Stay warm, stay classy: Fall fashion updates

    Well Northwestern, the jig is up. The uncharacteristically warm weather has finally come to an end as reports dropping temperatures from here on out. But even as we tearfully tuck away our shorts and tank tops, we can take comfort in one gleaming ray of hope: fall fashion.

    For some reason, visions of luxe sweaters, floor-sweeping scarves and suede boots make the prospect of freezing temperatures less daunting. There’s something about fall fashion that warms you up on the inside, too — something that spring styles just don’t have. However, far too many trends from seasons past have put us in a style rut. Ugg boots, anyone?

    This fall, I propose a coup d’état of last season’s tired trends, one pair of Crocs at a time. This fall’s fashion buzzword is individuality.

    Old Trend #1: Longchamp Tote Bags
    I would hardly be exaggerating if I said that every woman at Northwestern owns a Longchamp tote bag. Versatile though they may be, but this does not excuse their depressing plainness and even more horrifying popularity. You can’t swing a Longchamp tote bag without hitting five more.

    Solution: The October InStyle cites snakeskin bags as fall’s hottest shoulder accessory. In keeping with the rest of the season’s flavor, fur trim and pom-poms are also adorning new bags, helping to spice up the winter cold. Longchamp’s solid nylon is out — warm, cozy touches are in.

    A pair of Uggs lies lonely on the ground, left behind by more fashionable fall footwear. Photo by Runs With Scissors on, licensed under Creative Commons.

    Old Trend #2: Ugg Boots
    Popularized by Pamela Anderson and Kate Hudson in 2003, Ugg boots have been on the fashion compass of teenage girls for quite some time. Their popularity reached such great heights that several companies started manufacturing fake Uggs (or “sheepskin boots”) and selling them for lower prices. I was astonished at the initial Ugg craze (why would anyone want their foot to look like a bear paw?) but I am ever more perplexed about their staying power. It’s been four years—isn’t it time to move on?

    Solution:Vogue suggests “statement boots.” This season’s favorite boots sport quilted leather, mossy earth tones, fur trims and tall, commanding heels, both stacked and stiletto. The sleeker, trimmer silhouette of this fall’s footwear is far removed from the chunky lines of Ugg boots.

    Old Trend #3: The North Face Denali Fleece Jacket
    Easily The North Face’s best selling jacket, the Denali has found a place in the closet of what seems to be every man, woman, child and bear claw in the United States. I’ll admit it — I have one too. Truth be told, they’re warm and they go with everything, but unfortunately, they have become such an epidemic that we can no longer wear them in good conscience during this fall season of individuality.

    Solution: According to InStyle, Nordic prints, fur trim, pom-pom accents and “nubby knits” (a chunky, fuzzy kind of knit) characterize the fall’s best outerwear. Styles reminiscent of grandma’s sweater, knitted with love, are replacing last fall’s mundane black polar fleece. Alternatively, the fall runways (especially those of Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors) runneth over with brightly colored down parkas — avoid death by frostbite and stay in style in one fell swoop.

    Old Trend #4: Crocs
    The fashion horror of the 21st century. Need I say more?

    Solution: Any other shoe in the world.

    In light of this season’s fresh possibilities, it’s about time that these stale trends found a quiet place to die (I hear Tower 3E of the library is pretty uneventful). However, there are a few trustworthy trends that should, and will, survive through the fall and beyond.

    Ballet flats remain classic. Photo by stephmcg on, licensed under Creative Commons.

    Good Old Trend #1: Ballet Flats

    If people justify wearing Crocs because they’re comfortable, then the rest of us can justify our painful blister-inducing ballet flats because they are bee-yootiful. My personal favorites are from J. Crew. No matter where they come from, you can’t possibly go wrong with a pair of ballet flats. The new batch featured in Vogue even sports metallic hardware.

    Good Old Trend #2: Tights
    They’re an ingenious way to keep wearing skirts in chillier temperatures — so thin, yet so warm! This season, both InStyle and Vogue enthusiastically recommend tights on all occasions.

    Wear wellies with tights. Photo by ladyb on, licensed under Creative Commons.

    Whether dark or colorful, tights must be solid and opaque (though both magazines agree that gray is the season’s signature color), and are best worn with ankle boots and the aforementioned “statement boots.”

    Good Old Trend #3: Wellies
    Also known as Wellington boots or rain boots, wellies come in a variety of colors and patterns, all of which are great. InStyle suggests plaid for this season’s practical and stylish waterproof footwear. Whether or not it’s raining, wellies for fall are a style “do.”

    Good Old Trend #4: The Pashmina
    The pashmina is an inalienable classic. A wide sheath of fabric usually made from cashmere, it can be worn as a scarf or wrap. Topping any outfit with this luxe accessory adds an instant air of class, and no worldly fashionista’s wardrobe is complete without one. With its versatile and impeccable style, count on the pashmina lasting for years and years to come.

    This fall, remember your individuality. Being fashionable isn’t about having the exact same bag or shoes as everyone else. It’s about creating your own look with flair.


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