Yes, it’s still high summer and these 90 plus degree days seem less than inspirational when it comes to getting dressed. But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about how to wear standout fall 2022 pieces — from dancer-esque slippers to long black dresses — right now. And since the autumn collections are slated to hit stores this month, I’ve been running through my list of must-haves to see which of my favorite runway items can go into rotation ASAP. Because, really, who has the patience to wait for cooler weather?
First on my shopping list are ballerina flats. Truthfully, I haven’t really worn them since the mid aughts, but the Miu Miu’s satin stunners, the finishing touch to nearly every look at the label’s Fall/Winter 2022 show, instantly sold me. “I think that as people are returning to busy social lives, they want shoes that are helping them to feel more ‘dressed up’ than something really casual — but they are also are used to comfort from spending more time at home,” says Jessie Randall, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Loeffler Randall (which also happens to carry quite a covetable version of the style). “The ballet flat is the perfect shoe for this, as well as a great item to wear during the transition from warmer weather to fall.” Plus, in my opinion, anything that combines nostalgia and ease is definitely worth giving a go.
Up next? White tank tops. Sure, you might be thinking to yourself, but I already own one (or maybe a few). Yet, somehow Prada’s Fall/Winter 2022 show lineup, featuring countless outfits paired with a white logo version, made the silhouette seem groundbreaking. “The white tank top is a timeless and fantastic layering piece,” Caroline Belhumeur, Chief Creative Officer of Vince, tells TZR. “A tank is also easy to pack and can be effortlessly incorporated into many looks, making it a versatile wardrobe essential.” Personally, mix-and-matchability is top criteria for any item I add to my wardrobe. And with so many major players featuring the sleeveless top in their shows — Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Acne — there’s plenty of ways to reinvent it.
The color black, (Alexa: cue Amy Winehouse), also ruled the Fall 2022 catwalks, but what struck me most was a return to maxi dresses in the inky color. After a few seasons of Barbie pink minis dictating the scene, it was quite the departure, albeit a welcomed one. Granted, I still love a short skirt, but the floor length dresses at Khaite, Nensi Dojaka, Brandon Maxwell (and more), all in rich noir, seemed like the statement of the season. And, of course, as a New Yorker, anything black is something I can really get behind. It’s a fail-proof purchase that I know will live in my closet for years to come.
As for handbags, I’ve been struck by the resurgence of the bucket silhouette. Designers such as Altuzarra, Ulla Johnson, and Louis Vuitton brought back the shape in oversized proportions with ample detailing that kept the beloved design feeling fresh. Many of the options kept to a neutral color scheme, but basic needn’t mean boring: There were more than enough buckles, color-blocking, and inventive leatherwork details to keep things exciting and modern. And just like that… another add to my shopping cart.
Lastly, let’s talk about bomber jackets. Louis Vuitton opened its show with one and completed the look with a necktie and oversized trousers. This solidified my need to incorporate the piece into my summer outfits immediately (and, of course, recreate the whole borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic come fall). Meanwhile, Celine’s bright red take on the trend, paired with a turtleneck and jeans, felt straightforward but still cool in that swagger-filled Hedi Slimane kind of way. And don’t even get me started on how cute the cropped jackets at Miu Miu were! Sure, a bomber admittedly never really went out of style, but all these mega-runway moments have me mulling over different ways to wear it.
So, shopping list: made. Now how will I be wearing my new essentials? Keep scrolling below for my tips and tricks to get multiple season mileage out of my picks.
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Now: Warm weather style, for me, is all about ease and comfort, so these simple flats are a no-brainer. When paired with an airy, one-and-done flowy dress, it is a fantastic pulled-together combination that takes no effort at all. “The mix of a ballet flat with a more utilitarian carpenter pant, jumpsuit, or pair of jeans looks really cool, but you can also wear them with dresses and skirts,” Randall explains. When it comes to the dress, I like to lean into summery prints, like gingham, for a classic feel that goes great with bright footwear (although there are plenty of neutral alternatives if that is your preference). A straw bag and cat-eye sunglasses are all you need to complete the look — let those shoes shine!
Later: Take a cue from the Miu Miu runway by mixing ballerina flats with lots of argyle knits and oversized blazers over dresses, mini skirts, and your favorite jeans.
The White Tank
Now: On these especially sweltering last days of August, wear your white tank with a roomy, high-waisted trouser and statement waist belt (I love anything with a chunky buckle!). Keep the overall aesthetic minimal with understated black leather flip-flops and then layer in personal jewelry for a street style star vibe. And a lightweight button-down can be your best friend when running in and out of air-conditioned spaces all day.
Later: The secret is layering, layering, and more layering. “I wear my white tank under an oversized poplin shirt, an oversized suit, or under really big or really small cardigans,” Belhumeur recommends. I totally agree: I’ll be pairing mine with a chunkier cardigan (so you can still see the logo detailing!) or an oversized blazer, and will swap sandals out for a white sneaker or lug sole loafer.
The Black Maxi Dress
Now: I love the versatility of a black maxi dress — it works for nearly any function. It can go casual with leather flip-flops and a trusty straw bag, or it can be dressed up in a heartbeat with a heel and some statement jewelry. Additionally, it also makes for a great packing item, especially if you look for something in a stretch fabric, that won’t be a wrinkled mess after a long flight in your carry-on.
Later: Swap sandals for boots, and take inspo from Khaite’s runway show, by pairing your maxi with a luxe black puffer jacket overtop — this truly feels like the New York girl way of wearing it!
The Bucket Bag
Now: Lately, as I begin transitioning my closet to fall, I’ve been reaching for bucket bag as a city carryall. I love the vintage-y feel of the shape, and would style accordingly. A muted tie-dye tee that feels slightly ‘70s with high-waisted, wide-leg blue jeans is the way to go! I always love a belt moment too: You can’t see it in this shot, but I have a white one on, matching the tone of the bag. To finish the outfit, I recommend a pair of oversized tortoise shades and slide sandals. Now you’re ready for a day of errands or a cute brunch date look.
Later: Come autumn, this carryall is pure Ali McGraw in Love Story perfection with retro collegiate staples, like cable knits, natty blazers, and riding boots.
The Bomber Jacket
Now: Bomber jackets make for the perfect transitional item on nights where the air starts to turn a little crisper and you know summer is near its end. In leather, the style is definitely an investment, but well worth a little bit of splurge. I’m pairing mine with breezy, white summer dresses straight through September, until tights are needed. Finish off your look with, you guessed it, a belt and ballet flats! This is the formula for an effortless, French-girl vibe, I promise.
Later: And as the cooler months begin, again, it is all about the layering! I recommend throwing it over cozy cashmere turtlenecks with a plaid skirt or high-waisted wool trousers on the bottom.