8 Outerwear Trends for Fall

fall outerwear trends fur coatby Eliza Anderson

Don’t let your style take a dip just because temperatures are dropping. It’s time to cozy up to these eight hot outerwear trends for fall.

Capes. Who needs sleeves? Swing around town in a clean-lined cloak or a poncho. Capes can be a bit confusing to wear at first: the best approach is to skip the awkwardly placed slits, fasten only the top button and stick your arms out the front opening. Sneaky tip: Sling a peacoat over your shoulders for a similar effect.

Wear with: A matching or contrasting turtleneck and sleek trousers. For a dramatic finish, add long leather gloves in an unexpected jewel tone.

Avoid: Using a shoulder bag that will slide down your arm. Instead, carry an oversize clutch or a top-handle purse.

Plush or fur coats and vests. Snuggle into a soft fur — real or faux — in a simple, collarless design. Go wild with eye-popping plush trims, textured or shaved pelts, or shaggy fun fur. Upgrade your casual looks by swapping out a sweatshirt for a super-cozy (and extra elegant) fluffy piece.

Wear with: Skinny cargos and slim-fitting knits for day and streamlined jersey sheath dresses for night.

Avoid: Animal prints and leather — you don’t want to look like you skinned the zoo!

Military. Atten-shun! This season you can choose from jackets resplendent with epaulettes and shiny buttons or basic drawstring anoraks. Go up a size for a masculine-inspired fit.

Wear with: Ultra-feminine floral or lace dresses a la the heyday of grunge. For an hourglass effect, belt your blazer over a full-skirted frock. Try the more casual anorak over skinny jeans and chunky-heeled (but not combat) boots.

Avoid: Cargo pants, khakis or jumpsuits. You don’t want to look like an extra from MASH.

Shearling. The right shearling looks luxe and feels like a Snuggie crossed with a teddy bear — in other words, they’re pretty much perfect! This season’s best bet is a cropped aviator with a face-framing (and ultra cuddly) oversized collar.

Wear with: A formfitting sweaterdress or a jersey minidress and knit leggings. Truly daring? Add over-the-knee flat suede boots.

Avoid: Maxidresses or bulky sweaters that will add mass around the middle.

Leopard. A timeless leopard-print coat is so versatile it was once a wardrobe must-have for both Brigitte Bardot and Jacqueline Kennedy. Get the best quality faux you can find (don’t even try to get the real stuff — it’s been banned for decades) or shoot for a luscious printed wool.

Wear with: Warm shades of red, chocolate and camel. Channel the ’60s fashion icons and try with an A-line minidress or ladies-who-lunch suiting separates. And don’t leave your attitude in the powder room — this look requires some sass.

Avoid: Cheap-looking slippery vinyl or nylon prints. And don’t pair with studs or leather unless you are looking to punk out.

Fair Isle. Multi-hued and festive, these Scandinavian and Scottish designs are ski chalet-ready. Choose a version lined in polar fleece or faux fur for a standalone coat or bundle up with a heavyweight sweater over a water-resistant zip-up.

Wear with: Thick tights, full-skirted dresses and lace-up boots.

Avoid: Heidi of the Alps fur hats and tippets. You want just a touch of folk whimsy — not a full-on costume.

Camel. Camel is the new black! This is the year to invest in this universally flattering shade. Although the racks will be crammed with camel coats in every kind of cut, choose a classic peacoat or a tie-waist trench (very Ali MacGraw from Love Story) for a look that will last a lifetime.

Wear with: Absolutely anything. Layer it over a trouser suit or skinny cords, a plaid dress or a sequined shift.

Avoid: See above!

Sweater coats. It’s a twofer! Ultra-chunky knits can be worn indoors and out as the perfect seasonal transition piece. Bring your waist into focus by adding a chunky leather or narrow patent belt.

Wear with: A pretty vintage-inspired floral dress, tights and knee-high boots.

Avoid: Sloppy layers that will bulk up your frame.


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