With summer drawing to a close, fashion’s favourite season is finally within sight. So although we’re bidding
adieu to our floral frocks, summer sandals and denim cut-offs, we can rejoice in the return of leather boots, outerwear and accessories galore. This year designers have promised a fall season of fabulous fashion inspiration and sophisticated style, but not all runway looks (no matter how genius) are meant for the real world. To help you decipher fashion inspiration from fashion fantasy, here’s our guide to the
fall trends you want… and the ones you don’t.
Trends You Want
Head and shoulders
Christophe Decarnin led the charge last spring with his now iconic peaked-shoulder military jacket for Balmain (which was openly coveted by anyone with access to a fashion magazine) and many a hawk-eyed designer have followed suit making strong shoulders the absolute must have look for fall. This season, Decarnin reiterated the exaggerated silhouette that has become his signature in tuxedo jackets and leather bikers while Francesco Scognamiglio drew attention to the shoulders with oversized feminine ruffles. (Pictured above: Balmain and Francesco Scognamiglio)
The bold and the beautiful
This season designers are taking a stance against the doom and gloom of 2009 with optimistic splashes of bright, bold colour to punch of your wardrobe (and outlook) for fall.
Marc Jacobs brought a palette of mostly greys, charcoals and blacks to life with neon hits of electric yellow, blue, pink and purple. Even Jonathan Saunders, a designer known for his affinity for fluorescent hues, turned it up with an energetic collection of vivid colours and zaney patterns.
(Pictured above: Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Saunders)
‘80s trend continues to rage for fall, but this time around designers have taken a slightly more sophisticated approach to the decade’s iconic look. Designers like Twenty8Twelve, Isabel Marant and Charlotte Ronson have translated the youthful, angst-ridden style of the ‘80s for a more grown-up clientele with slimmer silhouettes, toned down embellishments and a chic black colour palette, leaving us with a new, fashion-forward iteration of the ‘80s, with just a hint of Pretty of Pink.
(Pictured above: Twenty8Twelve and Charlotte Ronson)
With strong shoulders leading fall trends this season, emphasizing the waist became a natural counterpoint, opening the door for another top trend: big-waisted belts. From
Stella McCartney to
Miss Sixty, designers were all about sexy cinchers including over-sized belts over coats and outerwear and wide corset-inspired belts to further emphasize the hips and shoulders.
(Pictured above: Miss Sixty and Stella McCartney)
That’s a wrap
For the fashion set, one of the joys of the fall season is the ability to wearing scarves and this year designers have given us a chic new alternative to the typical wrap-around variety in the funnel. These snuggly muffs accessorized fall runways including
Burberry and Rodarte, while shades of the funnel scarf could also be spotted in oversized, chunky turtleneck sweaters and funnel necked coats.
(Pictured above: Burberry and Rodarte)
Trends you don’t want (short shorts, headgear and fur) on the next page …
Trends You Don’t Want:
Who wears short shorts?
This spring/summer season brought shorts back with a vengeance but in no way does this mean you should continue wearing them into the fall…and in leather, no less. While models walking for Alexander Wang and Miss Sixty stomped down fall runways in sexy leather bicycle shorts and motorcycle inspired hot pants, this is probably not a trend worth wearing in the real world. (Pictured above: Miss Sixty and Alexander Wang)
Some runway looks are just that — meant exclusively for runways and fashion editorials, a lesson Madonna learned when she sported
Louis Vuitton’s whimsical bunny ears at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala in May. As fabulous as they look on runways, rarely do oversized headpieces a la LV and
Fendi, make sense beyond the realm of fashion week.
(Pictured above: Fendi and Louis Vuitton)
Fur coats are glamorous, elegant and luxurious, especially on the runway where almost anything goes. But in the real world, too much fur can start to look tacky, garish and costume-y. Case in point: the over-the-top furs shown by
Michael Kors and Andrew Gn make stunning fashion statements, but as with most show pieces, they’re better left on the runway.
(Pictured above: Michael Kors and Andrew Gn)
The menswear inspired trend is still going strong with blazers, trousers and oxfords continuing into fall — but remember, the key word here is
inspired. If you’re raiding your boyfriend’s closet (or worse, your dad’s) for wardrobe ideas, you’re missing the point. Fit and fashion go hand-in-hand — wearing an over-sized pinstripe suit is less
Mad Men, more Mad Hatter.
(Pictured above: Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent)
The joy of pulling on a pair of sexy, leather boots is another pleasure reserved exclusively for the fall season, and this year the big question is not so much how
low can you go, but how
high? Thigh high boots are all the rage for fall, but while models at the
Louis Vuitton and Rodarte shows stomped down the runways in fantastic, almost impossibly high boots, those of us in the real world had better stick to thigh-highs that come to just above the knee.
(Pictured above: Rodarte and Louis Vuitton)
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.