The Key Fall 2023 Trends We’re Investing In

From business casual to the best in button-downs, these are the new arrivals to shop.

illustration of models on the fall runways
(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

It may still be linen season, but soon enough, crisp fall weather will usher in that back-to-school ethos that stays with us years beyond the classroom. With it comes a yearning for cozy layering, tactile textures, and rich autumnal hues. These three attributes lay the foundation for a full-proof fall wardrobe, especially as designers root their collections in more practical, elevated essentials that are trending now but will remain staple pieces year after year. Think: crisp button-downs, beautifully tailored floor-length jackets, cropped coats, and lots of cool separates that will keep you looking on your A game, no matter the occasion. For people craving the softer side, plenty of buttery plaid cashmere staples (preppy and otherwise) and dreamy openwork lace pieces can be layered to perfection, but deliver a wow factor all on their own.

It's wise to think ahead, but it doesn't mean you have to bid farewell to your sweet florals and summer dresses just yet; styling your existing pieces with a few new seasonal buys is the ideal way to transition into the autumn equinox.

Ahead, eight fall trends, some you can even buy and wear now. 

models on the fall runways in button-downs

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brands)

The novelty of menswear tailoring still has yet to wear off; this fall, the runways were committed to the button-down. Yes, there were minimalist mainstays at The Row, and Bottega Veneta, but even the maximalists embraced the hero wardrobe staple. "The overarching fashion mood is still about comfortable elegance and understated polish," says Italist's Diego Abba. "Button-downs are both a closet essential and a great second layer any time of year," he notes. Invest in a few traditional button-downs in crisp whites, pinstripe, or sky blue to pop under blazers and sweaters or "experiment with different fits and colors," says Net-a-Porter Market Director Libby Page. "I like to have a tailored fit for work, an oversized style for relaxed weekend errands, and a print or colored option to add a pop to an otherwise typical outfit," she says.

models on the fall runways in preppy outfits

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

Plaids, argyles, and cable knits are synonymous with a back-to-school aesthetic, but outside of academia, preppy attire often existed in an uppity bubble. "This season, a new kind of prep is back," says Klarna's Fashion Director, Emilia de Poret. "It shouldn't be too perfect, and it often has a few quirky details," she notes. 

The trend is adaptable to non-preppy dressers too. Pairing fall's preppy-leaning pieces with your wardrobe favorites is a fun take on the aesthetic and will ensure your style shines through. The fashion director suggests easing into the trend with one preppy staple piece like one of the season's standout blazers, a pleated skirt, or an oversized varsity jacket.

models on the fall runways in cocoon coats

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

Outerwear is the cold weather piece to invest in, and some of our favorites this season are the cocoon coat—designed with dropped shoulders and wide sleeves—intended to be roomy and comfortable while still looking utterly chic. Their ultra-luxe fabric offerings like cashmere, wool, and mohair make them irresistible on a crisp autumn day. "The key is to choose a coat that can stand out on its own but also looks great with layers underneath," says Abba. Choosing a neutral color will lend itself to everyday wear, while a bold hue, fabulous prints, or fun details [like belts and hardware] will ensure your coat is the star of the show.

models on the fall runways in elevated everyday

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

When we thought we could say goodbye to our leisurewear, Miu Miu made a compelling case for leggings, hoodies, and great white tees on their fall 2023 runway. "This trend is all about mixing high and low—like a striped pajama style pant, paired with an Adidas samba sneaker and a cashmere hoodie," explains Net-a-Porter's Page."  Diego suggests keeping the look elevated (and not haphazard) by mixing in your favorite vintage or well-worn pieces (like denim and sneakers) for that relaxed look that's pulled together, but never too pristine.

models walking down the runways in romantic silhouettes

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

Romance—from lace to ruffles to sheers—is seeing a resurgence for fall and will balance out the season's bevy of rich fabrics and hues. These delicate details will soften a more conservative cold weather look. "Moderation is the key to mastering the romantic aesthetic," suggests de Porte. Think sultry satins and sheers paired alongside tailored separates, or ruffles and lace juxtaposed with cable knit sweaters, wool coats, and luxe sweater sets. 

models walking down the runways in suiting

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brands)

Whether heading to the boardroom or suiting up to paint the town red, suits are never a null investment, and this season there will be something for everyone— from fitted and formal to oversized semi-casual styles. While there are some variations in proportions and fits, Diego notes that suit styles ultimately don't change much, meaning if you invest in a great one, you'll likely have it for years to come. For a more casual approach, our experts suggest leaning into prints—like striped or animal prints—and breaking them up as separates.

models walking down the fall runways in cropped jacket

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

We've waxed poetic about our love of fall's outerwear options, and cropped jackets are no exception. They're the ultimate transitional weather piece, from shortened leather numbers that pair with maxi dresses and trousers to tweeds and boucle that refine virtually anything you style them with.

models walking down the runways in capes

(Image credit: Courtesy of Designers)

"Capes may seem niche," says Abba, "but they're the perfect transition piece thanks to their warmth and ventilation," he notes. An outerwear staple for centuries, capes offer paramount versatility with various fabrications, styles, and lengths—some classic and others bold (some of Abba's favorites for the season incorporate buckles and fringe). Others toe the line between jackets and shawls, each one a great option to insulate you from the elements while making a bold fashion statement.

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.