Autumn is the best season to get dressed.
It is fashion's full moon: these are the collections that really sell, so the industry is at creative and fiscal full wax (which is why Vogue's September issue is a big enough deal to make a documentary about). It's also the time for enduring style: for forest tones, new boots and a good coat to catch the first whiff of bonfires in.
I wrote in praise of the season's comforting umami quality this time last year. It's good to know that I'm not alone in having a wardrobe which is 70% autumn clothes (plus 5% seasonal items and 25% almost-but-not-quite-identical leopard-print dresses). So, having appraised Autumn/Winter's key trends a couple of weeks back, today I've chosen some new-season buys that will last a little longer. And what with it still being August I've thrown in some great transitional pieces, which should take you from "legs out" to "opaques" and back again.
Petit Bateau is a great first port of call for classic style, and this season the French label has been given an infusion of aesthetic oxygen by the design duo behind Paris fashion and music label Kitsune, who have been appointed Petit Bateau's artistic directors. Their first collection is cutely yachty, with pea coats, stripes and knits in red, navy, camel and white.
Ever since it was a back-to-school treat, the annual purchase of a new "big coat" has felt special to me. It's been a while since I visited M&S for outerwear, but this season's collection might change my mind. The coats are particularly fab.
If you're more worried about catching a shower than getting cold, invest in Terra rainwear, which is 100% waterproof and equally cool.
For city chic, J-Crew leads the way. The autumn collection is full of sharp but useful classics.
On a more alternative tip, east London label The Whitepepper is my favourite autumn find so far. Their smock dresses and midis are perfect trans-seasonal items.
Speaking of east London brands, the footwear genies at Miista are about to unleash their new collection. Brogues in butter-soft (holographic!) leather and their first handbag collection are new-season treats.
Hobbs' offshoot NW3 is always a go-to for cool-but-understated pieces. My wish list includes these Cecile heels and this cat keyring which is practically pointless yet completely joyful, like so many of the best things in life.
Finally, Topshop might not be a regular pitstop for assiduously ethical shoppers, but if you haven't checked this season's Boutique range, you should. It's British made and beautiful.
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