UNIQLO’s reputation as a one-stop-shop for basics isn’t going anywhere. The retailer’s new UNIQLO U Fall/Winter 2023 collection will carry many a closet into the winter months, offering capsule wardrobe staples that won’t sit at the bottom of your drawers when the season is over.
Available at UNIQLO’s website on October 6, the massive collection offers up subtle upgrades to traditional UNIQLO faves like the puffer jacket, now boasting an oversized silhouette and an adjustable hem. Flannel pants are cozy while avoiding pajama territory, and breathable, wide-leg pants give enough room to layer leggings underneath (perfect for a chilly commute). Straight, boxier cuts are offered across their selection of dress shirts, bottoms, and outerwear, ideal for the awkward transition from slight breeze to full-on blizzard.
UNIQLO U also delivers in the accessories department. My trusty UNIQLO crescent bag can’t fit a hat and along with the absurd number of Sonny Angels I must carry at all times — but luckily, the new collection introduces an updated version of the brand’s drawstring tote. There’s also a sleek, utilitarian backpack with multiple pockets, including a storage compartment at the bottom. It’s water-repellent, but UNIQLO’s website mentions that the bag’s liquid-proof finish isn’t permanent. I’d hold off on snorkeling.
UNIQLO U is a sub-label specializing in what the company calls “Future LifeWear Essentials.” In collaboration with UNIQLO’s Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire, the brand’s Research and Development Centers experiment with new materials and details to ensure its designs are as functional as they are stylish: Brushed jersey knits prevent what I like to call “itchy sweater syndrome,” trench coats feature hidden buttons, and cotton denim moves more fluidly than traditional jeans.
There are also some eco-conscious options in the collection as part of UNIQLO’s sustainability model. The jeans in the collection are made with its “Blue Cycle” stamp of approval, meaning less water and handiwork are used to create distressing and artificial wear, instead utilizing special washing techniques and lasers for that worn-in look.
UNIQLO U’s new range is cold weather-ready, but who knows what this season may bring. Those looking for more warmth in the wintertime may still need to re-up on the brand’s famous HEATTECH innerwear as an added layer. Luckily, UNIQLO will have everything in one spot.