F/W 18 Fashion Trends: The Only Looks You Need to Know

To say the F/W 18 fashion trends are really tempting is a massive understatement. Some of the key looks for the new season have hit both high-fashion departments and high-street stores way in advance with the chief of the tribe found within the huge array of animal prints that have touched down everywhere from Balenciaga to Topshop. If you aren't wearing leopard, zebra, cow, or snake prints within the next few days, I'll eat my new Manolos.

This first major trend is an indicator of what's to come for the rest of the year: Things are looking loud, shiny, touchy, feely, Instagram-this-ASAP. You could say it's an "always on" approach to getting dressed: No outfit—no matter how casual—is devoid of a talking point or two. There are the boldest iterations of this way of thinking: Imagine super-short party dresses rendered in '80s-style duchess satin with puffy shoulders, worn with all of the not-so-essential accouterments for making a grand entrance like costume jewelry and sunglasses (at night).

And there are the more subtle routes in: Perhaps you'll update your somber autumn looks with a pair of bright-red knee-high slouchy boots or a crystal hairclip that gets everyone in your circle wanting to copy you immediately. Perhaps you'll be drawn away from the usual blacks and greys you rely upon when the weather takes a turn and jump into a world of pretty pastel blues (suiting is key here) or all-brown-everything (retro, '70s silhouettes prevail, but brown anything will get a fashion editor's seal of approval here).

There are some trends that are just too plain wacky to really affect your wardrobe, so for that reason, we've left out a few ideas we know you'd rather sidestep. (Balenciaga's 20 layers à la Joey from Friends is excellent meme fodder, but come on, no one has that much time to style an outfit each morning). Instead, the below looks are the ones that are fast filtering onto the street style scene and into your favorite stores. Before you know it, September will arrive, and the below guide will ensure you're 100% ready with realistic, really enjoyable trends to try out.

Keep reading for Who What Wear's edit on the top fashion trends of F/W 18. 

1. ANIMAL PRINT

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  animal prints seen at Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Victoria Beckham and MSGM

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You're looking at the mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, and uncle of all A/W 18 fashion trends here. Animal print prowled over an astonishing amount of runways across NYC, London, Milan, and Paris like a Noah's ark for only the chicest passengers. Leopard-print coats and leopard-print shoes will undoubtedly be the two most prevalent ways this trend presents itself in fast fashion, but there's an abundance of snake and python patterns, zebra, cheetah, faux-croc—some of which come in classic, neutral tones, but there are more wild and wonderful multicolored versions out there too. Just ask Tom Ford and his racy red leopard print–clad ladies.

See our guides on how to wear leopard print, the best leopard print coats out there, and our favorite animal-print shoes.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  leopard print coat at Victoria Beckham

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Victoria Beckham F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  zebra dress at Balenciaga

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Balenciaga F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: snake print jeans at Isabel Marant

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Isabel Marant F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: red leopard print trousers and shoes at Tom Ford

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Tom Ford F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: python print midi skirt at MSGM

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MSGM F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: leopard coat at Calvin Klein

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Calvin Klein F/W 18

2. '70s SHADES OF BROWN

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: the colour brown seen at Fendi, Chloe, Jacquemus and Rochas

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There are some more literal takes on '70s fashion on the F/W 18 runways, but the way it will affect your personal style is via the color brown. From Fendi's beige-and-chocolate monogrammed clothes and accessories through to Chloé's entire ode to every possible shade in this spectrum (often all worn within one look), we're not being obtuse when we say brown is definitely the new black.

Investigate which colors to wear together with our how-to.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Fendi's brown monogram logo dress

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Fendi F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Chloé's many shades of 1970s-style brown worn together

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Chloé F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Rochas's tan dress with brown leather accessories

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Rochas F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Tod's dark brown leather tailoring

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Tod's F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: a brown knitted dress from Jacquemus

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Jacquemus F/W 18

3. MINI PARTY DRESSES

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: 1980s inspired mini party dresses at Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Balmain and Saint Laurent

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If there's one thing you're definitely going to see a lot of on A-listers' Instagram feeds, it's legs and super-elaborate party dresses. They're basically going to party like it's 1989, which means satin, silk, velvet, crystals, brocade, and sequins used in abundance, but on the teeniest tiniest frocks you ever did see. Worn with equally elaborate jewelry, shoes, bags, hair accessories, gloves, and sunglasses, this batch of beautiful dresses will definitely inform the look for the Christmas party season.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: black lace dress from Chanel

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Chanel F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: multicolour sequined tinsel dress from Ashish

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Ashish F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: pink puff-sleeved and ruffled tuxedo dress from Alexander McQueen

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Alexander McQueen F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: black tulle and striped party dress from Balmain

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Balmain F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: floral power-shoulder mini dress from Saint Laurent

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Saint Laurent F/W 18

4. SLOUCHY BOOTS

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: slouchy boots on the runways of Pucci, Tibi and Alberta Ferretti

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There are cowboy boots, knee-high boots, and snake-print boots all taking to the stage for fall, but if there's one style that's been bubbling up for some time now, it's the slouchy boot. Blame it on the slight '70s revival or just on the fact that a slouchy boot is easier to tuck trousers and jeans into, but there's a little bit of Sienna Miller circa 2004 about what's going on here—and we're into it.

See our six new favorite shoe trends for fall.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Alberta Ferretti's slouchy purple boots tucked in leather trousers

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Alberta Ferretti F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Givenchy's cropped slouchy ankle boots

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Givenchy F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Pucci's quilted red slouchy knee-high boots

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Emilio Pucci F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Tibi's red slouchy knee-high boots

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Tibi F/W 18

5. CRYSTALS ON EVERYTHING

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: crystals adorning accessories at Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha, Gucci and Ashley Williams

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Carrying on from this summer's magpie tendencies, you'll find that the coolest designers are just as into kitsch crystals as the Scandi influencer set. From sneakers strapped up with giant jewels at Gucci to new versions of Ashley Williams's popular barrettes, there's a crystal item to suit every possible taste, from ultra-flouncy and girlish to punk to sporty and back again. Expect the jewelry departments across the world of e-commerce to be dripping in (faux) diamonds.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  crystal satin heels at Nina Ricci

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Nina Ricci F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: crystal earrings and hairclips with bows at Simone Rocha

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Simone Rocha F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: crystal and black leather slingbacks at Christopher Kane

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Christopher Kane F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: crystal barettes at Ashley Williams

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Ashley Williams F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  jewelled sneakers at Gucci

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Gucci F/W 18

6. NEW LAYERING TRICKS

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: new layering ideas from Louis Vuitton, Christophe Lemaire and Acne Studios

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As I mentioned, there are some pretty adventurous layering ideas going on in the upper echelons of the fashion industry right now. But I've sifted through the madness to bring you some clever outfit layering updates that you can easily do and, most importantly, will want to do. From a new way to fasten your old scarf and trench coat together (thanks, Acne Studios) to a shirtdress-and-trouser formula that looks insanely elegant (always rely on Christophe Lemaire for that kind of grown-up chic), here are some new hacks.

Roll-Neck + Pretty Dress
Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  leather coat and floral dress at Coach

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Coach 1941 F/W 18

Denim Jacket + Wool Coat
Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: layered coat and denim jacket at Paco Rabanne

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Paco Rabanne F/W 18

Giant Scarf Belted Into Trench Coat
Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: belted blanket scarf and coat at Acne Studios

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Acne Studios F/W 18

Shirtdress Over Trousers + Blazer + Overcoat
Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: layered shirt dress over trousers at Lemaire

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Lemaire F/W 18

Spaghetti-Strap Top + Knit
Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Louis Vuitton's knitwear under spaghetti-strap bodices

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Louis Vuitton F/W 18

7. RAD PLAID

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: plaid and tartan seen at Emilia Wickstead, Versace and Sonia Rykiel

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From punky tartan blouses at LFW through to preppy plaid suiting in New York, there's some stiff competition for animal prints ruling the kingdom this season, and it comes in almost any form of checked fabric. Given that we're based in London, we're naturally into the more rock 'n' roll vibes you'll see at the likes of Versace and Isa Arfen (100% yes to a tartan blouse with jeans), but there are plenty of smart and natty wears to wear this trend for more formal occasions and within the office. See what we mean below…

Check out our latest info on how to wear plaid now.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: plaid coat, scarf and bag at Michael Kors

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Michael Kors Collection F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: plaid trouser suit from Emilia Wickstead

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Emilia Wickstead F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: tartan clothes and accessories at Sonia Rykiel

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Sonia Rykiel F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Versace's tartan kilt and matching bag

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Versace F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018:  Isa Arfen's plaid ruffle blouse

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Isa Arfen F/W 18

8. PASTEL BLUES

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: pastel blue shades seen at Roksanda, Dries Van Noten and Palmer//Harding

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If brown just feels too, well, down for you, then take solace in a much lighter, brighter range of dusky, powdery blues. Designers have adopted this traditionally more summery hue for the winter months by using it for trouser suits, heavy coats, and cozy knits. It looks great with other punchy pastels but just as season-appropriate with oodles of black: See Dries Van Noten's inky pencil skirt + cornflower sweater look for a great starting point.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: pastel blue suit at Delpozo

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Delpozo F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: blue trousers from Palmer//Harding

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Palmer//Harding F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: blue trouser suit at Roksanda

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Roksanda F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: blue sweater with a pencil skirt at Dries Van Noten

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Dries Van Noten F/W 18

9. JAZZY JUMPERS

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: intarsia knitwear at Sacai, Dior and Christopher Kane

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A guaranteed retail smash, look-twice intarsia knits are definitely going to be big business this fall. From the slogo sweaters that are going to sell out from Christopher Kane (show me someone who doesn't want to wear a red jumper with the word "special" splashed across it) to more complex zigzagged ponchos, there's posh bit of knitwear out there for everyone to snuggle up to. And if Prada's logo jumpers don't go viral, nothing will.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Prada'a logo knitwear

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Prada F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Etro's fringed poncho-inspired knitwear

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Etro F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Christopher Kane's Special jumper

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Christopher Kane F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Dior's peace-sign sweater

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Dior F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Sacai's fringed and knitted jumper and skirt

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Sacai F/W 18

10. SCARF PRINTS

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: scarf prints seen at Richard Quinn, Marine Serre and Salvatore Ferragamo

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Hot-ticket newbies such as London's Richard Quinn and established brands alike are both backing a microtrend that really could go macro: scarf prints. Turning classic silk foulards into slinky dresses and tops, as well as styling up neck scarves and headscarves galore, we've already seen this translating onto social media and in stores like Zara.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: scarf print tunic from Céline

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Céline F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: scarf print outfit from Richard Quinn

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Richard Quinn F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Ferrgamo's red scarf print dress

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Salvatore Ferragamo F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Marine Serre's scarf print top and skirt

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Marine Serre F/W 18

11. CARRIE BRADSHAW–STYLE BAGS

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: mini shoulder bags seen at Fendi, Miu Miu and Dior

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Carrie Bradshaw's favorites are all coming back right now, and along with strappy sandals, it's her fictional bag collection we're seeing as the most adopted new handbag trend in some time: Cue mini shoulder bags adorned with logos, chain-straps or glitzy embellishment. We've already seen a huge comeback for Dior's Saddle bag, so expect more archival pieces to peak soon. Wear yours with the most low-key daytime ensembles to really look modern. We think she'd zone in on Miu Miu's sequin version first… Do you agree?

See our team put Carrie's iconic looks on trial.

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Miu Miu's sequin shoulder bag

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Miu Miu F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Fendi's logo shoulder bag

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Fendi F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Dolce & Gabbana's embellished shoulder bag

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Dolce & Gabbana F/W 18

Autumn winter fashion trends 2018: Dior's embroidered saddle bag

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Dior F/W 18

Phew! Which trend do you like the most? 

 This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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