Retro Looks for Fall Vibes

by Kelley Malott

Cool weather is upon us as our weather forecast turns gray and rainy. The fall leaves have started to change, and as usual fall fashion allows us to warm up with thicker fabrics and draw color-inspiration from the changing foliage. Thankfully, some trends continue to stay in style from year to year. This season you’ll see a lot of retro looks returning to retailers, with fashion trends drawing heavily from the 1970s.

Faux Fur jackets, especially the “Teddy Bear” jackets with that delightfully soft Sherpa pile, will be popular again this fall. These oversize jackets are available in many styles, from cropped to trench. Pair the oversized faux fur coat with slim or straight cut neutrals in black or chocolate brown. Combining the soft material with leather or metal accessories, like Stylist Alyssa Lenore, with her addition of combat boots, will keep balance in the look. A great pairing with this look is a leather bag with a chain strap. The jacket is really the statement here, so let that be the focus of your ensemble.

Other retro comebacks for the season are high-necked Victorian-style blouses and dresses and 1970s peasant tops. These dramatic tops and dresses take most of the focus to the shoulder or neckline. Look for ruffle accents at the neck and shoulders to embrace this retro trend, like this dress styled by Kelly Ann. These tops are available in neutral colors and softer, romantic floral prints in fall colors. Look for neutral colors if you would like to wear this look often, such as this black top available from Banana Republic, which will pair with a variety of looks. These ruffle-necked tops with bell sleeves are so versatile tucked into high waisted pants and can soften a faux leather skirt. 

Straight-leg jeans are making a comeback, so check your local second-hand shop for a vintage pair of jeans. High-waisted jeans with straight legs are the trend at the moment, with shorter ankle cuts being especially favored. You can easily alter or roll the hems of a straight leg pant to achieve the right length. I love The Acre, a vintage clothing retailer based in Appleton. You can check out their Instagram or Facebook @acre_vintage to shop or set up an appointment to shop their store located in The Draw on Lawe Street. They have tons of vintage options available, and their feed really showcases the 1970s inspirations that this fall fashion season is drawing from.

Pleated front pants are here again. These new styles feature more of a tapered leg than an older pair from your closet. If you’d like to try the trend, you can see about getting an old pair altered so the ankles are more fitted. Or try cuffing the hems of your pants to get the same effect of ankle pants without the alteration, and show off the new length with a standout shoe. A dark khaki or brown plaid will be perfect for fall. For a preppy look, try pairing with a traditional leather loafer. For an edgier look, try a leopard print ballet flat or a black combat boot. These pants are versatile; they will work with billowing, romantic tops that are popular this season, but they will go with just about any neutral colored tee shirt. Black, beige, chocolate and camel brown are go-to neutrals this season.

If you really like the pleated pants trend, you can try the “Paperbag” pants that had a resurgence in recent years. This style still has many on the fence, and some stylists say to avoid them. I personally find the dramatic slouchy waist a chic way to dress up a pair of trousers, especially if you’re looking for a pant to wear for an event or special occasion. Target has an affordable and stylish option, as styled here by Blogger Sherrell Ogletree.

Last but not least, a must-have for the season is a neutral-colored oversize sweater. I recommend some of the soft oversized knits available at H&M. These sweaters will style with almost anything. You can do a French tuck into a pair of pleated pants or jeans, and throw a plaid blazer over the top for a casual look to wear while out with your friends or on a trip to the local pumpkin patch. For a glam look, grab a faux-fur infinity scarf and pair with black leggings and knee-high boots. No matter what you style it with, you can’t go wrong with a good sweater during fall.