Eight essential style updates you need to know for autumn

Goodbye summer, hello fresh fashion season. Wondering how to best update your look this autumn? Here are eight simple hacks to bring you up to speed.

1. The colour: moss

The palette for autumn is, ordinarily, reflective of the season itself, replete with all manner of rich, earthy tones – happily, they also tend towards classic, neutral shades that are easy to work with. This holds true again this autumn, but alongside the usual navy, sand and slate, moss emerges as a hero colour, seen at Valentino, Fendi and Lanvin, among others. The military cues of this shade work in nicely with one of the key trends of the season.

2. The silhouette: relaxed

The time has come to loosen up. The push away from slim and skinny cuts has been underway for a little while now, but this season relaxed silhouettes come to the fore. It's all about wide-legged trousers (preferably pleated as seen at Giorgio Armani, Bottega Veneta), funnel neck knits and extra-long shirt sleeves (both showcased by Burberry), and jumbo outerwear – Marc Jacobs and Givenchy are championing the oversized parka.

3. The detail: appliqué

Decorative detailing provides a major stylistic talking point for the fashion-forward man this season. Gucci has dabbled in the needlework trend for a little while now and this season it's in full flight across suiting, slippers, brogues and bomber jackets. Elsewhere, fashion houses including Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana are getting in on the act, but the look is also cropping up in high street retailers like H&M. Look for luxe textiles embellished with embroidery or badges.

4. The basic: polo shirt

The collared tee is in the midst of a style resurgence and we're about to hit peak polo. Labels like Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Ben Sherman have virtually built their brands around this preppy basic, but others like Saint Laurent and Loewe are getting in on the act. Bottega Veneta is embracing the polo hard, offering up long and short-sleeved versions with button or zip collar. On the runway, polos were layered over shirting, tees and turtlenecks. We prefer the traditional textured pique cotton (great under a relaxed suit) over jersey fabrics, but each to their own.

5. The shoe: chunky

For a fashion-forward footwear update, the motto for autumn seems to be: the chunkier the better. Like the new oversized silhouettes coming through, this is all about exaggerated shapes and proportions. Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Y-3 and Lanvin are among the proponents of the statement sole, with trainers, derbies and sandals arriving shod in the thickest rubber.

6. The accessory: neckerchiefs

The charm of this wardrobe update is that it's an easy and affordable route to looking on-trend. It's also highly appropriate for much of Australia, where big, wooly scarves tend to be surplus to requirements for 90 percent of the year. Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Valentino were among the luxury brands showing how to work a natty neckerchief or bandana, using it to inject a bit of print and pizazz to autumn layering.

7. The pattern: checks

Checks have all but replaced stripes as the default for men's shirting (for work and play) but, this season, expect the love affair to deepen. The geometric print branches out, moving beyond shirts to take up residence on tailoring, outerwear and knitwear. In the real world, gingham currently reigns as the pattern supreme but anyone after a more directional look should opt for variations that are more tonal (Balenciaga), modern (Vuitton) or on sporty separates (Alexander Wang).

8. The look: utilitarian

Military cues at Dries Van Noten, sling packs at Givenchy, coveralls at Ralph Lauren, straps and buckles at Comme des Garcons – one of the big influences of the season is utilitarianism. Be it a patch pocket, cargo pant or zip detailing, exuding a sense of pragmatism is key. Even if those fastenings and fixtures are more style statement than functional feature.


Check out the gallery above to see this season's must-have style updates.