Fall Fashion Report from NYC

By Kate Riley August 15, 2012

If you follow me on Twitter, you know our return flight was canceled on Saturday and we were delayed in New York City until Monday morning, but violins played for about 5 whole seconds when I realized the delay meant we had an entire extra day to explore the city.

Matt and I split up for a few hours on Sunday after a perfect brunch, him taking the kids to some mega toy stores, brave soul.  Funny how the critters don’t complain one bit about walking 12 blocks when the destinations are: 1. Lego, 2.  American Girl, and 3.  FAO Schwartz.   I left Matt at Lego in Rockefeller center after I witnessed my boy giving the Legos the same look as Carrie Bradshaw does to Blahnik pumps.  Priceless.

I spent the afternoon (alone, amen) visiting stores all over the upper east side, from Fifth to Park to Madison Avenues, to stare at the fall fashion.  I popped into three favorites for designer labels: Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and Barneys where price tags go up into the thousands, but just like in home design, I love shopping high end to get the look for less back home.

Most of the fashion this season felt very 80s inspired from cropped leather jackets to colored jeans, but it’s been reinvented and is more tailored this time around.  Here’s a look at some of the big trends in fall fashion spied on the streets and in the stores in New York City !

Lace – There were so so so many lace dresses and tops in the collections this year, I’m sure we will see a lot more of it during the holiday season, lace is back big time, the skirts and dresses were especially flirty and fun.

dress/top/skirt/blue dress/red dress


Electric Blue.   Wow this color was in 80% of the stores, I couldn’t believe how much of electric blue (or royal blue) was on display in both men’s and women’s fashion, and it was mostly paired with black.  It’s a saturated or vivid version of cobalt and it’s everywhere.

buy u part wig

sweater/bag/dress/shoes/ U part wigs

When I see this color I can’t help but think of the scene where Miranda lectured Andy in The Devil Wears Prada  on how her blue sweater is cerulean blue.   Didn’t you love Meryl in that movie?  Brilliant as always.


Leopard  – This pattern was on handbags, blouses, skirts, jackets, shoes, belts, everything.  I spied it from DKNY to Dolce & Gabbana to Christian Louboutin, reowr, leopard is mega hot this season.  Go bold with a dress, or incorporate this trend with accessories, like a belt or bag.



Color Block –  This trend has been hot all year and is still going strong, I saw a lot of color blocked dresses, tops, shoes and bags, done either either tone-on-tone or with neighboring colors on the color wheel (pink/orange and blue/green) – even the First Lady is a fan of this trend.

shoes/dress 1/dress2/handbag


Studs & Chains –  Many of fall’s accessories this season have some form of chain link or studs incorporated into the design, the Valentino and Prada bags were mega cool.  I saw a lot of Chanel inspired chain too, with the leather or fabric woven through the links.


and a few more trends going strong are this fall are these!

emerald dress/wrap dress/cropped pants/leggings/heels/vest

And surrounded by all that inspiration I was so well behaved, I splurged on one small purse on sale cause I love me some gold!  I walked away with a small date night crossbody bag, one I’ll use for more than one season, a simple but glam souvenir.


I don’t often indulge in shopping days, but when in NYC, it’s impossible to resist!  What do you all think of the fall fashion trends this year?  Would you wear any of them?  Do you have any favorite designers you shop or fashion blogs you read?



  1. Ahhhh.. my old stomping grounds (from my single-life and newlywed days. An hour or two at Bloomingdales is good for the soul.
    Next time around, I’ll meet you there!

  2. I just bought a studded Rebecca Minkoff M.A.B. purse and I’m so excited to keep wearing it over and over again. Honestly, I’ll wear it even when studs aren’t in fashion!

    I want to try leather pants, but I can’t get over the Friends Episode where Ross gets stuck in his!

  3. I just bought an electric blue Coach bag that looks almost exactly like the one shown here….I was having second thoughts that it was “out of style” since I bought it at the Woodbury commons outlets…It’s great to know that I am right on the fashionista track! Thanks for the great info!!!

  4. Wow. I wonder if I passed you by on the street on Sunday. My family and I took a stroll down 5th Ave on Sunday evening and even though I wasn’t alone, I always love the feeling that walking thru NYC gives you. I saw the same electric blue color and I fell in love with it.
    I hope you enjoyed your trip. Us New Yorkers don’t enjoy the city enough and all that is has to offer.

  5. This was a fun post! I’m loving the lace, leopard and gem tones! I love your new bag, that’s a great souvenir!

  6. I’m sorry, but I cannot embrace the return of peplums. Hated ’em in the 80s…hate ’em now.

    I do like the blue though! Haha!

  7. Cobalt and leopard are lined up in my closet!! I go for a more tailored look, but I can incorporate some of the above looks easily. I have a few studded pieces, leopard, scarf, shoes and dress and several cobalt tops and scarves, even some flats. I am pretty basic but love a new twist each season, Fun to see your picts from NYC!! Love your purse, I splurged this year and bought a gold dipped bag from Kate Spade for my Spring summer purse. Winter bag is a re-issue Fossil two-toned brown leather, I am in love with it,

  8. Gem tones? Did you say gem tones? Good gravy, I’ve spent the last four years trying to banish gem tones from my house.

    Hello, 1993? Heather here….calling to get my gem tones back!

    • Ha! Too funny Heather, so true right? Just when we finally part with something, all of a sudden, it’s back in style~ :)

  9. I’m on board with most of it except for cobalt blue and color blocking. Way too 80’s for me. I did high school thru the early 80’s and college through the mid’s. It was not fashion’s greatest moments. I just hope the big hair doesn’t come back, too!!

    • I agree Carol, oh the 80s hair!! And I pray shoulder pads never return either!

  10. Wow! Not a fan of the color blocking either–as Carol stated, too 80’s-ish for me! I pray shoulder pads never return either! I also have to add that I’m not a huge leopard print fan. But I do love the blue and other gem tones as well as the lace–so pretty!

  11. I have that same purse in black! I don’t generally care much for what is going on in the fashion world (I have my own taste, and am quite content to stick to it) but I do like color blocking. And as far as designers go, I have a thing for Marc Jacobs sunglasses… :)

  12. I do love most of new trends, except may be the leopard one, I was never able to wear animal prints… I like the way they look on others, but not me :)))

    As for the fashion blogs I read daily, there are of course the Sartorialist and Garance Doré, The blonde salad, 5 inch and up, … love Meagan, Hanneli, Elin Kling and Fashiontoast

  13. I gotta say, I don’t usually follow the fashion “trends”. I just wear and decorate with what I love and what makes me happy. Not to say I don’t change things up – they just may not be what’s in fashion at the moment.

  14. So fun to see what’s happening in NYC! Thanks! Looks like my 6 year old is going to be right on trend with her leopard backpack!

  15. Jessie, I have to say I completely agree with you, My favorite coat ever I bought 10 years ago when I was a junior in highschool for almost 170.00. Its red leather with faux fur trim, very boho style, drives my husband crazy at times but I love the jacket and cannot imagine parting with it ever no matter how not-in-style it is. It just makes me happy when I put it on.

    Kate, love your new purse and I could see myself possibly wearing a knock off mongolian lamb vest, but the rest would definately not fit my personal style, cute on others just not on me.

    • Hi Cassandra, I’m with you, wear what you love and what makes you comfortable. Years ago I bought two coats in NYC, one is camel leather, the other basic red, I still wear both every winter season since they’re classics!

  16. It’s so fun to see a fashion review on your blog! Makes me long for a stroll down those fabulous streets in NYC! Window shopping is one of my favorite things. Thanks for the updates, better run to Kohl’s so I can get “on trend”. Lol

  17. Kate,
    I was in NYC last month with my daughter. I too stumbled across so many vibrant blue bags that I passed up. I kicked myself for not buying the one at Henri Bendal at a pop up store in the store. It was perfect, but I wanted to look more and we did not have time to go back. Love the leopard touches, not a fan of too much of it in one outfit however.

    • I agree mDaniel, just a touch of leopard works for me, not sure I could pull off a dress, but I do love the shoes, bags, and belts!

  18. I love this! “Shop” the high end stores to get ideas of the trends, then buy at more affordable stores (hello TJ Maxx!). I would have not been able to resist a little treat either. Of course, the purse is something you can use for several seasons! I like all of the current trends in moderation.

  19. Love this! And I completely agree, see stuff at expensive stores and go to someplace cheaper. I live off of places like Ross & TJ Maxx. I have seen all of these things around a ton lately. This post makes me want to go out and just spend all my money on clothing and accessories!

  20. ooooh, I’m lovin’ the blues and the lace!! I still have to find the guts, or the proper accessory/outfit for me to be able to do leopard! LOL! :-)

  21. Ah, I was recently in NYC as well & it’s so sa-weet! I love wandering through all those decadent stores. I splurged on a watch & a handbag. Every time I see them, it reminds me of “the city that never sleeps”. Thanks for the fashion trend report.

    Warmly, Michelle

  22. I loved peplum in the 80’s – wore it often and now that i’m in my 40’s – all I can think of is Jaque from that show “227” – she always wore peplum dresses!

  23. I see a lot of old looks being reintroduced. Looks like leopard will never die!

  24. I like the electric blue. I still remember reading in my horoscope in Teen magazine (back in the late 80’s/early 90’s) that electric blue was “my color.” Ha! I am not happy about most of the 80’s stuff coming back – except for maybe the big hair since my hair is naturally big. :) I really hope we don’t all start decorating our homes in mauve and burgundy, though. Clothes, I don’t care much about, but if the 80’s come back to interior design… ugh.

    • Totally with you on the mauve and burgandy Jenny, but I think saturated cranberry or deep wine and blush and apricot are their more sophisticated sisters, those I love!

  25. Ohhhh, me too on that oceany blue lace dress from Bloomingdale’s! Your gold handbag is the perfect splurge souvenir because it won’t go out of style but it will always remind you of this NY trip. I Remember my first trim to Bloomingdale’s NY as a teen (big deal since I’m from CA); I had to get something DKNY and it was a two-color wool cap with a cool crest/logo that was so cool and sophisticated. I still have it. I’m going to watch Devil Wears Prada now, thanks :)

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