November 29, 2020

The death of the Netflix-and-chill look: why smart is in style this autumn

Fashion’s embrace of cosy clothes for watching box sets is over. This season, designers are centring on a sharpened-up look – power dressing that empowers

The fashionable position to take on fashion, these days, is that trends are dead and that individual style and self-expression are what matters. The old certainties – skirts are hereby decreed knee length for six months, only camel coats are to be worn for the foreseeable – belong to a different era. To a bygone world in which political insiders gave ballpark-accurate election predictions and the Oscar statuette didn’t get handed to the wrong film in front of a global TV audience. Now the world is sick of experts, and that goes for fashion too.

Except in September. Because right now, the world needs fashion. The September issues of magazines, heavy as hymn books and immortalised by a glossy documentary, are testament to the power fashion has at this moment. Women who rely on their own style to steer their wardrobes the rest of the year are, at this point in the calendar as at no other, keen to be told which coat to buy and when to start wearing black tights. The system in which one consistent look could preside over a whole autumn and winter has been blown apart by an insatiable appetite for newness that demands we hit wardrobe-refresh every three weeks. September’s back-to-school moment, when you pack away the sundresses and straw baskets and revamp your look, is the one fixed red-letter-day that remains.

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