Words: Thea Bichard. Images: Lukas Wassmann.
Our guide to bringing personality, playfulness and purpose to your outfits this season


Words: Thea Bichard. Images: Lukas Wassmann.
Our guide to bringing personality, playfulness and purpose to your outfits this season

September is just around the corner and the AW21 collections from our favourite designers have started to arrive. Now’s the time to start looking tentatively towards the cooler months and what that means for our clothes. 

Just to caveat, we’re not rewriting rules or rewiring our entire wardrobes here, but the past however-many months have helped us all to refine what we want and what we’re missing. From investing in exciting young designers who are revitalising menswear, to experimenting with accessories – here’s how we’ll be lighting a sartorial spark for the season ahead. 

DRIES VAN NOTEN – Crinkled shell bomber jacket and Geometric-print turtleneck stretch-woven top / (DI)VISION – Two-panel shell trousers (coming soon) / GIVENCHY – 4G brand-plaque nylon cross-body pouch / RAY-BAN – Rb3183 rectangle-frame sunglasses


We all need multitasking clothes in our lives – especially for the unpredictable autumn weather. Our newfound appreciation for the outdoors and desire to find clothes that we can treasure long past the current season means we’re welcoming the current influx of military- and workwear-inspired utilitarian style.  


Decade-defying MA-1 bomber jackets – which crossed over from army-issue uniform into civilian style in the 50s and never left – appeared in countless autumn collections: Dries Van Noten’s crinkled olive-green version and the supersized styles from Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada’s first co-created menswear collection at Prada deftly tread the line between front row and fighter pilot. As for trousers, branch out from blue jeans to take your outfits up a notch: Tory Van Thompson and (di)vision’s upcycled pairs and the original, iconic workwear from Dickies are both ideal for everyday. 

HOMME PLISSE ISSEY MIYAKE – High-neck drawstring-hem shell hooded trench coat, Crewneck boxy-fit cotton-jersey T-shirt / (DI)VISION – Checked shirt (coming soon) / LOEWE – Straight-leg jeans (coming soon) / GEORGIA KEMBALL – Flower pendant sterling-silver chain necklace and Gold flower ring (both coming soon) / HATTON LABS – Marshmallow sterling-silver and freshwater-pearl necklace / IVAN CLOTHING – Ends ripstop upcycled-cotton bucket hat / BOTTEGA VENETA – Beak leather belt bag and Puddle Bomber mesh and rubber ankle boots
HOMME PLISSE ISSEY MIYAKE – High-neck drawstring-hem shell hooded trench coatCrewneck boxy-fit cotton-jersey T-shirt / (DI)VISION – Checked shirt (coming soon) / GEORGIA KEMBALL – Flower pendant sterling-silver chain necklace and Gold flower ring (both coming soon) / HATTON LABS – Marshmallow sterling-silver and freshwater-pearl necklace / IVAN CLOTHING – Ends ripstop upcycled-cotton bucket hat


“This season’s accessories are all about having fun and experimenting with colour and texture,” says our Men’s Designer and Accessories Buyer, Yasmin Mehmet. Arguably, adding a bag, hat or piece of jewellery is the easiest way to mix up an outfit, and the collective desire to shake off strict fashion rules and embrace our personal style means that now is the perfect time to dabble. “We’ve seen a strong search for playful pieces that catch the eye,” Yasmin continues. “Pearls are huge at the moment – Hatton Labs has nailed this look. We’ve also introduced Georgia Kemball this season, whose beautiful decorative flower pendants and rings are key to amplifying a classic tailored outfit. Pair with a bucket hat, a Bottega bag, and you’re ready to hit the town.” 

ACNE STUDIOS – Okey contrast-stitching cotton jacket / MARNI – Circle relaxed-fit cotton bowling shirt / AGR – Contrast-panel woven trousers (coming soon) / JACQUEMUS – Le bob Picchu branded shell bucket hat and Le Chiquito medium leather top-handle bag


Colour is our mood-boosting cure for the shortening days, and designers are clearly sharing in our need for some dopamine dressing right now, filling the AW21 catwalks with tomato reds (at Casablanca, Acne Studios, Marni and Sacai), canary yellow (Prada and Dior), and bright greens (JW Anderson, Fendi and Louis Vuitton).  

Our Senior Fashion Editor, Vincent Levy, has shared his styling tips for carrying summer brights into autumn: “Graphic-print camp shirts that seem designed to make you smile are a good place to start,” he says. “Layer up with contrasting plain workwear-inspired pieces for an easier feel, or otherwise really brighten up your day by clashing with additional patterns and punchy statement accessories.” London label AGR’s print-packed trousers and knitwear tick that box for clothes, while JACQUEMUS’s bags and bucket hats have eye-wateringly bright accessories covered. 

BOTTEGA VENETA – Contrasting-button denim shirt / NICHOLAS DALEY – Contrast-panel denim trousers (coming soon) / IVAN CLOTHING - Shop zip-up cotton-seersucker shirt / LOEWE – Luxury Sailor jacquard and leather bag (coming soon) / BOTTEGA VENETA – Puddle Bomber mesh and rubber ankle boots


The phrases ‘wardrobe essentials’ and ‘style staples’ are more worn out than our favourite jeans, but they exist for a reason. We all need enduring pieces that you can effortlessly build outfits around – especially at this time of year when the weather makes you rethink what you’re wearing 50 times a day.  

To level up these easy-going pieces, it’s all in the details. Take Bottega Veneta: having scrubbed itself from social media, the Italian brand has embraced real-life style in its Wardrobe 02 collection, adding a flash of Bottega green to the buttons on its utilitarian indigo-denim overshirt – a handy layer to have on those days when the sun can’t make up its mind. 

Several of our emerging Black-owned menswear brands also favour the fashion fundamentals, such as Nicholas Daley’s reference-rich riffs on martial arts uniforms, NEWGEN-backed label Saul Nash’s take on technical wear, and London-based Cold Laundry’s low-key hoodies and joggers – all coming soon to Selfridges this season. And, if you want casualwear that’s earth-conscious, look to Ivan Clothing, who uses only deadstock or organic fabrics to create its laid-back designs entirely from their studio in Tottenham, North London. 


BIANCA SAUNDERS – Boxy denim jacket (coming soon) / MARINE SERRE – Moon-print turtleneck jersey top, Moon-print jeans and sunglasses (both coming soon)/ JACQUEMUS – Le Bambino leather cross-body bag (coming soon)


Sampling today’s smorgasbord of fresh fashion talent is the perfect way to re-energise your outfits and dodge that sartorial rut. Bianca Saunders and Marine Serre are among the growing number of independent, earth-conscious, and Black-owned brands we’re adding to our ranks at Selfridges over the course of the coming season. “I have become very focused on developing signature silhouettes,” says Saunders, who draws on her dual British and West Indian heritage in her collections which reference both classic streetwear and couture. A sculpture that the multitalented designer created for a group art exhibition during a trip to Paris last year ended up influencing the twisted and tweaked jackets in her AW21 collection, which make a distinctive alternative to traditional denim truckers. 

Another designer rewiring menswear, Marine Serre is, in her own words, “transforming the waste of our ancestors to create new garments for our future world”. Independent, earth-conscious and experimental, look to her for versatile, futureproof pieces that reject unsustainable trends, including the already-iconic moon print on her recycled jersey layering tops and regenerated jeans. 

Feeling inspired? 

Shop the new-season collections as they land