The Fall 2021 Fashion Trends Any Age Can Wear

The Fall fashion trends 2021 are here, and the good news is they are surprisingly quite wearable! Nothing too crazy or over the top, yet everything feels fresh and exciting. Here’s a look at ten top trends you can wear at any age, with shoppable links.

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1. Vests

Fall is all about layering, and this season the knit vest is ready and waiting for you to try.  Brighter colors and oversize fits are especially in, and if you are wondering how to style them, it’s easy.

How to Style it: Slip a sweater vest over a long sleeve shirt ( a little oversize is best), and wear it with jeans or a skirt. You can also wear a knit vest over a dress to look modern or on its own as a top. Suit vests are also showing up and look great with pretty, feminine blouses or when worn under a tailored jacket.

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2. Saturated Colors

If you read my fall 2021 color report, you know that optimism about our future has sparked a wave of bright, saturated colors. Bold shades like cobalt, blue, yellow, and hot pink have been thrown into the traditional fall color mix, resulting in some very eye-catching combos.

How to Style it: Wear a single classic piece in a bright,  solid color, like a cobalt sweater dress or perky green blazer. Or, if you prefer a more dramatic look, color block your outfit, mixing brights like orange and hot pink—the wilder, the more creative looking.  (Tip- A colorblock sweater takes the guesswork out of knowing what colors to mix).

Prefer a simple nod to this trend?  Try adding an accessory in saturated color. For example, adding a yellow bag to a rust and brown fall outfit will do the trick.

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3. Tone on Tone Tailoring

At the opposite end of the saturated colors, spectrum is another popular fall look- sharply tailored pieces in tonal colors. We’re talking about wearing more formal pieces ( tailored on tailored), like button-down shirts, jackets, vests, full looser dress pants, and statement coats worn in a monochromatic way head to toe.

How to Style it: When I say tonal pieces worn head to toe, I mean it. It’s very fashionable right now to even have your shoes, and bags color matched too. Of course, neutrals are right in line with this sophisticated, menswear-inspired look. So, for example, an all camel or all gray look would be the easiest for most of us to wear. However, there are always dramatic types who love to dress boldly, and so you will see some colorful suits and printed suits as an option. The best shoes to go along with this tailored look are loafers- which are huge for fall.

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4. Relaxed Trousers

You may have heard that jeans are getting wider, but so are dress pants. Tailored dress pants that are longer, looser, and often slouchy are making a comeback.  Some even have soft pleats, which we all remember from the ’80s!  These wider, looser pants have an elegant, relaxed feel. They are the perfect cross between dressy and comfy that we are all craving right now.

How to Style It: Try a fitted top worn with a looser statement blazer,  or you might wear a chunky cropped cardigan.  As for shoes, loafers are popular, or even sneakers if you want a more dressed-down look.

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5. Bold Prints

We’ve talked a lot about color, but bold prints are taking center stage too. Look for rich florals on dark backgrounds, especially dark floral prints. There are also oodles of plaid, houndstooth, tartan, check, argyle. Logo prints are huge, but these logo prints are often cleverly disguised as more of a graphic print. You will also see many artsy prints, chevrons, and of course,  animal prints are still going strong. Finally, Fair isle and nordic patterns, as well as embroidery, have arrived and will look fabulous during the long winter ahead.

How to Style it: Anyway is fine from head to toe houndstooth to a flowery, feminine, dark rose blouse with jeans or a black skirt or pants. Prints are highly personal and a great way to express your personality or be used as a styling tool to tie two colors together.

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6. Sequins and Shine

Designers know we’ve all been dying for a bit of glamour after months of no socializing, so they have made fashion party-ready by introducing lots of sequins, metallics, and shine. These new, fun pieces will elevate your energy and add sparkle to your style.

How to Style it:

Cocktails dresses with shine and sequins are the obvious answer, and this fall, we will see many! You can also dazzle by daylight with a small sequinned piece like a cute sequin cami under a blazer or a shiny satin blouse with a pair of jeans.

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7. Lots of Leather

Leather has become so popular that you need at least one piece in your wardrobe to look relevant these days. This fall, there are many beautiful leather pieces and many vegan leathers, which have become more refined and very popular.

How to Style It: Look for classic leather pieces like blazers and dresses with simple silhouettes to look sophisticated and modern. A stand-alone piece like a leather shirt dress can be a knock-out, or combine a leather vest with a knit or a silky top and jeans to add texture.

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8. Cutouts

Peek-a-boo clothing has been trending for a while. It’s the perfect way to look sexy after 40 in a classy, low-key way since you are not showing too much skin.

How to style it: Strategically placed cuts out are everywhere on the body this fall. Pick your best spot and highlight this one area by keeping the rest of your outfit more conservative and covered up. Cutouts at the necklines and shoulders are beautiful after 40.

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9. Preppy Classic

Preppy with a grown-up twist is the new trend this fall, which means many chic plaid tops, pants, jackets, coats, and reimagined polo shirts, pleated skirts, and other private ones school types look. Many of these pieces are oversize, in an unusual color, or have been made to look more romantic or moody dark. Look for clothes with elements of preppy that have been exaggerated or tweaked in a creative way.

How to style it: Pair your favorite preppy pieces like plaid pants and a knit vest, or wear a polo collar top with jeans. Plaid overcoats are an easy way to get this look, and you will find many this fall, from plaid maxi shackets to plaid overcoats with touches of leather.  You can also wear preppy pieces in fresh color combos or modern shapes like preppy culottes or cropped jackets.

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10. Apres Ski

Even if you have never set foot on the slopes, this is a fun trend that is cute and cozy. Winter jackets are all puffed up- meaning puffer coats, puffer vests, and even puffer totes are blowing up this fall. (I even saw a puffer jumpsuit!) Also, look for tons of knits. Fair Isle sweaters, grandpa cardigans, and cable knits (the knit of the season) are at the heart of this new slopestyle, as it is being called!

How to Style it: Many of these puffers are ridiculously exaggerated, and I included one black and white one below, so take a look. For the average gal, go for a more refined puffer in a bright color or shiny space-age finish to look most modern.  Many women are even wearing puffer coats over something more dressy for a cool girl look.

Fair Isle sweaters and cable knits are easy to wear and can be worn with a skirt, pants, or jeans. They speak for themselves and come in exciting colors and shapes, including feminine details like puff sleeves. Try to find one a little bit different that makes a statement for maximum impact.


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Now, which trend is your favorite? What will you try this year, and what will you avoid?


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