It’s safe to say we’re now well into autumn winter and the whole host of new trends that arrived with it.
After 18 months of hiding in isolation, fashion is back on the agenda. If last winter was about loungewear, this season is about the exact opposite.
Autumn winter 2021-22 has some of the boldest trends we’ve seen in a long time. Usually characterised by dark hues, heavy fabrics and casual attire, this season is gearing us up to embrace extravagance from head to toe.
Of course there will always be a place in our hearts for practical, casual and comfortable fashion (Cosy PJs and comfy slippers, we’re looking at you), but now we’re embracing our ability to go out, see our friends and dress up, which was clear at the AW21 shows.
Elsa Schiaparelli got it exactly right when she famously said, “In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.”
Crayola brights, faux fur everything, micro minis, in-your-face logos and extravagant party looks are just some of the key trends for the season that you’re about to get well acquainted with.
Here are the trends you’re by now seeing everywhere, and where to buy the look on the high street. Plus, the key pieces Fashion Editor Lynne McKenna has chosen for AW21-22.
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Blink and you might miss them. While the chill may mean we’re usually forced to cover up in winter, there’s no reason why we can’t show a glimpse of skin.
It’s made much easier by the cut-out trend, which is a continuation of one of summer’s most-loved looks. This time around, blazers, skirts, tops and dresses have been sliced, showing shoulders, waists and decolletages.
Spotted at Sonia Carrasco, Givenchy, David Koma, Temperley, Halpern, Off-White and Emilia Wickstead.
Cut-out Dress, £12.99, H&M – buy now
Women’s Cut Out Midi Dress, £340, Self-Portrait – buy now
Orange Choker Neck Cut Out Top, now £15, River Island – buy now
Who says knitwear needs to be plain?
Fair Isle knits covered the catwalks at Molly Goddard, Chanel, Etro, Paco Rabanne, Balenciaga and Miu Miu, the latter actually staging its show at a ski resort in Italy.
The trend could be a nod to the nation craving adventure and escaping to the country during and since the pandemic, but even if you haven’t, these knits will get you in the mood for the slopes.
Spotted at Etro, Miu Miu, Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne, Molly Goddard, Junya Watanabe, MM6, Balenciaga, Dsquared2, Rentrayage, Chanel, and Vivienne Westwood.
Driftwood Knitted Jumper, £89.95, Barbour – buy now
Étoile Women’s Marikla Coat, £495, Isabel Marant – buy now
Print Knit Cotton Sweater, now £15.99, Mango – buy now
Every year dark hues dominate for Autumn Winter but crayola brights stole the AW21 shows, with neon featuring heavily at Balmain, Roksanda, Prada, Versace and Bottega Veneta.
After 18 months of loungewear, expect to see colour covering everything, from head-to-toe.
Spotted at Balmain, Roksanda, Prada, Versace, Molly Goddard, Bottega Veneta, Ferragamo, Raf Simons, Loewe, JW Anderson, Chanel and Burberry.
ASOS DESIGN Curve Edit stretch midi shirt dress, £45 – buy now (up to size 30)
Cross Body Bag, £129, Kurt Geiger at The Hut – buy now
Noon Dress, £290, ROTATE Birger Christensen at Coggles – buy now
Shades of Brown
Chocolate brown might often skip your imagination when it comes to fashion, but it was good enough to eat on the AW21 runway.
At Chloé, brown came in an abundance of textures and teamed together for a comfy, cosy look, while Acne mixed textures with leather and knitted details.
If you’re not into Crayola brights, this could be the trend for you this season.
Spotted at Acne, Chloé, Chanel, Fendi, Ami, Schiaparelli, Gestuz, Rabens Saloner and Holzweiler.
The Attico Single-breasted Blazer, £938, The Attico at Farfetch – buy now
Open Back Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, £95, & Other Stories – buy now
Long-Sleeve T-shirt With Ruffles, £19.99, Mango – buy now
Logos and monograms have been growing in popularity in recent years, with Fendi and Gucci being just some of the labels to champion the retro look.
Now, Versace, Balmain, Loewe and Max Mara are celebrating the look with their AW21 collections, bringing back the 70s-inspired trend in an array of head-to-toe monogrammed looks in muted and monochrome tones.
This look doesn’t need to break the bank. While luxury labels have championed the look for decades, the high street has plenty of monogrammed pieces up for grabs.
Spotted at Versace, Balmain, Loewe, Max Mara, Fendi, Chanel and Gucci.
Satin Logo Tote Bag, £195, See by Chloé – buy now
Oblique Diortwin Square Scarf, £360, Dior – buy now
Soft Tabby Shoulder Bag, £425, Coach – buy now
More is More
Party fashion comes back around every winter, but this year, prepare for all out extravagance.
Sequins, embellishment, glitter and silky fabrics are back with a bang, while silhouettes are exaggerated and too much is never enough.
Spotted at Stella McCartney, Halpern, Ashish, Burberry, Loewe, Erdem, Dries Van Noten, Versace, Valentino and Louis Vuitton.
Edie Party Dress, £195, Alexa Chung – buy now
Feather & Sequin Mini Dress £120, ASOS EDITION – buy now
Ponchos and Capes
I’ve been waiting for ponchos and capes to take off after years of the trend being teased on the runway.
This year, designers including Prada, Chloé, Burberry, JW Anderson and many more showed iterations of the outerwear piece in their shows, making a clear case for their return.
Spotted at Prada, Alberta Feretti, JW Anderson, Burberry and Chloé.
Recycled Polyester Oversized Cape, now £300, GANNI – buy now
As we all now know, skinny jeans are out. Of course, trends never disappear for long, but that’s what fashion (and Gen Z) has decided since the start of the pandemic.
Instead, slouchy denim is taking over, with Celine, Chanel, Peter Petrov, Ganni and many more amongst the designers celebrating the re-emergence of Y2K style.
Spotted at Celine, Chanel, Peter Petrov, Ganni, Rag & Bone, Peter Do and Petar Petrov.
Blue Baggy Jeans, £109.95, Calvin Klein at NA-KD – buy now
Faux Fur Everything
Faux fur never strays far from the runway during Autumn Winter, but this time, it’s not just coats adorned with fur.
In 2021, as well as chic outerwear from Fendi, Givenchy, Prada and more, furry boots, hats and scarves appeared at Chanel, Burberry and Stand Studio, among others.
For those who prefer to keep it understated, adding a touch of faux fur in the form of accessories this autumn will make the perfect style statement and keep you cosy too.
Spotted at Fendi, Givenchy, Prada, Chanel, Burberry, Petar Petrov, Peter Do, Acne Studios and Stand.
Katie Long Faux Fur Coat Green Checkerboard, £279, Jakke LDN – buy now
Lorca Crochet-Collar Faux-Fur Coat, now £422, Shrimps – buy now
If you were as in love with Gucci’s monogrammed tights last year, you’ll love the fact that printed tights are making their comeback for AW21.
Prabal Gurung, Vivienne Westwood, Prada and Maisie Wilen followed the more is more mentality, with the former matching their polka dot statement tights to their dresses.
Spotted at Prabal Gurung, Vivienne Westwood, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Maisie Wilen.
READ MORE: How to Wear Printed Tights
After being one of the key colours for SS21, green continues to dominate in AW21. In fact, ‘Green Bee,’ a ‘grassy green that perpetuates nature’ was one of Pantone’s colours for London Fashion Week AW21.
Ganni, Kenzo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney and more embraced the colour in a variety of tones, ranging from the deep and earthy, to pastel green and neons.
Spotted at Ganni, Kenzo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Elleme, JW Anderson, Baum und Pferdgarten and Rotate.
Green Ripstop Wrap Midi Dress, now £157, Ganni – buy now
Leather Bucket Handbag, now £49.99, Zara – buy now
Puffer jackets are bigger, bolder and more exaggerated than ever before. Prada, Givenchy, Marni, Balenciaga, Chanel and Louis Vuitton blew up their padded pieces and they came in every shape and form, from cropped jackets to ponchos and longline coats.
Spotted at Stand, Givenchy, Marni, Isabel Marant, Raf Simons, Remain, Khaite and Jason Wu.
Quilted Jacket, £27.99, H&M – buy now
Another trend continuing its journey from spring summer 2021 are micro minis. Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and Fendi displayed an array of mini skirts amongst them.
Spotted at Valentino, Chanel, Self-Portrait, Lanvin, Versace, Schiaparelli, D&G, Fendi and Tom Ford.
Quilted Mini Skirt, £65, & Other Stories – buy now
High-Waisted Checked Stretch-Woven Mini Skirt, £200, Self Portrait at Selfridges – buy now
Knitwear can hardly be seen as a trend for AW21 as it features heavily every single year, but what made this season different is the colour palette.
Designers including Chloé, Ports 1961, Fendi were amongst the designers who embraced neutral tones in caramels, outmeals, creams and browns, with layering playing a key part.
Chunky scarves were thrown over jumpers worn over knitted skirts at Ports 1961, co-ords were seen at Altuzarra and Proenza Schouler and knitted details featured in Chloé in the form of fringing.
Spotted at Ami, Chloé, Ports 1961, Fendi, Proenza Schouler and Ports 1961.
Bra-effect knitted sweater, £29.99, Mango – buy now
White half zip knit sweater, £35, Monki – buy now
There’s a place for platforms and sky-high heels, but this season it’s time to embrace the chunky shoe.
As seen at Dior, Loewe, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Prada, Gucci and more.
Platform Chelsea Boots, £34.99, H&M – buy now
Chunky Leather Penny Loafers, £110, & Other Stories – buy now
Top 10 Key Pieces For AW21
Fashion Editor Lynne McKenna has translated the trends into 5 of the most wearable pieces of the season.
If you’re struggling with how to make AW21’s biggest looks work for you, this list will be your new best friend.
Team wide-leg denim with chunky heels and tailored blazers for a smart way to wear this trend, or keep it casual in box fresh trainers, a retro T-shirt and denim jacket.
Keep in mind proportions and opt for a high-rise styles that will elongate the body to create some balance.
High Loose Jeans, now £60, Levi [Sustainable] – Buy Now
Organic Cotton Jeans, now £9.99, Reserved [Eco Aware] – Buy Now
This itsy-bitsy item adds a whole lotta sass and a great excuse to show off our new love affair with tights, another key trend.
Team with slouchy cardies or chunky jumpers in the day, or a skin tight polo neck, over the top jewellery and knee high boots for the evening.
A-line Skirt, £19.99, H&M – buy now
The jumper dress is the chicest way to stay comfy and stylish all at the same time this season.
Block heel boots and an oversized belt add a girl about town vibe, while biker boots and jacket make it the perfect weekend go-to.
Wool knit V-neck dress, now £39.95, Massimo Dutti – buy now
The sweater vest is the perfect piece to see you through the season.
Wear with bare arms during the sunnier days of the season, layer over a crisp white shirt for the office and add a polo neck when the colder months hit.
Orange and ivory psychedelic intarsia sweater vest, £65, Glassworks – buy now
Cable Knit Vest, £155, Rixo – buy now
This giant hug of a coat doesn’t have to be dowdy. Once relegated to hikers and your nan, thanks to lockdown and socially distance walks, it has become part of our lives.
Team bright coloured puffers with super cute prints as seen at Dsquared, play around with proportions like Louis Vuitton or rock it Celine-style in a biker version. There’s a cosy cool coat out there for every style.
Cropped puffer jacket, £50, Monki – buy now
High-collared puffer jacket, £29.99, Pull & Bear – buy now
We’ve been covered up in our comfies for far too long, but baring all is an art form and the sheer dress is a great way to embrace coming out of the restraints of lockdown in a stylish and sophisticated way.
Valentino styled it right with a mix of lace and draping, while Versace kept it classic with a belted bodice surrounded by billowing sleeves and flowing skirt.
Joanne Printed Mesh Dress, £39, Weekday – buy now