Summer is officially over and autumn has comfortably settled in to take its spot, accompanied by shorter days and chilly evenings. It’s the season of party planning and cosy movie nights, but best of all, a much-needed wardrobe refresh.

With some of autumn and winter’s key trends already beginning to flood our favourite shops, it can be tempting to splurge wildly without much prior thought, but if you’re keen to invest in some quality pieces that will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, then it may be worth knowing the trends to look out for before you embark on your online rampage.

As always, no matter your personal style, whether you’re a minimalist or more out there, or even if you’re not trend-led whatsoever, there’s something for everyone.

Camera Bags

For too long, men were made to feel that carrying a bag in some way made them feminine or unmanly; an absolute fashion faux pas in the male world!

Thankfully, times are changing and long-gone may be the days where I have to carry my boyfriend’s extra weight in the form of wallets and house keys in my own handbag. Over the past few years, belt-bags, bumbags, and cross-body bags have become acceptable male accessories, and even though they’ve always been a bit of a thing in Gibraltar, I’ve definitely seen a rise in the man-to-bag ratio. This season, we can now add camera bags to that gradually growing list.

Practical, small, and stylish, they were all over the autumn runway shows a few months back, and as the name may suggest, they’re not actually for lugging your camera around, but roomy enough for all the personal belongings you’d otherwise have in the form of bulges in your jeans pockets.

High-shine jackets

As we all know, slim micro shades and patent boots reigned supreme in all their Matrix-vibes glory last season, and this season is no different. This time we’re taking it up a notch with oversized, long glossy coats. As someone who couldn’t quite get on board with the micro shades aesthetic, to me, this season’s iteration feels slightly more refined and wearable. It’s all about chic high-shine mystery, and I have to say I’m kind of into it.

Checks

Checks are, without a doubt, one of my favourite trends ever, and a constant staple in my wardrobe. From tartan trousers and checked shirts and coats to gingham dresses, this year there are endless variations to choose from, and the more they clash, the better! The high street is teeming with 90s-inspired Clueless styles and funky tartan co-ords in a huge range of vibrant colours and textures.

Corduroy

Corduroy enjoyed its status as a key winter staple in the 80s, 90s, and even early noughties, but somewhere along the line, it fell off the bandwagon and was nowhere to be seen for quite some time. This year, it’s back with a vengeance! Although it can be quite an intimidating fabric, it’s much easier to style than you’d think. The key is to keep it simple; thanks to its texture you really don’t have to do all that much to create an eye-catching look.

Animal Print

Arguably one of the more dominant themes in this year’s autumn/winter runway shows, leopard, zebra and cheetah prints are set to be all the rage this season yet again. Animal prints come back almost every winter in one way or another, but I just can’t help being sucked in every time.

Long gone are the days when animal prints had trashy connotations; this season they’re as chic and funky as ever, and are able to jazz up any simple look with ease. Play up to their boldness by clashing with other patterns, or choose standout pieces to pair with otherwise minimalistic looks; you really can’t go wrong with a classic animal print.

Hiking Boots

One trend I did not expect to see making a breakthrough this year was hiking boots. It seems so random, but then again, after last year’s heels & trackies combo trend, anything is possible. From Louis Vuitton, to Tom Ford and Gucci, quite a few designers featured hiking-esque boots in their collections this year. The majority weren’t full-on Kilimanjaro styles of course; many teetered on that fine line between fashion and function, which seems to be a trend in and of itself this year.

I’ve actually spotted many wearable styles on the shelves in the past few weeks, and I suppose they’re sturdy, long-lasting and fairly easy to style. I’ve been obsessed with my Doc Martens since I bought them around 8 years ago, and I think that’s the closest I’m going to get to a pair of hiking boots to be honest. If you’re going to make one investment this season, I would recommend a good solid pair of boots.

Refreshingly, the key aesthetic this year leans towards real, wearable clothes, free of gimmicks and nonsense. It’s all about comfort and practicality, while still not forgoing the sense of fun and individuality that fashion brings to the table season after season. It’s time to embrace the chill and have fun with your winter wardrobe.