EXCLUSIVE | Knits, checks, puff sleeves have withstood the pandemic, according to womenswear experts

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Puff sleeves have withstood the pandemic, while checks are still en vogue, according to two Trenery experts. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
Puff sleeves have withstood the pandemic, while checks are still en vogue, according to two Trenery experts. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
  • Trenery - Woolworths’ exclusive brand known for its everyday luxury - reached out to stylist Antoinette Degens to interpret their latest Autumn/Winter collection.
  • The collection aims to add richness and versatility to your rotation with a fresh palette of earthy tones and evergreen statement pieces.
  • Trenery's Womenswear Design Manager, Maria Kozub, also a peek into what to expect from the pandemic's second Autumn/Winter fashion cycle. 

Antoinette Degen certainly has a bonafide eye for style. As the founder of Studio Degens, she has built an identity as a top stylist in the Dutch magazine industry over the past 15 years.

As a former Senior Fashion Editor at Dutch Elle, she went on to be Fashion Director of Glamcult Independent Style Paper as well as a contributor for Harper's Bazaar NL. 

Speaking on Trenery's latest Winter collection, Antionette explains that "the range features a beautiful, high-quality collection of warm winter knits, contemporary coats and comfortable yet stylish trousers." 

"[These items] are all exquisitely crafted and an absolute joy to wear,” says the stylist.

“Knits remain a go-to wardrobe staple for winter while this season is all about making smart investments in outerwear that will last for years and are truly sustainable.” 

READ MORE: Observing Earth Day with 3 iconic fashion brands with a conscious  

trenery collection
Images supplied by The Country Road Group 

The art of transitional dressing 

The shift to autumn dressing can be confusing. The sun is out, but usually to only serve as a backdrop. You want to wear a summer frock, but you know a full day of warmth is not promised. 

This actually makes autumn the one season when you can wear all season items in the same week - a big nod to versatility.

Antoinette Degen believes now is the time to get your sweater style game up to speed. Knits are one of those versatile pieces that can be worn for any occasion, with more structured silhouettes for work, while oversized knits are still a comfortable yet uber-stylish choice for weekends and relaxing at home. 

Combining luxe loungewear with more structured or tailored pieces are also the ‘new normal’, taking the term ‘smart casual’ to new and exciting heights.

“Tailoring will give any look an immediate sense of elegance and structure, which we all really need right now,” says Degen. The Trenery Autumn/Winter collection is characterised by trusted hero pieces that are equal parts timeless, flattering, and functional."

"It’s all about coming up with creative alternative ways to not only wear pieces but bring new life to each garment regardless of the occasion. By pairing these Trenery evergreen basics with current pieces, or using unexpected pieces like menswear or playing with different sizing and proportions, you can enjoy longevity in your clothing that will remain on-trend for years to come,” Antoinette concludes.

READ MORE: Sure they’re comfortable, but those leggings and sports bras are also redefining modern femininity

Antionette Degen's style hacks? 

“The key for me is buying items that can be dressed up or down. Soft, subtle colours like the alpaca roll neck paired with bold fabrics like denim or corduroy put a contemporary spin on versatile classics," she says.

Antionette Degen's top Trenery picks? 

"Trenery’s long-line puffer has the perfect length and proportion to give loungewear a bit more structure and polish for a look that exudes cool, effortless and modern dressing," recommends the stylist. 

autumn winter

Recycled Nylon Puffer Coat, R2499 at Trenery, Woolworths

"Combining Trenery’s check shirt with crisp white jeans and a simple leather flat adds elegance to a chic, mod look, or pair it with a more format-style track pant that does a great job of balancing comfort and style.” 

autumn winter

Wool blend check shirt, R999 at Trenery, Woolworths 

But before you go shopping, Womenswear Design Manager at Trenery, Maria Kozub, gives us a peek into what to expect from the pandemic's second Autumn/Winter fashion cycle:

Will this season’s go-to items be largely informed by work-from-home culture or are you looking to appeal to individuals who are wanting to dress up again?

A key feature of people working from home during the Covid pandemic is the requirement for fashion to be comfortable and versatile.

We’ve become so accustomed to comfort while in lockdown that I don’t see this aspect changing. Even when people start to shift gears into a dressier mindset, comfort will remain at the fore of decision making.

It’s this idea that has underpinned many of our designs this season, for example we’ve introduced a ponte blazer. Made from a compact ponte - a type of heavy jersey – the blazer is impeccably cut and refined enough to wear to dinner yet has the comfort and cosiness of your favourite cardigan. 

READ MORE: Michael Kors 40th anniversary show captured the feeling of celebrations and 'stepping out again' 

What would you say is this season’s enduring "trend", despite most people abandoning trends since the pandemic? 

My favourite trend that has withstood the pandemic is the dramatic voluminous sleeve or puff sleeve as most people call it.  It’s the seasonal update on dresses, blouses, tee-shirts and knitwear. 

It’s that easy tweak that adds drama without looking overdone and this look isn’t going away any time soon.   

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 25: Natalia Verza @mascarada
  Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images 

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Emilie Joseph @in_fas
Emilie Joseph wears a green checked top with big puff shoulder sleeves. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images) 

Talk us through 3 classic items that we’ll always take with us into every Autumn/Winter. 

Jeans – particularly the Boyfriend and Straight Leg cut – will see you through winter and beyond, and are a must-have wardrobe staple.

A silk button down shirt effortlessly dresses up your favourite pair of jeans; it’s versatile and feels so luxurious against the skin. For high winter, layer a mock neck tee or merino roll neck under your silk blouse for added warmth. 

A leather jacket – whether it’s a biker or a more classic zip-front –  is so endlessly versatile. A stylishly cut leather jacket can be worn over dresses and is easy to style with jeans or a tailored trouser. A leather jacket is an absolute wardrobe essential.  

trenery collection
Image supplied by The Country Road Group 

Trenery is known for its loafers, ankle boots and brogues – what design innovations should we expect to see in this season’s offering of winter footwear? 

We are very passionate about sustainability at Trenery, and this season we’re extremely excited that all our loafers, boots and brogues are crafted out of 100% sustainable LWG leather (Leather Working Group).

We have also introduced a new durable outsole to all our footwear. This outsole is made from 20% recyclable materials and is also more durable, less absorbent and has improved grip compared to leather soles. Every season, we’re focused on improving the materials and comfort of our shoes – we’ve tweaked our lasts and added a generous layer of EVA foam underfoot for added comfort. 

Shop our pick: 

Jacinta Stud Loafer, R1499

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 25: Natalia Verza @mascarada

Additional information and images provided by The Country Road Group

Follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 938 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 376 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2053 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 58 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 731 votes