Anti-Viral Fashion Is Set to Be Fall 2023's Key Aesthetic

One of the prevailing messages on the fall/winter 2023 runways was wearability. "Wearable" carved itself out as the buzziest word of the fall/winter 2023 collections, with an overwhelming shift toward pieces such as slinky satin tank tops, tailored outerwear, and hooded jackets. The runways were stocked with pieces that are truly ready to wear, and designers made a case for investing in beautifully constructed wardrobe pieces, emphasizing quality, craftsmanship, and pieces that are designed to withstand trends. In part, this anti-viral fashion feels like a reaction to the pace of the trend cycle, which is now moving at hyperspeed on TikTok with viral "micro-core" aesthetics that are inherently fleeting.

Fashion for fall 2023 looks decidedly more wearable but also more grown-up. It feels like a mindset shift centered around building a wardrobe with beautiful separates that can be worn for years ahead, as opposed to trend-specific purchases. The Row put sophisticated coats and gloves on display, while Miu Miu was a master class in casual yet directional dressing with easy hoodie looks. White tank tops got the cool-girl effect at Ferragamo, and Saint Laurent took them to an elegant, polished place, styling them with satin pencil skirts and sharp pumps. Perhaps the look that embodies this spirit of wearability most is the finale look at Bottega Veneta—a riff on the opening look for Matthieu Blazy's debut F/W 22 collection—featuring a white tank top and jeans. Blazy has been including a new take on the look in each collection since, which proves that the smart, seasonless buys are meant to be collected and restyled season after season.

Ahead, see six wearable essentials, from low-key basics to sophisticated staples, to invest in now that will define fall 2023 fashion.

Power Suiting

Power suiting, whether pairing a blazer with trousers or a tailored pencil skirt, is firmly returning to fashion. Impactful and functional, these are the pieces that will give your 9-to-5 wardrobe a fresh overhaul.


(Image credit: Saint Laurent)


(Image credit: Gucci)

Chunky Earrings

If there is one jewelry piece to invest in, the runways have proven that it is the chunky earrings that feel equal parts powerful and elegant. They're intended to be worn regardless of the outfit or occasion, whether than means a simple white tank top or an eveningwear dress.


(Image credit: Ferragamo)


(Image credit: Chloé)

A Touch of Red

Red is the defining color of the fall 2023 collections. Rather than invest in trend-driven pieces, look out for timeless buys such as leather gloves and bags that can withstand the seasons. The Row showcased one of the most memorable looks of the season, featuring a wearable way to style fiery red.


(Image credit: The Row)


(Image credit: Tory Burch/Imaxtree)

White Tank Tops

Tank tops continue to be one of the most wearable pieces from the runways, taking on the form of simple cotton pieces and slinky satin styles. Looks from Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta demonstrate the range of the staple depending on how it is styled.


(Image credit: Saint Laurent)


(Image credit: Bottega Veneta)

Leather Skirts

A long list of designers, including Proenza Schouler and Alexander McQueen, delivered beautiful takes on leather skirts that are intended to be bought for fall, but early adopters will add them to their closets now.


(Image credit: Proenza Schouler)


(Image credit: Alexander McQueen)


Designers showcased how casual pieces like hoodies can be worn for a variety of occasions, from casual to dressy. At Miu Miu, hoodies were paired with leggings and sneakers for a directional take on basics, and Gabriela Hearst elevated the basic by pairing it with a leather blazer and skirt.


(Image credit: Miu Miu)


(Image credit: Gabriela Hearst)

Next: Everything to Know About the Fall 2023 Collections

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.