There are plenty of reasons we love the fall. As the stifling heat of summer begins to dwindle, cooler temperatures, overcast skies, and nature’s beautiful changing colors replace it. Iced coffees are traded in for hot pumpkin spice lattes, and days at the beach are abandoned in favor of weekends spent curled up indoors with a good book. Even more exciting, however, is the transformation of our daily uniforms from laid back and lightweight, to something a little more classic and cozy.
September is a special month in the style world as it marks the arrival of the biggest designer collections of the year. And though it’s not time to haul those sumptuous coats, chunky knits, and leather boots out from the back of your closet just yet, it is time to trade in breezy linens and cottons for slightly more decadent fabrics including cashmere, suede, and tweed. The change in weather opens up so many wardrobe opportunities that have spent plenty of time on the back burner, enough to help you quickly, if temporarily, forget the fear of winter on the horizon and the nostalgia of summer.
As an “in-between season”, fall is all about balance and staying comfortable as the weather fluctuates. Layering is key. Some of the chicest fall ensembles out there work flawlessly because they feature of-the-moment pieces all layered together in an effort to keep warm. And this season, it’s all about luxurious basics, unorthodox shapes, rich color, and bold accessories. Keep scrolling for a guide to the season’s best trends and a curated selection of pieces to amp up your wardrobe.
While the arrival of fall often ushers in solid earthy hues like brown, black, and gray, the season’s latest collections—including those of Thebe Magugu and Andrea Iyamah—prove that rich hues like red shouldn’t be overlooked. Despite its vibrancy, the shade pairs nicely with practically anything including warm neutrals. Its bold, bright, and energetic spirit imparts a degree of confidence and an air of old-school glamor. Feeling a little apprehensive about diving headfirst into the trend? We suggest gently dipping your toe and turning to scarlet accessories for that splash of color. Crafted from striking Italian calf leather, Yeba’s Mino Mini bag packs a powerful punch despite its diminutive size, while Okapi’s Scarlet Red Lamia Bag boasts an understated refinement and structural simplicity. For the more daring, Emmy Kasbit’s Adejare set is a head-to-toe embrace of the season’s top shade, one that can serve as a cool, laidback daytime look as well as a slightly more refined evening ensemble.
Is there any other ensemble that makes you look as instantly pulled together and chic, sans effort, as a suit? It’s almost as easy as just slipping on a dress, both top and bottom working in harmony to bring about a reassuring synchronicity. From Kenneth Ize’s Aso Oke sets, to Emmy Kasbit’s more casual take on the style, the past season’s collections mirrored this sentiment, offering dual pieces that are compellingly coordinated. The Laju Suit by Pepper Row is an exercise in modern sophistication, the hand-crafted slick set offering its wearer an air of effortless polish and an undeniable cool factor. Lisa Folawiyo’s Lucky Asymmetric Blazer and pants set meanwhile is a visually arresting choice for the fearless, the prints of its contrasting, patterned panels of cotton and silk mesmerizing in their complexity, making for a scene-stealing fall ensemble.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with an inclination toward daintier jewelry, just know that slinky metal chains, sleeper earrings, and their fine ilk are set to take a back seat this season in favor of unconventional embellishment shapes. From Ami Doshi Shah’s Zoisite Torque Necklace, to Pichulik’s signature combination of braided rope and custom brass, the season’s collections epitomize the idea that more is more. Margaux Wong’s Glorious Ring’s irregular, eye-catching design, oversized form, and touches of cow horn and brass render it fitting to serve as your sole fall ensemble accessory. Jiamini’s head-turning Matuu Spine Bracelet makes an even bigger statement, its intricately detailed, gold-plated brass form best paired with a neutral hued ensemble for an understated yet vibrant fall get-up.
There’s no doubt foundational items in your wardrobe are important—be it the jeans you reach for every day or that one blazer that you can wear with anything—but it’s particularly true when it comes to this season given that the weather will call for daily layering. To that end, there’s no time like now to begin sartorially prepping and re-upping luxurious basics like versatile jackets, classic carryalls, and unfussy shirts in soft, neutral shades that can be easily mixed and matched. Since it’s not yet cold enough to bring out the big guns when it comes to jackets, your best bet right now is reaching for pieces that are lightweight enough for everyday wear while still being able to ward off any kind of chill in the air. UNI FORM’s Collarless Blazer is crafted from pure cotton, the boxy style perfect for pairing with a pair of straight leg jeans and chic ankle boots. Throw it over Orange Culture’s Duro Shirt. Its soft lemon hue lends the look a subtle, but striking pop of color.
Though femininity in fashion may have once revolved around all things pink and floral, fall’s modern take embraces romance and ruffles beyond just poofy dresses and skirts, instead finding a kind of soft strength in sharp tailoring, eccentric patterns, subversive shapes, and more. For a look that’s both utterly modern and perfectly pretty, embrace the artisanal sophistication of Viviers’ Acid Banana Orchid Pajama Shirt. It features a contrast-colored stand collar, long wide sleeves, and a concealed front fastening, making it perfect for layering under a soft trench or light jacket. Then there’s Babayo’s Fulani Embroidered Shirt and Pants set—the perfect hybrid of both comfort and style. There’s a marked sense of nonchalant ease that’s evoked by the pieces. Pair it with a closed-toe mule and classic leather shoulder bag for a look that’s ultra femme but super simple.
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