After many seasons of dopamine dressing, a year of Viva Magenta, and a summer of Barbie pink, the colour trend pendulum is swinging back to neutrals. As we ease into autumn, fashion’s new favourite hue perfectly coincides with the falling leaves, TikTok’s latest hair colour trends, and higher demand for hot cocoa: chocolate brown.
If we are to believe this season’s biggest designers and ready-to-wear brands, brown may just be the new black. The colour has been seen all over this year’s runways, making early appearances in Autumn/Winter 2023 collections and then dominating more recent Spring/Summer 2024 shows. Take Stella McCartney’s horse girl-approved A/W ‘23 collection for example, which was influenced by the designer’s love for horse riding, and is filled with dark brown prints, bags and thigh-high riding boots. In the same season, Mithridate debuted Amelia Earhart-inspired utility looks in dark brown that can be easily dressed up or down (the matching aviator goggles are optional).
It’s not hard to see why chocolate brown is the perfect shade for autumn. During a season of transition and cosiness, the hue offers a warmth and subtlety. Though you may feel tempted to lump this trend in with the “quiet luxury” craze — especially after seeing quiet luxury influencer Sofia Richie Grainge cosigning the colour (not once, but twice) — this toffee-toned movement actually fits in with various aesthetics, whether you're a statement-lover, minimalist, or trend-seeker (it even passes the balletcore vibe check).
From a flurry of dark brown outerwear, to lessons in monochromatic tailoring and, to perfectly muted chocolate brown dresses, it’s about time that this oft-overlooked colour is given its time in the spotlight; the runways have proven the versatility of this delectable dark tone to be truly unmatched. Want to achieve the chocolate brown look this autumn? Look no further than the chocolate brown styling tips ahead for this season — and seasons ahead.
A Chocolate Brown Coat
Forget a boring black coat — toffee-toned outerwear was a popular statement on this year’s runways. From Lanvin’s double-breasted trench, and Holzweiler's and Paloma Wool’s cropped jackets — all for Autumn/Winter — to Acne’s buttery leather coat for Spring/Summer, this hue reigns supreme when it comes to your wardrobe’s priciest investment. Easily layerable and effectively giving off expensive vibes, this is a great option for more formal dress codes as well as day-to-day looks. For clarity, this look doesn’t actually have to be expensive, either.
Dark Brown Power Suit
According to the runways, all-brown suits are no longer reminiscent of 1970s newscasters or dusty separates from your grandma’s wardrobe. For Spring/Summer 2024, dark brown tailoring was showcased by many designers, including Ganni, Alberta Ferretti, Ahluwalia, and Burberry, and the high street has already been quick to follow. Whether you plan to wear a full two-piece for maximum impact or prefer to mix and match the blazer or trousers with denim or other neutral tones, prepare to inject some confidence into your weekday wardrobe.
shop 6 products
Chocolate Brown Going-Out Looks
Whether you’re more of a bodycon girl or prefer a silky co-ord or a head-to-toe statement look, going dark brown for autumn and winter nights out is a great way to spice up your going-out looks. Just like your chocolate-y brown coat, an evening number in this hue screams luxury without the luxury price tag. While this sheer Diesel dress from the Spring/Summer 2024 runway is sure to turn heads, designers like Marine Serre, Fendi, and Carolina Hererra also got in on the dark brown fun with slightly less revealing numbers.
Dark Brown Accessories
If you already elevate your outfits with your morning oat milk lattes, why not accessorise with even more coffee-coloured pieces? Boots, shoes, handbags, jewellery — nothing’s off limits for that extra taste of chocolate this season. If you’re concerned that this shade of brown won’t match what’s in your existing wardrobe, just remember that there aren’t any real rules in fashion. Brown and black go together just fine, in case you still weren’t sure.