Fall Fashion: Studs, Sequins, Shoulders and Sexy, Super-Skinny Jeans

It may be 80 degrees outside, but fall has officially arrived. While the heat may prevent us from comfortably taking advantage of all of fall’s trends, elements from the runways can be translated into real life.

Biker Chic: Mix masculine edge and feminine glamour for a foolproof combination. Tough details from earlier seasons haven’t disappeared. Now, the punky embellishments: studs, zippers, chains and even spikes, are almost everywhere. The eternally cool motorcycle jacket and biker vest both make chic cover-ups this season.

1980s Revival: This fall, designers paid homage to the decade of excess. From neon hues at Michael Kors to sparkly mini dresses at Preen, many collections showed unapologetically glamorous looks that are a welcome contrast to today’s dismal economy. Balmain, Miss Sixty and others resurrected the iconic football player-esque exaggerated shoulders while designers like Charlotte Ronson showcased asymmetrical, one-shoulder or single-sleeved dresses. Sequins and metallic motifs added glitz to several collections, including Gucci, which included both a Swarovski crystal-encrusted dress and a miniskirt covered in square paillettes.

Good Jeans: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly trend that works both day and night, consider the latest look in denim. This fall, try on super-skinny legging jeans tucked into boots or wear them with heels as an alternative to standard black leggings. However, remember to treat skin-tight jeans like leggings: Even if you don’t have to worry about sheerness-related wardrobe malfunctions, keep the look chic with a longer shirt, tunic or boyfriend blazer.

Extra, Extra: An even easier way to update your fall wardrobe on a college student’s budget is to make use of accessories. One of my favorite autumn accessories is a petite cross-body bag (add bonus points if the bag has a chain strap). Urban Outfitters and Aldo carry inexpensive styles while Marc by Marc Jacobs has a leather version. Of course, the bags can also be found for much less at vintage and thrift stores.

Scour secondhand shops for vintage jewelry like chains, cuffs and statement necklaces. From cocktail rings to bib necklaces, exaggerated jewelry rather than dainty pieces are definitely in.

Get a Leg Up: From bejeweled stockings at Miu Miu to vertical stripes and fishnets at John Paul Gaultier, hosiery rules the runways. Have fun experimenting with different types to compliment even the most basic of outfits.

Fashion blogs raved about the hosiery collaboration which includes tights that resemble paint samples, tights patterned with houses and my favorite, alphabet-themed tights. Balenciaga displayed a simple and pretty hosiery look when it featured the same Gerbe polka dot tights in its runway show and ad campaign, and which later appeared in several Vogue editorials. The popular tights don’t come cheap; however, I found a similar pair by Hue at Macy’s for a fraction of the price.

Last, but not least, it wouldn’t be fall without a new pair of boots. Platform and peep-toe booties are modern alternatives to stilettos for a night out. But classic calf-height boots are as stylish as ever. However, over-the-knee and thigh-high boots as seen at Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney are the fashion world’s latest obsession.

Those trends were just a few of the many ways to revamp and revitalize your wardrobe as we transition into the cooler months. Here’s to a fashionable start to a new season!