Ready or not, fall 2021 is right around the corner. While we are fully prepared to mourn the end of summer, the trends this fall are making us excited for the sartorial changes ahead. Just recently, we finally got to see designers incorporate the joy of dressing back into their collections. There was a more-is-more mentality across the board, and if you, like many of us, lived in sweatpants and leggings over the past couple of years, this aesthetic probably feels very refreshing. From the return of the early 2000s to severely saturated shades, we can assure you there is no shortage of forward, conversational trends this season, and we’re beyond excited to share them with you.
After studying all of the looks on the F/W 21 runways, we’ve narrowed it down to nine trends that will define the season ahead. We’ve also landed on the hero buys that are destined to be the most coveted pieces of the season, from major statement coats and layered suiting to matching knit sets and barely there dresses. Here, dive into the biggest trends for fall 2021 and every important fashion item to add to your cart.
Photo:Courtesy of Peter Do; Courtesy of The Row; Courtesy of Etro; Courtesy of By Malene Birger; Courtesy of Lemaire
Every season, designers seem to have a fresh take on suiting, and it’s no different for fall 2021. This time around, the focus is on the many tailored pieces to layer together into a look. The suit remains the focal point, as always, but there are new players in the world of tailoring to wear with it. At brands such as The Row, Peter Do, and Lemaire, you’ll notice all of those layers at play with varying takes on how to style a blazer, a waistcoat, trousers, and a coat together. Oh, and another key takeaway? The emphasis on tonal tailoring with an interplay of pieces from one dominant color family.
Photo:Mango Double Breasted Denim Trench ($100) and Buttons Suit Waistcoat ($60); The Frankie Shop Isla Blazer ($300) and Isla Pants ($230)
So which pieces should you add to your closet to tap into this season’s fresh take on tailoring? As we mentioned, it’s all about the layers. Looser silhouettes are dominating, so that is one major consideration to note. As far as the specific pieces go, though, we’re putting our money on the vest, the relaxed suit, and the menswear-inspired coat. They’re really a mix-and-match set as far as we’re concerned, so you’ll be smart to stick to similar tones so you’re able to reinvent them with some subtle styling updates each time you wear them.
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Photo:Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo; Courtesy of Coperni; Courtesy of Jacquemus; Courtesy of Thebe Magugu; Courtesy of Bottega Veneta
Neutrals and minimalistic dressing have dominated fashion for some time now. While that isn’t exactly over, all of the saturated colors on the runways have left no question about the collective sense of optimism in the air about where fashion is headed and what we’ll be wearing. According to designers such as Jacquemus, Bottega Veneta, and Salvatore Ferragamo, that means really leaning into vibrant colors like fuchsia, grass green, and tangerine, to name a few. It’s really less about the specific color and more about committing to seriously saturated shades.
No matter what your comfort level is with saturated colors, we’re confident that you can add them into your wardrobe this fall. If you’re easing your way into brighter hues, statement shoes are an easy way to inject a fun pop of color into a look. The next level up? A bold poplin shirt, which we’d recommend wearing in this season’s oversize proportions, or a dress that takes on a rainbow of bold colors from violet to electric blue. If you’re really ready to commit, wear them head to toe for maximum impact as we saw on the runways.
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Photo:Courtesy of Altuzarra; Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst; Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor; Courtesy of Khaite; Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai
Is it even fall if you don’t have a healthy assortment of new knitwear stuffed in your closet? Our answer to that question is no. While knitwear of all kinds is always welcomed and encouraged during fall and winter, this year, it is all about cable-knit pieces. We saw Altuzarra, Khaite, and Rebecca Minkoff douse models in layers and layers of cable-knits of all kinds, from matching sets to oversize sweaters. Altuzarra chose the more editorial route by pairing a cardigan, pants, and beanie together for the ultimate big-knit-energy look, while Gabriela Hearst wowed us with a stunning dress version of the knitwear trend. The point we are trying to make here is that cable-knit is trending, and it’s trending hard. All you have to do now is pick your poison.
Photo:Nanushka Raw Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater ($775) and Fina Cable-Knit Wide-Leg Pants ($675); H&M Wool-Blend Cable-Knit Sweater ($50); Molly Goddard Vaughan Striped Cable-Knit Wool Tank ($540)
It’s time to talk shop. The world is your oyster as far as this cable-knit trend is concerned, but there are three items, in particular, that we are expecting to be big wins this fall—the oversize sweater, the matching set, and, of course, the sweater-vest. The oversize sweater is the most classic of the bunch and has proven year after year to be a wardrobe staple. The knit matching set comes in many forms, from matching skirts and cardigans to pants and bra tops. The sky has recently become the limit as far as these knit couples are concerned. Lastly, we have the sweater-vest, which peaked last year and has proven its shelf life is indeed quite long. So if you thought you missed your chance, you did not, because this season is about to be chock-full of the piece.
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Photo:Courtesy of Gucci; Courtesy of Coperni; Courtesy of Christian Cowan; Courtesy of The Attico; Courtesy of Nensi Dojaka
For F/W 21, many designers envisioned the “going out” renaissance we’ve all been craving and exactly what to wear for it. The looks revolve around bare skin, high heels, short hemlines, and a fresh new vision for how to get dressed up at night. Christian Cowan, Nensi Dojaka, and The Attico dressed models in everything from pieces with cutout details to crystal-adorned heels, and it’s just the inspiration we’ve been looking for to get dressed up for a fun night out.
Photo:Louisa Ballou Heatwave Sleeveless Minidress ($405); Khaite Roza Sweater ($1780); By Far Carlotta Sandals ($504)
While we’re not ones to limit what a going-out wardrobe looks like, we’ve zeroed in on some core items to snap up for your fashion-forward outings—including the see-through dress, the embellished shoes, and the cutouts. The “naked” dress has been in circulation for a while, but the next iteration includes statement underwear as seen at Coperni, a styling movement that fashion insiders are already adopting. Fun cutout pieces can take the form of anything from the OG “going out” top to dresses with strategically placed holes. The final piece—the embellished heels—belongs in any closet, no matter where you’re headed.
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Photo:Courtesy of Chloé; Courtesy of Ottolinger by Shotti NYC; Courtesy of Louis Vuitton; Courtesy of Loewe; Conner Ives via ImaxTree
This season, the joy of dressing finally returned, and one of the strongest ways we saw it reemerge was in artistic and crafty prints. From screen prints to geometric patterns to what looks like paintings atop the fabrics, this season, participating in this trend will make you look like a moving museum. Designers to note include Ottolinger for its continuation of conversation-worthy mesh printed pieces, Loewe’s sculptural silhouettes and 3D adornments, and Louis Vuitton’s assortment of mural-like prints. The past year and a half brought about a lot of dullness in terms of our wardrobes, and it’s time to shake things up. We can’t think of a better way to do that than via this artsy and loud trend.
Photo:Inamorata Lilou Long Sleeve ($57); With Jéan Lovers Dress ($279); AZ Factory Pijama The Kiss Printed Silk-Twill Wide-Leg Pants ($280)
This trend may seem wild at first glance, but it’s surprisingly easy to achieve. Ease your way into it with a mesh printed top. Pair this with jeans, trousers, or a simple skirt. With little to no effort, this top will have you looking on-trend and in-the-know. If you want something a little more intense, a screen-printed dress is where it’s at. With Jéan is taking the lead in this space, but we’re seeing more and more brands churn out equally eye-catching styles. Last, we recommend printed pants. Style yours, no matter the pattern, with a white tank, big sweater, or tailored blazer. We can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy your new pants are to style—trust us.
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Photo:Courtesy of Chanel; Courtesy of LaQuan Smith; Courtesy of Fendi; Courtesy of Emma Brewin; Courtesy of Lanvin
More often than not, faux-fur coats are the go-to come fall and winter, but this season, we’re seeing furry new friends pop up left and right. Fear not, for furry coats are still very much the main attraction when it comes to this soft-to-the-touch trend, but they certainly aren’t the only attraction. Lanvin, Chanel, and LaQuan Smith impressed with not only furry outerwear but also furry tops, pants, hats, and even shoes. You could leave the house wearing a full faux-fur look, and according to these designers, that would be perfectly fine. However, just one piece per look seems like the more approachable option.
Photo:Blumarine Angora-Blend Knitted Set ($691); Emma Brewin Black Bucket ($440); Apparis Siena Long Faux-Fur Coat ($460)
We’ve narrowed down this touchable trend to three key pieces—the coat, the separates, and the bucket hat. It’s likely you already have a favorite faux-fur coat hanging in your closet, but if you don’t, might we suggest one of the stunners below? The separates are open to interpretation based on your personal style. Whether you’re a sucker for a great furry-trimmed cardigan, want to be daring and search for a fuzzy skirt à la Chanel, or need to channel Rihanna via a dramatic faux-fur hat, this trend welcomes you and all of your heart’s sartorial desires.
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Photo:Courtesy of Etro; Courtesy of Prada; Courtesy of Givenchy; Courtesy of Ambush; Courtesy of MSGM
If there is one key item to invest in this season, it’s the statement coat. Designers including Givenchy, Prada, and Etro made a strong case for showstopping coats, and the eye-catching outerwear is simply too good to ignore. Making a further case for conversation coats, they’re also one of the most talked-about pieces among the industry’s biggest fashion buyers, which is a sure sign that they’ll be everywhere on the street style scene and at the most important retailers. You can literally throw them on over anything to make a major entrance.
Photo:Ganni Linen Canvas Coat ($375); Staud Ashley Vegan Leather Coat ($550); Mango Quilted Buttoned Coat ($100)
Not sure which statement coat to add to your wardrobe? There are a few important styles to consider, and we’ve narrowed it down to three that we’re banking on being big for the season ahead. For starters, the colored-leather coat is yet another cool way to tap into the saturated-color trend and already has our editors’ stamp of approval. Next up is the leopard coat, which is part of the bigger leopard trend that’s having a major moment for F/W 21. Lastly, if you’re looking for something you’ll never want to take off, make it the cloud coat, which is so soft and puffy you’ll probably be tempted to take a snooze in it.
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Photo:Courtesy of Louis Vuitton; Courtesy of Kenzo; Courtesy of Ottolinger; Courtesy of Miu Miu; Courtesy of Chanel
This trend may seem oddly specific, but we couldn’t ignore all of the slope-centric fashion on the F/W 21 runways. It was so prevalent that we’re now referring to it as slopecore because we predict we’ll see all things ski-related dominate fashion in the coming season. Brands including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Ottolinger all showcased pieces including fashion-forward ski goggles, moon boots, and knits. It was the Miu Miu show, though, that really made the case for slopecore. The show, set in the snow-capped Dolomites, featured ski-inspired looks from opening to finale.
Photo:Molly Goddard Harper Fair Isle Wood Cardigan ($740); Zara Slit Ribbed Leggings ($36); MSGM Concealed Puffer Coat ($771)
Sure, we think slopecore is set to be a major trend, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a head-to-toe ski look. Here, some trends are more wearable than others, and it’s the versatile pieces that can be worn on and off the slopes that are the first to add to your cart. The base layer is a great place to start—think anything from reinvented leggings to catsuits to leotards.
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Photo:Courtesy of Blumarine; Courtesy of Versace; Courtesy of Chanel; Courtesy of Our Legacy; Courtesy of Supriya Lele
Take a stroll with me down memory lane to a time when things seemed simpler… at least as far as The Simple Life was concerned. We’re talking about the early 2000s. The fashion back then was, well, interesting, and much to everyone’s surprise, all those trends you once had a love-hate relationship with are officially back. Yes, that includes low-rise jeans, butterflies, halter tops, and trucker hats. While apps like TikTok and Instagram kick-started the movement among Gen Z style icons everywhere, the runways taught us how to elevate the rather casual trend and treat it with the respect it deserves. Blumarine blew us away with a collection fully inspired by the early aughts as everything from newsboy caps to butterfly belts took center stage, Chanel managed to make a faux-fur vest—dare we say it—cool again, and the kerchiefs in the hair at Versace evoked all kinds of nostalgia. There was much more where that came from, but the bottom line is the aughts are hot again, and we have the shopping picks to prove it.
Photo:Laspor Retro Rimless Rectangle Sunglasses ($13); Zara Crossed Halter Top ($13); Grlfrnd Bella Low Rise Boyfriend ($225)
Curious how to get the early aughts vibe without looking like you’re wearing a costume? We’ve got you covered. Besides taking notes from stylish celebrities like Bella Hadid and Olivia Rodrigo (who have officially mastered this trend), we suggest starting with the basics: a halter top, low-rise jeans, and some translucent colorful sunglasses. Together, those items make one heck of an outfit, but they are just as powerful when worn separately. Halter tops are a fun piece to layer underneath a blazer or heavy jacket this fall, and if you’re smart, you’ll buy one now and wear it throughout the end of summer. Low-rise jeans might make you the most uncomfy out of these three options, but they are trending nonetheless, so give them a chance why don’t you? The sunglasses are really the cherry on top of a “hot aughts” look, so take them or leave them, but we happen to love them quite dearly.
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