This is the thing. I could try to wow you with my in-depth knowledge of fall fashion trends, gleaned from hours spent watching runway footage instead of hammering out the deadline-du-jour, but why. You can watch the same runways, and see the same trend reports, yourself. So instead, let’s just talk about the fall trends that matter, the ones you will actually wear, the clothes that will fit and flatter and blend seamlessly with the items you already have in your closet, and that have a shelf life of longer than 24 seconds. They’re all here. Everything you need to know to get dressed for fall.
But first, just for fun, and because we have all the time in the world, let’s gloss over a few misses on the way to the hits.
1. The Unflattering Jumpsuit: There are cute, sassy jumpsuits, and then there are baggy overalls and shapeless utilitarian styles reminiscent of workmen’s uniforms. Unless you are 6 feet tall and supermodel stunning, avoid these. Actually, even if you are 6 feet tall and supermodel stunning, there are better choices. (See Heidi Klum, above, for evidence).
2. The Comforter Coat: I coined this term to describe these coats, which look exactly like you tried to wrap yourself in your bedspread, and then belted it. If you live in a puffy-jacket-climate, wear a sleek, streamlined version like the one above. And if you still feel like you need extra poundage, get it the natural way, with baguettes and butter.
3. Questionable Outerwear: Ponchos, capes and very long, to-the-floor coats all turned up on the runways for fall, and in some cases (as in the gorgeous Burberry poncho thrown nonchalantly over the shoulder), they looked adorable. So why the thumbs down? These of-the-moment trends will likely be gone before you get a chance to buy them, and they dramatically inhibit the use of your arms. And moms sort of use those. If you can’t resist, buy a scaled down version at an affordable price, like the one from ASOS, above. Which is actually really cute. Now I want to buy it. Too bad. I’m going to miss my arms.
But I digress. Now that we’ve trudged through some fashion fails, let’s look at some trends that you can actually wear.
1. The Cozy Sweater
This is the kind of fall essential that makes me wish I lived in a place that had sweater weather, if only for a day. In Florida, I will choose a lightened-up version of this style, but for those of you who live in places where sweaters are more than just a fashion statement, the cozy new styles are a great choice. Look for chunky oversized sweaters that pair well with leggings or skinny jeans and boots, but make sure they fit at the shoulder so they look intentionally baggy, not sloppy. Try a marled or speckled sweater for the look of the moment.
2. Sixties Style
From flat booties to swingy 60s dresses, mod looks made a strong showing for fall. Fortunately, it’s an easy look to pull off without going overboard and looking like an extra on Mad Men. Look for 60’s inspired shapes and embellishments with a modern twist. Crisp A-line dresses, sleek boots and chunky mod jewelry are easy ways to wear this trend.
Okay, before I begin, I must make a disclaimer. I will never wear menswear. No matter how drawn I am to certain pieces, the menswear trend is not me and I can’t pull it off. Something about my inherent girliness throws off the whole equation and it just looks silly. That said, an element of menswear here and there, as in a shrunken double breasted blazer (from the boys’ department) worn over a floaty dress, or the season’s newest layering piece, the menswear formal vest, I can do. Fall’s fancy loafers and adorable oxfords, however, I’ll have to pass on, but if they fit your style and your wardrobe, go for it. They are an easy way to update everything you own. Go for the fancy, extra chunky styles that are super-trendy right now, or something more streamlined, like the Enzo pair above.
4. Sophisticated Sweats
Everyone likes to be comfy, so whenever a trend comes along that combines comfy with cute, we all jump on board. That’s why Juicy tracksuits were so hard to ditch. That, and the fact that they were so expensive. Sweats have crept into fashion again the last few seasons, but never before have they made a stronger showing than they do this season, showing up in slim-fitting pants that are showing up in offices on casual Friday, as well as in trendy printed tops and comfy dresses. Sweats are part of an overall trend called “athleisure” and includes all of the athletically inspired pieces cropping up everywhere (baseball tee, anyone?), a trend so dominant that it’s made some fashion forecasters predict the demise of denim. (Don’t believe it for a minute!) Denim brands have responded by making jeans in softer, cozier fabrics, like Levi’s new knit jeans (essentially, jeggings). The most versatile way to buy into this trend? A go everywhere sweatshirt dress or slim-fitting pants. Also part of this trend – sleek sneakers. Lena Antonacci pulls them off beautifully.
5. Flutter Hem Dresses:
Depending on the silhouette of the dress above the ruffle, this style can flatter a variety of body types, and is so easy to wear. Look for this style at every price point and for every occasion, from cocktail-worthy embellished styles to casual cotton and sweatshirt versions. Pick a style you can dress up or down for maximum versatility, and wear it everywhere this season.
6. Luxe Leather:
I just recently parted with the high-waisted leather pants I bought on our last trip to Paris, so I am in the market for a new pair, and this is just the season to find one. If you’ve never embraced the leather mini or skintight leather pants, this season offers many more variations on the leather trend, from long, sueded leather skirts to leather sweatpants to dresses, tops and jackets with leather inserts, there are a million ways to work it into your wardrobe. And if your wallet, or conscience, won’t allow you to wear the real thing, check out the vegan leather options.
7. Kick Pleat Skirt:
So let’s meet the pleated skirt’s edgier little sister, the one that gets in trouble a lot. It’s the kick pleat, with a deep fold front and center, that is brilliant because it’s totally wearable. Conservative enough for church, yet cool enough for a night out. And it flatters every body. Just pick a length that hits you on a flattering spot on your leg, and pair it with a boxy top if you’re tall, a streamlined one if you’re, well, me-ish. Or try it with one of the great, chunky sweaters, above.
8. Worn-In Jeans:
I’ve already grown misty-eyed over the wardrobe changing boyfriend jean, and this is a variation on that theme. Softly faced, slightly worn-in jeans – the kind that look like you have had them for years and just get better with age. Not destroyed, distressed or anything else vaguely violent. Just softly washed in and fabulous with sweaters, boots and everything else you’ll want to wear for fall.
9. Slouchy Pants:
The trend the last couple of seasons has definitely veered away from the skinny leg to the slouchy. We saw it in denim with the popularity of the boyfriend, which I love, and we saw it in casual styles like the harem and the drapey pajama-style pants, both trends to approach with extreme caution. One take on the slouchy silhouette that works, however, for most of us, is the slightly slouchy pant in a dressier fabric. Really, it’s a relaxed variation on the classic dress pant, with a little more room for, oh, creme brulee. A flattering pick for anyone but the very petite (or anyone with short-ish legs and long-ish torso), these are forgiving, flattering and fashionable.
Always glamorous and festive, velvet is the hot fabric of the season, turning up in dark, Gothic evening looks as well as more casual styles. A classic velvet cocktail dress is the easiest way to wear this trend, and a timeless one, or go for skinny velvet pants or a soft top.
So there you have it, a very manageable shopping list of 10-ish items you can buy now and wear, without embarrassment, for longer than 2 seconds. To find everything shown here, and more, just follow this Pinterest board. Which trend is your favorite?
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