Editor’s note: We originally wrote this post about fall fashion trends 2011 back when it actually was 2011. But our readers keep loving this post, even all these years later. And, most of these trends have evolved into full-fledged classics. So we updated the “picks” below so you can continue to shop this post for fun fall fashions to add to your wardrobe.
From new color trends to the rise of the cape, fall fashions from 2011 were wearable and affordable (you can snag key pieces for less than $100 apiece). And, as we predicted back in 2011, these pieces are no longer trendy — they’re full-on classics. So get your retro on with a little love for the fall trends of 2011.
Fall Fashion Trends 2011
Emberglow: The must-have hue
Orange and red were hot, hot, hot in 2011. And as the days got shorter, designers merged the two trends to form one of the season’s hottest colors: emberglow. It’s a bright redish-orange hue that works well with a variety of skin tones.
The cape crusader
Capes were 2011’s must-have outerwear. We love capes because they’re perfect for transitioning from relatively warm weather of early September to the cooler weather of late October.
The thing is, capes aren’t quite so trendy today as they were in 2011 — but you can get a similar look with the less structured poncho. If you’re new to the cape/poncho scene, try layering it over a long-sleeve tee in early fall and a knit/cashmere sweater in late fall.
Pencil skirt: The office staple
Pencil skirts never really go out of style, but they were super popular in fall, 2011. Fashionistas were upping their office style game by matching a neutral pencil skirt with bright tops of emberglow or juicy green, along with classic black pumps.
The maxi skirt: Fall’s other skirt
The maxi skirt is long, flowing and infinitely easy to wear. The key to wearing the maxi is to pay attention to proportions. If you pair it with a long top, add a belt to define your waist. Or, choose a cropped or fitted sweater to wear up top to balance out the skirt.
Polka dot: The perfect print
Everything comes full cycle in fashion, right? Polka dots prints are trending in 2019 as they were back in 2011. Then, we saw polka dots on tops, bottoms, purses. Today we can add shoes to the mix, too.
If you’re new to the print, the key is to keep the dots small — less than the size of a pencil eraser. And go beyond the traditional black-and-white by choosing color!
Leather skirt: It’s back
The most exciting fall fashion trend of 2011 may have been the resurrection of the leather (real or fake) skirt. If you have one in the back of your closet, you could probably pull it out and wear it as is. If not, check with older relatives to see if someone has one you can “borrow.”
Tuxedo look: Menswear-inspired
Menswear as a women’s fashion trend has been around since, well, Katharine Hepburn first rocked a pair of pants back in the 1940s. In 2011, the trend leaned towards the tuxedo look for evening wear — made famous by the brilliant Yves Saint Laurent. Brands from Express to Forever 21 featured tuxedo pants in their fall 2011 collections.
Jade and teal
If you like your colors bright, then you’ll love this season’s new burst of color, jade and teal. Jade, a rich green color, and deep teal, a brighter blue, both work especially well with darker skin tones.
Color blocking: Still going strong
The color blocking trend is still going strong and the same rules apply — use the color wheel to find colors that work well together. Brown and orange work well together. But brown and yellow, not so much. The safest color blocking is purple and red or blue and green.
Work dress: The wardrobe workhorse
Thanks to Gucci, dresses were trending hot for fall fashion trends 2011. We love dresses because they are so easy to wear (just add shoes ) and a major time saver in the morning. The style du jour in 2011 was the tailored dress right out of Rosalind Russell’s 1960s closet. For style inspo, stream old episodes of “Pan-Am” or “Mad Men.”
Colored pencil pants: The attention-getter
Pencil pants are like the kinder, gentler, skinny pants. While skinny pants taper in at the ankle, pencil pants tend to be tailored more like capris, curving in slightly through the thigh, with a slight flare at the hem. Add in a bit of color and you’ve got a trend that is both daring and familiar. For those of us who are a bit less adventurous, try the pants first in a deeper color like rust or forest green.