Many great thinkers, past and present, have tried to answer the age-old philosophical question: what should I wear? It’s known for causing mildly catastrophic rage that ends with shirts flying out of closets and pants scattered all over the floor. After a year of Zoom classes and living in your comfiest pyjamas, the in-person Fall semester can either prompt excitement to dress-up or create concerns about picking out a real outfit. Regardless of which category you fall under, wearing an outfit you feel confident in is the antidote to 8:30 lectures, extraordinarily long Starbucks lines, and remembering how to make small talk. Fear not, fellow reader, because I present to you the answer to all your fashion troubles: MUSE Declassified Fall Fashion Survival Guide.
The transition from quarantine loungewear to campus outfits does not mean you have to give up on loose, soft fabrics. Knitwear is always a fall staple, but it’s especially hot and trendy this upcoming season. We’re seeing all sorts of knit fabric like crochet, fleece, and rib-knit take over the runways in every silhouette possible. Think knit tank tops, maxi skirts, wide-legged pants, sweater vests, and crochet bags. There is endless versatility and comfort with this fabric as it pairs well with jeans, trousers, skirts, and leggings. Not to mention, knitwear is extremely easy to thrift as second-hand stores are always overflowing with cute grandpa sweaters and cardigans.
Fall may be sweater weather, but every local Canadian knows you’ll be pulling out coats by mid-October. The jacket that went from trendy to timeless is the oversized leather blazer. It was popularized through the “model off duty” look from style icons like Bella Hadid. I encourage you to buy pleather or vintage leather to avoid supporting the leather industry. The look of leather will always be chic and makes you feel like you have your life together. It’s the perfect way to spice up any basic T-shirt and jeans outfit in the chillier months. You can definitely find leather blazers in the coat section of thrift stores and look for a silhouette that is oversized without swallowing your figure. If you’re willing to splurge, vintage consignment stores and Depop have great quality leather blazers and a larger selection of colours and sizes.
Returning back to campus provides the perfect setting to embrace a more studious aesthetic such as light or dark academia. Last fall we saw argyle skyrocket in popularity due to its preppy, professor vibe. Although argyle is sticking around again this season, the new pattern anticipated to overtake its success is tartan. The Gossip Girl reboot has pushed the private school look into mainstream fashion with Audrey’s green tartan sweater becoming a viral sensation. When finding tartan pieces, look for peacoats, jackets, cardigans, and oversized sweaters. Muted colours like dark green, black and white, and navy-blue pair well with any everyday outfit.
Comfortable shoes are crucial to get from one side of campus to another and the new “it” shoe this fall is platform loafers. Inspired by the gorgeous Prada loafers (shield your eyes from the price tag), these shoes look elegant without being too eye-catching and the extra height adds edge to any look. American Rapper, Tyler, the Creator also became a trailblazer for the leather loafer trend showcased by his incorporation of the shoe in his BET Awards and “Side Street” comeback video fits. These shoes can be easily paired with straight-leg trousers and a turtleneck for a simple but elegant look. Plus, the slip-on and slip-off feature makes them both functional and fashionable.
Who doesn’t love cozying up with a hot drink, blankets, and a big soft sweater on a cold autumn day? When thinking of pieces that harbor this energy, après-ski patterned knits immediately come to mind. This french term, literally translating to “after ski”, is a well-known part of ski culture, referring to the social events people attend after hitting the slopes. Après-ski fashion can be recognized through the winter-inspired horizontal patterns on sweaters, cardigans, and turtlenecks. There isn’t one definitive look to après-ski since there’s a multitude of patterns that fall under this aesthetic, making this trend adaptable to your personal style. Big chunky knits with any winter pattern become the focal pieces of a great chilly day outfit, simply finished off with your favourite pair of straight-leg jeans or trousers.
We want to save your bank account and the environment so don’t feel peer-pressured to buy a brand-new wardrobe because of the latest fall trends. Challenge yourself to shop consciously for staple pieces you will wear for years on end and resist falling into every social media microtrend that’s on your FYP. Look for high-quality pieces at your local thrift stores, vintage shops, and online second-hand stores (Depop, Thredup, Poshmark). Search through your old clothes or your parent’s closet for pieces you’ve forgotten about that are now back in style. As Aristotle once said, “Hot people shop sustainably”. With this newfound knowledge, I trust that all MUSE enthusiasts will be strutting the halls in sensational fall outfits and expanding the limits of their fashion comfort zone this season.
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: GRACE LU, CREATIVE ASSISTANT