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Fall's Biggest Trends Have a Strong Back-to-School Energy

Class is in session.

Fashion week runways may have us thinking about what we’ll be wearing in six months, but it’s the street style happening right outside the shows that helps us understand the trends emerging in real time — i.e. the ones that will have an immediate impact on our wardrobes. 

Maybe it’s because Spring 2022 was the first, big IRL New York Fashion Week since the pandemic began, but this season, the looks we spotted on show goers gave off a strong back-to-school energy, with the callbacks to uniforms, the strong penchant for loafers and very scholastic-feeling accessories. 

As far as trends go, this one isn’t very trendy, in the sense that it’s not transient: The collegiate aesthetic has been around for a long time and primarily consists of true staples — pieces that will live in your wardrobe for a long time. Still, it comes and goes from the zeitgeist. We can see touches of it reflected in Spring 2022 runways, like at Sandy Liang; and there are a handful of emerging brands, like Recreational Habits, dedicated exclusively to modernizing that preppy look.

See — and shop — the the back-to-school fashion trends that are set to take over your fall wardrobe, below.

Collegiate knits

Thick cable knits and sweater vests never go out of style — what we are seeing this autumn are the ways designers continue to innovate and iterate these collegiate staples, with new silhouettes and cuts (as seen in new collections from Monse and Rosie Assoulin), color palettes (deeper navies, bolder burgundies and more) and even patterns (anything from gingham to rainbow stripes).

Monse Inside Out Varsity Crop Cable Knit Sweater, $790, available here (sizes XS-L)

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Pencil case bags

Even if you’re not personally going back to school, you can bring that vibe into your accessories with the latest take on the beloved baguette silhouette: long, narrow shoulder bags that almost look like pencil cases, but are designed for your every day. Some, like JW Pei’s street-style and celebrity-loved styles, lean more nostalgic, while others, like Mansur Gabriel’s take, are more literal.

Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag, $495, available here

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Updated uniforms

The pleated skirt resurgence is still going strong; if you’re looking for a fall-friendly update, you’ll find plenty of options in longer lengths and made with warmer fabrics, alongside other private school uniforms staples, like pinafore dresses, among the season’s new arrivals. 

Wales Bonner Kalimba Checked Pleated Wool-blend Skirt, $860, available here (sizes IT 38-46)

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Prada’s slick black loafers have been a fashion insider favorite for years, and their popularity has led many to rediscover a footwear staple that never really left — and is perfect for the fall months. Style with white crew socks for maximum effect.

Nomasei Nono Loafers, $352 (from $392), available here 

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Padded headbands

The new “Gossip Girl” may be notably headband-free, but that hasn’t discouraged shoppers and brands alike from revisiting the padded hair accessories of the original. (That, and Prada gave the style a co-sign a few years back, famously.) 

Hill House Home The Jeweled Halo Headband, $125, available here

View the 6 images of this gallery on the original article

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