The Most Wearable Fall Trends of 2016

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Hey, hey, HEY-AY, it’s Fall!  Officially.  And I’m so excited to talk Fall Trends.  I’ve been watching and reading and perusing for months, trying to come up with an easily digestible, totally achievable list of the key pieces you need to know about this Fall.

In order to make the list, the trends had to meet three criteria:

1. Accessible – There must be multiple options at every price point, not just, say, one pair of designer shoes that all the bloggers are wearing.

2. Easy – If a trend is overly tricky or complicated or requires a whole new wardrobe in order to rock it successfully….it’s not on this list.

3. New(ish) – This one is probably up for debate.  But in general, if a trend has been around for so long that it’s now a classic, I left it off of this list.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be covering it later, but it’s not a trend.  Leather jackets, leather pants and menswear, I’m talking to you.  (They’re like florals for Spring.)  Also?  Lace-up flats.  They don’t have the lifetime longevity of a leather jacket, but we’ve been talking about them for years now.  Yes, keep wearing them, I just don’t want to TALK about them.

A complete list of Fall Trends and styling notes are below, in this post.  However, you can shop all of our favorite fall trends in the drop-down menu at the top of the blog.  It looks like this on your computer…

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Or this on your phone….

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But the first thing you need to know about the 2016 Fall Trends is that denim….is a disaster.  A few years ago I could order a bunch of jeans, like most of them, and then have a tough time choosing which pair to keep.  Now?  I order 10 pairs and 10 pairs go back.  Rises are all over the map, hemlines are jumping around, sizes are the most inconsistant they’ve ever been, and the determination of leg widths (straight, skinny, slouchy, flare, wideleg) defy logic.  I swear the denim makers are out to get us.

The take-away?  There’s a major shift happening in denim.  It’s like when we went from bootcut jeans to skinnies.  Something…is…happening.  I can’t quite figure out exactly where we’ll end up (my gut feel is that high rise and mom jeans aren’t going anywhere), but in the meantime, I have a few strategies to keep our beloved skinnies current.  (And I promise we’ll talk about cropped flares SOON.)   But if there’s one thing we can learn from bloggers the world over…it’s that no one trend will ever dominate.

On that rather ominous note (ha, ha…ha)….keep reading for my list of the Most Wearable Fall Trends of 2016.

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1. 90’s Inspired Chokers

Featured above: Vanessa Mooney Leather Choker in gold

If there’s one easy way to upgrade your daily uniform, it’s adding a choker.  Tshirts, sweaters, button-down shirts all show off chokers nicely.   On date night, a flirty, off-the-shoulder top is perfectly paired with a choker.  If chokers drive you crazy (not all are comfortable), try a statement collar necklace or an adjustable lariat-style.  All are on-point, and the last two have the added benefit of layering over turtlenecks, too.

Shop Our Favorite Chokers

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: ’90s Chokers.

 

2. Leopard Print Accessories

Featured above: Sole Society Giant Scarf

T-shirt and jeans feeling a little stale?  Add a leopard print accessory.  Treat ’em like neutrals, and don’t fuss over matching.  Bonus points for pairing your leopard print with military jackets and graphic tees – the mix of tomboy/glamgirl is spot-on.

leopard-print-accessories

 

ONE: tshirt | leopard scarf | jeans | sneakers

TWO: shirt | jeansflats

THREE: graphic tee | clutch | jeans | shoes

Shop Our Fav Leopard Print Accessories

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Leopard Print Accessories.

 

3. Major Sleeves

featured above: J.Crew Ruffle Sleeve Top (now at Nordstrom)

Major sleeves are having a MAJOR moment.  From t-shirts with a frilly short sleeve (like the one pictured above) to looooong bell sleeves on sweaters, a statement sleeve is an easy way to update your current look.  Just be warned:  if your day involves packing lunches or doing art projects, look for shorter ruffle sleeves or tight bell sleeves that can be folded back.

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sweater | shorts | backpack

Shop Our Fav Major Sleeves

Our favs can be found in the Fall Trends: Major Sleeves shop.

 

4. Cold Shoulders, Warm Arms

featured above: LNA Scarf Sweater

The off-the-shoulder trend is defying the change of season by simply adapting to the cold with longer sleeves.  Sometimes called ‘scarf sweaters’ due to the scarf-like nature of the top piece that winds around your shoulders, this trend is a perfect way to sex up you look.  Need a little more coverage, and/or warmth?  Add an actual scarf.  The bare shoulders + scarf combo is both practical and cute.

Hi, Gwen. 

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scarf – old | sweater

Shop Our Fav Scarf Sweaters

Our favs can be found in the Fall Trends: Scarf Sweaters shop.

 

5. Giant Knits

featured above: Lovers + Friends X Revolve Kate Sweater

One easy way to make skinnies and/or leggings feel fresh is to pair them with an of-the-moment giant knit.  Think the large, drapey turtlenecks, extra-long sleeves, and a soft, fuzzy texture.  These sweaters also layer beautifully over short dresses (just leave a few inches of hem sticking out), maxi dresses, and flares for a seriously modern look.

If you are worried this look might overwhelm (or obscure curves), try oversized pieces in thin, drapy knits (extra-long sleeves help), or slouchy wrap sweaters that hug the waist, but fall off one shoulder.  Both have that delicious feeling associated with a giant knit.

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old pic, outfit details here

Shop Our Fav Giant Knits

All of our favorite giant knit sweaters can be found in Fall Trends: Giant Knit Shop.

 

6. Round Sunglasses

featured above: Infinity Spitfire (under $50!)

Tired of aviators?  Me too.  Swap ’em out for round sunglasses – they’re a sure bet for fall.  And if the perfect circle skews a little too Harry Potter, go for sunglasses that are slightly rounder than the ubiquitous aviators, and slightly smaller than the oversized shades of years past.   Bonus points for glam mirrors.

Shop Our Fav Round Sunglasses

You can find all our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Round Sunglasses.

 

7. Patterned Sweaters

featured: Kate Moss X Equipment Lightning Bolt Sweater

This Fall, brighten up your wardrobe with a sweater in a quirky pattern, cool graphic, or supersaturated bright color.  These sweaters pair perfectly with faded black jeans and leather jackets….or layer over a white collared shirt for a look that’s cool, rather than just preppy.

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jacket | black jeans

sweater | sneakers | bag

white shirt | jeans

Shop Our Fav Patterned Sweaters

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Patterned Sweaters.

 

8. Layer T-Shirts And Turtlenecks Under EVERYTHING

featured: House of Harlow Black Lace Cami

We did this in the ’90s, Mamas, and here we go again.  Truth be told, I never got over this look.  And if you’ve been reading TME for a while, you’ve seen this styling trick before (herehere, here, here, etc).  So practical, easy, and now….modern?  Whatevs.  I’ll take it.

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ME: tshirt | top | jeans | shoes | bag | sunnies

RAINES: tshirt | jeans | shoes

Shop Our Fav Tshirts and Turtlenecks For Layering

You can find all of our favorites under Fall Trends: Cami’s, Tees & Turtlenecks.

 

9. Over The Ankle Boots

featured in collage above: these scary ones…but this pair is waaaayyyy better

We talked about these boots last Fall.  At the time, the term on everyone’s lips was the ‘sock boot’ (our article here), but since then, they’ve just morphed into various ‘high shaft’, ‘mid calf’ etc etc so I’m just going to round these all up into the term Over The Ankle boots.  These boots have a mod vibe – the shaft does indeed go higher than traditional ankle boots, it’s (ideally) soft, and should be tight (not gaping) around your ankle.  Last year, this style of boot was emerging, but still a little tricky to find.  This Fall, happily, they are EVERYWHERE, with a wider range of heel heights.  These boots are ah-mazing to wear with all manner of cropped pants, dresses – even boyfriend jeans (and those tricky, tricky cropped flares), totally transform your skirt and dress game, and even modernize your faithful skinny jeans. We’ll be doing more how-to-wears on this style soon.

If you only do ONE THING to update your look this Fall….this is it.

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sweater | shorts | backpack | boots

Shop Our Fav Over-The-Ankle Boots

Our favorite Over-the-ankle, mid-calf, sock boots (or whatever the heck you call them) can be found in our Fall Trends: Over-The-Ankle Boot Shop.

 

10. Cropped Denim

featured above: GRLFRND High Rise Cropped Skinnies 

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we?  Cropped. Flares.  Without a doubt, high-rise cropped flares are easily the biggest trend of the season.  But with this crew (YES I’M TALKING TO YOU, MAMAS), it’s the sartorial equivalent of shouting Voldemort.   Because this article is about the most wearable fall trends (and cropped flares are tricky), I’ll refrain from saying the dark lord’s name.  For now.  But rest assured, there will be many more discussions – SOON – on cropped flares.

For now, the easiest way to stay current with denim trends is to simply crop your skinnies.  Chop ’em off right above the ankle with a pair of scissors (I actually chopped off the black pair I’m wearing in the dressing room), and don’t worry overly much about getting the hem perfectly straight.  If you are taller than me (5’3″), you might actually be able to buy some of the cool cropped jeans with raw-edge hems already pre-made.

Shop Our Fav Cropped Denim

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Cropped Denim.

 

11. Cold-Shoulder Tees and Sweatshirts

featured: Jack by BB Dakota Bartemus Top

This trend has been going strong for so long, these tops are starting to feel like basics.  I like them because they’re interesting, yet completely wearable.  Find tshirts and sweatshirts with shoulder cut-outs, one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder, open backs, etc.  Wear with a pretty bra (I almost always do black).  Done.

Shop Our Fav Cut-Out Tops and Sweatshirts

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Cut-Out Tops & Sweatshirts.

 

12. Fashion Sneakers

featured above: New Balance 410s

For a mom, this shoe is almost life-changing.  Walk ’em to school, hit the playground, play soccer, climb on stuff, wear ’em all day….AND….look cute doing it.  I’ve already talked about my obsession with fashion sneakers here (as well as rounded up a bunch of my favs).  As a bonus, many readers commented on that article with more options and advice, because, as you guys demonstrate over and over…you are the best.

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Shop Our Fav Fashion Sneakers

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Fashion Sneakers.

 

13. Faded Black Jeans

featured above: 7 For All Mankind Distressed Skinnies

If there’s one way to edge up your look a little, it’s to swap out your everyday skinnies for an almost-black pair.  These are not the dark black skinnies of old – look for variations in tone (you want a range of grays and black), and maybe even some rips and distressing.

Shop Our Favorite Almost-Black Jeans

You can find all of our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Faded Black Denim.

 

14. Cut-Out Booties

Featured above:  Jeff Campbell Taggart Booties

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know my cut-out booties of choice are taupe, primarily because cut-out booties, taupe, and my bare legs go so well together.  Cut-out booties are the perfect Transition-To-Fall boot (hence the bare legs reference), but you needn’t limit yourself to just taupe.  Especially with Fall’s rich colors coming on strong.  Lately, I’ve been eyeing up some army green suede pairs…..because sometimes, all it takes to upgrade your look is a statement shoe.  This is that shoe.

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outfit deets here

Shop Our Favorite Cut-Out Booties

All of our fav Cut-Out Booties can be found in the Fall Trends: Cut-Out Booties Shop.

15. Thigh-High Boots

featured above:  Stuart Weitzman Lowland Boots

This trend has been around for years, and isn’t going anywhere.  If anything, these boots are getting higher.  Over-the-knee?  Yes, absolutely.  Mid-thigh?  HELLS YEAH.  Wear them alllll winter long with leggings, skinnies, and dresses.  Sex appeal with warmth and comfort is hard to beat.  I don’t see this trend going anywhere for quite some time.

weitzman-highland-boots

 

Shop Our Favorite Thigh-High Boots

You can find all our favorites under Shop Fall Trends: Thigh-High Boots.

 

16. Military Trend

featured: JBrand Houlihans

Dig out your old army jackets, anything with brass buttons (sir yes sir)…but the piece I’m so flipping excited about are the cargo pants.  As I just discussed in this article, I especially love these pants paired with something a little girly (ruffly tops), preppy (stripes), or glam (leopard).  Such a fun and easy update to your daily uniform.

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Shop Our Favorite Military Pieces

Our favorite cargo pants, utility pants, anoraks, officer jackets and all things camo can be found in our Fall Trends: Military shop.

 

17. Velvet And Corduroy

featured: 7 For All Mankind Flares

Welcome back, Velvet and Corduroy.  Nice to see you again.

This is another trend that tends to pop up over and over and over again.  And while – technically speaking – this Fall is filled with richly textured blazers, coats, skirts, dresses, pants, overalls, etc….the easiest way to wear the trend is in a figure-flattering flare.  I’ve bought countless pairs of cord skinnies and they never seem to hold their shape well (admittedly velvet performs better), and cord or velvet jackets are often too bulky at the price point I’m willing to invest in.  I haven’t given up completely, but for the purposes of this ‘Most Wearable’ list, the cord or velvet flare wins, hands-down.

However.  New to the game this season are corduroy rompers, skirts (in a fine wale cord), and short-shorts that seem made for over-the-knee boots and long trenches.  There’s even a drool-worthy long trench coat in cord.

I like to pair cord or velvet pants (anything richly textured, really) with pieces in similar hues for a bold, monochromatic look.  Whether you match your shoes and pants, or just pile on a range of similar hues, the look is cozy and fresh.  Anthro nails the styling:

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tan flares | oxblood crops

 

Shop Our Favorite Cord and Velvet Flares

Shop our favorite Velvet and Cord pieces in the Fall Trends: Velvet and Corduroy Shop.

 

Happy Fall, Everyone!!  Now we can start talking holidays.  (HA, HA…ha)

xo,

S

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About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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30 Comments

  1. Thanks for putting this together! Love having this cheat sheet to refer to for Fall shopping. Can’t wait to see the post on cropped flares. I’d love to see there’s a way to rock them for girls on the shorter side (that only wears flats).

  2. I’m loving ALL the giant knits this year…and the ponchos and sleeveless turtlenecks I keep seeing pop up. Too bad I live in So Cal and don’t really need any!

  3. Man, I love your blog. I’ve been following it for years and still dig it. But how about some options for us preggos? I know there’s stuff in the archives (still useful but some advice feels a little dated. ) I realize an entire post is a bit impractical but it would just be nice if, when you make suggestions, to maybe throw in a few maternity options. Again, love your blog!

    • Agreed. I’m 13 weeks pregnant (but already showing) and trying desperately not to veer into Frump City. This is made even more challenging by the fact that I’m petite. Any advice would be appreciated!

      • Yes! I know Cam was recently pregnant, but it would be GREAT to see a maternity round up at least once a season, heads up on new brands and fashion improvements (like under the belly jeans a couple of years ago). I’m 10 weeks pregnant. Also I took your advise last fall and bought some designer over the ankle boots, so I am SO glad they made your list again this year. I still struggle in styling them though. It is hard to get over the bold black line across your calf.

        • You guys are absolutely right. In my internet travels, I’m often coming across great maternity pieces – I’ll start including them with everything else. And I love the idea of quarterly round-ups. Will work on that. Thank you!

  4. So excited for this post! There’s so much I want to say, but I’ll try and keep it short 😉 posts like these ones are so crazy helpful to me! I’ll pick one or maybe two of the trends to immediately update my wardrobe with, and the rest I can reference back to whenever I need new items. I have to say, my favorite is the giant knit trend, LOVE oversize sweaters ! Thank you so much for putting this together <3

  5. Love this….now does anyone have a problem with high rise jeans…crop or not…that the crotch( or top part of jean) slides down? Like maybe the rise is too high? could this be it?..any suggestions would be nice…

    • Hi! As a patternmaker, I’d say yes, the most likely culprit is the front rise is too long for you. If you can sit down, pick out some of the extra right below the fly, then stand up & if it doesn’t really change the position of the waistband on your body, then it’s too long. It’s not really fixable after the fact. 🙁 If not, there are a few other possibilities (thigh too small & pulls down, hip too full & sags, poor denim/spandex quality that stretches), but again things that can’t really be corrected. Your best & only option, unfortunately, is to keep up the search for a brand that fits you. Good luck!

  6. I love your blog and its a lifesaver for a style challenged mama like me! I also love the giant knits trend (have always loved oversize sweaters for sticking around the house!) However, is there a trick to the sizing so they don’t look like you’re wearing something that’s just plain too big for you and look stylish instead?

  7. Love this post and I so agree with what you said about denim. I am struggling to find a few new pairs this season and as a 6 foot tall woman this cropped/ankle trend is killing me. Most end up mid-calf on me and I’m pretty sure denim knickers aren’t on the fall trend list.

  8. First, I think I’m finally going to order some ‘fashion’ sneakers. I LOVE the rose gold ones you had in your last post but can’t find them. Might get the black 410s instead. Second, cutout boots and cropped denim- for both of these trends, how do you wear socks? In a few weeks it will be sock weather.

  9. Can we do anything with taupe ankle boots and dresses/skirts when it gets cold? I like black ankle boots with black tights but taupe…???

    • Well….if by “good” you mean wildly sexy, totally swoon-worthy and completely life-saving for nighttime events when it’s cold? Then yes. A seriously good option. 🙂

  10. I love your full round up! It’s absolutely perfect for someone who wants to add a few pieces in order to stay current. Do you have any thoughts on the duster trend? Or all the wool vests I’m seeing? Recently saw a black knit vest that hit above the ankle. Looked like a really cool layering piece. Love to hear what you think!

    • Love both of those pieces!! Dusters are tricky, though. They tend to be amazing on the tall, but totally overwhelming on girls as short as me. The wool vest thing is pretty spot-on….at all lengths. I hindsight, I probably should’ve included them in this list! Good catch!

  11. I’ve been pining for some faded black jeans so I’m happy to see this roundup. However. I am just not down with ripped jeans. It’s just not me, and I am lucky to be able to wear jeans to work, but not with rips. Any good out options out there? Preferably under $200?

  12. I’m ready to buy some sneakers but am torn between some Stan Smiths or those J.Crew New Balances. Or the 410s. Decisions! Which would give me the most long term versatility?

    • I find that, in general, lighter colored sneakers are super cool BUT are a little tricker to style. My dark New Balance 410s, however, seem to go with everything. Not sure which pair wins for long term (both have some major history behind them), but the dark 410s seem to require less thought on a daily basis. 🙂

  13. This is an excellent article, I am a Fashion Blogger and love finding new articles about Fashion that inspire me all the time. Fashion

    trends change with every season and sometimes dramactically, my favourite time of the year is the season of autumn/winter. You have so

    many options with clothes in this time, where you have multiple things to style and layer on top of each other. It’s always nice to

    read others opinions and thoughts on what is trending for this new season that is upon us; fall, so thank you!

    http://www.posherry.com/blog/fall-2016-fashion-trends-new-season/

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