The Verdict Is In: Experts Told Us What Will Be Big in Fashion for Fall 2023


(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

We've already taken a deep dive into the biggest trends of the fall/winter 2023 collections and polled our editors on which they will wear first. Now we're speaking with insiders at some of the biggest fashion retailers to examine the collections and uncover top trends and key buys. Fueled by data on the pieces they'll invest in for the season ahead, they have a unique perspective on what direction fashion is taking this fall and the items that will land in stores.

So where is fashion headed for fall 2023? "There was a great sense of wearability to this season's collections, proving effortless and understated luxury is the future of dressing," Net-a-Porter Market Director Libby Page says. "We know our customers will continue to have an appetite for classic, minimal wardrobe essentials but also experiment with seasonal trends." We've already seen demand for ready-to-wear pieces growing, but this mood is continuing into next season, according to Page. 

April Hennig, Moda Operandi's chief merchant, also notes a change in how people are dressing. "We are seeing a shift in refined wardrobing," she says. "As women return to dressing for their day-to-day post-pandemic lives, fashion is transitioning out of pure fantasy and into reality."

MyTheresa's VP of fashion buying, Tiffany Hsu, had a similar interpretation of the collections, calling out maxi silhouettes and a return to tailoring. She also mentioned buzzy and impactful accessories like the furry shoes set to be big next season. Here, see the top fall 2023 trends and key buys for the season ahead.

The season's major trends include ready-to-wear pieces and bold shades, some of which have already started to leave an imprint on fashion. Despite the vast range of trends to know for fall 2023, these four are topping the list among fashion's biggest retailers.


1. Wearability
(Image credit: Fendi)

We repeatedly heard "wearability" uttered as the season's buzzword as designers focused on ready-to-wear pieces. "A compelling balance of creativity and sophistication reverberated throughout the month," Hennig explains. "The sense of wearability and ease seen in New York and Milan continued in Paris with dynamic creativity that elevated it to new heights." It's simple fashion at its best with a sense of refinement and re-imagination.


2. Red
(Image credit: Ferragamo)

The color of the season is undeniably red. "Established and emerging designers all received the red memo this season," Page says. "Maximilian Davis reinforced the brand's recently unveiled signature shade of scarlet with myriad amorous looks." Whether adding an accessory for a punch of color or committing to a head-to-toe red look, there is no denying this is the key shade to add to your cart.


3. Power Dressing
(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

Suiting took a turn in F/W 23 collections from slouchy and oversize silhouettes to sharp tailoring with powerful shoulders. "Designers championed tailoring for fall," Page says. "The more exaggerated, the better, as we saw at Saint Laurent." This power suiting was something on the forefront for Hsu as well. "Throughout the collections, there was a strong emphasis on tailoring featuring statement shoulders and hourglass silhouettes, as seen at Balmain, for example," she explains. "I think we will continue to see this trend throughout the upcoming season."


4. '90s Minimalism
(Image credit: Tove)

We've seen '90s minimalism on the runways now for many seasons. Whether you've already invested in pieces to tap into the trend or you're considering it now, rest assured that it isn't slowing down. "We have seen the trend for '90s minimalism in New York and London, and this continued in the collections by Gucci, Ferragamo, and Bottega in Milan and The Row and Valentino in Paris," Page says. "'90s minimalism is the trend we just can't get enough of."

The Key Buys

While we've already covered the main trends for F/W 23, what are the key buys to add to your shopping list for the season ahead? From the next It shoes to statement outerwear, these are the pieces to shop first.


1. Full Skirts
(Image credit: Prada)

"Prada's skirts are sure to be one of the biggest It items of the season," Hennig explains. "They came in various hemlines, from mini to A-line, with some boasting origami floral details." But we bet full skirts will be popular. The shape was prevalent on the F/W 23 runways and the street-style scene but is gaining even more momentum.


2. Great Coats
(Image credit: Altuzarra)

The resounding key buy for fall? A great coat. "Emotional outerwear is a must-have item for F/W 23," Hennig says, naming designs from Chloé, LaQuan Smith, Altuzarra, and Stella McCartney as brands to have on your shopping list. Hsu agrees. "For outerwear, we saw a lot of über-voluminous and fluffy coats, which I loved!" she says. While statement-making, opulent coats were particularly noteworthy, quieter, pared-back versions are also worthy of your attention. "Coats were a definite highlight this fashion month," Page says. "From tailored coats at Khaite, Gucci, and Erdem to leather coats at Gabriela Hearst and Ferragamo, we've seen numerous iterations of these luxurious, elevated styles on the runway."


3. Furry Footwear
(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight/Gucci)

While there are many emerging shoe trends for fall, furry footwear was a standout. "This season was all about the big, surrealistic shoe designs for me," Hsu explained. "Gucci and Bottega Veneta really stood out here in creating that fun, buzzworthy piece."

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated by Jasmine Fox-Suliaman. 

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.