The onset of fall means a few things: waving goodbye to routine beach days, cueing the debates around Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, and, for lovers of all things fashion, tuning in to September Fashion Month for a first look at the next big trends. But, a new method has become just as prominent in trend-spotting — Instagram. Over the years, the platform has shaped up to be a go-to for celebrity outfits as they snap candidly on stories and an informal directory of the ultra-cool emerging designers on the horizon. While the runways set the tone for a season or year to come — on Instagram is where you find what you need now.
According to experts on the platform, fall’s overarching trends continue to highlight the maximalist mood designers and consumers alike are leaning into. But, for those still partial to a more laid-back and cozy approach, the most stylish of content creators, prove that reemerging into the world this season doesn’t mean giving up comfort.
Because those actually working at Instagram have an up-close and personal view of the app, TZR tapped these inside experts to break down the biggest fall fashion trends they’ve spotted and highlighted on Instagram Insider, its new seasonal ‘zine. From how to carry the summer’s reigning trend into fall to how to turn your outerwear into evening or office wear, here’s all you need to know to build a closet that will conquer the season — not to mention the styles to shop.
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Color Me Happy
While fashion trends in the social media age progress with unprecedented swiftness, the joy-inducing, colorful outfits of summer won’t decline anytime soon. “The look is all about optimism, which is pretty irresistible right now,” Jenna Gottlieb, Shopping Editorial Merchandiser at Instagram, tells TZR. Layering bold hues and swapping cropped silhouettes for something longer are key to transitioning this look into the new season and making up for where the traditional fall palette leaves off. Think a floral cardigan over a knit tube top, dusty pink or pastel green denim in lieu of blue jeans, or a bright-hued knit maxi dress. The bonus? It looks great on your feed, too.
Rep The Prep
For those heading back to school or just feeling loosely inspired by Clueless’ Cher Horowitz, one trend brewing this fall calls for a bit of prep in your step. But Gottlieb assures the look is a go for more than just the class-bound members of Gen Z. “I equate preppiness with timelessness,” Gottlieb says. Indeed, the academia vibe makes a case for pulling out all your favorite quintessential fall favorites: knee-high socks, sweater vests, pleated skirts layered over tights, and those loafers everyone collectively can’t get enough of. Where the school-age rendition of the aesthetic was about uniformity, its reclaiming, ironically, champions individuality. Try adding an oversized blazer, a collared top, and sneakers to achieve a sporty approach, grunge it up by way of darker tones and patterned tights, or channel the early aughts with a plaid tube top.
Not Your First Rodeo
If cowboy boots are your idea of fun fall dressing, you’re not alone. However, channeling the Western spirit in the most authentic way possible takes commitment, and a handful of creators on Instagram already have the look mastered. “This trend is not about throwing on [a] fringed suede jacket with a pair of jeans and calling it a day,” Larissa Gargaro, Instagram’s Strategic Partnership Manager for Fashion & Beauty (Latin America), tells TZR. Instead, she recommends the “all or nothing” attitude by mixing more than one Western-chic garment into your outfit. Additionally, consider forgoing inspired-by styles from contemporary brands in favor of the real thing from specialized shops. “Shifting away from the ‘Western-inspired’ look and moving to a more literal adaptation of the style is a form of escapism,” Gargaro says. If all-over suede or turquoise accents sound a bit too maximalist for you, keep an eye out for pieces with a muted color palette and less intricate designs instead.
If you rekindled a love for the outdoors this last year, you may have seen a shift in your dress code to earthier pieces you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Now, even after returning back to a more social world (where you actually have to get dressed), Instagram is proving the two aesthetics can co-exist better than you might have anticipated. “The key to elevating this trend is imagining whatever occasion you're going to is happening in the middle of the woods, then dressing (sort of) accordingly with a touch of glamour,” Gargaro says. She suggests pairing your favorite outdoor pieces with a tailored item or a delicate accessory. Try pairing your LBD with a fleece or shearling jacket versus a blazer (á la Rihanna and Hailey Bieber), or couple an oversized suit set with lug sole boots and a nature-centered graphic tee underneath. For another approach, look for dressier pieces that come with an outdoorsy twist, such as a cargo take on a midi skirt. Sure, you can’t be in two places at once, but marrying these styles together is bound to make you feel like you can.