I’m calling it now: fashion is back, capital F. We’ll face it: the runway hasn’t felt as exciting lately as it did in previous seasons. There have been many reasons to search elsewhere for costume ideas, including the lack of in-person presentations, the emergence of viral style stars (looking at you, TikTok), the fall in red carpet extravaganza, and more. However, if you haven’t attended a fashion show in a while, the intriguing fall/winter designs are a sign that you should reapply. This season was a study in opposites, with enormous, body-enveloping pieces appearing here and tight, titillating pieces elsewhere. Complete restraint in some respects, collegiate and campy in others.
With so many options, it’s a real invitation to find your sartorial niche. Continue reading to learn about the autumn 2022 trends you should be aware of, ones that will rekindle your desire to get dressed and feel good while doing so.
Miniskirts and headscarves defined the 1960s, while shoulder pads and chromatic colour defined the 1980s. It was more about a mood back in the ’90s, an era widely admired for its simple but intelligent approach to design. That pared-back style is beautifully recreated for the fall/winter season, serving as a palate-cleanser for the anything-goes Y2K rebirth. Tibi’s simple clothes were dupes for something Julia Stiles’s character would’ve worn in 10 Things I Hate About You; Bottega Veneta’s unassuming look—bootcut denim and a plain white tank—looked stolen from Calvin Klein’s CK One heyday. For those who like their grunge, Celine and Chloé’s all-black, all-leather outfits provided a familiar edge without being overpowering.
Invest in a well-made ribbed tank: it’s the foundation of every good minimalist look. Suiting mainstays, provided in an unobtrusive palette of charcoal greys and inky blues, should then fall into the relaxed-silhouette category to assist represent the era’s ease.
Colossal Robe Coats
Those of us who live in extremely cold climates have one seasonal silver lining: top outerwear selections. Every year, the fall/winter runways produce a new crop of attractive options—leopard-printed jackets last year, wool capes a few years ago—but this season, designers experimented with epic dimensions. Robe jackets acted as a springboard, but it was their massive bulk that set them apart. Copernic’s impossibly plush, faux-fur coats that completely enveloped the models; Acne Studios’ voluminous, duvet-style coat covered in a print you might find on grandma’s bedspread (yes, it actually works); and Versace’s candy apple-hued patent puffer that looked like it had been pumped up with air were some standouts. Sub-zero temperatures don’t seem that frightening anymore.
Of course, it’s -30 degrees outside. It doesn’t really matter what you wear underneath these oversize, statement-making coats (they’re a style in and of themselves), but a pair of thigh-high boots—the season’s seen-everywhere accessory—is a great cold-weather match.
Rule the School
Even as adults, the eagerly anticipated coming of September—and hence back-to-school season—remains contagious. Fresh starts and fresh notebooks are part of it, but it’s always been the collegiate attire that has gotten us excited. This season, designers tapped into that nostalgic yearning with a slew of uniform-style styles. At Chanel, Gossip Girl-inspired ensembles (with glittery lariats that mimicked boarding school neckties) were A-plus-worthy, while Off-enormous White’s plaid skirt-suit was reminiscent of the classic Clueless look (that is, if Cher was less concerned about opposite sex-attracting proportions.) For all the rule-breakers, Kenzo’s laidback blazer-and-trousers ensemble was topped off with a hat and thick oxfords, exactly like the art kids would.
If you’re not putting in the hours at study hall (which we did for well over a decade), tone down the obvious schoolgirl vibes with some age-appropriate accessories. Prim penny loafers (without the knee highs) and a pair of tiny gold hoops are a safe bet. No need for a bagged lunch.
It’s a Cinch
Corsets have a rich, centuries-long past, but it’s not always a positive one (fainting for the sake of a small waistline doesn’t mesh so well with current feminism, you know?). The inflexible and constricting undergarment needed a makeover. Yes, this season’s variations are enticing, but there’s complexity to these new renditions, as if designers are allowing us to participate in the cinch rather than being bound by it. Take Sportmax, for example: An otherwise unstructured shirtdress was given shape with a tone-on-tone bustier. A Pepto pink corset was mixed into a skin-covered get-up at Burberry.
Finally, for a nod to Madonna’s classic Blond Ambition bodysuit, Richard Quinn’s bang-on bustier dress bore a strong likeness (if the cones were softened and smooth.)
We’re not saying corsets are exactly appropriate for the office, but if raising eyebrows in the workplace is your thing, take a cue from Fendi’s stylish fashion tip. Wearing one over a work-ready button-up helps with balance. The shirt helps to tone down the obvious sexiness, while the corset adds some much-needed visual intrigue.
Big on Brown
We give black a lot of credit for its unparalleled adaptability, but after seeing the downpour of similarly versatile brown on the runways, we’re ready to declare it’s an excessive quantity. Shades that appeared to have been taken from nature—mocha at Michael Kors, dark chocolate at Givenchy, and hickory at Hermès—were spotted in homogenous masses. A parachute dress by Diesel came in a café noir colour that was so deep that a brief peek under dark lighting had us thinking, “Was that black?” What is our takeaway? This chilly colour has the potential to become a more valuable (and very wearable) hue.
With the same amount of leeway as any other neutral in your closet. Brown from head to toe is a compelling combo, especially when sprayed on a clash of cold-weather fabrics like Michael Kors. If you want to break it up a little, take the culinary adage “if it grows together, it goes together.” Hunter green, blackberry, and mushroom colours look great on a brown background.