So Long Summer, Hello Autumn: The “Cool” Fashion This Fall

As the seasons change, so do the styles. As fall sets in, tank tops and sundresses are replaced by cute jeans and cozy sweaters. It’s easy to find evidence of this changing style on the streets of cities like New York and Paris – two cities known for their fashion and taste – but this change is just as noticeable on college campuses.

Gone are the light, breezy dresses and brightly colored sandals of summer as the temperatures begin their decent towards the cold of winter. Combat boots in a variety of styles and colors – mainly black – have surged in popularity again, with their versatility making them the staple of many closets.

These shoes, especially in their basic black, can be worn with everything from yoga pants to dresses. They’re available in more than just standard black, as well – unique colors like maroon or dark purple can be used to give an outfit an interesting twist.

Katharine Dix, a freshman political science major said, “Combat boots are wonderful because they go fabulously with any outfit, and then you feel ready to take on the world.”

Another cold weather friendly apparel is flannel which is just as easy to mix and match as combat boots. Tied off at the waist, it can be worn with a skirt and leggings or just create an overall more pulled-together look. It can also be worn loose and unbuttoned, giving off a more casual impression.

It can also be paired with a variety of different shirts underneath – a tank top or camisole again gives off that casual, lazy-day look, or it can take the edge off a more structured blouse. This also works with almost every other item of clothing – it can be worn with jeans or a skirt, and it can even be layered over certain dresses for a unique look. The most common style seems to be loose, paired with a graphic tee and jeans, but its versatility offers endless options for almost any occasion.

According Liz Roderick, a freshman psychology major, “Flannel is the epitome of good fashion. Anyone can wear it and look good, it’s comfy and cozy, and it’s cute. It wins in every category possible.”

Flannels aren’t just popular for women. They can be found just as easily in the men’s sections of most stores, and they don’t lose their versatility. Tyler Vandegrift, a senior political science major, said, “Flannel can be worn by everyone, whether you’re a hipster, or into the outdoors, or just following the trends. It’s also nice to have something to throw on as it gets colder, besides a sweatshirt.”

Besides flannels, long, flowy cardigans are also in style for a more girlish look. Sheer and neutral, cream colors are easy to spot in stores like Urban Outfitters. These light, flowy sweaters that hang below the kneecaps are ideal to wear over a sleeved shirt to brave the brisk air. Pair these with skinny jeans and short cut heeled boots.

In general, more “chic” clothes are apparent now. There is an emphasis on standing out rather than fitting in. This is why stores like Urban Outfitters and Free People, who offer a variety of styles perfect for fall, are a top store choice for college students.

It’s more than just the style of clothes that are changing – accessories and makeup evolve as well, changing to match the seasons. According to Vogue, the trend this fall is about statement jewelry, including necklaces in bright colors, earrings with daring shapes, and chunky bracelets.

As outfits lean towards more neutral tones and uniqueness, these bright pieces, especially necklaces, can be used to add a welcome pop of color, so you can dress down, but still feel fashionable.

“Statement necklaces are trending right now, but I have always worn them. Since I like to wear clothes that are on the plain side rather than patterned, a statement necklace makes these clothes pop. With the added jewlery, it makes me look more professional for coming to work, not like I’m just going to Target,” said Kristine Simoes, a specialist communication professor.

Another similar growing trend is the statement earring. This can be worn in a variety of ways, but the main theme is to have one earring draw more attention than the other. In most cases, this is achieved by wearing one large, ornate earring, and either leaving the other ear bare or using a small stud.

Fashion blog Refinery29 has offered some more street-style options for this as well, such as mix and matched studs – for example, a black stud in one ear and then a bright color that matches the rest of the outfit in the other. This more subtle version seems to be growing in popularity, especially as the season goes on.

The bucket-purse will remain in style although the bright colors from summer are being traded out for darker shades that are more seasonally appropriate, such as browns and some dark greens. These oversized, unstructured purses again match the versatility shown by other popular fall items. They can be dressed down or up, depending on the outfit they’re worn with.

Also popping up in dark colors this season are jeans. Skinny jeans in maroon, brown, auburn, purple and dark green are available at cheaper yet fashionable stores like Forever 21 and H&M.

These items seem to be the staples for fall fashion this year, and can be seen spreading across campus. Some items, such as flannels and combat boots, are simply returning to their more popular stages, although they’re sure to fade out again when temperatures rise. Other trends, like statement earrings, are beginning for the first time, and will probably stay around as the spring and summer come about.