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Fall Style Guide

Celebrate the autumn equinox with new fall hairstyles, nail trends, and hot fashion tips

Sep 18, 2017

The leaves are changing colors, homework is piling up, and summer fun is fading into a distant memory. Fall lovers everywhere are rejoicing as they break out their earth tones and trade their beachy waves for more controlled hairstyles.

Here are some cool style tips for whatever fall weather brings — rain, sun, snow, fog, or chill.

Oversized layers in fall tones dominated the runways at Fashion Week in 2018Oversized layers in fall tones dominated the runways at Fashion Week in 2018Courtesy of InStyle

The Fall Color Trend Report

Traditional fall colors are the earth tones — colors you would see on the forest floor, in an apple orchard or in a pumpkin patch, like burnt orange, pumpkin, different shades of brown and tan, green-brown, red, yellow-gold, and apple-red. In 2018, fall fashion is embracing these colors, but also looking to the peacock for inspiration, including colors like blue-green, elegant purple, mustard yellow, and evening-sky-blue.

The official colors of fall 2018 include classic autumn hues accented with peacock tonesThe official colors of fall 2018 include classic autumn hues accented with peacock tonesCourtesy of PANTONE

“Each season, the team at the Pantone Color Institute creates the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report; a color overview highlighting the top colors fashion designers showing at NY Fashion Week will be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season.”

1980s Style with a Creative Twist

This year’s fashion trend sees a focus on creativity, individuality, unique style, and self-expression. In some ways, that gives you license to do what you like. But if you’re like many people and need a framework before you can get creative with it, think 1980s style as a base, and update it with your own creative flair.

The 1980s were known for oversized everything: big shoulder pads, big collars, chunky earrings and bracelets, and lots of layers. Another signature 80s look was “preppy” style, i.e. things that private school kids would wear as uniforms or in country clubs. Herringbone, tweed, plaid, and houndstooth patterns were everywhere, giving people that buttoned-up look. The 80s also saw a lot of neon, and no big surprise here, neon is back in full force, too!

Big shoulder pads in metallic hues and animal prints are in style in 2018Big shoulder pads in metallic hues and animal prints are in style in 2018Courtesy of Trendspotter

But don’t dig into the back of your parents’ closets just yet. Because 2018 is all about putting a twist on that tradition, for example, stealing your dad’s old tweed man-tailored overcoat but wearing it over a short skirt or skinny jeans and adding a touch of black leather to give it a modern edge.

Everything’s not oversized, though. While high skinny boots trended in 2017, this year, it’s all about the short boot (mid-calf), designer-looking “sneakers" that would never be considered appropriate for gym class, or everyday shoes with big bows or buckles.

Short skirts and rompers are still in style this year. Floral prints have been in fashion for the past few years and season, but this fall, busy prints covered in small flowers are covering everything head to toe from dresses to rompers and even shoes.

Reflecting The Person Inside — Show us how you feel

Another big trend for 2018 is about how you feel inside your clothes. Designers are coming out with soft and comfy items that give you the warm fuzzies, as well as reflective, sparkly, and neon clothes that make you feel safe and seen.

“When everything’s gone haywire, don’t you just want a coat that makes you feel strong, a dress that lets you feel powerfully sexy, or a shirt that turns up your mood to 11, no bells or whistles attached?” — Vogue Magazine, August 27, 2018.

The 80s are back with a 2018 twistThe 80s are back with a 2018 twistCourtesy of Trendspotter

A Show of Hands (and Nails)

Individuality and creativity are also in style for fingernails. Gone are the days of ten matching fingernails, at least on the runways and in the most fashionable classrooms. Picture nine neutral nails are accented with one red nail, nail art on one or two fingers, gems pasted on with nail glue, or mix and match styles of everyday drugstore press-on nails and you’ve got the right idea.

If the idea of ten mismatched digits gives you the willies (yeah we know, it can get uncomfortable when things aren’t even and don’t match up — don’t get us started on 2017's one-shoulder dresses!), then you can always go dark, with nearly-black forest green, black, or dark with metallic shimmer. It’s all over the runways this season, and long or short, the trend is pretty fabulous!

Try forest green nails this fallTry forest green nails this fallCourtesy of Dash of Darling

The great thing about the emphasis on creativity this season, is that nothing is out-of-style… well, almost nothing. Ordinary French manicures — neutral base with white crescent moon tips — are out, but switch up the color like it’s a negative filter on Insta, with a dark base and neutral crescent, and you’re back on-trend. The only other “out” nail style is nails that are bitten, cracked, uneven, or otherwise completely un-cared-for, so at the very least, give your fingernails some TLC the next time you have ten minutes to spare. You can even give yourself a quick maintenance manicure while you’re binge-watching a show or have Youtube set to autoplay.

Fall for a New Hairstyle

  • Slick and flowing. The red carpet is littered with this new combo look where the top is slicked back, but the rest of the hair hangs in a loose-controlled wave. Check out Zendaya’s look for inspiration.
  • Daria’s angled bob. Yes, we mean Daria from the 90s MTV cartoon. It looks great with curls or straight hair.
  • Controlled curls. Playful summer style had curls scrunched into beachy waves while more sophisticated fall has us exercising some control over our curly locks, taming curls into submission in dramatic ringlets.
  • The 1940s starlet look. It’s not all about the 80s, thank goodness — that 80s hair was just SO BIG! So much hairspray! — the 1940s Hollywood look was more tamed, with hair above shoulder length and controlled in a soft, swooping wave with just a little lift at the temple.
  • Emma Watson has baby bangs but don’t get them! They look great on her, but she’s a celebrity with a team of stylists. As a classroom look, they can go horribly wrong and they don’t grow out evenly. As a general rule, baby bangs should come with the TV warning “don’t try this at home” unless you’ve got the artsy, edgy, hipster look to match.

Veronica Lake hairstyle 1940s wave1940s fashion icon Veronica Lake's signature look was her hairstyle Courtesy of Huffington Post

Give us your opinion! 

What do you think of this year's fall trends? Are they just for celebs, or do they belong in the classroom? Will you follow them, or stick to the same-old sweatshirt and jeans as last year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!