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From Masks to Maximalism: Fall 2020 Style Guide

With most people stuck in a monotonous routine for the past few months, one would think that the fashion this fall would be gloomy and mundane. However, a stale season of style is (luckily) far from reality. As a result of being stuck at home for so long, many people have begun to experiment with their style which has led to an influx of unique clothing, makeup, and hairstyles. Autumn 2020 is chock full of bold and innovative styles that embrace vibrance, diversity, and creativity. 


While daunting at first, delving into the world of maximalist fashion, interior design, and art is very rewarding and ensures that boredom is nowhere near your wardrobe. Through incorporating a variety of texture, fabrics, prints, and colors, maximalism requires a keen eye and a bold sense of confidence to pull off. However, do not let the overwhelming aspects of maximalist fashion prompt you to stray away from this iconic style. Instead, embrace this creative side of fashion through trying out new clothing combinations and repurposing clothing with embellishments such as embroidering pants or painting on sneakers. Oh, and did I mention patchwork? That is huge this fall, so do not stray away from adding patches to a pair of jeans and playing around with stitching patterns and thread!

Minimalism & Monochrome

For the past few years, minimalism has been a timeless go-to element of the fashion world. Capsule wardrobes embrace neutral tones and allow for a budget-friendly, practical closet that also permits for some fun when paired with unique accessories. In the same vein of minimalism—but with a little more edge—lies monochrome which centers around a single color scheme and relies more heavily on accessories in order to tie the look together. In the past, monochrome has been more literally “one color.” However this fall, tones are key, with various aspects of a color scheme all being incorporated into a single outfit.

Sweater Vest

The sweater vest is the “it” knit item of this autumn. Easily paired with any bottom and a plain or patterned shirt underneath, this form of sweater is an essential layer to have in your wardrobe. On warmer days, the sweater vest can be simply layered over a tank top to combat any potential itch. Previously associated with the “grandpa” uniform, this knit can be found in many thrift stores and vintage shops. With a sweater vest, do not be afraid to indulge in fun patterns and texture, it only helps to enhance your look!

Faux Animal Print

While animal prints have been spotted on the streets for decades, zebra and cow inspired prints are especially popular this season. Found on pants and even painted on bedroom walls, these bold prints can be easily incorporated into an outfit when paired with black and white additions as well as a pop of color or two. To layer up, a (faux) leather jacket is a great option that adds some warmth and texture to an animal print outfit.


Of course in the midst of an airborne pandemic, masks are the ultimate staple fashion accessory for this fall (and beyond)! Masks are now sold at practically every store in a multitude of patterns, colors, and even varying fits. For a more environmentally sustainable option, masks can be handmade from extra fabrics or can be purchased from Etsy, Depop, and other comparable online shops. If wearing a mask still seems like a chore to you, consider investing in a few that are stylish and comfortable. So remember to wear your mask this fall; not only to keep yourself as well as those around you safe, but also to add a fresh accessory and act as an extra layer to warm your face!

As the days get colder and a new, dystopian form of life commences, fashion has warped into a very artistic and personal form of expression. Through social media, new style trends and hacks—from colored eyeliner to yoga pants—have transformed into a sort of domino effect of style experimentation. Crafting a new wardrobe can be overwhelming, costly, unsustainable, and unrealistic for most, so assess your closet, repurpose what you have, and slowly begin to incorporate items that you love into your life. Ultimately, fashion is purely a form of art and expression, so refrain from overthinking, do not be afraid to test out new aesthetics and looks, and have some fun crafting new fits this fall!

Honor, Editor-in-Chief of UMass Amherst HC, is a senior honors student majoring in public health and psychology. In her free time, she loves to explore the outdoors on walks with her dog, listen to music and podcasts, decompress with her sketchbook, and experiment with new recipes.
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