Autumn 2023 Is All About Wardrobe Necessities—10 Runway Looks That Translate IRL


(Image credit: Bottega Veneta; Ferragamo; Loewe; Gucci)

This autumn, we're going back to the basics. After several years in which we saw the rise of vibrant dopamine dressing and all manner of risqué Y2K-era ensembles, things are getting simpler this season—much simpler. In fact, if you look beyond the current season, you'll notice a larger paradigm shift from exuberant, OTT dressing to the reassurance of classic silhouettes brought about by the quiet-luxury aesthetic. 

This "return to the classics" mindset can be seen in everything from what celebrities are wearing to the logoless designer bags of the moment, but nowhere is this shift more apparent than on the autumn/winter 2023 runways. Dubbed "fashion realism" by Matches in its A/W 23 report, it's all about a return to clothes that are meant to be worn by real people in their real lives. The concept is so on the nose it's almost silly to call it novel. Of course, clothes are meant to be worn in real life! But after seasons of pendulum-swinging extremes, it's refreshing to finally be able to see yourself among the parade of models from the runways of fashion's top houses such as Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu, Loewe, and Ferragamo.

"This approach to dressing resonates with so many women, including myself," says Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at Matches, who reports that key everyday items like flats, sneakers, and denim are all spiking in growth at the retailer. "It is less of a trend and simply more reflective of how women are dressing for their varying lifestyles. From Miu Miu's coats layered with hooded sweatshirts and leather jackets to Gucci's relaxed denim, this is clothing we can see ourselves wearing straight from the runway." 

Not only is the fashion realism movement producing clothing that will actually take us throughout our day, but it's also a valuable lesson in the building blocks of a functional, long-lasting wardrobe. Ahead, we're highlighting the 10 autumn/winter 2023 runway looks that translate the best IRL and how to re-create the vibe of each.



(Image credit: Bottega Veneta)

Matthieu Blazy seems to have a knack for producing the kind of effortless model-off-duty looks that models do indeed wear off duty. Kendall Jenner is a huge fan, for one. This satisfyingly simple look at Bottega Veneta is a perfect reminder of the power that great basic items hold. A crisp white tank, languid and lived-in denim, and a leather carryall tote are all items every closet needs to have. 

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(Image credit: Gucci)

This season qualified as the odd in-betweener that bridged the gap in creative directors at the Italian house. Despite it—or perhaps because of it—the collection was a sartorial palate cleanser. It's not every day we can say that we'd copy and paste a Gucci runway look right into our wardrobes, yet that's exactly what we'd do with many of the pared-back looks we saw. Here, oversize tailoring in the form of a classic trench coat, a striped shirt, and baggy denim seemed to mirror the outfit formula many of our editors repeat during the workweek. 

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(Image credit: Ferragamo)

Wardrobe basics often default to casual, but this Ferragamo look holds all the proof that they can be dressed up too. Combining sleek elements like a scoop-neck bodysuit and leather trousers in the same hue, consider this your cue to extend the shelf life of certain staples into nighttime dressing.

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(Image credit: Miu Miu)

Everyone saw a bit of themselves in the mussed-up and frazzled Miu Miu girls this season. With layers of coats, plain hoodies, leggings, and trainers, this is the image of a woman on the go—whether from her Pilates class or morning meetings—and the hyperrealistic runway is one our editors have already raced to re-create IRL.

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(Image credit: Loewe)

At Loewe, it was all about exaggerating certain wardrobe necessities. A knitted skirt set and massive tote bag make for a fall workwear uniform, but with designer Jonathan Anderson's cheeky play on realism with oversize shapes and elongated sleeves, it's wearable but far from basic.

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(Image credit: Versace)

Like its peers this season, Versace underscored the importance of wardrobe classics like the white shirt and blue jeans. Per the brand's DNA, sleek pumps, diamond studs, and a croc-embossed clutch brought a glam element to the basics, but the lesson remains—keeping these items on lock is key to building a strong wardrobe.

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(Image credit: Tory Burch)

Like many others this season, Tory Burch ruminated on the power in classics like the beige trench, pencil skirt, and button-down shirt. Put together, they may not amount to much excitement, so take note of the brand's subversive styling and try the basics with fishnet tights to add a little bit of spice.

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(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

Saint Laurent is bringing back '80s power dressing, and with it comes a renewed focus on office-ready staples like cigarette trousers and silk blouses. The chic and highly wearable pieces are a breath of fresh air from the cutouts and low-rises of seasons past.

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(Image credit: The Row)

Rejoice! The slouchy pantsuit is here to stay, according to The Row. The quiet-luxury powerhouse was home to many suiting looks this season, and it solidified their place in our wardrobes this season and beyond. Take note of the styling choice here—popping the collar of your shirt over the blazer lapels is a savvy move.

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(Image credit: Prada)

Prada has built a reputation for its trustworthy staples over the years, and this fall, the brand has doubled down on signatures like pencil skirts and kitten heels. Prada's may be embellished with delicate floral embroidery, but the effect they have when styled with simple crew-neck sweaters is one that anybody can re-create with the right silhouettes.

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This story originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. 

Up next, Experts Agree: These Autumn/Winter 2023 Fashion Trends Really Count

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.