Let’s face it: Fashion feels like a sprint. Keeping up with the latest versions of what everyone is wearing is downright exhausting, and it always seems that the moment we’ve added something new to our wardrobes, we turn around to find that everyone’s already onto the next thing.
But not all trends are made equal. Some come and go before you have time to make up your mind on them, while others surprise us by sticking around for several seasons—and others still manage to earn themselves permanent spots in our closets. It’s the latter that are the most satisfying pieces to own because they completely sidestep fashion’s speedy cycle. Invest in something with longevity, and your granddaughter could potentially still be wearing it half a century from now. It’s classic style at its finest, and it’s making a return for fall. All over the F/W 19 runways, designers envisioned something altogether more timeless and elevated. Simplicity was at the heart of it and offered a good reminder that despite the ultimately fleeting nature of certain trends, these few classics will always be relevant—today, next season, and decades from now.
To prove just how universal they are, we took three such “trends”—suiting, leather, and plaid—and cast two women ages 24 and 67 to model the looks side by side. Of all the fashion on offer for fall, the following are worthy investments.
Photo:Top: On JoAni: Jil Sander dress, David Yurman earrings, Bottega Veneta Mid-Calf Boots ($990); On Ravy: Jil Sander dress, Bottega Veneta Belt in Nappa and Brass ($1200). Above: On both: Kwaidan Editions Jacquard Knit '70s Blazer ($2755), '70s Collar Shirt, and Dark Brown Wide-Leg Pants; Panconesi hoop earrings; Bottega Veneta Mid-Calf Boots ($990)
Suiting silhouettes wax and wane depending on the season. Sometimes they’re tight and tailored, sometimes they’re loose and relaxed, but no matter the silhouette, these separates always manage to earn their keep in our closets. In recent seasons, the fashion crowd has embraced what was once seen as a corporate and, dare I say, stuffy uniform for working women: the pantsuit. Now though, you need not hold a high-powered 9-to-5 or frequent a boardroom to adopt the structured look. Anyone—and we mean anyone—can style a power suit and come off looking polished. And really, what’s more universal than that?
Photo:On both: Rosetta Getty Tailored Coat ($4456), Straight Vent Skirt, and Wrap Boots; Faris earrings
Leather (or its vegan look-alike) is naturally a timeless pick if we’re talking bags and shoes. But this fall, it's set to dominate the rest of your closet, too, coating fall’s coolest clothing in the luxurious material. Leather trench coats, leather shirts, leather dresses, and leather skirts are all defining pieces, but unlike other trends, this one works best when worn as a full look.
Photo:On JoAni: Bottega Veneta coat, Mid-Calf Boots ($990), and bag. On Ravy: Bottega Veneta coat and skirt; Faris earrings
But if images of The Matrix flood your head at the thought of wearing leather-on-leather, it's time to reconsider. The silhouettes we're seeing for fall involve much softer and more malleable leather. They play with textured leather and a range of non-traditional color palettes, like those from Bottega Veneta, making it a much more approachable and wearable trend.
Photo:On JoAni: Marni coat, dress, and shirt; Faris earrings. On Ravy: Marni coat; Proenza Schouler pants and shoes
Some things are just so classic we feel silly categorizing them as a trend. Plaid is one of those things. We all have something plaid in our closets, but now more than ever, the classic check print feels fresh and completely on trend. Forget stereotypes of the print being boring. It’s undergoing a design overhaul. Large graphic checks speak to the bold dressers among us, while unexpected silhouettes and cutouts transform demure gray plaid into something that feels undeniably forward.