The 8 Best Fall Fashion Trends For 2021 Are Already in Your Closet

Sometimes, it’s simply an impulse decision. We see a cute pair of shoes on our favorite celebrity, and suddenly, we’re Googling things like “chunky green boots” in hopes of finding our own. Or we click into some super random roundup and spot the most gorgeous dress, which causes us to lose all control and add to cart — and don’t get us started on seasonal shopping. Every few months, fashion bestows upon us a new crop of trends we feel pressured to purchase, lest we look behind the times. Well, for Fall 2021, we’re calling for an opposite strategy: Want to dress like the future? Look back into your own closet first.

In news that’s great for your wallet, we’ve discovered that eight of today’s top trends — aka styles we saw all over over the Fall 2021 runways — are items that many of us have already invested in. Think button-downs, saturated colors, and matching sets.

Now the question is, how do we reinvent these pieces and make them feel fresh for the months ahead? In short? Introduce a bit more chaos into the way you used to wear them. But we’ve got a few mores ideas to get you started, ahead.

Since this piece is essentially considered the ultimate closet staple, it’s pretty likely you have one lying around. It doesn’t matter if it’s white, striped, or a pastel shade, this season, it’ll come in handy for a variety of scenarios.

How to Wear a Button-Down for Fall 2021: Make it your go-to layer. When you’re not wearing it in place of a sweater or jacket (celebs are doing this open with a bra-top underneath), use it as the foundation of your look, styling it under vests or blazers. If your option is oversized, you can even give your outfit a Y2K twist by adding a belt (we dare you).

We’ve spent more time than we’re willing to admit wearing sweats and lounge pants, and our legs are not quite ready for an all-day, everyday, stiff pair of jeans. Oversized ‘work pants,’ AKA trousers, have stepped in as a transitional piece, and they happen to be more versatile than we originally thought.

How to Wear Trousers for Fall 2021: You wear them … like pants. While once considered formal, trousers are now viewed as a kinda-casual everyday pant. You can pair them with a graphic tee, a knit sweater, or dress them up with a corset top and heels for a night out. We guarantee that once you start wearing these babies regularly, you won’t want to stop.

Matching sets are nothing new — in fact, co-ords were one of our go-tos even before the sweatsuit became our pandemic uniform. But, designers aren’t ready to give up this trend just yet, and we’re not exactly complaining. After all, what’s better than a pre-made outfit you can throw on in a pinch?

How to Wear Matching Sets for Fall 2021: Add a third item. The 3-piece set is on the rise, and coordinating tops and bottoms feel even more fun with the addition of a matching coat or accessory. However, that doesn’t mean you have to shell out some extra dough to achieve the look. Just dig out an item you already own that happens to be in the same color (or print!) family and style them all together. Monochromatic outfit, done.

Surprise, surprise — plaid is still a must-have fall print. This one comes back around each and every year, so if you’re wondering whether your favorite checkered pants from 2019 are still on-trend, the answer is 100% yes.

How to Wear Plaid for Fall 2021: Lean into the preppy look. Dark and Light Academia, Schoolcore — whatever you want to call it! — is a current favorite among the fashion crowd, so style your plaid skirt, blazer, or button-down with other structured items (may we suggest the aforementioned button-down and trousers?), then work in some chunky socks and loafers.

While we once considered slogan and graphics to be somewhat juvenile, our current motto is that you’re never too old to wear anything. Clothes are clothes, and the truth is, a snarky saying or sweet illustration is an instant mood-booster and allows you to say something without ever opening your mouth. And that’s handy since we’re still wearing masks everywhere.

How to Wear Slogan and Graphic Tops for Fall 2021: Think outside the box and combine pieces that you consider to be total opposites. A graphic T-shirt with a poufy midi skirt will command everyone’s attention, while a slogan sweatshirt paired with jeans and sneakers is a low-effort look that still makes a statement.

Once the sun starts setting earlier and a biting chill hits the air, we’re often tempted to break out neutrals and darker colors to suit our overall mood. But this season it’s all about the bold, shockingly vibrant brights, so don’t pack away those sunshine yellow dress and electric purple pants just yet.

How to Wear Bright, Saturated Colors for Fall 2021: Pile them on. Get playful and combine two or more in-your-face shades to achieve a colorblocked look. Or, go muted with the rest of your look and allow one colorful item, such as a pair of shoes or jacket, to act as your statement piece.

Arm cutouts, keyhole cutouts, side cutouts, hip cutouts — it’s all been in and out of rotation over the past decade or so, and it’s possible you may still have a hole-punched piece buried in the back of your drawer. As long as it’s more form-fitting and not too distressed (we’ll be passing on those cutout skull designs, thanks), it’ll fit in with modern-day styles, no problem.

How to Wear Cutouts for Fall 2021: The more the merrier — no, really. As Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid have proven, it’s cool to wear cutouts from neck-to-toe. If that feels a tad too extreme, go ahead and allow one cutout item to be the highlight of your look. Keep the rest of your outfit simple by sticking with basics to ensure those holes really pop.

This is one design detail that never truly goes away, mostly because it’s so fun to wear, but it is experiencing something of a real resurgence right now. If you own a fringe jacket, dress, or purse, you’ll definitely want to incorporate that item into your fall wardrobe, whether you’re hoping to channel the new ’20s flapper style or are feeling 2021’s ’70s influence.

How to Wear Fringe for Fall 2021: There’s really no wrong way to wear fringe clothing, but sticking with a specific decade is always pretty fun. Give your fringe dress a Great Gatsby spin by accessorizing with large statement earrings and metallic items, or take that fringe jacket back to the ’70s, styling it with patchwork pieces and flared pants.

Click for more from The New New, our digital cover exploring all the ways to have more fun with clothes this fall.

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