From 90s minimalism to prep chic

Let’s call it now: fashion with a capital “F” is back. We will admit it; In recent seasons, the track has not been as convincing as before. Between the dearth of in-person presentations and the rise of viral-style stars (looking at you, TikTok), plus a decline in red carpet spectacle, there’s been good reason to turn to other sources to glean outfit inspiration. But if you’ve been sidelined from the catwalk circuit for a few seasons, the captivating fall/winter collections are an indication that it’s time to re-enter. This season has been a study in contrasts: big and enveloping here, tight and titillating there. Completely restrained in some ways, campy and collegiate in others. With so many ideas to choose from, it’s a real invitation to discover your clothing niche. Read on to discover the fall 2022 trends you need to know about, ones that will reignite that desire to dress and feel good while doing it.

90s restraint

Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Proenza Schouler, Tibi. Photos: Getty Images, Bottega Veneta, Proenza Schouler, Tibi

Seen at:

Bottega Veneta, Chloe, Tibi, Proenza Schouler, Celine

What there is to know:

Every decade has its style signatures: miniskirts and scarves from the 60s, shoulder pads and chromatic colors from the 80s. In the 90s, an era long revered for its simple yet sophisticated approach to design, it was more of a sentiment . For the fall/winter season, this pared-down approach is wonderfully revisited – a kind of palette cleanser for the Y2K revival. heyday of Calvin Klein’s CK One; Tibi’s humble partings were fooled into something Julia Stiles’ character would have worn in 10 things i hate about you. For those who prefer a bit of grunge, Céline and Chloé’s all-black, all-leather looks brought a familiar touch without the impact on your face.

How to wear it:

Invest in a well-made ribbed tank top: it’s the starting point for any good minimalist outfit. From there, the staples – delivered in a non-showy palette of charcoal grays and inky blues – should fall into the relaxed silhouettes category to help capture the ease of the era.

Colossal Robe Coats

fashion trends fall 2022 coats
Stella McCartney, Versace, Acne Studios, Coperni. Photos: Getty Images

Seen at:

Acne Studios, Stella McCartney, Versace, Balenciaga, Coperni

What there is to know:

Those of us who inhabit unbearably glacial climates score a seasonal silver lining: top outerwear picks. Every year the fall/winter runways offer a new crop of desirable options – leopard print coats last year, woolen capes a few years ago – but this season has seen designers play with epic proportions. The bathrobes served as a springboard, the mega volume is what made them special. A few standouts: Coperni’s impossibly plush faux fur coats that completely enveloped the models; Acne Studios’ chunky quilt-style coat covered in a print you might find on grandma’s bedspread (yes, in a way, it actually works); and Versace’s candy-apple patent puffer jacket that looked like it had been puffed up with air. Suddenly, sub-zero forecasts don’t seem so scary anymore.

How to wear it:

Outside in -30 degrees, of course. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing under those statement-making oversized coats (they’re a look in their own right), but a pair of over-the-knee boots — the season’s accessory seen everywhere — are an ideal cold-climate complement.

govern the school

fashion trends fall 2022 prep school
Kenzo, Christian Dior, Miu Miu, Chanel. Photos: Getty Images

Seen at:

Chanel, Christian Dior, Miu Miu, Kenzo, Off White

What there is to know:

Even in adulthood, the long-awaited arrival of September – and therefore the start of the school year – remains contagious. Fresh starts and intact notebooks are part of it, but really, it’s always the college clothes that have us shivering. Designers tapped into that nostalgic desire with a slew of uniform-style looks this season. At Chanel, Gossip Girl-esque outfits (including glittering lariats mimicking boarding school ties) were worthy of A-plus, while Off-White’s oversized take on the plaid skirt was reminiscent of the infamous clueless outfit (i.e. if Cher was less concerned with opposite proportions attracting sex.) And for all the dress rule breakers, Kenzo’s casual blazer and slacks combo was complemented by a beret and chunky oxfords , just like children of art would have.

How to wear it:

If you don’t devote hours to the study hall (truth: it was well over a decade for us), temper the overt schoolgirl vibe with age-appropriate accessories. Penny Prim Loafers—without knee-highs and a pair of thin gold hoops are a good bet. Bag lunch not required.

It’s child’s play

fashion trends fall 2022 corsets
Burberry, Fendi, Richard Quinn, Sportmax. Photos: Burberry, Getty Images

Seen at:

Burberry, Fendi, Marine Serre, Richard Quinn, Sportmax

What there is to know:

Corsets have a centuries-old history, but one that isn’t necessarily so supportive in hindsight (passing out for size small doesn’t sit well with modern feminism, you know?) The stiff, restrictive undergarment was due for an overhaul. This season’s releases are alluring, yes, but there’s nuance to these new iterations, as if the designers are inviting us to be in on it, not bound by it. Take Sportmax for example: a tonal bustier gave shape to an otherwise unstructured shirt dress. At Burberry, a pink Pepto corset blends into an outfit covered in skin of the same color. And finally, for a touch of nostalgia, Richard Quinn’s strapless slip dress looked strikingly similar to Madonna’s iconic Blond Ambition bodysuit (if the tapers were softened and smooth).

How to wear it:

Now, we’re not suggesting that corsets are entirely 9-to-5-appropriate, but if you like to raise your eyebrows modestly at work, take a cue from Fendi’s chic styling tip. Wearing one over an off-the-shelf button does wonders for balance. The chemise helps zap overt sex appeal and the corset provides much-needed visual interest.

Big on brown

fall fashion trends 2022 brown
Diesel, Michael Kors, Hermes, Givenchy. Photos: Getty Images

Seen at:

Diesel, Emilia Wickstead, Givenchy, Hermes, Michael Kors,

What there is to know:

We give a lot of credit to black’s singular versatility, but after witnessing the equally versatile deluge of brown on the trails, we’re willing to say that’s an excessive amount. Shades seemingly taken from nature – mocha at Michael Kors, dark chocolate at Givenchy and hickory at Hermès – have been spotted in monochromatic masses. At Diesel, a parachute dress came in a coffee-black color so deep that a quick glance under shadowy lighting made us wonder, “Was that black?” Our takeaway? This cool color is a more popular (and very wearable) hue.

How to wear it:

With as much freedom as any other neutral in your wardrobe. Head-to-toe brown makes for a captivating combination, especially when splashed across a cold-weather clash of textures à la Michael Kors. If you want to break it up a bit, borrow the whole “if it grows together, it goes together” adage from the culinary world. The hunter green, blackberry and mushroom hues pair beautifully with a brown background.


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