Sep 28, 2020 - Things to Do

7 fall fashion trends priced $24 to $695 — and where to find them now at Charlotte boutiques

fall fashion guide 2020 header

fall fashion guide 2020 header

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So, you binged the The Home Edit on Netflix and now you don’t have any fall clothes left? Just me? Cool cool cool.

Well, whether you want a wardrobe overhaul or just that one special thing, in this guide I break down the top 7 trends this season and where to find them.

I shopped at four different price points: affordable, middle of the road, high-end, and designer.

My process:

For weeks I scour the internet and read up on fall fashion trends seen on the runway. I like to see how those styles translate in Charlotte, so I stalk boutiques on Instagram to watch their inventory flow in before deciding where to shop.

I have one big try-on day and pull pieces based on the trends I’ve identified, and I try on some gems that just happen to catch my eye. While shopping I wore my mask the entire time except to snap quick photos of each outfit.

This guide features some runway-inspired aspirational pieces and some more practical pieces that make sense for the time we’re in right now. I also shopped at various price points to show you that you don’t have to spend a ton to have a stylish wardrobe.

The 7 big trends

  • Color. Don’t get me wrong, I love camel and black for fall, but after a less-than-sunny summer, seeing and wearing color is a serious mood booster. From neon sweaters to floral skirts, you’ll see a lot of bright colors this season.
  • Leather (and faux leather). I didn’t think I was cool enough to buy into this trend, but I am here for it. You could play it safe with a leather jacket, or go with a leather top or dress. You don’t have to stick to black or nudes, either.
  • Dramatic sleeves and frilly tops. We’ve seen iterations of this look over the last year, and this fall the Victorian-esque trend continues with ruffle details, dramatic puff sleeves, and high collars. For something that sounds so prim and proper, it ends up wearing playful and sophisticated.
  • Color blocking. Pick a color and layer it on. Choose a color like navy, white (yes, you can still wear white), or black for an ultra chic look.
  • Loungewear. Don’t think Vogue saw this one coming, but every shop I’ve stopped in has tons of matching loungewear sets. With many of us still spending a lot of time at home and cooler weather to come, consider this your excuse (not that really need one, TBH) to fully lean into the coziness of fall.
  • Prep. Think sweater vests, exposed collars, cable knits, pleated skirts, relaxed jeans, headbands, and button-downs.
  • Prints. OK, maybe file this one under staples, but, nevertheless, I saw a lot of animal print and camo. They’re great patterns for layering, and they play like a neutral.


Most items $30-$50

Where: Ivy & Leo, Julie’s, Vestique, Belk (it’s locally based!), Winnie’s Boutique, Worthy Figures (curvy and plus sizes up to 3X), Great Things (resale boutique)

West Coast Wonders Bodysuit, $39 at Ivy & Leo

Ivy & Leo puff sleeve bodysuit
This puff sleeve black bodysuit is so comfy and can be dressed down with jeans and sneakers, or paired with an ankle-length skirt and a puffy headband for a dressier look. $39.99 at Ivy & Leo. (I think I’m going back for this one.)

Here and Meow top $36 and Here and Meow pants Pants $40 at Vestique 

Vestique animal print matching loungewear set
Two trends in one: animal print and loungewear sets. The top is $36 and bottoms are $40 at Vestique.

Bella Bomber Jacket, $55 at Vestique 

Vestique cropped leather jacket
This cropped jacket ($55 at Vestique) is a simple way to try the (faux) leather trend in a safe, affordable way.

Haywood Sweater, $50 at Vestique

Vesqtiue dramatic sleeve sweater
Dramatic sleeves on a cozy, slightly oversized sweater? Yes please. $50 at Vestique.

This specific set isn’t online but see all Ivy & Leo loungewear here.

Ivy & Leo camo loungewear set
Another matching set in a fun print, this is the ultimate fall road trip look. The top and bottoms are each $49.99 at Ivy & Leo.

The Madison Boho Maxi dress, $40 at Girl Tribe

girl tribe color story
I categorize Girl Tribe as more “middle of the road” price-point wise, but these two items were very affordable. I layered this cropped Girl Tribe sweatshirt/top ($24) over a maxi dress (on sale for $40) to show you how to experiment with a fall trend (tonal color story) using some summertime pieces. The dress is from late summer, but adding this sweatshirt in the same color story gives you more mileage out of your summertime favorites.

Middle of the road

Most items $50-$150

Where: Boem, Girl Tribe, Uniquities, JT Posh (resale boutique)

The Beatrice Sweater, $58 at Girl Tribe

girl tribe magenta sweater
This magenta cable knit with fringe is everything. I think I’m going back for it. $58 at Girl Tribe.

Kendall Lane – Eden Floral Mini Skirt, $98, and Kendall Lane – Channing Color Block Sweater, $82 from Uniquities

uniquities color story
We’ve got plenty of warm days in the fall, so here’s an example of how to style those sweaters in a way that’s comfortable in warmer temperatures. This waffle sweater is the same color story as the skirt, but the floral pattern gives it a little more intrigue. Sweater is $82 and skirt is $98 from Uniquities.

Minnie Rose – Long Sleeve V Neck Distressed Cashmere Sweater, $210, and Zimmermann – Sunray Skirt $480 at Uniquities

Uniquities animal print color story
Combining a few trends here, preppy silhouettes, animal print, and tonal coloring blocking. The skirt is $480 and the sweater is $210 from Uniquities.

Veronica Beard – Theron Tweed Jacket, $695, and Kendall Lane – Heather Tiered Dress, $68 at Uniquities 


Uniquities preppy color story
This yellow-gold color of this $68 dress really pops against this $695 Veronica Beard blazer. The tiered mini dress and sneakers also make the blazer feel more approachable.

Most items $150-$300

Where: Charlotte’s, Monkee’s, Five One Five

Marie Oliver Gabriella Pleated Maxi Skirt, $338 at Charlotte’s

Hunter Bell Knox Top, $325 at Uniquities

Charlotte's leather top paired with colorful skirt
Blue leather? Yes please. This $365 top from Charlotte’s is a total hero piece. Someone go snag it.

Marie Oliver Cecile Bauble Sweater, $198 at Charlotte’s

Charlotte's blue leather puff sleeve top
Here’s a more detailed look. This top blends the dramatic sleeve, color, and leather trends in such a cool way.
Charlotte's pleated colorful floral skirt
I love how versatile this ruffled button up ($325) is. And this pleated, colorful skirt ($338) is like a piece of watercolor art. This outfit from Charlotte’s blends three major trends (Victorian-eqsue tops, pleated skirts, and color) in a really gorgeous way. The skirt came home with me.


Charlotte's ruffle button down top with layered skirt
Another Charlotte’s look. with same black blouse (told you, it’s so versatile). I paired it with a more casual skirt ($152) that also came home with me. I love how the skirt carries the same drama of the top, but the warm colors and easy pattern make it feel casual.

Most items $250+

Charlotte's cable knit neon color sweater
This neon cable knit sweater puts a modern touch on the preppy trend. $198 at Charlotte’s.

Where: Coplons, Poole Shop, Capitol, The EDIT Sale

Charlotte's camo print pants and cable knit sweater
Another under-$200-Charlotte’s-cable-knit sweater. I paired with these $98 camo jeans (bought these) to layer the trends.

EDIT sale details: About a dozen of the city’s best-dressed women purge their closets twice a year and put on a sale with thousands of marked down designer pieces (think Ulla Johnson, Golden Goose, Gucci, Isabel Marant, Sacai, Chloe). Most clothing items are marked down 50-80 percent off. The sale runs September 30 to October 3 at 2041 South Boulevard (Across from Atherton in the building where Owen’s used to be). Full details here.

EDIT sale Golden Goose
The EDIT Sale has piles of Golden Goose sneakers for sale in a range of sizes. No need to spend $500 on this iconic fashion sneaker.
EDIT fall sale layered looks
I told y’all the women who sell their clothing through EDIT are stylist. The outfit on the left combines leather and color. On the right you’ve got a Veronica Beard blazer with a removable hoodie insert — the ultimate preppy meets casual piece.
EDIT fall sale preppy outfits
Fun colors, animal print, and preppy silhouettes, everything about these two looks embodies fall fashion 2020.

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