Back To School, Back To Cool | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

Back To School, Back To Cool

It doesn’t matter if its back to school or simply back to reality, there’s something to excite everyone this Fall!

Back To School, Back To Cool

It doesn’t matter if it's back to school or simply back to reality, there’s something to excite everyone this Fall. While we may have been cheated out of great summer weather, this season’s hottest trends are sure to make your temperature rise.

A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law sent me a photo of my four beautiful nieces and nephews. It has become our little annual back-to-school tradition to buy them each of them a new pair of shoes of their choice to mark this annual milestone. Seeing them all huddled together, proudly showing off their new kicks, I could almost feel their excitement bursting through the screen of my smartphone.

I don’t know about you, but September always takes me back to all those years ago and the anticipation of what lies ahead. Back then, you’d most likely find me sprawled out on my parents living room floor, leafing through the latest issue of the Sears catalogue, methodically planning out the perfect look for the first day of school. Fast forward a few decades (just a few) and I’m glued to my laptop, drooling over Gucci’s fantastic new ad campaign inspired by vintage sci-fi. What I’m trying to say here is; school or no school, the Fall season always serves as the perfect time to take stock, re-set and sometimes, re-invent. For me, that always begins with my wardrobe. By simply adding in a few key pieces to my existing wardrobe, it’s no longer doom and gloom and sad goodbyes to a summer season that really, feels like it never actually started. Instead, I am energized and filled with a renewed sense of optimism and anticipation preparing for what is arguably, the best season to play dress-up.

Fall is mix and match season

One of the best parts about Fall is that it allows you mix and match so many different fabrics and textures like no other season. What other time of year could you step out of the house in a denim-corduroy-velvet combo, topped off with a shearling coat and feel totally put together? Velvet was one of ‘the’ trends for fall just a few years ago and this season, it’s back with a bang. It’s turning up on everything from skirts to jackets, slides and slippers in bold, eye catching hues such as hot pink and gold.

Corduroy Trousers

Corduroy Trousers

Admittedly, ‘corduroy’ and ‘cool’ are two words that typically don’t appear in the same sentence. When I think of corduroy, a slightly disheveled, coffee-stained, substitute teacher comes to mind. This season however, corduroy finds itself at the top of the class. Corduroy dominated the fall runways, in seasonal hues of yellows, hunter greens and burgundies. Considering corduroy had its last big heyday in the mid-90’s, most young millennials have probably never even worn this retro-favorite. That’s all about to change now that it’s received a much-needed makeover. The refined slender silhouettes of this season’s cord looks have even received the coveted stamp of approval from some of the most popular girls in school including Gigi Hadid, Ashley Olsen and Hailey Baldwin.

Not every situation allows for complete and total freedom when it comes to fashion. For me, high school consisted of a very drab navy-blue uniform and a very strict set of rules for how it was to be worn. Even today, there are certain things that are best kept separate from our regular 9-5 attire. This season, there’s a pantsuit for every occasion. This trend has already appeared on countless runways from designers including Victoria Beckham and Oscar de la Renta. Patterned blazers and matching trousers are being showcased in slouchy, relaxed silhouettes while others are taking oversized jackets and pairing them with a contrasting form fitted slacks. From the runway to the red carpet, celebrities have been swapping traditional, feminine gowns for more modern, androgynous looks. When Pink recently accepted her MTV Vanguard Award at the Video Music Awards, she did so in a show-stopping double breasted pinstripe suit and flared trousers, complete with a matching vest and tie. Kim Kardashian-West was all business and donned a similar, Gaultier suit back in June at the Forbes Women’s Summit.

Active wear steps it up a notch

Campbell Blazer

Campbell Blazer

Campbell Blazer in Italian stretch wool from J. Crew

Active wear and athleisure inspired looks continue to be all the rage. If you feel like you’ve missed out on this trend over the past few seasons, there’s still plenty of time to jump aboard as it shows no sign of slowing down. Tracksuits have come a long way since the Juicy Couture craze of the early noughties. Back then, you were more likely to see Paris Hilton and Britney Spears decked out in a powder blue or hot pink velour number. These days, everyone seems to be adopting a more laid back, casual, off-duty look. High-end designers are now trying street-wear inspired tracksuits on for size including both Marc Jacobs and Kanye West’s Yeezy brand. Today, the most discerning fashionistas are fearlessly mixing and matching pieces from Adidas, Puma and Nike with luxury designer brands. Think a striped tailored track bottom paired with a fitted, feminine blazer and bright pink heel. It’s a totally unique look that’s the perfect balance of comfort and cool.

Admittedly, footwear is where I spend the bulk of my disposable income. I find nothing can transform a look more than a pair of shoes. This fall, footwear is also taking on tons of different textures, appearing in the form of suede pumps, velvet slip-ons, leather slides as well as eye catching embellished sneakers. Expect to see lots of chunkier, block heels and military-inspired combat boots that provide length without sacrificing comfort.

Studded Leather Boots

Studded Leather Boots

Studded Leather Ankle Boots by Dolce Vita
A great pair of slides are the perfect transitional piece to take you from summer to fall. Whether it’s a long day of meetings or cocktails with friends, slides are easy, stylish and offer a great, slightly more formal alternative to sandals or flip flops. When it comes to sneakers this season, the devil is in the detail. Expect to see crisp, classic white sneakers jazzed up and DIY’d with bows, fur, metallic detail and fun colorful graphics for a new twist on an old favorite.

Summer may be over but the very best of Fall fashion is just kicking off. So, do your research, study hard and take note: class is officially in session!

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