There is an irony in Second Hand September falling just as the shiny 'new' ness of fashion month descends, and with it the idea of 'clear it all out and start again' . Or maybe not. Because Second Hand September isn't just about not buying new- it's about wearing and being creative with what we already own. And Fashion Month doesn't just have to be about buying all the looks (or their high street copies) because we most likely already own a version of many of the pieces that we will see this Autumn. What it is good at is serving us new ideas on how to wear them. So if you don't already it's time to start using seasonal trends as creative inspiration rather than a shopping list - A bit like an interiors magazine if you were revamping your living room: lovely to look at but often a lick of paint, a rearrange of pictures and a change of rug will do just fine. *
So. Fashion month and Second Hand September: An interesting juxtaposition but one that can be potentially brilliant. And in the spirit of wearing and enjoying what we already have, here are ten items we are quite likely to already own, and ways the catwalks are showing us how to breathe life into them this season. Yep you can put that credit card back in your purse.
*Random analogy alert
1. A White Vest
The 'white vest' also extends to anything simple and minimal with a 90's aesthetic - 'Clean Girl' as the tiktokers (apparently) call it. But the vest is a good place to start, and a staple most of us will have in our wardrobes - it's time to bring it out of loungewear retirement. (Immediately starts doing baked bean tin arm crunches)
Most of us will have bought some summer brights, so hooray that joyous colour is still key for Autumn. Even better: we are now allowed to coordinate EVERYTHING ( so much easier!) with no fear of the 'matchy matchy' monika. Don't have a head to toe outfit ? Try teaming a bright with a muted tone rather than playing safe with black.
3. A Statement Knit
Last Saturday I was wearing a sundress; this morning there was actual frost on the car. There's no denying jumper weather is back. Luckily for all of us fashion is proclaiming the humble knit autumn's key wardrobe staple. This season be creative in application: rather than just teaming with jeans throw over statement skirts and dresses for day or night. I call it sensible.
4. Biker Anything
Fashion's love of the biker jacket started creeping back last season and now is firmly re- ensconced as a wardrobe essential. Most of us have picked up a biker at some stage (mine is 20 years old) This autumn throw it over an evening outfit, or go strong with the chunky boots we've all been converted to in recent seasons. Oh, and got a band tee hanging about? Bonus points.
5. Some Frou-Frou
Those voluminous dresses we all got over excited by this summer, that most men are totally confused by? Good news! They are still going strong- just layer them up or throw a chunky jumper over the top with some biker boots (see above) and you'll be winter ready. (For those in possession of a sewing machine the shortened 'babydoll' version is also a thing.)
6. Animal Print
If it wasn't already clear, animal print is never, EVER a bad idea. Plus most of us have some floating around somewhere in the wardrobe. The way to wear it this autumn taps it to the eclectic 'however i like it' vibe of the season, teamed with other complimentary prints rather than failsafe ( read yawn) black.
7. A Blazer
The past few years have seen the blazer slowly gain in status- now its official: It's here to stay. Admittedly this season's are HUGE. It's a strong look (and easily tested by raiding a male family members wardrobe), but there's no need to throw out slimmer fits. Try teaming with slouchier bottom halves to maintain a relaxed silhouette.
7. Some Sparkle
Post lockdown, with dopamine dressing replacing our tracksuits, glitz has become a staple part of our year round wardrobes. But lets be frank- it's way easier to wear sequins in winter. This season give your sparkle some day vibes: slouchy pants, a party dress with brogues, or a skirt with a puffa coat. The joy of the sartorial juxtaposition.
9. Lots of Black
Not feeling the season's maximal inclinations? You'll be pleased to know that good old head to toe black is fashion endorsed this season, giving reason to the excess of it hanging in most of our wardrobes. Play around with textures, knits, lace and leather to give it a bit of oomph. PS. The more gothic the better.
10. Summery Gingham
Admittedly a micro trend, but I was happy to see cold weather use of the gingham we all threw ourselves into for summer's Jubilee picnics. Layer up shirt dresses, team skirts with blazers and knits or pop under a trench. Proof we can keep our wardrobe working hard all year. Ps no picnic-ing required this time round. ( Are you MAD?)
Thank you for reading! Next week I'll be continuing with Second Hand September, with exactly how to edit your exisiting wardrobe and make it work hard for you. Subscribe if you're interested!
A/W22 Imagery courtesy of vogue.com