Fashion week is as much about the fashion happening outside the shows as it is about the designer collections. While the runways showcase upcoming trends in their highest form, street style is about current-season styles and interpreting them for IRL wear in the form of fresh outfit ideas that feel original for fall 2019. In recent years, the phenomenon of street style has evolved from the camera-baiting peacockery it once was to something more nuanced and discerning. That’s not to say it’s any less bold or trend-driven — maximalism still has its moments — the execution just feels more thoughtful. A well-placed statement accessory, exquisite tailoring, unexpected pairings, novel ways of wearing things: These are the modus operandi of the modern sartorialist.
Something as simple as wearing your sweater in an unconventional way, or leaving your shirt open except for a button or two up top can make an otherwise plain ensemble feel more unique and intriguing. Layering is another key way to create a look that feels artful and bespoke. Two button-downs at once? A skirt over trousers? Feel free to break the "rules." Continue on below for examples of these and other creative styling tricks straight from the streets of fashion week.
Put Your Cardigan On Backwards
The cardigan is back on everyone's radar and reinvented for contemporary wear. If wearing it shrunken or sans bra already feels overplayed, try wearing it backwards for a change. You can do this with practically any style of cardi in your closet — basic, V-neck, cropped, slouchy — depending on how you want it to fit. A version with decorative buttons or contrast trim is especially chic when worn reversed.
Wear Two Button-Downs At Once
Put a stylized spin on a tailored suiting ensemble by layering your button-downs. Choose styles in a cool color combo and contrasting textures, like cotton poplin with silk-satin or leather, for a dynamic look.
Step Out In Mismatched Shoes
Mismatched shoes were having a moment this fashion month. Certain brands are putting out options that do the mismatching for you, but you can create your own custom pair by buying one style in two colorways. Pro tip: Find a friend who wears your same shoe size and go in on this trend together so you don't have to pay for two pairs of shoes.
Forgo A Top In Favor Of A Lacy Bra
Fashion week tends to elicit daring style choices, such as completely skipping the shirt part of an outfit and letting your lace bra take the spotlight. Lingerie as daywear isn’t a new concept, but it’s never looked so chic. Wear your bra underneath an open blazer to hit that sweet spot of sexy and sophisticated.
Tuck In Your Blazer
Right now, it seems like everyone's wearing oversized blazers; the bigger and broader the shoulders, the better. The boxy structure of this silhouette looks surprisingly cool when worn tucked in. Cross one side of the blazer over the other to cinch in the shape at the waist so there isn’t any weird bunching.
Leave Your Shirt (Mostly) Unbuttoned
Fashion girls have unofficially declared it open-placket season. Leaving undone all but one or two buttons makes a starchy oxford feel relaxed and sensuous, and it’s given new life to the traditional shirting that’s been hanging in the “for work” section of your closet.
Trade In Your Mini Bag For A Massive Tote
Bye-bye micro bags — the new trend is all about supersized shoppers and ultra-roomy totes. Nothing updates an outfit quite so easily and quickly as a good statement accessory, so swap your mini for a maxi this fall for an instant, high-impact refresher. Consider an extra-large leather style, or something big, quilted, and cuddly.
Knot Your Knitwear In Unexpected Ways
The onset of sweater season calls for new ways to style your knitwear. Fashion month delivered a few creative layering ideas particularly for when you want to have a sweater on without actually having it on. If you usually tie your jumper around your waist, try turning it around so the sleeves knot behind your back instead of in the front. Or, rather than drape your knit over your shoulders, angle it so one sleeve is over your shoulder and the other goes under the opposite arm, tying at the chest crossbody-style.
Wear A Coat As A Dress
Minimalism can still be interesting. It doesn’t get more minimalist than wearing one simple article of clothing, but making that single item a sleek coat feels more significant and unique than just wearing, say, a dress. To pull off this look, make it a classic coat style (a long belted trench is perfect) in a solid neutral color, and pair with understatedly elegant heels.
Layer A Skirt Over Trousers
Layering long, flowing separates is one of fall’s hottest trends. To achieve a supremely graceful, languid look, start with a pair of simple, slouchy trousers then add a mid-length skirt or dress in a fluid fabric and throw a blazer on top. Solid neutral silks are always an elegant option for your topmost layer, but a handkerchief hem in a bold print has a certain modern, edgy appeal that feels especially cool.
Mix Prints On Prints On Prints
The art of mixed prints is something every maximalist should master — and it’s really not as difficult as you may think. The key to the perfect power-clash is to choose similar or complementary colors and contrasting pattern sizes (e.g. a large-scale floral on bottom and a smaller, more detailed floral on top). But then, in a true more-is-more fashion, take it to the next level by adding a third, entirely distinct print (e.g. a snakeskin accessory).