Back To Fall, Back To Fashion

Summer’s gone guys. It’s over. Time to go back to, well, everything. If you’re feeling pretty down about it, no worries– I have just the thing to pick you right back up. I’ve got six items for six occasions that will have you packing up your flip-flops and un-cuffing your jeans in no time.


1. Back to School


First impressions matter, so why not start the year off in something other than jeans and a T-shirt. I know, sounds impossible. Luckily, menswear is having a huge impact on women’s fashion this season, and school-boy blazers are coming in by the bucketful. Plus, if you start just throwing a blazer over something you already own, you can skip buying lots of heavy-weight long sleeve shirts. I think a fitted blazer over a tight white scoop neck or V-neck with skinny jeans and boots is cute and just a hint queer.

If you’re busty and have trouble with fit, find a blazer that fits neatly through the shoulders. Don’t worry about being able to button it up it’s unlikely you’ll ever wear it closed. Similarly, if you’re having trouble with sleeve length, simply cuff the sleeves for a preppy look. For a look that downplays your waist the men’s department is always your best best, again, as long as the blazer fits you through the shoulders. If you’re a tiny boi dyke, investigate the boy’s section of a major department store or a high quality children’s shop such as Crewcuts.


Don’t be shy to buy in bright colors or even patterns, but be careful of the weight of the fabric. Avoid polyester and shoot for wool, but nothing too heavy or you’ll be sweating buckets in your 8am class.

$188-J. Crew $98-Gap $49-Urban Outfitters


2. Back to Work

Maybe you just graduated college and you’re about to start your first real job. Maybe you just got promoted to a big deal position for Q3. Maybe you just saw Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion and you’re looking to trick some people in to thinking you have a high-powered job.


Regardless, picking out workwear can be really hard, and a lot of people have concerns about how to look “queer enough” while still maintaining work appropriate style.


The hard truth is that most style questions surrounding how queer you want to look are issues you’re going to have to address by yourself. I vote you dress in the way that makes you feel comfortable and professional. While you’re sorting out these issues, I’ll just talk about handbags.

Even if you’ve just scurried in a hour late, your co-workers can only assume you’ve been at important meetings when you’re carrying a grown-up big girl bag. This season, look for a polished leather saddlebag style satchel with a clean silhouette. This is actually only partially snobbery.


From my vast experience aimlessly fishing through purses trying to find my keys, I can tell you that a bag with structured walls and flat bottom will do wonders for your organizational skills. No more awkwardly rooting to the bottom of a tote bag to find your keys. This is the sort of bag that will make you want to buy a day planner and a calculator that isn’t your phone. I like the ones with a hard handle to grasp so it looks like you drive a fancy car and a long strap so you can sling it across your chest as you, erm, bike home. Look for one in a warm peachy brown or a fun outlandishly bright color.

$138-J. Crew $76.84-River Island $36.59-Asos


3. Back to Your Parent’s Place


For me, fall means going to my hometown. Whether you’re going home for Labor Day weekend, homecoming, the high holy days or Thanksgiving, you’ve probably got some serious family time ahead. Maybe you’ll even get to go apple/pumpkin picking?

Here’s how this always goes down. At the last minute I tell my mom I got off work early and can beat Friday traffic if I leave right now. She says, “Don’t worry about packing! You have tons of clothes in your old closet.” Then I come home and all of the “clothes” are hoodies I haven’t worn since junior high. Thus, I end up seeing everyone I went to high school with while wearing a sweatshirt that says “Girlz Rox!”. As far as I’m concerned, the only way to fix this situation is to make sure you have an outstanding fall coat.

Though we tend to lean towards earth tones in the autumn, there’s no reason not to buy a fall coat in a unique cut or bright color. Shocking greens and oranges or deep plums and crimsons might be colors that make you nervous normally, but take a cue from Joseph and put a little technicolor in your dreamcoat.


For those who insist that color is for the weak, invest in a jacket with a sculptural collar or dramatic waistline. Perhaps this is the year you’ll finally buy a cape. Perhaps last year you bought a cape and this year you’ll actually wear it.


Don’t listen to your mom when she tells you to make sure there’s room for a sweatshirt under your jacket. After all, it’s only fall. You can save that “is there another person under there?” sized parka for winter. Nothing looks worse than an poorly-sized coat.

$298-Anthropologie 155.51-ASOS $54.98-ASOS


4. Back to the Club Scene

Or maybe you lied to your mom and told her you had too much work to do this weekend. Back to the gay bars.


Get pumped to wait in line for an hour, see your ex, and be a gigantic whiny baby about your high heels. Sure, those heels make your ass look great until you feel like your pinky toe has be amputated and you take them off. Worse, you spend two to four hours obsessing to your friend about how everyone thinks you’re straight because you’re wearing pumps.

Maybe on the other hand you always want to wear men’s shoes out dancing but you have teeny tiny baby feet and can’t find them in your size. Remember when I said menswear was having a moment? There’s a compromise in here somewhere. This fall we’re seeing plenty of women’s loafers, oxfords and menswear inspired pumps.


Comfy classic oxfords will make you feel and dance like you’ve just arrived at a super keen sock hop. Avoid tacky, costumey, patent leather black-and-whites and buy a soft leather pair in creamy tans. They’re sure to let the ladies know you’re down for the get down while keeping you whine free until the wee hours. Ditching your heels might feel a bit hasty for the stiletto addicted, but you can still get some lift from oxford and loafer style wedges and heels. Best of all, these cuts often rise to your ankle so there’s no need to worry about whether someone is going to step on your foot. Which they will.

$198-J. Crew $120-American Apparel $99-ME TOO


5. Back to Gatorade


Depending on how big of a comeback you just made to the gay bar scene, you might be suffering from a wicked bad hangover. Next time drink less booze, more water and investigate our cures for a hangover. Unfortunately you can’t change the past and now it’s time to face all that school, work and family you’ve just gone back to. It’s going to be bright. You’ll need sunglasses. Big sunglasses. A sophisticated, classic pair of frames will have you shielded from the harsh light of day and the unimpressed glares of your co-workers.


This season’s emphasis is on bold shapes we’ve seen before but not for half a century. A pair of cat eye sunglasses will have everyone thinking you’re off to have Breakfast at Tiffany’s when you’re really picking up ramen and a fruit punch flavored sports drink.Cat eye sunglasses are a hybrid of severity and beauty emphasizing the feminine while still looking totally badass. Plus, they look great with that cape you just bought. If you’re less pastries and diamonds and more car chases and Steve McQueen consider a pair of key-hole sunglasses. Distinctly serious and strong, key-holes are an early morning must-have for anyone masculine of center. Persol does them best and everyone else is just happily pretending to compete. Be warned: you will look like your dad and you will look awesome.


$360-Persol $360-Nikita $21.95-ASOS


6. Back to the Snooze Button


It’s been a long week and you’ve accomplished a lot. God you must be tired. Unfortunately as daylight becomes limited so too does your desire to get out of bed. This fall, make bedtime last all day with a comfy patterned crewneck sweater. Fall style is all about layers so pull something soft and warm over a tank top and t-shirt. Do you have an old Christmas sweater in storage? Winter is still months away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t light a fire, flip on the TV and slip on a reindeer ski sweater to curl up with your snowbunny girlfriend. Use this as an opportunity to be as corny as possible. Knit yourself a Navajo or Aztec pattern and maybe make one for your cat too. Will you be reappropriating someone else’s culture? Yes, but you’ll be damn stylish doing it. Don’t shy away from this fall’s best patterns just because they’re ridiculous and might remind you of being seven.


Somehow, the cornier the sweater, the more fashionable it is. Fall is the best season to wear a longsleeve sweater with shorts and a colorful pattern might be just what you need to help you commit to the changing season. The most important thing is that the sweater be comfy and just a little bit goofy.

$76-Topshop $79-Urban Outfitters $195-Barneys New York

Well, there you have it. This may not have given your biceps the same workout as the September issue, but what can I say, it’s a start. Stop dreading the day you’ll turn back the clock and get pumped for fall, ’cause you’re going to look great.


Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. I love summer and all, and in Canada, we really need to make the most of the season, but I am SUPER PSYCHED to pull my fall wardrobe out of hibernation!

    I’ve missed wearing scarves, cardigans, beanies, boots, and my bomber jacket. :)

    • I know right? I mean there’s only so much variation when it comes to summerwear. I have some really nice sweaters and jackets I bought on sale over the summer that I’m looking forward to wearing.

    • I know, I can’t wait to pile on the layers again, especially scarves (I am always wearing a scarf in fall/winter). Unfortunately I’m in Baltimore and fall doesn’t really start for us until mid-October. It’s the one thing I really miss about living in Michigan.

  2. “Don’t listen to your mom when she tells you to make sure there’s room for a sweatshirt under your jacket.”

  3. I would never spend $79 on an ugly sweater, let alone $195. I always find the best ones at garage sales or thrift stores, or better yet, church rummage sales. They’re usually $3 at most.

  4. I only care about summer fashion. Summer Style in New York starts around Mid April and Ends Mid to late October. My summer wardrobe consists of Dresses, skirts, shorts, mid-to high heel sandals, flip-flops and sexy summer shirts, belly shirts and bikinis. I also like my dresses and skirts to be knee length or higher. Maxi Dresses are gross. They don’t show my sexy legs. My winter wardrobe is very simple, long sleeve shirts, jeans, sneakers and jacket. Boots/Uggs are ugly. I own one pair of high heel boots and one pair of closed toe heels for special occasions only. Nobody I know cares about Winter fashion. Spring/Fall here doesn’t exist.

  5. p.s. I have found 60s and 70s era coats to be warm, funky and cheap for anyone else out there who enjoys thrifting!

    • p.p.s. the same with the tooled leather bags and the retro sunglasses and the sweaters. I guess what I am trying to say is that secondhand shops could be a great way to get this look on a budget :)

  6. I’ve been itching to layer again since the end of June. I’m an autumn girl at heart, after all. :P Living in Canada doesn’t hurt either.

    Great article.

    • bahaha – I love that there’s *another* Canadian here looking forward to fall just for this.

      Yeah, I am also really not with this shorts bullshit right now and love autumn weather. I really want to get some good boots and a light jacket on at the very least.


    Well done. My at-home “wall of inspiration” is covered in the very same Anthro/Mulberry pages!

    • I’m glad someone else appreciated the awesomeness of that Barney’s sweater (unless you were just making fun of me in which case I’m totally embarrassed).

      Either way, I love love love Mulberry’s line/ad campaign this year. I want one of those plum colored bags sooo bad (but not $1000 bad).

      • What?! Fuck no, I am straight up serious about that sweater. I need it in my life. It’s mega-hot. I AM MAKING MY MOST EARNEST FEMME FACE.

        I fed my Mulberry desires with a reasonably priced Asos satchel instead. Feels pretty good!

        I am REALLY sad that they only have this puppy in XXL on Gilt Man, because I was going to buy it for my tomboy and then steal it:

  8. Yep, here’s another one in Canada who is looking forward to fall. I am one of those people who finds it infinitely more pleasant bundling up in the cold than melting under the intense heat, because at least you can always put on MORE clothes – there is a limit to how much you can take off (and yes, I have contemplated going ’round nude, especially when it’s 30+ degrees out).

    That being said, none of these suggestions do anything for me (I shop almost exclusively in the boys’ section) but for those who also do this, I can recommend abercrombie (who has some good thick button-downs on sale right now), H&M (they had ridiculously marked-down thin sweaters while I was in Germany this summer – approx. €5), and Gap in my books is always a good bet for 100% cotton stuff. I think I also saw some nice jackets/coats on the racks at Zara already.

    Plus, the nice thing about shopping in the boys’ department? You’ll rarely get sticker shock, unless you’re in J.Crew or abercrombie when it’s not sale season.

  9. i have a opposed to the cosby sweaters, but that one from barney’s…. it’s calling out my name!!!! clothes and new seasons make me wish i had a job, oh well back to tumblr!

    • i guess i’ll just have to wear my sweaters and scarves in 100+ degree weather.
      it’s a sacrifice i think i’m willing to make.

      • In Texas as well.
        I wore a cardigan on the second day of school. I only regretted it on the bus home.
        This is because it was hotter inside the bus than the 107 outside due to lack of functioning a/c, closed windows, and teenagers everywhere. It was all good throughout the day, even though I walk about 3 miles outside with crossing campus to get to classes, plus the extended distance to a friend’s bus stop.

        I have not the courage to attempt my scarves & collared shirts. (Though I went all of last summer with only skinny jeans.)

  10. “Will you be reappropriating someone else’s culture? Yes, but you’ll be damn stylish doing it.”

    Oh, Autostraddle, no :(

    • That and I can’t take anyone seriously with culturally appropriated clothing/accessories. Example this (white) girl had these hoops she got from Italy and referred to them as “those earrings you see in the desert tribes in Africa” (as she refers to the continent as a country).

      I couldn’t.

      There’s cultural ignorance and that shit again, I couldn’t.

      • Good freakin’ god, I might have slapped her. (No, I wouldn’t have, I don’t hit people in real life, but I definitely would have wanted to.)

      • I know it was a joke, but it seems less funny and more casual-about-other-people’s-pain when it’s juxtaposed with those appropriated items e.g. that sweater. IDK. :-/

  11. “Perhaps last year you bought a cape and this year you’ll actually wear it.”

    story of my LIFE

    • I know. My cape is so stupid. It’s tiny, but heavy, and it would probably be better if I just started approaching it like a really large necklace instead of an article of clothing.

  12. Lucky you that have 4seasons

    I will love used that jersey and jacket. But if I wear that, i will cook inside out :(

  13. I finally got my grubby little hands on the perfect blazer yesterday! Navy blue with gold buttons.
    Oh, that and some new dark wash jeans. With all the oxfords, collared shirts, and sweaters I’ve been thrifting all summer I’m totally set for an awesome preppy fall look. :D

    • I love gold buttons on navy blazers. I’m not sure why. I think it must go back to some weird secret desire to have gone to boarding school or something.

      • I know what you mean. Every time I watch Glee I want to steal a warbler blazer. Navy blue with red trim and a cute little crest? Want now! I’ll take the tie too.

  14. This was so much better than the People Style issue I read while bored at work the other day. I love fall fashion and that thing left me seriously underwhelmed, but this was great! Thanks!

  15. It is still summer here but I am sewing myself a cape/dress with sleeves hybrid thing in the next few weeks so I am being very hopeful.

  16. I can’t wait for fall, I hate summer with a burning passion (probably because it feels like the sun is setting me on fire)

  17. “take a cue from Joseph and put a little technicolor in your dreamcoat.” << best quote ever

    Also, I really want someone to make those cool oxfords in a size 4.

  18. Damn you Autostraddle, always making me want things that are the opposite of appropriate for my seasons…

    • Lemme guess, sad sad Australian/New Zealander/other southern hemisphere country? If so, on behalf of the Northern Hemisphere, I sincerely apologize for our hegemony on seasonal internet articles.


    That made me laugh. :D

    I’m a huge fan of blazers and snappy-looking jackets. I have about five now. (Yeah, I’m obsessed.)

    • I do have to admit though that I saw a pair of heels similar to the American Apparel ones pictures and I fell in love but my friend wouldn’t let me buy them … because I had to pay for rent or food or something ridiculous. :(

    • Such a thing. I’d never buy them in a regular store, but I want to go thrifting all the time just to buy endearingly ugly/comfy sweaters.

  20. handbags? thought that was what my pockets were for…

    definitely cannot WAIT to pull out the comfy, bulky sweaters again. bring on the snow!

  21. Man, I miss Fall fashion. Living in a country with two seasons, wet and dry, means I can’t rock the comfy sweaters and bitching coats. But that satchel and the shoes are cute. Of course I’m a poor grad student.

  22. I’ve gotta agree with Charli about missing fall fashion.

    Ever since I’ve moved to India ( where the only season is Summer and Monsoon ) – I just can’t use my Fall / Winter or Autumn Wardrobe anymore!

Comments are closed.