The Coolest Autumn Outfits Have This Old Trend in Common


(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Whenever someone finds out I’m Scottish, they always ask two things: 1) Do I like haggis? And 2) does everyone wear tartan? Stereotypes aside, these are my answers. 1) No, but lots of my family and friends do, and 2) no, but me? I wear all the tartan I can get.

I’ve always loved tartan outfits, particularly in the colder months when the thick weave loans itself perfectly to the plummeting temperatures. And now, for autumn/winter 2021, I have a feeling lots of you will be joining me in my show of tartan appreciation, as the timeless check is already trending for the season ahead.

Vivienne Westwood, Molly Goddard, Dior, Alessandra Rich, Longchamp, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy are just a few of the brands noted in our bumper trend report that dedicated runway looks to the heritage motif, thus firmly cementing its status as one of fashion’s longest-standing and best-loved prints. Not only that, but I’ve already started seeing lots of influencers styling up their own takes on tartan outfits, which range from wearing a pair of bright-red trews with oversized cashmere to going all out in a top-to-toe check suit.

Out of all the tartan outfits I’ve seen, I’ve assembled an edit of my favourites, which are sure to inspire you to wear tartan in some form this autumn too. Scroll on to see them and to shop any pieces you might find are missing from your wardrobe to re-create them with.



(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

Style Notes: Checked outerwear always makes a comeback in autumn, and tartan is just one of the many ways you can channel it. Wear yours with leather as a cool reference to the punk era, with which tartan was so synonymous. 

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(Image credit: @hannahcrosskey)

Style Notes: There’s no shortage of tartan dresses right now, from Princess Diana–inspired blazer dresses to midi hemlines, just like Hannah Crosskey’s. Add an on-trend knitted bolero for a chic, toasty layer. 

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(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: Over the last few years, jackets have become non-negotiables in our autumn wardrobes, with checks adorning many of them. Look for a tartan shacket to tick off two trends in one. 

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(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Style Notes: Have your own Highland fling in a pretty tartan skirt. Mini, collegiate-style options are always out there, but I think they look most expensive in pleated midi form. 

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(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: Monikh Dale has a knack for creating the coolest looks, so consider it your marching orders to style up a pair of traditional tartan trews with an oversized jumper and black accessories. 

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(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Style Notes: I’ve had this Camille Charrière look bookmarked in my brain since earlier this year, and now’s the perfect time to try it. Take a checked jacket or blazer, belt it, and presto—your daily jeans outfit will feel significantly more exciting. 

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(Image credit: @handinfire)

Style Notes: If dresses aren’t your thing, but you're keen to embrace a full tartan outfit, take your cues from Tiffany Hsu and don a dapper tartan or heritage checked suit. Make the two-piece feel more modern with a pair of bright heels, and it'll work for everything from weddings to drinks out with friends. 

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Next Up, Autumn/Winter 2021 Trends: The Only Fashion Looks You Need to Know

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.