Look Good

The 8 autumn staples to create the ultimate capsule wardrobe

Fashionista and personal stylist, Style by Bella, reveals how to style the top transitional trends.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 05.09.2023

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It’s officially the season of not knowing what to wear. When it’s too hot to pull out our teddy coats from the back of the cupboard but too cold to not wear a jacket.

With new trends and the unpredictable weather we’re having, it can all feel very overwhelming. But as we’re going into the autumn fashion season, it’s all about timeless, transitional pieces that look effortlessly elegant, but with comfort at the forefront.

The ultimate goal is to create an autumn/winter capsule wardrobe that’s filled with fashion staples that are versatile to create multiple looks – something that our bank balance will thank us for later, too.

We caught up with fashionista and personal stylist, Style by Bella, for some styling advice on updating our wardrobe this season.

HLN TOP TIP: If you’re hoping for a full new wardrobe revamp but have no idea where to start– read Rosie’s experience here.

SLEEK KNEE-HIGH BOOTS

Look for leather or suede (or vegan alternatives). Go for a square or pointed toe for a modern look with either a block or kitten heel. You’ll see plenty of ’70s-inspired styles and cowboy boots on the high street this autumn/winter.

How to style: Think understated sexy when you’re styling knee-high boots this season. Pair with black tights, plain miniskirts and simple knitwear in neutral colours with an oversized classic blazer or a long coat.

Dune London - Trinny - Black - £170.00

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John Lewis - Phase Eight - Block Heel Leather Knee High Boots - £169.00

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Office - Kezia Heeled Western Knee Boots - £135.00

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Charles Keith - Textured Block Heel Knee Boots - £105.00

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VERSATILE KNITWEAR

In autumn this year look out for detailed openwork or feminine crochet jumpers that’ll create more of a soft boho look. If that’s not your vibe, there will also be minimal, classic and preppy knitwear dominating the shops.

How to style: Style crochet jumpers with relaxed jeans or trousers and layer with a maxi wool coat or a trench coat. You can also go for classics like a striped jumper, or a cable knit in neutral colours. This option can be worn for both workwear or an off duty look and can be paired with either trousers, jeans or skirts.

Mango - Boat-Neck Knitted Sweater - £35.99

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Boden - Cropped Crochet Jumper - £38.00 (was £95.00)

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Mint Velvet - Neutral Zip Stripe Jumper - £79.00

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Mango - Knitted Braided Sweater - £49.99

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CROSSBODY BAG

If you’re always on the go like me, I love a crossbody bag that I can fit all my essentials in. This season wear it on your waist and look out for minimal and sporty designs that can elevate any daytime outfit.

How to style: The crossbody bag will go over anything, from dresses to blazers and coats, you name it. Pair them with a chunky sporty trainer to tie the look together and to get that ultimate athleisure trend that’s going nowhere.

COS - Swing Crossbody - Leather - £99.00

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John Lewis - ANYDAY - Sia Camera Cross Body Bag - £39.00

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Fenwick - Whistles - Bibi Crossbody Bag - £129.00

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Uniqlo - Round Mini Shoulder Bag - £14.90

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LBC (LONG BLACK COAT) 

For a modern and effortless look opt for an oversized relaxed coat, instead of something more tailored because you don’t want to like you’re attending a funeral.

How to style: If you love sleek knee-high boots, then the LBC will go perfectly with them. To style the long black coat you want the items underneath to be more structured. For example, a fitted ribbed dress or a mini skirt, tights and a jumper and complete the look with a crossbody bag.

All Saints - Mabel Oversized Wool Blend Long Coat - £359.00

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Mango - Leather-effect Trench Coat - £109.99

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NA-KD - Oversized Trenchcoat - £84.95

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Mango - Oversize Wool Coat - £119.99

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RELAXED JEANS

When it comes to denim this season, you’ll spot relaxed fits and mid and light-blue retro washes everywhere over the next few months. Hang up your skinny jeans and swap them for a comfy boyfriend style, wide-leg or straight-leg jeans as comfort is key this season.

How to style: For a smart casual look, pair your jeans with a jumper or an oversized shirt. Or, if you prefer a more casual off-duty look, style them with a graphic sweatshirt or a crochet jumper and trainers.

Marks and Spencer - The Wide-Leg Jeans - £35.00

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Mint Velvet - Light Indigo Wide Jeans - £99.00

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John Lewis - hush - Boyfriend Straight Fit Jeans - £75.00

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Levi - 501 Levi’s Original Jeans - £110.00

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SLOGAN SWEATSHIRT

Slogan sweatshirts are such a simple way to create a perfect weekend look. Do not treat it as gym wear, more like casual daytime wear. You’ll see plenty of branded sweatshirts with slogans or city names in the shops this season.

How to style: Pair your sweatshirt with your slouchy jeans or a midi skirt and trainers for a put-together, but chilled outfit that you can wear for brunch and shopping. Add a sporty crossbody bag and a chunky gold chain necklace or earrings as a final touch.

H&M - Printed sweatshirt - £21.99

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Whistles - Paris Logo Sweat - £79.00

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New Look - Pale Grey NYC Logo Sweatshirt - £12.00

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Selfridges - ANINE BING - Ramona Branded Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt - £150.00

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LUXE LOAFERS

Autumn/winter 2023 has many classics returning to the high street, one of them being the classic luxe loafer. Go for minimal and luxurious styles in neutral colours like tan, beige or black.

How to style: Pair your loafers with cigarette trousers, straight-cut jeans or a statement midi dress as you want to avoid them looking like you are going into the office. You can go for either some elegant flat designs for a chic touch or chunkier styles for a quirkier look. 

 

Mango - Leather Moccasin with Metallic Detail - £59.99

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Office - Franks Chunky Snaffle Leather Loafers - £64.99

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John Lewis - Reiss - Evan Leather Loafers - £158.00

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Dune London - Gallagher - Black - £95.00

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THE CLASSIC MAC 

Another staple that’s never going to go away during this transition period is the classic mac. I wear mine frequently but will style it with more casual items this autumn. You’ll be able to choose from the classic beige, black, grey or khaki tones and will be a great investment for your capsule wardrobe.

How to style: Pair with jeans, trainers and a casual t-shirt or jumper underneath. Wear the mac open and tie the belt on the back for an effortless look. You can even pair it with a pair of leggings, trainers, sweatshirt and style your hair in a sleek bun – think Hailey Bieber-inspired.

Mango - Classic Trench Coat with Belt - £89.99

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Hobbs - Newport Trench - £206.10 (was £229.00)

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New Look - Camel Formal Belted Trench - £49.99

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John Lewis - Whistles Riley Trench Coat - £199.00

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Image credit to By Karolina Photography. Visit her website here.

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