According to Madewell's Creative Director, These Fall Items Can't Be Missed

As we inch closer and closer to August, the unofficial end of summer (at least in my eyes), there is one thing to look forward to—the arrival of fall collections. In the fashion world, autumn is believed by many to be the supreme season for style, with all sorts of layering possibilities coming out of the woodwork after a season that makes wearing, well, anything (apart from tank tops, linen trousers, and denim shorts) nearly unbearable. So, when fall pieces begin to drop, we all get a little bit too excited, even if it does mean summer is coming to a close.

One brand that recently debuted its fall offering for 2023 is Madewell. The laid-back sister brand of J.Crew is most known for its stellar denim and unbeatable basics. This season’s collection is full of easy yet elevated pieces that can be worn repeatedly in new ways.

“For fall, we were focused on creating signature, high-quality pieces that lend themselves to endless occasions, integrating our take on nostalgic collegiate, playing with proportions and details to update our denim dressing, refining utilitarian styles through elevated fabrications and details, and modernizing our leather accessories,” Joyce Lee, Madewell’s creative director, tells Who What Wear ahead of the launch of the fall collection. “This collection was rooted in the concept of creating a capsule of high-rotation pieces designed to serve as elevated and timeless wardrobe foundations, all rooted in denim,” she continues. According to Lee, denim is always her team’s number one priority. “We always start with the denim silhouettes we’re most excited about, and then we build the pieces around them to complete the wardrobe,” she says. “We play with an evolving color palette, proportions, textures, and pieces that bring modernity and functionality. And [we] always consider design details.”

This season, the design team is most excited about the launch of the ’90s Straight Jean and the Low-Slung Straight Jean, as well as the extended offering of the popular Harlow Wide-Leg Pants, which will now come in nine new color options. According to Lee, though she’s smitten with the entire fall collection, the ’90s Straight Jeans are the one piece she recommends most: “They’re sure to become a mainstay.”

Below, scroll through the fall lookbook and shop the fall collection.

If retro collegiate vibes were the goal, this look proves the design team at Madewell did their job perfectly. This rugby shirt, especially, is straight out of my old-school Ivy dream wardrobe. 

The new Oxford shirts, according to Lee, have the design team super excited, specifically because of how versatile they are. There’s am almost endless array of ways to style them in the fall, from all on their own with jeans to layered underneath a crewneck sweater. 

If you want to opt for more menswear-inspired silhouettes this autumn, one great way to ensure they don’t end up overwhelming you is to unbutton your button-down shirts and wear a tight tank underneath. 

There’s almost nothing we love more than a two-in-one piece that allows you to get some additional bang for your buck when shopping. This oxford shirt is exactly that, with the bottom easily coming off to create a more cropped fit. 

This floral midi dress and sweater combo is perfect for those early fall days when you need a knit but can’t wear much more since the weather’s still quite toasty. 

A good trench coat is essential to any well-rounded fall wardrobe, not only for the outerwear option’s practical aspects, but also because they look cool and elevated with just about anything, from trousers and a knit to a slinky slip drss.

When I first went through Madewell’s fall lookbook, this distressed, oversize leather jacket was the item that stood out to me most. Of course, it’s the priciest in the lot, but that comes with it being a super high-quality leather item. It’s going on my fall wish list. 

Whenever I don’t know what to wear, one of my most tried-and-true outfits is a tailored top and baggy jeans. You really can’t go wrong with the combo. 

If sporty and cool is how you want people to describe your style, this entire outfit should be heading straight to your door. 

“The team is also loving our Slip Dress Collection featuring new plissé fabric and updated silhouettes, a great piece for the transitional Fall months,” Lee tells us.

If you’re over your classic black blazers, perhaps it’s time to swap a few of them out for one leather option, with this Bedford style being the specific style I’m suggesting. 

This maxi denim skirt is the only item in the fall lookbook that I already own, and if the rest of the collection is as good as this one, I’m going to need to do some serious shopping. 

There’s almost nothing I love more than breaking fashion rules and wearing white after Labor Day, so nobody should be surprised that I’m smitten with these off-white pants paired with a tee and olive-colored vest.

Yes, this is two different button-down shirts fastened together, and yes, I do need to copy this styling hack come autumn. 

Coming up next: I’ve Never Been a J.Crew or Madewell Girl—These 33 Summer Finds Changed My Mind

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