomena. Microtrends have spanned from fruit-centred aesthetics (Tomato and Strawberry Girl), pop culture inspired Barbiecore and Mermaidcore, and then came the attainment of the quiet luxury aesthetic. Meanwhile, subdued trends have coasted alongside these and presented us with some of the most elevated styles of clothing.

Although the styles reinforced on the catwalk have been varied, the consensus for 2023 fashion is that extended hemlines are in and the notion of modest dressing is here to stay. What the micromini was to 2022, the maxi is to ’23. The styles introduced have included sweeping denim skirts, generous swathes of silk and free-flowing tailored trousers. Womenswear has become sleek and occasion-forward—from the fluidity and lustre of bias-cut dresses to longline waistcoats matched with full-circle skirts. Modest fashion has been celebrated by Islamic women for years and it’s now widely recognised for its stylistic references and refinement. Referring to less skin-bearing styles, it birthed a plethora of demure necklines—cowl, boat-neck, and rippled fabrics.

I’ve pulled six inspirational outfits from our Instagram favourites—from maxi skirts and blazer pairings to imaginative ways to elevate a poplin shirt. As we head towards autumn and the temperatures drop, these looks will undoubtedly come into their own and work on rotation in our wardrobes. I, for one, can't wait. Scroll on to discover the six modest autumn outfits I'm re-creating this season.

1. Wrap Cardigan + Linen Trousers


(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Tones will inevitably get darker as the seasons change but there's something statement about wearing natural fabrications in said tones. It's slightly moody whilst retaining the nonchalent character of linen and cotton. Stretch your wear out of these pieces until we have to bundle up.

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2. White Shirt + Full Skirt + Slingback Heels


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Floaty lengths, tick. Crisp tailoring, tick, and bold jewels, tick. Sylvie's look is one after my heart and an ensemble I'd likely wear in five years time.

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3. Relaxed Blazer + Linen Skirt + Flats


(Image credit: @modestmira_)

Style Notes: Mira is the Queen of fashion forward modest outfits. Here, she juxtaposes textiles for a transitional look you can wear from now.

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4. Relaxed Polo T-shirt + White Maxi Skirt + Heeled Boots


(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style Notes: Make like Marilyn and don a neutral toned extended hemline look as we usher towards autumn. The natural fabrications and pale colourways are less common in the cooler months but it makes this look all the more inspiring.

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5. Tailored Trousers + T-Shirt + Mules


(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

Style Notes: Anne-Victoire demonstrates the appeal of pairing simple elements together. The individual components are pared-back but together it creates a sleek uniform.

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6. High Neck Maxi Dress 


(Image credit: @isabellecoheen)

Style Notes: This is my favourite dress style this year. I adore the impact of a high neckline maxi dress with a streamlined silhouette. Just add a bag and pumps and you're set for the evening.

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Next Up: I'm Anti-Trend But These New-Season Items Work With My Autumn Capsule Wardrobe

Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities. She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist. Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne. She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.