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I can’t lie — the only thing that gets me through going back to school (and the approaching chilly weather) is having an excuse to buy new clothes, because you know, “I’ll be going to class every day and I can’t wear the same things over and over,” or my personal favorite, “There are so many sales going on right now, it would be stupid not to buy a few things for school.” My excuses are limitless. Feel free to use them to justify your own shopping spree.

But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “invested” (another one of those words I like to use) in a new season wardrobe that doesn’t go along with the popular trends. Our interview with Brad Goreski showed us what to look forward to for spring, but now we need to see what trends and styles will be big this fall and winter.

So before you make that all-important pilgrimage to the mall, brush up on the season’s biggest fashion trends so you’re not left with a backseat full of outdated duds.

Sweater Weather

Photos L to R: Mango, Zara, Madewell, Style.com Prada, H&M

Last winter’s dramatic over-sized sweater trend has been scaled back and refined for 2014. Designers showcased quite a few variations of knitwear for fall and winter, ranging from flowing merino wool and cashmere, to barely-too-big fisherman’s sweaters. Sculptural silhouettes were also heavy on the runways, but t-shirts and pants also received a knitty-gritty makeover. Knit t-shirts will also prove useful next spring where merino and cashmere sweaters have an unlimited shelf life.


Aspen Chic

Photos L to R: Style.com Balenciaga, Vogue, Zara, H&M, Style.com Louis Vuitton

With fall comes the anticipation of winter chalet getaways (in my dreams) but designers were kind enough to bring the slopes to us this year with this snow-centric trend. Aspen-chic made its fare share of appearances on the winter runways, making it a top look to love. Plaid and bold striped sweaters are an easy way to honor this preppy style while athletic fabrics and short, fur lined jackets speak to the ski-loving, sportier side of this look.

Shearling Coats

Photos L to R: Style.com Chloe, Coach, J. Crew, Man Repeller, Topshop

Easily the most prominent, and weather appropriate, trend on runways this season was the shearling coat. Designers updated and manifested shearling in plenty of ways to fend off preying polar vortexes. Chloè went all out for pre-fall with a slouchy interpretation of the trend while Coach and Tommy Hilfiger went for a more classic approach. To get the look, go for a jacket with a shearling collar — it can go from early fall to late spring and you can pair it with almost any outfit.

Western Wear

Photos L to R: Style.com, Vogue, Forever 21, Madewell, Zara

Old school western wear saw a fringed resurgence on the runways for fall and winter. Chanel’s highly buzzed pre-fall Dallas show surely set the trend with its elaborately knitted ponchos and full-sized feathered maxi skirts while Ralph Lauren channeled the mood with brightly patterned Navajo blanket coats. Dial into this trend with a patterned long sleeve maxi dress or anything fringed. Kayla’s Chambray mood board will show you another great way to channel your inner cowboy.

What trends are you looking out for this season? Which ones have you already sworn off of, or invested in? Better yet, tell us about your recent “necessary” purchases!

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