Even though the calendar (and weather) says it’s not fall yet, it’s a brand new season in fashion. Fall styles have hit stores with exciting trends for the season – and the best thing? You can wear many of them right now! But remember: don’t jump on the trend bandwagon just because you think you should. Trends are fun, but not mandatory to feel fashionable or stylish.
Here’s what I tell my clients:
- If you truly love a trend, regardless of whether it’s ‘in style’, then now is the time to purchase. For example, if red is your color, you’ll find a huge selection this fall - so this is the season to find amazing pieces to add to your wardrobe, since red may not be in vogue (or in stores in abundance) next year.
- If you’re not sure about a trend but still want to test it out, keep your $ investment minimal - so that you’re not kicking yourself in a year. And the investment should relate directly to how ‘trendy’ the item is – floral prints aren’t obviously trendy, they just come and go. Big poufy sleeves may be in fashion right now, but might just look like big poufy sleeves next fall.
Once you’ve decided to try a trend, consider your commitment - you can ‘test drive’ the trend, or you can ‘go for it’. Commitment levels come in a few forms – you can:
- Try the trend in an accessory vs. apparel
- Experiment with something new in a familiar silhouette vs. jumping into something completely different
- Play with one (or two) aspects of the trend vs. trying several at once
- Spend more vs. spend less
Do you want to see the color, print, style, item and shape trends I’m eyeing for fall? Read on…
COLOR TREND: RED
Red is super hot this fall, in everything from dresses to separates to shoes to bags and beyond. And the phenomenal thing about color (and print) trends is that they work in any weather AND you can find them at most any budget. So as long as you love the color – it’s a pretty straightforward way to adopt the season’s hot hue right now.
TEST DRIVE: Grab a flaming red accessory and add it to an outfit that you love, whether it’s a red loafer popping off jeans and a t-shirt, or a new red tote to wear with your favorite yellow blouse for an attention-getting warm color story.
GO FOR IT: Commit to a red staple item in your wardrobe – a ‘look at me’ red sheath dress, red skinny ankle pants, or the ever-important third piece (aka jacket, blazer, cardigan, etc).
STYLE TIP: If you love the shade of the season but it doesn’t flatter your face, don’t fret – there are many ways to make it work. Try it as an accessory, find a print with red in it, or wear it on your bottom half. See more hints for wearing a ‘tough color’ here.
PRINT TREND: MENSWEAR
Menswear-themed prints (plaid, checks, houndstooth) never actually depart the world of women’s fashion, but this season they’re around in a big way. You’ll find them in brights (think 70’s inspired), but more often they’ll show up in neutrals and more subdued palettes. When choosing how to wear your menswear-inspiration, you can either keep it safe in a familiar style, or fully embrace the trend in a new shape.
TEST DRIVE: Pick your favorite new print, but keep the silhouette familiar. Add a hit of trendiness to our office style with a silky blouse in a neutral glenplaid or a pencil skirt in a houndstooth check. Then balance it with feminine accents – high heels or a lace top are fun counterpoints to masculine-inspired patterns.
GO FOR IT: Wear your menswear print as part of a tailored look that takes cues from men’s suiting. Pair a bold plaid blazer with a striped button-down shirt and wide-leg pants, and then emphasize the trend with a stacked heel with loafer details.
STYLE TIP: If you’ve never combined two prints in one outfit before, it’s all about scale (keep them different) and base colors (keep them the same). Check out more tips (and how I combined 3 prints in my outfit) here.
STYLE TREND: VICTORIAN
The Victorian trend is based in romanticism, and encompasses a bunch of smaller trends – lace, velvet, soft florals, high necklines, ruffles, midi dresses, etc. And since style trends usually have such a sweeping scale, there are various facets to play with that adapt to the weather, your existing wardrobe or your mood. Basically, it’s your choice of how many aspects you’ll embrace.
TEST DRIVE: Go for just one or two Victorian details in a top or dress. Select a solid blouse with lacy trim and a high collar, or a soft floral print dress with ruffle details. This keeps your commitment level to the trend low, but shows that you know what’s what in fashion this fall.
GO FOR IT: Dive into the deep end of the trend by choosing a velvet flower print dress with a ruffled hem, or a full lace midi dress with a high collar and intricate accents. Your commitment level will be high, but if you’ll still love the style next year, it’s worth it!
STYLE TIP: The Victorian trend is overtly feminine – but if that isn’t your style, you can still participate by balancing it out with other pieces: wear a floral-print blouse with trousers and loafers for a dash of masculine style, pair a detailed high collar top with a leather moto jacket for some edge, or throw on your chunky flat boots with a midi dress for fashion-y contrast.
ITEM TREND: MIDI SKIRTS
Skirt hemlines go up and down (some say with the rise and fall of the stock market), and this season they’re falling. Item trends like midi skirts usually come in multiple color and fabric options (lightweight silky styles for now, heavier wovens for later), and also at a range of prices - so you'll have a myriad of choices. But remember - if the shape or style doesn’t work for you, you might want to pass it up.
TEST DRIVE: When a trend is a specific item, you’re basically choosing whether you’ll participate and how much you’ll pay for it. So if you just want to test it out – keep your $ investment low. Look for midi skirts at fast-fashion retailers (H&M, Zara) so your buy-in to the trend is minimal.
GO FOR IT: If a midi skirt is right up your alley – and (I can’t say this enough) you’ll still love it next year, find your favorite and go for it. Just remember – no matter which you choose, it has to work with three things that you already have in your closet to make the $ spend worth it.
STYLE TIP: If you’re having a hard time finding a midi at the perfect length, remember that alterations are your friend. You can alter most any skirt to hit you at that perfect below-the-calf but not down-to-the-ankle length. And if you’re petite – just watch the volume so the skirt doesn’t overwhelm your frame.
SHAPE TREND: STATEMENT SLEEVES
Statement sleeves (aka any sleeve shape or detail that makes it more than the average sleeve) have been around for a couple of seasons, but they’re still going strong for fall. And the range is wide – from elongated cuffs to bell sleeves to poufs and ruffles and more. It’s definitely something fun and different, but can appear very ‘trendy’, based on how extreme the sleeve shape is.
TEST DRIVE: Try a subtle version of the trend, like a bow at the wrist or an exaggeratedly large french cuff. This makes it feel less ‘2017’ and more of a fun fashion accent.
GO FOR IT: To support the statement sleeve trend in a big way, wear a big sleeve! A large bell sleeve and ruffles from shoulder to wrist are just a couple of styles you’ll find out there. Whichever you choose – you either have to love it even if it weren’t ‘in fashion’, or you should keep your investment on the low side.
STYLE TIP: If you’re choosing a sleeve with volume, watch where the volume hits on your arm so you don’t throw your shape out of balance. Big chest? Avoid major details that hit at bust level. Wider hips? Don’t put too much volume at the wrist.
Are you ready to try some new fall trends? If you’re not sure how to make them work for you, ask me a question in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.