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11 Fall Fashion Rules: The dos and don’ts

You heard it here first: There are worse fashion faux-pas than spending outside your budget. Keep these fall fashion rules in mind as you shop for your closet and pick your daily looks!

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1. Do invest in hats.

Every fall, one of the most popular accessories is the one that goes on your head. And, bonus, hats keep you warm too.

Here’s a rundown of some fall hat styles you might try:

  • Beanie: Tried and true for casual days, beanies are warm and comfortable.
  • Slouchy beanie: A step-up from the casual beanie, the slouchie generally has a softer knit and a more feminine vibe.
  • Beret: Add a bit of je’ne sais quoi to your look with a beret. They’re chic and look great with a long wool coat and knit gloves.
  • Cloche hat: Cloche hats have a refined elegance to them. They’re appropriate for dressier occasions.
  • Boater: A wide-brimmed boater is a fun choice for outdoor days. It’s more formal than a floppy brim hat, but provides great sun protection.
  • Newsboy cap: On casual days, ditch the trucker hat for a newsboy cap.

Not a hat girl? Then try experimenting with headscarves instead.

2. Don’t stash your whites.

You know that fall fashion rule about not wearing white after Labor Day? Well, it’s not a thing. To clarify: You do not have to hide your summer whites after Labor Day! Go ahead and wear white pants and white sweaters. Heck, you can even wear white shoes. Wearing white in fall and winter gives you a look that’s both bright-eyed and cozy.

3. Do layer.

Wear multiple layers instead of jumping from t-shirts to thick sweaters, jackets, or shirts. Try wearing a long-sleeved top under a t-shirt or pop a summer dress over a sweater.

Some layering pieces to have on hand include:

  • Tights
  • Cardigans
  • Blazers
  • Sweater vest
  • Turtlenecks
  • Long-sleeved t-shirts

4. Don’t put away your patterns and prints.

Patterns and prints are not out yet! If a floral seems too summery, simply tone it down. Wear a neutral sweater over your floral summer dress, or reach for a patterned top, scarf, or skirt that you can pair with a more subdued color.

5. Do wear green.

Wear green. Specifically, wear seaweed/emerald. Try it as a dress, jacket, skirt, or top. Be bold, be…well, green. See our post on how to wear green.

6. Do invest in a bold coat.

You’re not Humphrey Bogart, right? So skip the long black coat for something more exciting. You’ll probably wear your go-to coat more than anything else over the next few months — you might as well have one that makes you smile. Try texture, patterns, and prints. You might even experiment with a new silhouette. If you always go with a puffer, try a bomber, trench coat or peacoat.

For inspiration, see our posts about bomber outfits and trenchcoat outfits.

7. Do wear texture.

Among the top fall trends this year are leather (or faux) and sheer. One is shiny, thick, and sensual. The other is, well, opaque and barely there. You can interpret these trends literally by investing in a leather shacket, for example. Or you can embody the spirit of them — by expanding the texture of your wardrobe.

Sure, try some leather. But there’s also knits of all varieties, corduroy, and wool. Have fun with it.

11 fall fashion rules to stay stylish this season.

8. Don’t ditch the peplum.

Peplum tops may have a summer vibe, but they can also add some freshness to your fall and winter wardrobe. Wear a tank or cami underneath for extra warmth.

9. Do put your flip-flops away.

Summer will come again, but the worst thing you can do it pretend like it’s still here. Cover your feet, and move on to shoes and boots!

10. Do have fun with scarves.

Scarves are one of the best fall accessories. They’re inexpensive and come in all textures, shapes, and sizes. Lean on the scarf to align your wardobe with current trends and to get more use out of your summer t-shirts. (At the beginning of fall, you only need to add a cute scarf to reinvest your trusty t-shirt.) Shop fast fashion stores like H&M and Forever 21 for trendy and affordable scarves.

11. Do rely on old standbys.

The last of my fall fashion rules is this: Remember that some outfits never go out of style. If you’re struggling to put together an ensemble, default to the fall fashion favorites that always work:

  • Jeans, sweater, and boots.
  • Midi dress topped with a cardigan or blazer.
  • Turtleneck and midi skirt with tall boots.
  • Sweater dress and tights
  • Trousers, loafers, button-down
  • Jeans, moto jacket, scarf, and t-shirt

The exact elements you use in these outfits will vary from year to year, of course. Like a few years ago, you’d wear skinny jeans and a plaid scarf. And today, you’d wear cropped, straight-cut jeans, loafers, and satin scarf. But despite the updates needed for a more current look, these fall outfits are tried-and-true.