I’ll admit I was a bit surprised by the rise of Y2K fashion, and the return of maximalism has also been an interesting pandemic-influenced turn. But the one fall fashion trend I just never saw coming is sharp tailoring from head to toe.

Button down blouses, crisp blazers, shirtdresses nipped at the waist and trousers galore have been gathering steam on my Instagram feed for weeks now. And the New Arrivals sections at trend-driven stores like Nordstrom, Revolve, Shopbop, and ASOS are chock-full of tailored staples. Fashion week also saw a slew of full office-approved looks. Tory Burch, The Row, Prada, Wales Bonner and even Gucci showed traditional suiting looks (with high-fashion twists, of course) consisting of matching suits with buttoned-up blouses and equally polished accessories, like loafers, leather belts, simple gold jewelry and sleek handbags.

What’s odd is not that plaid blazers and penny loafers are once again hot ticket items for fall—when are they not? —it’s that full tailored looks are trending while we’re all still sitting at home. Some folks have started to return to the office, but the vast majority of us have not. Many of us also weren’t expected to wear suits or conservative office attire in the first place, so why are we now clamoring for such structured pieces? Not once have I ever longed to wear a blazer, and yet my shopping carts are now loaded up with blazers and suits of every design—lavender, oversize, cropped, leather, plaid — you name it..

Last fall we couldn’t get enough of sweatpants, leggings and all things athleisure, but we appear to have done a complete 180, opting now for workwear staples that aren’t traditionally all that comfortable (or at least not on the same level as sweats). It’s curious that we actively want to dress in clothing that requires ironing and trips to the dry cleaners. No one is asking us to tuck starched white button-downs into straight-leg trousers secured with a black leather belt. Our offices or virtual book club members or children’s teachers don’t expect us to show up to meetings in a matching blazer-and-skirt set. Yet this is one of the top trends for fall 2021. Rather than question it too much, we’ll just embrace the fun of wearing clothing we’ve had no reason to wear for well over a year now and reacquaint ourselves with our ironing boards (or steamers, at the very least) for a very well put together autumn.

Here, 15 chic tailored pieces and sleek accessories to add to cart now and wear all fall long.

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