I'm a Fashion Editor, and These 11 Trends Are the Secret to 'All' My Fall Outfits

They've become essential to my wardrobe this season, and I don't think they're going anywhere anytime soon.

Fall Winter 2021 Trends
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

While I'm a firm believer in personal style and dressing in a way that makes you feel good, regardless of what's considered 'cool,' I'm also not immune to being influenced by trends. As a fashion editor, it's my job to look at runway photos, analyze celebrity outfits, and predict what the next 'It' item might be. Kendall Jenner can only step out in a perfectly oversized pair of trousers so many times before I find myself fishing my old work pants out of a drawer and giving the look a go.

I have, however, learned the hard way that not every trend has to be something that I, personally, follow. But just looking ahead to what I think will be the biggest trends from now until spring, the lineup feels particularly flattering and versatile. For months, I've been adding specific, celebrity-approved pieces to my wardrobe, and I think I've discovered a few long-term favorites.

Leather Blazers

I've always been a leather jacket kind of person, whether I'm styling one with black jeans or a body-hugging dress. But after seeing so many models step out in leather blazers, I decided to switch things up ever-so-slightly. I hit up Depop for a secondhand faux option — it's so '90s! — and now enjoy layering them over sweaters. It's somewhat preppy, sleek, and less edgy than a moto design, which suits my taste a lot more.

Knee-High Boots With Skirts and Shorts

There's still a place in my heart for over-the-knee boots and ankle booties, but right now, I can't quit the knee-high. I'm into playing around with proportion, and I love the way these look when styled with miniskirts, dresses, and even pairs of shorts. Plus, it happens to be a great trick for making those summer staples somewhat seasonless, and once winter rolls around, I plan on adding tights to the mix.

Mesh Dresses and Sets

Mesh turtlenecks have been bubbling up for a bit, and for the past few years, the way to style them was more laid-back, layering them under oversized T-shirts. That particular look didn't suit my own aesthetic, but mesh skirt sets and dresses are a whole different story. I've discovered that the material combined with a standout print can make your outfit feel somewhat fancy — even though these pieces are easy to move around in, don't need to be ironed, and are very throw-on-and-go. A pair of boots or heels will help you take this outfit from daytime activities to a dinner date.


Speaking of easy yet elevated items, let's chat flared pants. I've always admired the denim version of this '70s-inspired trend, but stretchy, pull-on versions have become my new go-to. They're essentially as cozy and effortless as sweats, but the wide-bottom adds a whimsical twist that enhances your whole outfit. Even better: there are ton of petite pairs on Nasty Gal for those of us who are under 5'5.

'00s bags

I was a teenager during the early '00s, so whenever models like Bella Hadid bring back trends from that era, I feel extra nostalgic — and get tempted to resurrect my high school wardrobe. Tiny baguette bags, including the multi-colored Louis Vuitton pochette, continue to pop up on the arms of influencers, inspiring me to bring back some of my own favorites from yesteryear. I've been wearing my beige, monogrammed Coach bag with everything, and I've also added an old school Dooney & Bourke to my rotation. It feels like a way to put my own unique twist on the trend.


No offense to jeans, but some days, I just can't bear slipping on something so stiff or constricting. A great alternative — to both denim and the loungewear I admittedly crave — is a baggy pair of trousers. They've definitely become a celebrity staple over the past few months, and can be paired with just about any top, whether you're a T-shirt and sweater kind of person or prefer something with sequins.


I hadn't even noticed my style was leaning this way until I began thinking about my favorite fall/winter trends, but many of my outfits do feel very schoolcore. I love layering button-downs or sleeveless turtlenecks under knit pieces, showing off my socks, wearing plaid prints, and have even begun tying sweatshirts over my shoulders. They may be tiny moves, but these preppy styling choices pack a big punch, and have proven to be a great way to freshen up what's already in my closet.

Pleated Skirts

Technically, pleated skirts also feel very schoolcore, but in my experience, they've transformed into so much more. With sneakers and a T-shirt they can feel somewhat sporty. With a puff-sleeved top and boots, they work for a night out. This is the skirt I reach for when I have 'nothing to wear' because it always adds an element of fun, while at the same time being the happy medium between low effort and slightly dressed up.


On top of wearing one of these babies in place of a shirt, I've found that just like a blazer or even a scarf, vests can be the perfect way to pull a look together. I often layer an oversized option over a button-down before adding a pair of pants or a skirt. It's the easiest outfit combination ever, but the addition of this little extra makes it feel special and fashion-forward.

Beaded Necklaces

Half the fun of jewelry is wearing pieces that feel meaningful or bring you joy — which is why I'm so glad beaded necklaces are having a moment. Not only do they feel nostalgic and help to express certain moods, with their smiley face beads or colorful designs, layering them with everyday chains and pendant necklaces can give your outfit a unique sort of flair. Right now, I'm loving this personalized pearl option from éliou, which features my fiancé's last name and allows me to celebrate my engagement (in a non-obnoxious way).

Western Boots

If you're going to invest in anything this fall or winter, it should probably be a pair of western-inspired boots, which have become a major must-have for the fashion crowd. They don't have to be full on cowboy, either — a square-toed something gives off that same vibe and, in my opinion, is a lot more versatile. I've been wearing this same white pair for years at this point, but it's still one of my favorites to pair with everything from floral dresses to leather pants. Lighter-colored shoes in general tend to have a leg-elongating effect, and as opposed to a fancier, pointed-toe pair, these feel more casual and everyday.

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