A Complete Guide to the Top Trends of Fall 2019

The runways have spoken, and the ’90s are back. So are the ’80s. And the ’70s. There are also a couple of fashion trends that can’t be traced back to any particular decade but are covetable nonetheless. Confusing, I know, but designers like Chanel, Gucci, and more declared everything from power shoulders to micro-micro bags a thing, and we’re convinced we need it all. We also tapped Nordstrom’s creative director Ruth Basloe to help weigh in on her favourite styles, with shopping tips on how to get the look now.

See which designers made the cut in ELLE.com’s Fall 2019 trend guide, here.

Itty Bitty Bags

“A small, structured style in a new shape is the statement bag of the season,” said Basloe. “We recommend combining two handbag trends by choosing snake print or croc-embossed leather, which are also big.” If you wanna go even smaller, the next “big” bag trend is teeny. Meet The Bitty Bag. TBB is an impractical accessory that holds approximately one Airpod, but the absurdity is part of the charm. Jacquemus created a meme sensation, but designers like Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloé and more can provide a little inspiration.

Clockwise: Emporio Armani, Chloé, Salvatore Ferragamo
Top: Jacquemus, Bottom: Givency, Maxwell

Shop the Itty Bitty Bag Trend

Left to right: Le Chiquito micro grained-leather cross-body bag, $285, Jacquemus; Maria mini leather necklace bag, $840, Gabriela Hearst; Python-effect leather clutch, $630, Marni.   

Make Way For Millennial Purple

2018 was all about Millennial pink, but everything is coming up purple this fall. As seen at Rodarte and Tom Ford, the orchid hue is all the rage. You can opt for an all-over colour (“We loved the head-to-toe, monochromatic looks at Balenciaga and Jacquemus,” Basloe said), or you can easily work in a touch of lavender with your accessories.

Cushnie, Dries Van Noten, Tom Ford
Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Sally LaPointe

Shop the Lavender Trend

Clockwise: Sage leather mules, US$113, CULT GAIA; Sequinned crepe skirt, US$1,235.34, DRIES VAN NOTEN; X Adam Selman The Coupe cat-eye metal sunglasses, $110, Le Specs.

Every Good Superhero Needs a Cape

One of the strongest outerwear silhouettes to come out of the Fall 2019 collections was the cape. Chanel gave the capelet the tweed treatment, Marc Jacobs showed one in Leopard, and Hedi Slimane’s second collection for Celine made the best in basic. The many variations prove the heroic cut works for every occasion.

Burberry, Celine, Celine
Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs

Shop the Cape Trend

Left to right: Asymmetric wrap-around cashmere cape, $1,860, JW ANDERSON; Oversized moss-stitch fringed wool cape, $4,345, Gucci; Printed mulberry silk-satin cape, $1,484, BURBERRY.

Put a Feather…Everywhere and Anywhere

Instead of feathers and fur weighing you down, designers are giving the texture a lighter touch. Valentino delicately edged their dresses in a wispy trim, and Proenza Schouler showed a feather-backed top that looked as if it would blow away with a soft breeze. We’re especially fond of Prada’s collection of feathered goods, including a pair of boyfriend jeans trimmed in ostrich that will amp up a basic white tee.

Dion Lee, Loewe, Roksanda
Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Mary Katrantzou

Shop the Feather Trend

Left to right: Ostrich feather-trim cotton cardigan, $555, Christopher Kane; L’oiseau Rebelle feather-embellished acrylic tote, US$214, Vanina; Revolution gold-tone, feather and crystal belt, US$371, Rosantica.

Get Waisted

Designers seemed to mind meld around suit styling: it’s all about the belt. Blazers came with built-in cinchers at Prada, and Marni contrasted gray suits with heavy chains. Follow their lead and nip the waist on all your suits, oversized and otherwise. The best part about this trend is that you don’t need to invest in the jacket—simply buy a cute new belt and style it accordingly.

Hermès, Marni, Prada
Sacai, Hermès, Tibi

Shop the Belt Trend

Left to right: Leather and gold-tone waist belt, US$620.00, Bottega Veneta; Square-buckled leather belt, $1,175, Saint Laurent; Baroque-logo slim leather belt, $985, Versace.  

Slip Into Satin

Break out your steamer, because satin is back in a big way. Versace brought back their ’90s satin dresses, updating them in neon hues with contrasting lace edges. Christopher Kane, Off-White and Brandon Maxwell also got on the satin trend with bright evening wear that is more than your average slip. The silky look makes sense for formal events, but make it work for an average day at the office with a button-down shirt.

Clockwise: Brandon Maxwell, Giorgio Armani, Christopher Kane
Christopher Kane, Brandon Maxwell, Versace

Shop the Satin Trend

Left to right: Christiane satin dress, US$777, GALVAN; Silk-satin shirt, $374, ORSEUND IRIS; Xael satin midi skirt, $536, SIES MARJAN.

Slashed, Asymmetrical Necklines

If you’re on the fence about off-the-shoulder silhouettes, this asymmetric neckline is a nice compromise. Carolina Hererra’s slouchy, lopsided shoulder is effortlessly put-together; an “I just threw it on” vibe.

Cushnie, Carolina Herrera, Self Portrait
Carolina Herrera, Zimmermann, Rejina Pyo

Shop the Asymmetrical Neckline Trend

Left to right: Leopard-print asymmetric satin mini dress, $485 Self-Portrait; One-shoulder tie-neck ribbed stretch-knit bodysuit, US$287, 16ARLINGTON; Draped off-the-shoulder asymmetric crepe top, $630, Colville.


Get your giant turkey legs out, because the Renaissance has come to the runway. Vaquera presented square necklines so good you’ll climb down a balcony like your name is Juliet Capulet. It’s not too literal, though. Y/Project reinterpreted period dressing using a similar cut, but updated it with a body-skimming silhouette covered in a modern print.

Rochas, Preen, Vaquera
Clockwise: Emilia Wickstead, Simone Rocha, Y/Project

Shop the Ren-Fair Trend

Left to right: Artemom square-neck top, $830, A.W.A.K.E. MODE; Moun belted vegan leather wrap-effect midi dress, US$570, NANUSHKA; Shirred floral-print crepe mini dress, US$230, Ganni

Coats With Super Long Hems

After looking at all the fall 2019 collections my coats started to feel so…short. Tory Burch, Max Mara and others presented longline coats that will provide extra warmth this winter. These longline coats aren’t your typical lightweight dusters either. Instead, find them super structured and made of heavy wool. Basloe agrees, noting that fall is all about the statement coat. “A coat with some kind of drama is a must-have for fall,” she said, suggesting a bright yellow puffer that skims your ankles.

Jil Sander, Chanel, Max Mara
Agnona, Tory Burch, Chanel

Shop the Elongated Coat Trend

Left to right: Longline wool-blend twill trench coat, $2,650, ANN DEMEULEMEESTER; Brocade-trim single-breasted herringbone coat, $5,455, Dolce & Gabbana; Porfido coat, $1,705, Weekend Max Mara.

Statement Hats

Designers must be bored of beanies, because they presented all kinds of wacky toppers for fall. The standout style belongs to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s bucket hats at Christian Dior, sure to be a street style staple. Get ahead of the trend now with our current obsession, Burberry’s heritage plaid bucket hat.

Dior, House of Holland, Loewe
Clockwise: Gucci, Nina Ricci, Tom Ford

Shop the Statement Hat Trend

Left to right: Braided straw hat, $680, ELIURPI; Felt hat with transparent visor, US$690, Gucci; Shearling-trim craquelure-effect vinyl bucket hat, $500, Marques’ Almeida.

Quilty Pleasures

Quilted patchwork was all over the runways, seen below at Louis Vuitton and Oscar de la Renta. It’s a ’70s trend that could have gone very wrong in the redux, but luckily. these looks are thoroughly modern. Take Tory Burch’s must-have boots, which look thrifted in the best way possible.

Louis Vuitton, Oscar de la Renta, Eckhaus Latta
Etro, Michael Kors, Jonathan Cohen

Shop the Patchwork Trend

Left to right: Patchwork checked crepe wrap jacket, $791, MM6 Maison Margiela; Oversized asymmetric patchwork printed voile shirt, $1,103, Loewe; Patchwork cotton-poplin tote bag, $270, By Walid.

The Patagonia Effect

Last year belonged to the puffer, but 2019 is all about a different kind of performance fabric: fleece. We saw the trend start with Sandy Liang’s Insta-favourite jacket, but designers like Fendi are ramping up the luxury, reworking the outdoorsy staple in leather. Of course, Patagonia remains the (very affordable) OG, but don’t sleep on the latest reincarnations of this campy style.

Fendi, Ashley Williams, Phillip Lim
Coach, Eckhaus Latta, Celine

Shop the Fleece Trend

Left to right: Folco over the knee boot in calfskin, $2950, CELINE By Hedi Slimane; Pannier shearling bucket bag, $2,665, Marni; Leather-trimmed shearling biker jacket, US$3,137, Peter Do.

Prep School

We spotted a ton of uniform inspiration on the fall runways: polo shirts, sweater vests, and three-piece sets. Thom Browne made an empire reworking schoolboy suits, and Victoria Beckham and Lacoste are taking notes. Specifically, designers are mad for plaid. “Checks and plaids will be everywhere this season,” Basloe noted. “There were so many exciting ways designers reinvented these classic patterns for fall, from brightly colored tartan at Marine Serre to Chanel’s graphic black and white houndstooth, and more.”

Celine, Christian Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo
Lacoste, Longchamp, Victoria Beckham

Shop the Plaid Trend

Left to right: Plaid wool sleeveless sweater, $1,315, Gucci; Glen-plaid pleated midi skirt, $620, MM6 Maison Margiela; Bow-detailed checked tweed coat, $646, Redvalentino.

Gold Standard

I wear gold jewelry daily, but the runways served up full looks dipped in 24k. Brock Collection’s gilded gown will stand out at a black tie event, but take direction from Altuzarra for an everyday look, who justifies a casual shine with metallic knits.

Altuzarra, Brock Collection, Celine
Michael Kors, Moschino, Missoni

Shop the Gold Trend

Left to right: Booty Cap 100 creased-foil perspex ankle boots, $1,685, Christian Louboutin; Square 1969 chain shoulder bag, $1,195, Paco Rabanne; Ruffled sequinned midi dress, $2,900, Simone Rocha.

Power Shoulder

The ’80s is a difficult decade to pull off (I’m convinced acid wash will never make a full comeback), but power shoulders are back. All the major fashion players like Saint Laurent and Balenciaga are advocating for the a wide-shouldered, slim-waist silhouette. They make me want to ask for some kind of Business Woman Special.

Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Balmain
Isabel Marant, Balmain, Proenza Schouler

Shop the ’80s Jacket Trend

Left to right: Oversized woven blazer, US$414, Low Classic; Double-breasted wool-crepe blazer, US$626, Pushbutton; Hourglass checked wool blazer, US$2,640, Balenciaga.

This article first appeared on ELLE.