These 9 Fashion Trends Will Rule Fall 2023 (Plus 2 We’re Ready to Retire)

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Summer isn’t quite over yet, but I’m already looking ahead to the season of cozy cashmere, plaid skirts and pumpkin spice everything. Here you’ll find the top nine fall fashion trends for fall 2023 to start shopping—and wearing—right this very second. From all things red to preppy footwear and even peplum tops (believe it or not), here’s everything you’ll want to add to cart for fall, plus two trends I plan to retire to the back of my wardrobe through the end of the year.

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1. Preppy Footwear

Loafers, ballet flats, Mary Janes and riding boots—the tenets of a classic North Eastern preppy wardrobe—are all majorly trending for fall 2023. You can, of course, pair them with other preppy styles, like tailored blazers, button-up shirts, polo sweaters and A-line skirts, but there’s also a lot of fun to be had playing with contrasting silhouettes. Try mixing loafers in with cargo pants, Mary Jane pumps with a matching leather set or riding boots with a boho midi dress for more of an “opposites attract” vibe.

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2. Rich Neutrals

Brown was a surprising trend with which to kick off 2023, but it’s only become more popular as the year goes on. And now it’s been joined by other rich hues like cream, dark green, gray, butter yellow and caramel. The absolute chicest way to wear them is in a monochrome outfit (you don’t need everything to match exactly), but however you mix them up, they’re sure to give off a quiet luxury vibe.

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3. Cargo Styling

Another trend that continues to grow in popularity is the utility detailing. I’m not just talking about cargo pants, although they are perhaps the most popular take on the trend. Midi and maxi skirts, blouses and jackets with exaggerated pockets are just as hot for fall. The best way to style them for 2023 is with clothing and accessories that feel more posh, less casual. And please, skip the wallet chains and excess zippers unless you’re headed to a ’90s costume party.

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4. Red

At the beginning of the year I called Bottega Green as the color of 2023. Well, turns out I was wrong. Halfway through the summer we’ve shifted gears entirely to the opposite end of the color wheel with vibrant shades of red replacing my original color prediction. It played a big part in the Fall 2023 collections for Prada, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, and even carried into The Row’s Spring 2024 collection. Much like last year’s Barbie pink moment, this trend is all about going big with large swaths of cherry, tomato or scarlet as opposed to more subtle hues like burgundy.

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5. Laidback Tailoring

I’ve found this twist on quiet luxury to be much easier to wear, but every bit as polished and cool. Laidback tailoring is all about taking classic office staples—blazers, pencil skirts, suits, button-up shirts—and relaxing them just a bit. Think wide-leg pinstripe pants, oversize blazers and suit vests worn as tops. Nothing should be too fitted, but it shouldn’t be too loose or flowy either. When in doubt, you can play up the “laidback” feel by pairing your sharply tailored pieces with retro sneakers, simple T-shirts or a slouchy tote bag.

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6. Peplum Tops

Ready or not, the return of the peplum is nearly upon us. It felt like only a matter of time before this early aughts silhouette joined the slew of nostalgic trends making a comeback, and while I have my reservations, you have to admit it’s an incredibly flattering style. It gives the look of an hourglass shape, glides over your stomach and hips and is wonderfully comfortable. The 2023 version of the trend is a bit looser and should be styled with anything except skinny jeans, statement necklaces and wedge heels. (Try a wide-leg pant and Mary Jane flats instead.)

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7. Belts

Another somewhat controversial throwback trend, belts are on the rise—or should I say on the low?—once more. Thicker, low-slung styles were spotted in fall collections for Blumarine, Versace and Max Mara, but I’ll be leaving that nostalgic styling choice to more adventurous fashionistas and instead sticking with thinner belts that are much easier to incorporate into your outfit. You can still make a statement by choosing a bold belt buckle (be it western-inspired or a brand logo) or by opting for studs, embroidery or other intricate detailing rather than classic, simple leather.

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8. Silver Foil

Metallics have been slowly growing as trend for almost a year now, and I suspect they’ll really get going as soon as temperatures start to drop. Silver foil in particular will be everywhere, in part because it’s much easier to wear during the day than sequins, rhinestones or gold. Balance the disco vibes by mixing some denim into your look, and keep tops simple (plain white tees and button-up blouses come to mind) to allow your silver pieces to steal the spotlight.

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9. Maxi Skirts

When opting for extra length on the bottom, I find it best to think more ‘90s and less Little House on the Prairie. Slim silhouettes, enough to show your curves without constricting your movement, are the way to go rather than billowing boho numbers. Pair them with simple T-shirts or tucked-in button-up shirts and a pointy-toe shoe to keep that ‘90s vibe going.

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10. Ready to Retire: Cutouts

Cutout dresses have reigned supreme for a few years in a row now, but they are finally being usurped for styles with considerably less risk for awkward tan lines. Update your collection by adding a few shirtdress, ruffled or sweater dress silhouettes instead. If you have a cutout frock you absolutely can’t part with, try layering a tissue tee or bodysuit underneath to create your own contrast pattern.

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11. Ready to Retire: Barbiecore (for Everyday)

Trust me, for better or worse, Barbiecore isn’t going anywhere, but it is shifting away from everyday outfits to looks better suited for parties or special occasions. Think Barbie-theme birthdays and bachelorettes where you can go all out with hot pink everything. Of course, if you want to add a pop of pink to your everyday ‘fit, by all means do—just consider swapping your head-to-toe Barbie look for something that feels less costumey.

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Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...