Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is like that friend that we all have that can’t quite ever make up their mind. One day there are glorious, sunny remnants of summer that make you forget it is already fall, and the next day the wind is whipping up whirls of falling leaves and you need a jacket. Even with its fickle charm, it is hard to resist the slow changes of a new season, and with it the promise of a shiny newness in fashion.
Perhaps it is because fall and winter looks blend together in one long season, but this season gets the buzz like no other. The designs that I see for FW2019 deserve that buzz, as they strike me as particularly unique. The range of patterns, silhouettes and textures provide direction and inspiration without denying anyone the power to dress for oneself. It feels like there is a collective effort to empower us to craft a truly individual style.
Sustainability in fashion has also gained momentum, as desire grows for perennial pieces that outlast seasonal trends. It’s not just about the lifespan of the garments. Buyers want less waste and more accountability in fashion, including the working conditions and the environmental impact of the factories and fiber producers.
Whether you are making the most of what you already have in your closet or have the desire to try something new, this fall fashion edit explores the reinvented, with a fresh perspective and attitude for a new season.
Mad for Plaid
Plaid for fall is hardly new territory, but this season it has dipped its toe into the “new neutral” zone, meaning it can be paired with nearly everything. I love plaid and animal prints, particular leopard, to give a wink to the ’90s without being overly retro. This R13 Patched Shirt has both in one, with an oversized plaid body and a cool leopard collar that makes it stand out. Plaid suiting jackets are meant to be worn over everything and also look fresh buttoned up and belted.
Turn Up The Volume
This fall you will see lots of details with a go-big-or-go-home attitude. From exaggerated puff sleeves to wide leg trousers, sizing up is where it is at. You don’t need Aqua Net to prove that bigger is definitely better; wearing a bold piece like this Isabel Marant Dixon Top speaks volumes. Big shoulders and puff sleeves are a statement with femininity.
Leather and faux leather emit warmth and luxury, making them essential to the fall fashion landscape. This Kate Spade Leather Tie Dress is a perfect example of leather being used with untraditional silhouettes: a sheath dress in a rich burgundy. The Zeynep Arcay Double Breasted Blazer ups the style game of a basic blazer by turning out in caramel colored leather.
The maxi dress has joined the midi skirt as one of fall’s fabulous silhouettes. Look for cool details like puff sleeves and high gathered necks that will make you stand out. Maxi dresses in prints such as animal and dark florals look super modern with a white or metallic bootie or a great pair of sneakers, like this Topshop Animal Print Prairie Dress shown above. Toss on a leather jacket or big “grandpa” cardigan and you are golden.
Shoes You Can Use
For those of your enjoying the continuation of the athlesuire trend, wearing sneakers with everything continues on into fall and beyond. The white and cream boots and booties are also looking fresh, with the addition of the western boot trend in full swing. White western boots anyone? Find a pair of fitted over-the-knee boots with block heels to wear with a cozy sweater dress. Ballet flats are reappearing for a feminine vibe, and a cool elevated loafer works wonders with cropped trousers, denim or a pleated skirt.
Plaid, English tweed and suiting are all great way to show style this fall, whether you wear matching pieces or just one. I like a longer plaid blazer belted and worn with skinny pants, and this Zara set is also really good. Strong shoulders, shaped pieces and both cropped and oversized blazers can add a lot of dimension to your wardrobe. Add a stripe or small floral to up your style game.
The New Knits
Sweater weather can be nearly year round in the Pacific Northwest, and this fall there are lots of great cozy knits that can keep you warm while you look cool. I love this J.Crew Balloon Sleeve Sweater, featured above, especially in the unexpected peach color. It would be gorgeous contrast against a deep grey. Look for an oversized “grandpa” cardigan sweater to wear over anything, a chic turtleneck to layer underneath, and something with big personality, like this Michaela Buerger “I Love Paris” knit. There is nothing basic about this new crop of knits.
Sparkle and shine are staples of a daytime wardrobe. This ASOS Neon Rose Metallic Skirt featured above, is fun with a graphic tee, and is versatile enough to be worn to the office with a black-tie neck blouse or a plaid blazer. Metallic separates, a sequin tee or embellishments on a knit are uniquely chic in a season known for radiant foliage, but not much sparkle. Skip the full shine look unless you are Vegas-bound, but don’t shy away from wearing one great piece all day long.
Croc-embossed leather and faux leather is having a moment for fall, and you need to hop on board. The look is elegant and understated and you can find bags—such as this Rejina Pyo Rita Bag above—shoes and all kinds of accessories that make a striking statement. Black is of course, a classic, but colored croc-embossed pieces can set the tone for a truly contemporary look.
Whether you want to play with shape and volume or give a new spin to a classic, there is a lot to love about this new season of dressing. There is no reason to be boxed in by rules or colors. Anything goes, with style of course.
Featured image courtesy of Isabel Marant