6 Outfits That F*ck With The Fashion Rules

Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
Despite the buildup and anticipation preceding runway shows and presentations, there are certain things we've come to expect season after season: lush knits and all-oversize-everything for fall, bright hues and limb-bearing silhouettes for spring. Groundbreaking. These unspoken rules are, to a certain extent, dictated by forces out of our control — but even Mother Nature would agree that these conventions feel stale year after year. So, this season, we'll just go ahead and politely decline, thank you very much. Instead, we're giving a nod to six of our favorite offbeat sartorial personas that emerged from the season's runways. From the triumphant return of high-end goth, spearheaded by Givenchy and Alexander McQueen, to the underappreciated color scheme of the '70s revival, championed by the likes of MSGM and Prada, the six looks ahead are the best ways to get a little weird with fashion this fall.

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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
Intellectual Care Bear
Some of our proudest sartorial achievements can be found in old scrapbooks, filled with unabashedly frilly ensembles dreamt up for adorable photo ops. Though we usually look back on those grainy photos for nostalgia's sake, our fashion-focused eyes now draw inspiration from all the embellishment and texture. Starting with a playful-yet-elegant tweed-trimmed dress, we throw back even further with a worn sneaker and Willy Wonka-esque sunglasses. Then, we tap into our recent obsession with marble print for some pattern-clashing, and pull from our stuffed-animal collection to top off the look with something fuzzy.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Not-Dude Suit
A suit is supposed to make you feel powerful, put-together, like you have your act all sorted out. But, more often than not, we feel more stuffy than authentic in our blazer-and-trouser combo. We crave an ensemble that feels feminine, strong, and not confined to the boardroom. So, here, we start from the bottom, with printed baby bell trousers; up top, a cropped-sleeve cream sweater lives under the burnt-orange wrap-belt blazer. Fringed loafers fit the professional bill, while a suede crossbody fulfills our need for one '70s-nodding item per outfit.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
Off-Duty Empress
It's an age-old conundrum: how to wear your going-out clothes in broad daylight. You know those shimmery fabrics and eye-catching cuts deserve more love than they're given after-hours, when the lighting is unpredictable and the crowd not attentive. Put these fine, lavish items on display in the middle of the week by pairing an artfully structured shift dress with a demure, cropped turtleneck. A mini metallic crossbody plays off the glimmer of the frock without drawing eyes away from it. Dark-knit ankle boots channel the luxury of the royal court, while sculptural hoops lend a contemporary sensibility to an outfit that transcends centuries.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
'70s Kitchen Vibes
Everything but the kitchen sink is going into our fall #OOTDs. Flares will likely remain our denim style of choice as temperatures start dipping, but we're also shifting the '70s focus toward the color palette that goes hand in hand with the decade's revival. Mustard-y yellows and mossy greens might not seem appealing on paper, but they'll fit right in with the trend's deep indigo and chocolate brown hues. For an additional layer of retro, finish off your pastels with an iridescent sheen, to bring together your inner bohemian and '90s club kid.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
Victoriana Vamp
This year, the monochromatic shift in our wardrobe won't be due to our unwillingness to color-coordinate in the cold. It'll be very much intentional, taking example from the Victorian-meets-goth looks we saw on so many fall runways. By eschewing color, we invest all our creative efforts into building contrast through texture. An ultra-feminine lace dress is toughened up by structured denim culottes; spherical silver earrings play off the hardware on a leather ankle boot; and a stingray-feel clutch adds an unexpected edge to finish out the ensemble.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
'80s Power Bitch
The '80s weren't all shoulder pads and itchy fabrics — the decade was on to something with that baggy, all-over coverage. Since it's about to get real cold, don't cut corners when it comes to layering. The covered-up look allows for some texture-and-pattern play, like coupling a cotton-jersey sweatshirt with an asymmetric-hem wool skirt, and you can add contrast with leather-up-to-there boots and an eye-catching backpack (also leather).
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