New-Trends Alert: 7 That Will Give Your Autumn Outfits a Head Start

For years, I’ve been lying to myself. I’ve always said my favourite time of year in terms of fashion is autumn: the layering, the mixing of materials, the typically rich colour palette. However, I now understand that I look at this time wearing rose-tinted glasses. I hate being cold, and naturally, with autumn comes a temperature dip. I also function better and feel more up to the task of assembling an outfit in the lighter mornings—something autumn also slowly strips away. So it’s occurred to me that my favourite season to get dressed isn’t autumn; it’s pre-fall.

As the term suggests, pre-fall is the identifier of that glorious gap between summer and autumn, when there’s a slight chill in the air, but one that feels exhilarating, a jolt of freshness that not only perks you up but also inspires you anew. This summer, I’ve enjoyed wearing nothing but linen and taking my holiday clothes out of two-year storage to wear once more, but I’m ready to embrace the beauty of the blended seasons, wearing the pieces I love most from both my warm- and cold-weather wardrobes. Dresses with knitwear, sandals with leather trousers, miniskirts with woollen blazers—during the months of autumn to late September, you can throw open your wardrobe doors and embrace just about everything inside.



Still, with each pre-fall comes its own set of new trends, as showcased in the designer pre-fall collections. These are, as the name suggests, the precursor to their mainline autumn/winter offerings and will help you better understand the aesthetic that speaks to you for the season ahead. That’s not to say, however, that these trends don’t have staying power. Pre-fall collections are usually more commercially minded than the creations that make it onto the fashion week runways, meaning they’re crafted with wearability and longevity in mind. So if you’re looking to get a head start on autumn, this is the perfect place to start.

Below, I’ve pinpointed seven versatile pre-fall 2022 trends that succinctly summarise autumn's key looks and will enrich your wardrobe from the moment you start wearing them. Enjoy!




Style Notes: A recurring theme in many of the collections I pored through (and trust me—there were a lot) was the off-the-shoulder silhouette. As I’m sure you’ll recall, giving the cold shoulder was a big fashion mood circa 2016 and 2017, but over the past few seasons, it hasn’t felt quite as prevalent. Well, let’s hope you held on to any off-the-shoulder items you might have invested in previously, as they’re back in a big way for 2022. 

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(Image credit: COURTESY OF A.P.C. )

Style Notes: It was impossible to ignore the big cat energy that prowled its way down the A/W 22 runways. In fact, I’ve noticed that since the collections showed back in February, the print has begun cropping up in countless edits, both high-street and high-end. If that weren’t enough, Alexa Chung has been wearing an inordinate amount of leopard lately, and we know that she never misses a beat. 

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Style Notes: There’s just something about the modern poncho that feels so premium, especially when it comes in the form of wool. An integral part of the rich aunt wardrobe, the layering piece has filtering into the chicest of collections for 2022, with designer iterations barely holding stock. Layer yours over crisp shirting or a cashmere sweater, and finish with a sparkling tennis necklace for a look that says "I’m a luxury.”

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Style Notes: Sometimes, inspiration comes from the simplest of places, and it seems that designers are quite taken with the white shirt for 2022. We all have a one hanging in our wardrobes, but to make it feel fresh for autumn, take a tip from the pre-fall collections, and style yours under a black corset or strapless top. It might sound niche, but this is a look I saw over and over again when going through the thousands of images in our pre-fall archive. 

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(Image credit: COURTESY OF CHLOÉ)

Style Notes: Co-ords are just about as groundbreaking for autumn as florals are for spring. (That really is the pop-culture film quote that keeps on giving, isn’t it?) Still, it would be remiss of me not to highlight their significance considering literally every pre-fall collection included at least one. This time around, it’s skirt co-ords that are coming through as the need-to-own pairing, of which there are already plenty of shopping options. 

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Style Notes: I’ll talk handbag trends all day, every day, but one I had previously overlooked for autumn was the elongated bag seen at the likes of Jil Sander. Where other brands presented bags emblazoned with logos and all the trimmings, pre-fall’s oblong silhouette is quietly statement, which I would argue is more impactful. 

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Style Notes: No one was more surprised at the return of the tube dress this summer. Because it was the linchpin of my university uniform, I raised an eyebrow when I began seeing it crop up in my pre-fall research. Though, it’s plain to see they look significantly chicer than the tight minis I used to wear. Fabrications vary between knit and heavy jersey, both of which settle on and sculpt the body beautifully. Opt for a vest neckline for day-to-day wear or a bandeau tube for elegant evenings. 

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Next Up, Autumn/Winter 2022 Trends: The 15 Fashion Looks You Need to Know About

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.