11 Must-Have Fall Essentials, According To Fashion Insiders

11 Must-Have Fall Essentials, According To Fashion Insiders

Every season, a new selection of soon-to-be bestsellers hits our favorite fashion retailers. With so many fall 2022 trends and products to keep up with, it’s hard to know what to “add to cart.” In our New Arrivals series, we consult the buyers, editors, and fashion insiders at our go-to shopping destinations to find out their best bets for the season’s wardrobe essentials.

While some may be reluctant to put away their bikinis and mini skirts, for many fashion lovers, the arrival of colder weather signifies the return of the best season of dressing: fall. But, with no shortage of trends defining 2022, what should be on one’s shopping wishlist? To find the answer, we turned to the buyers and fashion editors at some of the biggest retailers to narrow down fall’s must-haves.

Dominating the top of the trend charts is workwear-inspired tailoring. “This fall, tailored pieces are as sharp as the new No. 2 pencils on the corner of your desk,” says Kate Bellman, senior managing fashion editor at Nordstrom. “Fitted, tailored silhouettes exude sexy confidence and are all business, while leather and faux leather add a touch of tough to the work wardrobe.” Libby Page, market director at Net-A-Porter, notes that dropping temperatures also mean the return of “fashion’s favorite color” — black. “Black has always reigned supreme, however, this year we have seen an astounding increase of over 8,000% in searches for the color.”

But it’s not all business, no pleasure for the next few months. Platforms, the biggest — and most party-ready — shoe trend of the summer, will dance their way into the cold-weather months. “Style options are evolving and, instead of sandals, we’re seeing platform boots and closed-toe heels for fall,” says Tracy Margolies, Saks Fifth Avenue’s chief merchandising officer. Bright colors and neons are also not going to disappear entirely in a sea of all-black uniforms. “Adding a pop of color to the perfect bag or shoe is a great way to create a standout look,” says Jodi Kahn, VP of luxury fashion at Neiman Marcus.

For those who want to start early on holiday dressing, traditionally festive fabrics like sequin, tulle, and velvet “are ready to make their daytime debut,” according to Caroline Maguire, fashion director at Shopbop. “Have fun with unexpected fabrics and styling elements. For example, wearing a Simone Rocha tulle skirt or a Molly Goddard long-sleeved frill dress with your favorite pair of retro sneakers.”

Ahead, 11 fashion trends to add to your shopping list this fall.

Lingerie-Inspired Dressing

“Sexy style evolves this fall, particularly for night-out and occasion dressing. Look for lingerie details such as corsets and bustier necklines. Textures begin to emerge within this space bringing the newness in silk, velvet, lace, and even vinyl.” — Kate Bellman, Senior Managing Fashion Editor at Nordstrom

Western Boots

“The classic Western boot takes on new forms, reinvented into modern, sleek shapes. Play up all the colors, leather, and suede variations, and explore which shaft height works best for you. I recommend wearing the style with your favorite pair of denim — rolled up to show off your shoes! — mini skirt, and a slouchy sweater.” — Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director at Shopbop

Moto Styles

“A rebellious mood filled the Fall 22 runways, with black leather leading the charge.  Tough as nails moto jackets, edgy bombers, and leather micro minis should be on everyone’s shopping list this fall.” — Arielle Siboni, RTW Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s

Statement Coats

“Fall marks a standout season for hero coats, reflected in the diversity of options in outerwear. From lightweight, gabardine trench coats from Totême to maxi coats from Saint Laurent, bold statements from Chloé, textured animal print from Raey, and shearling from Isabel Marant, there’s an offering tailored to suit any occasion.” — Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear Buying at MatchesFashion.

Pearls & Bows

“Bows and punk[-inspired] pearls [are trending this season] — think: Madonna.” — Holly Thrasher, General Merchandise Manager of Apparel at Anthropologie

Platforms

“The bold party heel is dominating the runway with many interpretations – pointed toes, stacked architectural heels, vibrant colors, and surprising details. As the anchor point of an outfit, platforms are the perfect transition heel from day to night.” — Jodi Kahn, VP of Luxury Fashion at Neiman Marcus

Suiting For The New Era

“We’re seeing more people return to office which is bringing back a desire for a put-together, work look. Our customers are flocking to what we’re calling the new suit. These are suits in vibrant brights, high shine, sequins, and bold pops of color. It’s a playful take on traditional office dressing that can be worn together or as separates for a variety of looks.” — Tracy Margolies, Chief Merchandising Officer at Saks Fifth Avenue

Metallic Fashion

“For this season, it is all about shimmery, shiny pieces, and our customers are increasingly opting for luxurious fabrications and embellishments. We’ve really backed this trend with over 60 metallic runway looks, but the real statement-makers for fall are the accessories. Searches for ‘metallic shoes’ and ‘metallic bag’ have increased by an incredible 500% and 700%.” — Libby Page, Market Director at Net-A-Porter

Tights & Socks

“While over-the-knee boots were dominating the runway, the other biggest trend [involved] pairing tights and legwear with the season’s must-haves shoes. Think: gemmed fishnets paired with platforms, printed or textured tights and socks with polished loafers, and chunky tall socks peeking out of boots.”

Bright Colors

“Bright, bold, electric color is injecting some mood-boosting energy into both our wardrobe and our moods. Tailored pieces are benefiting the most from this hue infusion as key pieces, such as the blazer or pleated pants, refresh from naturally neutral tones to vibrant statements. Pick a favorite color to wear head-to-toe in varying shades or be brave and take cues from the color wheel by mixing two to three different colors. And let’s not forget #barbicore which will have us all living in pink this fall.” — Kate Bellman, Senior Managing Fashion Editor at Nordstrom

Standout Dresses

“With sheer fabrications and shine making a statement for fall, our dresses category continues to spotlight special pieces. Highlights include 16Arlington’s iridescent styles, Rick Owen’s metallic designs, Simone Rocha’s embellished midi dresses, and Valentino’s sheer gowns.” — Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear Buying at MatchesFashion.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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