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Jacket required: Key buys for early autumn

From shearling aviators to sleek, classic blazers, they’re a key buy for early autumn. But which style to choose? Gemma Hayward does the hard work for you


The Biggles look is a having a moment this autumn, with labels such as Burberry and Acne showing a variety of Thirties-style, outdoorsy aviator jackets that have already spawned a thousand high street “homages”.

There’s something nonchalant and nostalgic about this most humble but snuggly of pieces, so keep yours slouchy and not too fitted. Take inspiration from Amelia Earhart, and team an aviator jacket with straight-leg, narrow chinos (or jeans for a modern update), or follow the catwalk’s lead and pair it with an unexpectedly smart dress or skirt in a strong colour.

An oversized shearling collar is a must. The outrageously luxe option, of course, is to choose all-over shearling, but this has limited practical potential, and if caught in the rain becomes the equivalent of dragging a sleepy sheep around with you.


After an eye-watering number of incarnations and re-imaginings in recent seasons, the rather schizophrenic tailored jacket has calmed down a bit for autumn/winter, leaving behind the fuss and fierceness of blazers past. No more baggy, mannish silhouettes with rolled sleeves and sagging shoulders. Say goodbye also to shoulder pads that look like they could take someone’s eye out, and Balmain-esque, doorway-width yokes.

In their place comes a tailored jacket that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the mid-Nineties: carefully constructed, with minimal finishing touches, and in a neutral palette of black, grey and stone. Waists are slightly nipped in again, and styles should be fitted as well as slightly shorter. All in all, this season’s jacket is a true classic.


The leather jacket is dead; long live the leather jacket. This hardy autumn perennial has reinvented itself yet again, with styles ranging from washed-leather blazers, collarless, cropped versions, and heavy-duty biker styles. The super-slim-fit waterfall shapes that have become so prevalent remained a touchstone with designers such as Rick Owens (but of course) and Ann Demeulemeester. The lean-and-mean silhouette endures, with Joseph Altuzarra creating figure-hugging, second-skin jackets and Isabel Marant showing boxy, narrow shapes.

But the leather jacket du jour, however, has to be Christopher Kane’s rock-chick black biker jacket, which comes adorned with the sort of intricate floral embroidery that you’d normally expect at a WI meeting – to be worn with grungy lace and PVC, rather than a tea dress please.