Fall: the undisputed queen of fashion seasons. With rich colors, cozy textures, and layering as an art form, she really is that girl. It’s the time of the year to have fun switching up your look, but between the changing weather and the desire to keep up with the latest trends, fall fashion can still take some work. To help you have some fun getting dressed post-summer, we consulted with Lauren Chan — model, entrepreneur, size-inclusion advocate, and frequent source of outfit inspiration herself (you’ll find her in a few of these photos) — for her take on the trends she loves this season.
Ahead, find all of the autumnal inspiration you need, from chunky knits to classic trenches to modern suiting, courtesy of some of our favorite plus-size and curvy influencers.
“When in doubt, go neutral,” says Chan, who adds that “Dressing tonally or monochromatically makes outfit-building easy because everything matches.” As for her “favorite” way to wear the look? Suiting, “as seen on myself in this Banana Republic black set and on Nicolette Mason in J.Crew — and with jeans.” (And if you’re wondering, she confirms, “IMO, denim is a neutral!”)
For an even sexier twist on suiting, consider what you’re layering underneath. “If you’re looking for a new way to wear suiting, substituting a button-down or blouse with a corset is fresh for fall,” Chan advises. “I personally love the size-inclusive corsets at Miaou for this purpose.”
Accessories like a chain belt and fringed bag take this evening-ready look to the next level.
Florals for fall? Yep, groundbreaking. A moto jacket and lace up shoes move this print out of summery sweetness and into crisp fall territory. For one more textural fall detail, add a velvety clutch.
Fall is all about back-to-school vibes, even if you haven’t actually been back to school in years. Let a pleated midi skirt and a patchwork jacket evoke your studious days, at least sartorially.
We haven’t been following that old “no white after Labor Day” rule for years, and this outfit is a perfect example of why — a cozy white sweatsuit paired with a long plaid overcoat and lug-soled boots was just made to be worn on a Saturday morning in fall.
Tie on a Trench
You can’t go wrong with a classic trench coat in any season. “I absolutely love a trench coat — so much so that I made two for my brand Henning,” raves Chan “This Parisian Precious Lee moment is the perfect example of how to elevate the essential piece with luxe accessories.”
The best part about trench coats? “These investment pieces are super classic and can be worn time and time again,” says Chan. Proving her point, here’s another, more casual way to wear the classic, with olive green and white shoes for contrast.
There’s no easier, more comfortable outfit for fall than a knit maxi. The pairing of this bright chartreuse dress with a pair of dad sneakers makes this perfect for running around all weekend in style.
Go bold or go home by mixing and matching a striking patterned dress with a plaid coat. Neon accessories are even more of a power move.
Put a Belt on It
Another classic fall coat besides the trench? Anything plaid. Adding a contrasting belt is a great way of changing up the look of a coat you’ll wear all season.
A dress can make a major statement when it’s in a bright, bold pattern. Bonus points if you power-clash with a chunky pair of print heels.
Denim on Denim
After a summer of floaty dresses, it’s time to reunite with your denim collection. A pair of jeans is a fall weekend go-to, but why not commit to the look with a matching jacket? The coordinating leather booties and belt make this full denim outfit polished, not costumey.
Fall on Top, Summer on Bottom
For those transitional weather days, a silky dark floral frock paired with bright sandals helps you toe the line (pun intended) between seasons.
Dresses aren’t the only way to make one piece your entire outfit. A jumpsuit can give you the same ease, without the cold legs if the weather’s too chilly. We particularly love the bold chain-link pattern of this one.
Pop of Color
Although you can throw a trench coat over pretty much any outfit (a dress, jeans — heck, it can even elevate your sweats), you can maximize the polished effect of the coat by pairing it with matching pants for a twist on fall suiting. The bright blue pumps here elevate the entire look, literally and figuratively.
Play with Textures
After a summer full of pastels, you may be understandably drawn to a head-to-toe classic black look as the weather cools. But there are ways to change it up. “All-black is classic but — sorry! — can be boring,” Chan warns. She keeps the look interesting by playing with textures, like this combo of a wool suit, frilly blouse, leather bag, and suede shoes. Another option? Try wearing a classic leather jacket, patent loafers, or even mesh gloves with your look.
Show a Hint of Skin
A hint of skin is another great way to break up an all-black outfit. You can stay warm with long layers, but a cropped top and barely there sandals reveal just enough to add a little interest to your monochromatic look.
A Skirt and Sneakers
Hoops, a leather crop top, and killer sneakers — this is how a cool girl does a skirt for fall.
Coordinate Your Coat
Perfectly pairing your outfit with your outerwear is pro-level styling. The key here is to take two similar patterns with coordinating color palettes, and voilà, a head-to-toe look is born.
Shorts for Multifaceted Days
“You know the weather when it’s cold in the morning but hot midday, then chilly again by evening? I have the solution: fall shorts!” Chan declares. “I have been wearing my bike shorts with leather shackets and ribbed tanks to feel (and stay) cool lately. If that’s not your thing, short suits are currently trending — try one with a vest and blazer.”
Go Bold with Denim
Fall is a great time to experiment with your denim silhouette. After years of the skinny jean chokehold, we’ve finally got so many options to choose from when it comes to jeans, from wide-leg to cargo to (gasp!) low-rise. We really love this drapey style that looks great paired with a crisp white blouse.
Consider Faux Leather
We’ll never stop loving our jeans, but we do sympathize with Chan on one common denim problem: “I can sometimes get into a fall style ruts because I wear jeans so often.” (Same, girl.) “One way I’ve found to change it up, be just as comfortable, and feel a little more elevated is to sub denim for a faux leather pant. Eloquii and Aritzia have great color options, like this cognac shade.”
All of the Neon
In the last days of a sweaty, sticky summer, you may find yourself fantasizing about the temperatures finally dipping low enough to require fall’s most beloved comfort clothing: a chunky knit turtleneck sweater. While you can’t go wrong with jeans and a sweater, we love this combo of neon pants just as much, if not more.
Simple Black Trousers
For simple fall office attire, here’s a style formula that works every time: Classic trousers with a sculptural blouse. This gingham, off-the-shoulder style works perfectly with a bun and statement earrings.
Like we said, layering is a full-on art when the weather is complicated. On a day of errands when you don’t know what to expect, this combination of leggings, T-shirt, jacket, blazer, chunky boots, and classic baseball cap can take you just about anywhere you need to go.
The drama! A floor-length blouse left open over a pair of pinstripe trousers is just begging a brisk gust of wind to whip through the air and make you look effortlessly cool.
Button Up a Shacket
Sure, technically the season is called fall, but it might as well be renamed “plaid shirt days” courtesy of one Taylor Alison Swift. With black shorts and ankle boots, Barbie Ferreira’s combo is perfect for those weeks when the weather is all over the place.
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