Fall 2013 Fashion Forecast: 12 Trends To Know Now

Perrie Samotin
Fall 2013 Fashion Forecast: 12 Trends To Know Now
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Now that Fashion Month has come to a close, it’s time to assess the many—many!—looks that were on display in New York, London, Milan and Paris, and gauge which looks are most likely to become discernable trends this fall.

While some overarching themes—modern leopard prints, strategic layering, winter whites—surely will have mass appeal, others might have little influence on the masses (case in point: drastically oversize overcoats). Here, we’ve sifted through hundreds of runway shows throughout the month-long style spectacle and are forecasting 12 top trends that we’ll likely be seeing a great deal of come fall—whether we like ’em or not.

Even though we may still be in the throes of winter (hello March snow flurries), we wanted to give you a clear idea of what the future holds—and provide you with a handy guide with which to reflect back when the time comes.

Click through our gallery to see the top 12 trends you’ll need to know about come fall, plus ratings on each trend to predict whether each look will have mass appeal come September.

Which trends are you most excited to try? Tell us in the comments below! And, to see which beauty trends you’ll need to know this fall, head over to our sister site BeautyHigh!

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Click through our gallery to get a first look at 12 trends we're betting will be huge this fall!  

The New Leopard: Leopard prints may conjure up slightly dated "Real Housewives" visions, but for Fall 2013, plenty of designers—including DKNY and Giambattista Valli—put a cool, modern stamp on the motif. Often shown head-to-toe, in colorful prints, and on oversize silhouettes, this fall's leopard is anything but tacky.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair to Strong.
Shoppers may not invest in a designer piece with such a notice-me print. While fast fashion stores like Zara and H&M will absolutely churn out its own takes, folks who don't closely follow fashion may not realize it's actually quite different from the flashy traditional leopard prints they've come to know. 

A look from DKNY's Fall 2013 collection

Photo: Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Modern leopard at Moschino Cheap and Chic

Mixed leopard at Diane von Furstenberg

Head-to-toe leopard print at Giambattista Valli 

Colored Fur: Overall, fur made an especially strong showing on fall runways in various forms, but it was the use of bold colors that caught our eye—from the jackets at Monique Lhuillier and Tom Ford, to the saturated fur scarves at Marni and Roksanda Illincic.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim
Remember, we're talking about the masses here, not the fashion industry, who've already been spotted during Fashion Month in various pieces of colored fur. If shoppers decide to invest in a fur coat or scarf, we bet they're sticking to black or brown. Again, we're sure high-street stores will dole out plenty of colored faux fur come fall, but we anticipate quite a lot of women adopting a "I could never pull it off" mentality. 

A look from Marni's Fall 2013 collection 

Green fur at Roksanda Ilincic 

A look from Tom Ford's Fall 2013 collection

A look from Monique Lhuillier's Fall 2013 collection

Photo: Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Black and white separates: Fashion's chicest pairing—black and white—was a major running theme throughout the month, most often shown using contrasting separates in interesting shapes, capped off by equally monochromatic accessories.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
Everyone has at least one solid black and one solid white piece, right. Plus, it's not particularly trendy, and doesn't require a great deal of commitment or cash.   

Proenza Schouler's fall collection was heavy on black and white separates  

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

A look from Alexander Wang's first Balenciaga collection

A look from Chloe's Fall 2013 collection

The "It" Layer: Layering in general was major on fall runways, with scores of designers showcasing shirts under sweaters under jackets under coats. However, the most prevalent incarnation seemed to be to be a long-sleeve top—a turtleneck or button-down, mostly—underneath a structured tee or three-quarter-sleeve shirt with a round neck. Overall, the look adds a modern, fashion-forward edge to otherwise fairly uneventful staples.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair
Fashion followers, sure, but since it's not a one-garment deal, folks have to seek out the pieces to acheive the look. However, most of us do have a turtleneck or a button-down, and we're already seeing tons of structured tops with cropped sleeves, so women might test out this layering technique if the components are accessible. 

A look from Tibi's Fall 2013 collection

Colorful layering at Matthew Williamson 

All-white layers at Ports 1961 

A look from Kenzo's Fall 2013 collection 

Knee-high boots: For the past few years, it seems women have bypassed tall heeled boots in favor of more modern-feeling booties, but that's set to change come fall. Scores of designers breathed new life into structured to-the-knee-boots decked with chunky heels, often pairing them with swingy mini skirts and dresses and oversized tops.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
Knee-high flat boots never really went out of style, so we know the shape isn't something women inherently shy away from. After so many years of high-heeled ankle booties, we think women will welcome the vertical shaft climb, especially when styled with new shapes and silhouettes, which will make tall boots feel especially fresh. 

Theyskens' Theory showcased knee-high boots for fall

Photo: ImaxTree/

A look from H&M's fall collection

White boots at Isabel Marant 

Same-Print Mixing: While super-opposing prints—think chevron and florals, for example—have been popular on recent runways, it seems print-mixing is taking a slightly different tack for fall. Several designers showcased pieces with the same or similar prints in different sizes and colors, and paired them together.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair
Actually mixing two or more separates with the same print might appear to be too busy for the average consumer, but we're banking on several labels and stores watering down the trend a bit. How? We've already seen stores like Zara and H&M hawk printed blouses whose sleeves or collars feature the same print as the body but in a different color or scale. 

Kenzo Fall 2013

A look from Holly Fulton's Fall 2013 collection 

Roland Mouret Fall 2013

A look from Tory Burch's Fall 2013 collection

Photo: ImaxTree/

Pink, Pink, Pink: We were floored when it came to the sheer number of looks throughout the month that featured shades of pink. Dresses, outerwear, suits, and basic sportswear were all interpreted using the color, with many designers counterbalancing its sweetness with innovative, modern silhouettes.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Fair
While pink is an especially divisive hue—many women swear they wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot-pole—we're banking on the shade showing up in ways that are consumer friendly (i.e., denim, slouchy pants, pencil skirts, etc). 

Topshop Unique Fall 2013

A look from Carven's Fall 2013 collection 

Prada Fall 2013

A look from Roksanda Ilincic's Fall 2013 collection

Overcoats, oversized: Not merely a bit loose, Fall's overcoats are drastically oversized, with dropped shoulders, extra-long cuffs, and large lapels. 

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim
Here's the thing: Everyone knows runway models can be styled in a plastic bag and still make it look covetable, but the fact remains that certain looks just won't translate. Dramatically large coats likely won't flatter an average woman, and they only work with certain outfits—which goes against the idea of an all-purpose piece of outerwear. 
We do, however, think women will take to slightly larger menswear-style overcoats, so long as it looks like it fits.

Stella McCartney Fall 2013

A look from Christopher Kane's Fall 2013 collection 

Peter Pilotto Fall 2013

Richard Nicoll Fall 2013

Chic Sweatshirts: The luxe sweatshirt trend we've come to know during the past year isn't going anywhere, with designers such as Karen Walker, Rebecca Minkoff, and Matthew Williamson showcasing their own versions often paired by paired with swingy skirts or skinny trousers.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
We've already seen a huge influx of "fashion" sweatshirts this year, from Kenzo's coveted interpretation, to Zara's many offerings. Plus, it was the designer sweatshirts that were the first to sell out in Target's two most recent collections (Neiman Marcus and Prabal Gurung), indicating folks are still hungry for chic sweats.

A look from Karen Walker's Fall 2013 collection

Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images

Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2013 

A look from Blugirl's Fall 2013 collection 

Milly by Michelle Smith

Reed Krakoff Fall 2013

The Under-Arm Bag Tuck: Street style fans may have noticed a variety of editors, bloggers, and other style-setters toting around large bags under their arms, clutch-style. The hook? They're not clutches. Nope, these are full-on satchels and totes, complete with handles. 

Mass-Appeal Factor: Very slim.
What's the point of buying a bag with handles, only to shove it under your arm and grip it from the bottom? That's the question we anticipate most women asking, and we can't really blame them. There's something highly contrived about the grip, not to mention its implicit "look at my designer bag!" message. Worth noting: It's not just top editors and bloggers who have adopting this method: Labels like Prada and Givenchy starting using it in print campaigns. 

A look from Trussardi's Fall 2013 collection

Topshop Unique Fall 2013

Gabriele Colangelo Fall 2013

A look from Rag and Bone Fall 2013

Winter Whites: White was a major force on fall runways, with designers showcasing head-to-toe looks using modern separates in varying shades of stark, ivory, and cream.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Strong
While too many shoppers are likely caught up in the hackneyed "no white after labor day" rule, we have a feeling that might start to shift. We anticipate pale coats, jeans, boxy sweaters, and accessories being standouts, although winter-white shoes—which were huge on runways and on showgoers' feet—might not catch on as quickly. 

A look from Céline Fall 2013

A look from Mulberry's Fall 2013 collection

Giambattista Valli Fall 2013

Bokeh Prints: Bokeh—a photography term for what looks like blurred lights—was showcased as a print on fall runways, mostly on evening-ready dresses and skirts.

Mass-Appeal Factor: Slim to Fair
Shoppers likely won't seek out bokeh prints for the sake of the print itself, but if they find a piece they like that happens to feature it, we're pretty sure they won't discard it. 

A look from Carven Fall 2013

A dress from Rachel Comey's Fall 2013 collection

A matching top and skirt from Cushnie et Ochs Fall 2013

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