November 9, 2023 | ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT | By Katie Rowley
Dressing for fall has never been harder. With the temperatures in Colorado Springs fluctuating from 30-degree snowstorms to summer-like days and a clashing cultural zeitgeist, there seems to be no perfect answer for what to wear as we get ready for late-fall/early winter.
And, if you’re anything like me, your mornings have consisted of fully fledged outfits being ripped off and thrown on the floor in favor of the pair of jeans you’ve worn every day this week and an oversized sweatshirt.
But, with snow and hopefully colder temperatures in the forecast, I’ve started to gear my fashion choices for fall. I’ve also been attempting to incorporate the cultural renaissance of 2014 culture (queue “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” maximalism and “The Hunger Games”) with the business casual, minimalist trends that are taking over my Pinterest feed. So, in this attempt, I’ve developed what I would loosely refer to as a guide for this upcoming season.
So, if you’re struggling with what to wear, sit back and take a read. (Also, this guide focuses specifically on women’s fashion, but I think fashion is androgynous and people of all genders can slay by following this guide.)
Perhaps the most evident cue of the conflicting styles facing the human population this fall is the fact that no one can decide what this season’s color is. Vogue is pulling for neutrals, while InStyle thinks wearing a mix of pastels and bold primary colors will help you manifest the future you want and Pantone claims New York Fashion Week set us up for fashion that takes a, “visionary and free-spirited color approach.”
But perhaps the most authoritative voices on this issue are Colorado College “fashion experts” (aka Emmaline Hawley ’24 and me), who decided on three colors: Cobalt Blue, Periwinkle and Fuchsia. And, if you’re looking for a neutral to throw into the mix, white and “Evermore”-esque browns are great ways to tone down outfits.
The three colors we decided on play with boldness in a unique way and allow the wearer to really dress up and down any outfit. Add a cobalt blue turtleneck under a black or white sweater for a pop of color and an inkling of mid-2010s maximalism, or throw on periwinkle slacks for the perfect winter-warm business casual look. And, when you’re shopping around for the pieces I suggest below, keep these colors in mind. They’re going to be everywhere soon.
Maxi skirts are taking over! This summer, if you weren’t aware, was the maxi skirt summer. Everyone was wearing a maxi skirt, or at least, they should’ve been. Even I was wearing one!
So, maybe in the spirit of sustainability or fact that I have no money to spend on new clothes right now, I am attempting to winterize my maxi skirts. Throw on an oversized sweater, maybe some colorful tights or an off-the-shoulder top for a classier look.
Something I’m loving about maxi skirts is how individual they are. You can find the perfect one for you. Are you going for a trendier, model-off-duty look, aka Madelyn Cline? Whip out your denim maxi skirt. Or if you’re going for a more classic look, try a black velvet maxi skirt. There is a maxi skirt out there for you.
But, as snow will soon fall, I understand the fear that your legs will get too chilly for a skirt, so I’d opt for a classic pair of blue jeans, maybe a bit on the baggier side, or a simple straight leg. I think the slightly loose Levi’s that also took over this summer will be big as the weather turns colder; pair these jeans with long sleeve tops and sweaters instead of the white baby tees we sported when the weather was warmer.
I don’t have many recommendations about specific tops. I do, however, think tighter fitting long sleeve neutral tops are going to dominate the upcoming trends. And, if you’re looking to switch it up a bit, look for a black off-the-shoulder long sleeve; this will perfectly mix the quirky-boldness with the business casual trends.
In a simpler vein, graphic sweatshirts in bold colors have been and will continue to be very stylish. I saw a girl wearing a Kelly Green “Wallows” sweatshirt as she walked across campus the other day and I almost got online to buy it myself. Using jackets and sweatshirts to experiment with colors you wouldn’t typically wear is great because you’ll probably end up shedding that top layer anyways.
Speaking of jackets, oversized and longer neutral jackets are a great way to keep yourself warm. Throw on a long wool black jacket to class up any outfit and create a sense of maximalism without wearing thousands of layers.
Lastly, an oversized, Rory Gilmore, Chris Evans in “Knives Out,” cable-knit sweater is the perfect winter jacket. It looks great over a maxiskirt or paired with your slightly baggy jeans. It’s the easiest way to make an outfit as cozy as can be.
Leave the sneakers in the summer and break out the pointed-toe kitten heels, platform shoes and loafers. That’s right people, we’re stepping up our shoe game this season.
To reflect on the fashions of the past, I have a feeling big, black boots, featuring chunky platforms or reaching thigh high, will be hitting the streets soon. But maybe only whip these out when you’re going out, or when it eventually snows a couple inches.
For an everyday look, I recommend a solid neutral loafer or Mary Janes. I really want these Steve Madden Mary Janes, probably more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.
But, perhaps the most important shoe trend this fall lies within the socks. I recently bought Kelly Green socks and am using them to add a pop of color to every outfit. So, buy those colorful socks, and pull them up!
The best way to create a slay outfit is to accessorize, and this year we’re adding bows to everything. Maybe it’s the Gracie Abrams effect, or Sandy Liang who has been taking the fashion world by storm.
Buy bow hair clips. Add bows to the straps of your bags. Tie bows on your pant belt loops. Buy items of clothing with bows on them. Buy jewelry that’s in the shape of bows.
Once winter sets in, don’t be afraid to make your winter accessories cute. Large, oversized scarves may have risen to popularity last year, but they’re still trendy and, if you wear them like hoods, they’re great at keeping your ears warm. If you want something a bit more practical, I predict earmuffs will be huge this year.
With that, make note of some of these suggestions next time you’re scouring the aisles at The Arc, or hitting Park Meadows for holiday gifts. And, as always, stay slay.