Fall Fashion Report 2013

By Kate Riley September 3, 2013

When I told my sister we had to go to New York City to do research she said, “I can’t say no to NYC but what are we researching?” and I replied “fall fashion of course!” I live just north of San Francisco and the fashion scene is good here, but for me it doesn’t get any better than walking the streets of New York City and popping into the shops and department stores downtown in SoHo and on the Upper East Side when the fall pieces are out on display in the stores and windows.

We spent a few hours visiting Bloomingdales and Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman and Columbus Circle ogling all the designer duds one day, and then walked the streets of SoHo on another. Last year I posted a similar roundup of the fall fashion trends of 2012, here’s another peek at what’s hot in women’s fashion for 2013.

armani 5th ave


The “it” color was red baby red! It was everywhere – some of it was deeper garnet but most of it was vivid tomato red. 

red gowns nyc window shopping

stud belt black and red outfits


Red was always paired with black, and gingham and plaid made an appearance this season.

red leopard and leather nyc

red and black plaid jacket

plaid dress geo jacket

(I had a red and black jacket so similar to that plaid one in the late 80s, so I just can’t go there.)

Leopard print is still so huge (also cheetah and other animal print) and you’ll find leopard on everything from pants to skirts to jackets to bags, mostly neutral or black and white, but there was plenty of colorful versions too.

leopard skirt leather jacket

leopard and cheetah print bags c wonder

black and white graphic prints

leopard handbags nyc

stud heels leopard dress


Another big hue this season is oxblood, that more brownish burgundy shade of red, and it looks so fab paired with black and white animal print.

animal print and oxblood


The number one thing we noticed was that black leather motorcycle jackets with zippers, quilting, or studs are HOT – it seemed every designer or store had their own version (there must have been a memo…)

leather jackets at allsaints

red and black leather jacket

studded black leather jacket

I bought myself this black Club Moto Leather Vest at Anthro in Chelsea and wore it with my dresses and skirts around the city for two days, it’s a new fall staple, I love it!

Chain link belts and studs are still everywhere like last year, on handbags and jewelry and belts, and combined with the leather jacket the look is very edgy, but I like it!

leather jackets nyc

red skirt leopard print leather jacket

I love looking at all the high end fashion (oh my the price tags in the hundreds and thousands) but I always find ways to get the look for less back home or online.

Fashion color trends precede interior decor trends so it won’t surprise me at all if we see more red in home decor and textiles next year. If you’re headed to NYC anytime soon, here’s a more comprehensive list of shopping neighborhoods and streets. My most favorite place to shop is SoHo since the stores and boutiques are all crowded together in one neighborhood on cobblestone streets amid restaurants and cafes.

I’ll share another post with more pics of places we walked, ate, and what we experienced next week, I followed many of your recommendations!

Who votes I make this fall fashion “research trip” every year? (Me waving hand wildly…)


  1. If you go again next year, can I come along?! Who could resist a fun trip to NYC just to look at fashion/design trends? On your prediction for next year, it seems like Pantone’s prediction of Emerald this year hasn’t been as on target as tangerine was last year. Do you think they’ll call a shade of red for 2014?

  2. So inspiring. Yes – I definitely vote for you to make this annual affair. Check out Brooklyn if you haven’t already. So many good boutiques and design shops. I love the Jonathan Adler shop and Bird in Carroll Gardens.

  3. Wow! That’s a trip reason I couldn’t say no to. The display of sewing machines really caught my eye. :) Love red and never wear it but my house does. I see the animal print is still as strong as ever. Looks such a fun time.

  4. What a fun trip!!! I agree that red is a big color, but I’ve also been seeing a ton of cobalt blue. Did you see it popping up in many displays? That moto vest from Anthro is sooo cute. I might have to get it :)

  5. kate

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to our city…these days my son Liam is a graphic web designer for Brooks Bros on Madison —the adventures he has had in the fashion world have been amazing! His girlfriend is a VP at a Nolita boutique called Condor…these boutiques, while small, generate high five figures every month from avid Nolita, Soho shoppers. they live in LES–Lower East Side—where clothing and great food is still very, very reasonable! my husband and I have a dream…we are going to sublet for three months and walk around the city the whole time! It’s such a great place to live and work!

  6. Thanks for taking us all on a trip to New York through your blog! Great pictures, though I think I’ll need some time to get used to the red and black combination. I’ll probably like it once it’s no longer in fashion, haha. Some of us are like that. Sadly. Perhaps that would change if only I would go to New York in the fall?

  7. I second the idea of making NYC an annual pilgrimage. Spent a few days there this summer with the spouse while kids vacationed at Grandma’s. Such fun! I was just noticing Fall items in stores, but want’t paying too much attention yet! In denial. Of course where we live, the summers are extended well into October.

    I recall oxblood beinga trendy color last fall/winter too, and the animal prints are still strong per many seasons now. Not thrilled about the red and the black and the leather. Definitely feel like a throwback late 80’s heavy metal vibe. Isnt the saying, “if you have lived through the trend the first time around, don’t wear it when it comes out again?” Lol. I do like red though, will have to make it work for me my own way.

  8. Sorry, did you ask me a question? I can’t concentrate on anything ever again now that I’ve seen that wall of antique sewing machines!

  9. Jen that jacket is at the Bloomingdales in SoHo, I wish I remembered the brand! If you send them the pic in an email perhaps they can find it for you!!

  10. Jann and Cindy, there are not one but old sewing machine displays at All Saints in SoHo, one is a window display the other a wall display, so striking!

  11. I love your “research” posts from NYC so keep ’em coming! How’s was that show you mentioned – it sounded wild!

  12. Patti, Sleep No More was DIFFERENT but very cool. We summed it up as Hitchcock directing a film noir version of Macbeth in a haunted hotel with a 1920’s jazz club. It was fun!

  13. hey Kate ! Great research :) I will tell my friends to see some of them…. I like H&M for this hunting on new ideas, but these you posted here are great ! tks !

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