You guys—it’s October. September in L.A. doesn’t really count as fall, so now that temps are finally beginning to drop, I’m excited to be able to play the actual new-season fashion game. And why not? Animal prints, ankle boots, small bags… There are so many trends to choose from that I’m nervous three months is just not going to give me enough time to try them all out.
My NYC-based colleagues Nicole Akhtarzad (market editor at Who What Wear and the brains behind Trust Me Buy This) and Natalie Cantell (fashion director at Who What Wear) are with me on this, so they’ve been busy parsing through the season’s trends to decide which ones work for them (no neon here!). The biggest trend making their cut? “Western-inspired pieces, especially footwear,” Cantell tells me. “But modern! The vibe isn’t hokey; it shouldn’t feel like a thrift-store costume.”
In a bid to really get their fall wardrobes off to an auspicious start, the two turned to the new shoe collection from PAIGE, along with the other pieces from the brand’s collection.
Nicole wears PAIGE leopard pants and boots.
Nicole’s first look nails down some of my favorite elements of A/W 18: leopard spots, layered necklaces, and heeled ankle boots. When on the hunt for heeled boots that don’t feel like ones you already own, search for a pair with a cool chain detail that acts as stirrups (another elevated nod to the western theme). Nicole, a bona fide T-shirt girl, styled her jeans with what she likes to call “the best-of basics.” “These jeans needed a simple black tee and a great pair of boots,” she explains. “I love the London style because they have this detachable chain and belt detail, meaning you can change the vibe of them depending on what the outfit calls for.”
Natalie wears PAIGE leather pants and shoes.
Natalie—the person to turn to for pointers on seamlessly incorporating a playful trend into a polished ensemble—paired a beaded bag with her western-inspired mules for a look you could wear to a Monday morning meeting, no questions asked. (Take note and opt for pants with an ankle-length crop when mules are involved, btw.) “Leather pants, a tee, and a blazer make for a timeless outfit combo I always fall back on,” she tells me. “Just give it some personality by rotating in trending accessories that feel a little unexpected.”
Don’t feel like going all out in head-to-toe snake print or neon green? Go for a classic like Nicole did: Pair denim on denim, but make it city-ready with a chain-link bag and a pair of black suede Chelsea boots. “In this case, I opted for western ankle boots because there’s no shoe style I’d rather wear this fall,” she says. “I think most of the fashion world is with me on that one.”
I definitely agree: This look feels like the perfect balance between classic (Canadian tuxedo, anyone?) and trendy (all those killer western touches). Nicole, who wore a denim and shearling jacket with a white T-shirt, also opted for ankle-length cropped jeans. The leg opening allows for more of the boots to show, giving them that sock-boot look I’m really into atm.
Natalie wears a PAIGE dress and boots.
The idea behind this look? Westworld, but make it fashion. For a look that doesn’t involve jeans, Natalie went for a railroad-striped shirtdress and styled it with toffee-tone ankle boots to really amp up the western trend. My favorite part of this outfit? The way she brought the potentially costume-y old-time trend into the modern age via less expected accessories like her ring-handle bag and delicate gold jewelry.