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The 5 Biggest Fall Fashion Trends for Back to School

Fall is definitely the season of new beginnings. School is back in session, which means new courses to take, new clubs to join, and, of course, new clothes to buy! It’s time to shed those short shorts and crop tops and step into some of these new fall fashions that our favorite designers used in their fall 2013 collections. We’ve put together class- and internship-worthy outfit combinations for each trend—just click the collage images to see where you can buy each item! You’ll look chic in these fall trends while still staying comfy for your classes and extracurriculars.


Brightly Colored Blazers and Jackets

Bright colors dominated the runways of Jean Paul Gaultier’s and Vera Wang’s collections during New York Fashion Week.

Oasis wrap dress
$43 – debenhams.com


Timeless black court shoes
$42 – pret-a-beaute.com


ALDO zip tote


Gold tone watch


Dorothy perkin


Normally, autumn fashions are filled with dark, rustic colors – but not this season! Fashion stylist Ashley Garcia says we’ll be seeing a lot of bright jewel tones this fall. So the next time you head to the mall, pick up some bright, colorful blazers for those chilly autumn mornings.

A white T-shirt and black pants combo is a classic outfit that works for everyone, so just add a red blazer and you’ll be ready for fall! This jacket from Forever 21 ($42.80) will have you looking fabulous and keep you warm when you’re forced to get out of bed for those dreaded 8 a.m. classes. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time at your internship this fall, pick up this blazer from Charlotte Russe ($34.99). Paired with your favorite black dress, some nude pumps, and a Pinterest-worthy updo, you’ll have a stylish yet work-appropriate outfit that can be worn over and over again.


Printed Pants

Take a cue from the stylish women of Paris Fashion Week and try printed pants as an accent item or matched with a similar patterned shirt for a chic ensemble. Always displaying true elegance, Carolina Herrera included gorgeous prints as part of her fall 2013 collection, including wide-leg printed pants.

Jane Norman cap sleeve t shirt
$12 – janenorman.co.uk


Checked pants
$4.59 – missrebel.co.uk


Steve Madden toe thong


Hold on to those floral pants you purchased this spring, because you’ll still be able to get some wear out of them this fall! “The runways were abundant with all kinds of prints, including floral,” Garcia says. Worn with a cozy, oversized sweater and a pair of combat boots, those bright, floral pants that appear to be “summery” now will seem much more muted come September. Pick up a pair of leopard print pants like these from Urbanog.com ($19.60) and you’ll definitely get some wear out of them this fall! Couple the pants with a pair of black sandals, a white fitted tee, and an oversized chain necklace like this one from Forever 21 ($14.80). Whether you’re headed to class or to a study session with your classmates, printed pants will make you a style success story before you even take your first exam.


Harem Pants

Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain collection featured casual and chic harem pants in multiple colors, textures, and patterns.

$20 – nelly.com


$47 – vila.com


If you haven’t already picked up multiple pairs of these super comfortable pants, you definitely should soon! Not only do they come in tons of different colors and patterns, they’re the comfiest pants you’ll ever get to wear in public while still looking stylish. Style these pants from Forever 21 ($15.80) with a simple tank top and a pair of strappy sandals, and you’ve got a relaxed outfit that’s still fashion-forward. Don’t worry – you can wear these pants with a tighter long-sleeved shirt and still look fantastic when the autumn wind blows in. Top off your outfit with a military or utility jacket to give you an edgy look. For a more chic look, Garcia recommends wearing harem pants with sky-high platform sandals like these from Urbanog.com ($32.40). If you’re looking for something a little fancier, check out our favorite dressy sandals for more shoe options!


Pleated Skirts

Chanel’s collection from Paris Fashion Week in March reintroduced the pleated skirt, while Yves Saint Laurent staged a ‘90s revival featuring all of our grunge favorites. Delicate pleated skirts also graced the Giambattista Valli runway.

Crop tank


Black pleated skirt
$12 – missrebel.co.uk


ASOS cross body
$34 – asos.com


“The infusion of ‘90’s style will be a definitely trend for fall,” Garcia says. If you fell in love with Cher’s fashion sense in Clueless, then you’ll be happy to know that this fall is your time to resurrect those pleated skirts! Not only are they professional enough to wear to your internship, they come in tons of different patterns and colors, making it impossible to not have anything to pair them with.

You can either stick with the classic pleated skirt like this one from Target ($15) or you can opt for a chiffon skirt with a little more flair, like this one from American Apparel ($29). If the classic style suits you best, dress up a pleated skirt with a polka-dotted sweater and pair of girly oxfords. Throw on a pearl collar necklace and you’ll have a classy look with some modern touches. The chiffon skirt can be worn with a simple button up or collared shirt, then topped with a large statement necklace and your favorite flats. As it starts to get cooler, wearing different colored tights underneath these skirts can definitely add some spice to your plain skirts, while neutral tights can calm your louder pieces.



This fall, take a cue from Alexander Wang’s fall collection at New York Fashion Week and infuse some leather pieces in your wardrobe. Maison Martin Margiela’s collection also presented leather pants, boots, and other accessories.

MbyM t shirt
$38 – zalando.co.uk


Zip tote
$31 – newlook.com


From traditional jackets to knee-high boots and everything in between, leather is absolutely everywhere this fall. Plus, there’s always a way to wear leather, whether you’re feeling preppy or edgy. “Leather pants, leggings, and skirts should all be options besides the staple leather jacket,” Garcia says.

However, authentic leather pieces can be pretty hard to find, especially on a collegiette’s budget! Opt for some of these options that will still give you the feel of leather, but for half the price. A skirt like this one from LuLu*s ($43) can be worn multiple ways. It could be combined with a chambray shirt and a J.Crew-esque bubble necklace, and completed with a thin belt and flats. Or, you could style it with a printed pair of heels, a plum or burgundy colored shirt, a jean jacket, and tons of spiked accessories.

When we think of leather jackets, normally what comes to mind is the really cool rocker chick who always seems to throw together stylish outfits effortlessly. This season, leather jackets can suit everybody from the rockstar-in-training to the law office intern. This jacket from Forever 21 ($24.80) works for the more demure young ladies who want to have a sophisticated look.

Regardless of how you incorporate leather into your wardrobe, Garcia has some advice for all of you leather lovers: “The only people who should wear all-leather outfits are people with motorcycles,” she says.


Looking for a few more fall items to pick up? Check out our list of a few more trends to try this semester! Which trends are you most excited about from this list? What else are you looking forward to wearing this fall? Let us know in the comments below!

Kayla is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Along with studying public relations in the School of Mass Communications, she is also minoring in Spanish and becoming familiar with aspects of graphic design. Kayla loves binge-watching episodes of Once Upon a Time, eating ice cream, traveling, swimming in the ocean and, of course, writing. She currently does PR & marketing for  local orthopedic practice but plans to continue writing and hopes to  join a local public relations firm in the future!
Quinn Cohane is the Product Manager at Her Campus. She develops new features for Her Campus's web properties, including HerCampus.com, HerCampusMedia.com, HerConference.com, and CollegeFashionWeek.com, from initial conception to final installation. She collaborates with the Client Services team to implement custom landing pages, content hubs and sponsored content for client campaigns. Quinn also works closely with the Chapter Development team, training new team members on using Her Campus's content management system and leading the onboarding of new Campus Correspondents, national writers and bloggers, and national interns. Additionally, she oversees technical support for Her Campus and the uploading of national content. Quinn first joined the Her Campus team as a remote intern in February 2010; her past roles include Production Associate, Digital Media Manager, Chapter Advisor, and Study Abroad blogger during her semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 2013 as an English major and computer science minor. A native of Scarsdale, New York, Quinn enjoys attending theater and dance performances, traveling the world, reading, the beach, and apple crumb pie. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @quinncohane.