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Step out in style this autumn: How to style the perfect autumn dress

Update your autumn outfits: Five easy tips for sensational seasonal dressing

The end of summer may mean shorter days and cooler weather, but autumn is a lovely time full of gorgeous colours, activity-filled days and cosy evenings. Read our top tips to make sure that your wardrobe is autumn-ready and step into the new season with confidence and style.

Woman wearing autumn dress in green with boots and red bag1. Keep it natural

We are great believers in wearing whatever makes you feel good. But when the evenings are getting longer and chillier, there is a lot to be said for choosing autumn fashion that will keep you warm and cosy all season long. Natural materials such as wool and cotton are the traditional go-to fabrics for this time of year. They are warm, comfortable to wear, do not rub and allow the skin to breathe.

Wool knits are a perfect choice for autumn dresses. Made from fine, natural fibres these pieces hang beautifully, keep you warm and create a lovely feminine silhouette. Jersey and jacquard fabrics are also ideal options for stylish autumn fashion that will keep you comfortable in style.

2. Layering: Be ready for anything

Autumn is renowned for its changeable weather with unexpected temperature swings and chillier evenings, especially as the year moves on – but there can also be some surprisingly warm days. Be ready for anything by layering your autumn outfits for extra flexibility. Add a base layer, jacket, knit or cardigan to stay comfortable all day and adjust your layers as you need to. A good-sized bag is an invaluable help at this time of year to stow any extra items – and it is never a bad idea to include a foldable umbrella in case of some unexpected rain.

3. Keep it long or take it short – you decide

Once the days get shorter, the urge to cocoon ourselves in lots of cosy fabric to stay warm gets stronger. Whether you prefer longer lengths, shorter ones or somewhere in-between, there are autumn dresses to flatter every body shape and taste, and make the most of your figure.

When deciding whether to go for a long-sleeved or a short-sleeved dress later in the year when the weather can be unpredictable, there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, how much you personally feel the cold. This tends to vary a lot from person to person – and if you are someone who usually needs some extra warmth, long sleeves and an additional layer over the top will probably be the way to go. Secondly, it will depend on your plans for the day and whether you need to dress up or dress down. If you are going into a formal situation, but prefer not to wear a jacket when things turn a little cooler, long-sleeved autumn dresses are a great solution for looking smart without having to put on an extra layer. If you are prone to feeling the cold, or simply prefer to wear an extra cover-up, short-sleeved dresses are a very versatile option. You can pair them with a jacket or blazer as a classic stylish choice for either business or pleasure, or you can add a fine-knit cardigan to short-sleeved autumn dresses for more easy-going chic.

4. Discover all the colours of autumn

One of the lovely things about autumn is its gorgeously varied colour palette. At this time of year many women opt for autumnal shades, but many others prefer more muted post-summer colours such as black and grey. These are also excellent choices: they are elegant, versatile and look great practically everywhere. For example, a “little black dress” with half-length sleeves made from a slightly heavier fabric is perfect for autumn. Or maybe a grey woollen dress which feels just like a big hug on a chilly autumn day, but looks effortlessly chic and polished.

While summer is all about bright colours and vibrant flowery patterns, autumn is often lower-key, with more restrained designs and muted colours. But this does not mean that “muted” has to be “dull”. Black or grey autumn dresses go with anything. Pair your dress with different snuggly-soft knits in contrasting colours, such a patterned cardigan in autumnal shades or a longer-line knitted top, for a fresh new look each time you wear it. Well-chosen accessories will also transform an autumn outfit and help you make it your very own. A belt or scarf is a quick and easy way of adding a pop of colour or an eye-catching feature to your outfit. You can also showcase your individual style by incorporating your signature colour or a treasured piece. For example, a bold brown or burgundy belt adds drama by nipping in your dress at the waist and drawing the eye for a flattering silhouette. A delicately-patterned scarf can be tied or draped at the neck for a sophisticated touch to lift an otherwise simple dress.

Add the finishing touch with some well-chosen jewellery. For example, gold jewellery works wonderfully with black, while silver looks stunning with grey. A red necklace makes a strong statement and adds vibrancy and flair.

5. Style it out

Autumn dresses are so versatile and will take you from the boardroom to lunch out with friends to helping out with excited children at playtime.

For the perfect office outfit, simply slip on a blazer or structured jacket over your black dress, team with nude or dark tights and add a pair of killer heels and a piece of statement jewellery.

For a more relaxed look, combine your black dress with a cuddly patterned cardigan or rock it with a red leather jacket to brighten up a grey day. Keep out the chill with woolly tights and a great pair of go-anywhere shoes or boots.

Enjoy autumn fashion

Follow our five easy tips and you‘ll look sensational this autumn, whatever the occasion.