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Winter wardrobe staples from 5 of our favourite independent fashion labels

  • 3 min read

Winter wardrobe staples from 5 of our favourite independent fashion labels

Baby, its cold outside. Rug up with cocooning knitwear and conscious designs.

Constructing a hard-working workwear wardrobe for autumn-winter can involve some research, tact and consideration. If you’ve been left feeling a bit disenchanted after a performance appraisal with your Monday-to-Friday fits, the Gem team has put together a cold weather guide to the best independent fashion labels to wear (year after year). 

Here are some of the garments from our favourite local brands to worship on repeat this winter. After all, the key to a chic office outfit in the arctic months comes down to versatile layering pieces, core outerwear and heaps of texture-play. Oh, and the ensemble must be warm enough to brace a bagel run at midday, but vogue enough for a vino jaunt at 5pm. Let’s get dressed. 

Friends with Frank

The connoisseurs of modern (yet timeless) outerwear, Friends with Frank is a Melbourne label you’re likely to spot on the street, or in the line for coffee between meetings. Superbly stylish and made to cover your office outfitting from head-to-toe, Friends with Frank offer organic GOTS-certified basic tanks, to be topped with merino wool and cashmere sweaters and elegant longline coats. They’ve even mastered Melbourne-made heavyweight linen trousers for bottoms, and the iconic Cleo knit dress for those “I have nothing to wear” days. 


Polished, clean and well-crafted, Pave is a newcomer on the workwear scene in Australia. Designed to specifically remedy the indecision we face when geting ready for our day jobs, Pave has released a first capsule of monochromatic essentials to don up top. We’re in love with their wearable, 100% merino Polo with a flattering deep v-neck silhouette — creating the ultimate backdrop for your signature jewellery to shine.

Harris Tapper 

For higher-end office gear, Harris Tapper caught our eye in a recent Fashion Journal interview. Like Pave, Harris Tapper was made purposefully, with beautiful solutions to workwear at front of mind. The brand is underpinned by “easy elegance, subversive femininity and sculptural minimalism”, serving some easywear and unique garments for when you score that next payrise. Some stellar picsk include The Millicent Sweater in a rich chocolate shade, woven from a a mohair wool blend. We love how Harris Tapper has styled this knit, pulling it over their evening-ready Belle Dress for a cosy but sophisticated vibe. The Luis Knit Shirt is another must. It reimagines the classic cardi silhouette in a cool and calming sky blue hue, creating a subtle gateway into the world of winter colour. Those marble buttons are also the cutest things we’ve ever seen.


We’ve all seen the ‘Henne effect’ at play in Melbourne, from their cult ribbed longsleeves to quirkier wrap-style tops. But have you seen Henne’s latest invention? The Sanna Pant is maybe an unexpected workwear wardrobe choice, but this vegan leather pant is such a sleek alternative to all-black pants or core denim jeans. Ahead of your next Friday AWD’s, try pairing these glossy straight-legs with a great tank, and Henne’s masculine-chic Normie Jacket. Outfit done.

Jasmine Alexa 

The eponymous wardrobe from Melbourne-based designer Jasmine (Jazz) Alexa is full of playfulness, colour, stretch and ease. It’s our go-to for a dash of spunk when cold climate dressing feels too dark or disenchanting. While the bulk of Jazz’ designs are activewear-oriented, we love the idea of taking some of her pieces from office to after work hot girl walks and beyond. Slip into her Valencia Bodysuit (in black for minimalists, but a lime green for a dash of spice), or the In This Moment Tank for a supreme bottom layer.