The end of September: Fashion month winds down into its final days. The seasons change hands from balmy summer to cool autumn. The trends that debuted on the runways back in February are finally ready to take to the streets. Below, a refresher of the looks you’re about to see everywhere, the upcoming trends for Fall 2018.
A is for Athleisure. To all the naysayers of leggings-as-pants, the adherents of athleisure continue to say “f that noise” and rock them both in and out of the gym. Bonus points if paired with a graphic sweatshirt. And remember those little bike shorts that made a splash over the summer? Don’t tuck them away just yet; weather permitting, they might very well serve you through October.
B is for Belt Bags. The humble fanny pack, banished to the annals of the 80’s and the 90’s, decided that it was high time for a comeback. One makeover and a rebrand later, it has made its way firmly into the hearts of the fashion set. Bum bags are sticking around for both this upcoming season and the foreseeable future. Ditch your purse for once and snap one of these around your waist to cavort all day, hands-free.
C is for Corduroy. You’ll find this ridgy texture in an array of rich hues on everything from bottoms to outerwear. Tuck a lacy top or fitted sweater into a button-through miniskirt for a retro vibe. If a chillier breeze sets in, pants are the perfect choice to shield your stems; opt for a wide-leg silhouette to nail two trends in one.
D is for Dad Sneakers. No need to raid your dad’s closet for this one—unless you share a similar taste and size in shoes, of course. If not, both fast fashion and high-end brands have churned out their own take on the chunky sneaker. Skip the heels one day and throw these on instead; your feet will thank you.
E is for Everyday. The typical fare at fashion shows, while a treat for the eyes, tends to come across as outlandish and unapproachable for the real life. This season, some fashion houses dialed down their collections in favor of more practical, wearable pieces equally at home both on the sidewalk and the catwalk. Tibi and Rejina Pyo were just a couple of the standouts for this trend.
F is for Florals. While florals are hardly groundbreaking for Spring, the ground might quake just a little at their presence in the colder half of the year. Perennials typically skew a little darker and moodier to fit with Fall’s vibe, but with pastels also trending this season, you could very well layer up those candy-colored Spring frocks and wear them as long as the temperatures allow.
G is for Glitz. Think sequins and metallics, the kind of thing normally reserved for nighttime, only brought out into the daytime. You can approach this trend subtly: a sweater with shimmery yarns woven into it. Or you can go all-in and strut down a sunny cobbled street, your sequined dress glittering in the light.
H is for Heritage. Heritage prints, such as herringbone and houndstooth, are so hot right now—or will be, in any case. Not sure if this is so much a trend as a classic, but be prepared for these patterns to infiltrate your Instagram feed. Look for a houndstooth coat in an unconventional color to stand out in a sea of neutrals.
I is for Iridescent. Like the eye color of that character you made up in middle school for that fanfic you never actually finished. Or maybe that was just me? This wash could easily be described as all the colors of the rainbow set against a silver sky, morphing from different angles and light sources. While it looks best on outwear and pants, you could really wear it any which way you please.
J is for Jewel Tones. Think precious gems: ruby, sapphire, amethyst, and emerald. The latter is my current obsession du jour. There’s really no wrong way to wear jewel tones as they are versatile and universally flattering. Roar onto the stage in a ruby dress or else whisper in the wings with a skinny sapphire scarf.
K is for Knits. Look for structural and textural details on your sweaters. The more eye-catching, the better. Combine this trend with one or more of the others and you’ll look like a downright sartorial savant.
L is for Leopard. A leopard can’t change its spots, but a fashion girl can change from one leopard-themed article to the next easy peasy. This print is ubiquitous for Fall; you’ve probably already seen it all over your Instagram feed. Midi skirts are the most popular iteration of leopard so far, but it works just as well on boots and dresses and accessories and anything else you can think of. Treat it as a neutral and build a bomb outfit around a leopard piece.
M is for Maximalism. For the last few years, the fashion world adopted the mantra of “less is more” with the advent of minimalism and a shift in focus to the classics. This trend is the antithesis of that. Mix prints and textures, wear bright colors, pile on the layers and accessories. Just do all of this strategically, of course, with a curated approach and an eye for synergy.
N is for Neon. Do not go gentle into that good five-o’clock-in-the-afternoon night (which is not so much good as it is godawful). Neon colors are in your face and in for the season. Be warned, though: these electric hues aren’t for the faint of heart. If the thought of being that visible gives you palpitations, try a little neon pop dangling from your ears to start. Feeling a little bolder? Don a neon splash on your feet. (Honorable mention: This is just a tiny inkling of mine, but I’m willing to bet newsboy caps will make a comeback this season.)
O is for Orange. Orange might just be the new black. Unless you live in New York, in which case black is (and will always be) the new black. Regardless, orange is trending for Fall, particularly in the pumpkin and rust varieties. Play up the visual interest by finding this hue on a pretty pleated dress.
P is for Plaid. Tartan, glen, checkerboard, buffalo. Whatever tickles your fancy is out there ready to add to cart and get you through the chilly months ahead. This isn’t your grandma’s plaid, either, as designers traded neutral colors and traditional cuts for brighter shades and unconventional mediums.
Q is for Queendom. Last year, NYFW saw designers take a rare political stand by sending clear-cut feminist statements down the runway. From Prabal Gurung to Jonathan Simkhai, the message was clear: empower females now. In the continuing wake of the #MeToo movement and with the reticence of several industries shattered, these statements aren’t likely to stop anytime soon. Make one of your own with a graphic top. Gender equality as a social issue is, of course, timeless and anything but a trend.
R is for Red. We’re seeing red but not out of anger. This hue appeared in Pantone’s seasonal color trend report as both a bright poppy and a rich bordeaux. Pop your feet into a red pair of shoes and try your best not to laugh when people break their necks to catch a second look.
S is for Snakeskin. Yet another animal print found its way onto the catwalk for Fall, this one belonging to the sibilant serpent. You can find this print in all forms, colors, and textures across the board. Go the unexpected route and snag a snakeskin trench coat.
T is for Turtlenecks. Turtlenecks have gone in and out of fashion over the years, or so they say. Personally, I think they’re indispensable for chilly weather. But for this season, at least, they’re considered a la mode and can be worn with pride. So bring it on: sweaters, dresses, I’m all in.
U is for Ultraviolet. Pantone’s Color of the Year is so unexpected for Fall and yet amazingly fresh. If you’re feeling daring, wear it from head to toe for an of-the-moment monochrome look. Otherwise, pick one piece to provide an ultra luxe pop against a neutral ensemble.
V is for Volume. A puffy sleeve here, an oversized coat there. The key to this larger-than-life Fall trend is pumping up the volume on some unexpected elements of your wardrobe. Try a blazer with a strong shoulder while temps still hover in the 60s and 70s, then slip into a super-sized puffer as we draw closer to Winter.
W is for Western. If it’s at home on the range, then it’s at home in your wardrobe this season. Whatever your feelings on cowboy boots, they’re on a meteoric rise to fame. If you can’t quite get on that bandwagon, maybe prairie dresses or fringe might ring a (cow)bell instead. They’ll all be making a leafy splash on the street style scene.
X is for Xyloid. Admittedly, this is my own personal prediction (and a desperate bid for a useful word beginning with the letter x, lol). To start, xyloid is defined as “resembling wood; having the qualities or nature of wood.” Wood played a major role in the accessories category for the duration of summer, and I suspect this organic material will endure into the Fall and beyond. Think wooden bags and wooden earrings.
Y is for Yellow. From Gen Z to ceylon to mustard, yellow blipped onto designers’ radars for the Fall. Let this sunny hue shine as the centerpiece to your look or else pair it with a more muted item to dial down the brightness. We all know Fall brings an awful lot of gloomy days; it never hurts to make your own sunshine.
Z is for Zebra. At last we reach the final animal in the veritable menagerie of prints blowing up this season. This stripy contender would look tres chic on a slinky slip dress or a tailored blazer. Lucky for you, it plays nicely with all its other animal friends.
And that’s all she wrote! After that recap, which trend(s) are you most excited to tackle? I’ve got my favorites but would love to know yours. If you loved this post, share it far and wide; it’s the caring thing to do, after all.
P.S: If none of these trends speak to you, that’s totally okay. The classics are classic for a reason and will serve you well no matter the season.