Trendy Not Spendy: How to translate fall 2017's hottest runway looks into wearable, affordable fashion

August 5, 2017



Fall is my favorite season, by far. As a (nearly) lifelong Vermonter, I am used to it being cold.  I definitely don't feel like I have ever learned to dress for summer. Since it's only a few months here it feels more like an event than a season to me; a vacation from the regular state of chilly. From late September to early May, fall and winter fashions reign here. When I feel the chill return to the air my soul sighs in relief. Even though it's been many years since I went "back to school" and my kiddo has at least another year before preschool, fall still feels like a time for new outfits; to polish myself up a bit and put my best foot forward. If you're feeling the itch to embrace fall fashion too, I have done you the favor of combing through the Fall 2017 trend reports, and dug up the trends I think are truly wearable. With any trendy addition to your wardrobe, I think it's better to save than spend, so here's a few affordable ways to translate the runway trends to your closet this fall:


Dark Florals
This is the fall trend I am probably most excited about. I saw it all over, from the fashion week fall runways to Cosmo and Teen Vogue. Florals generally aren't my thing, but the dark base brings a 90's grunge element to them I can't help but love, and brings the usually super feminine effect of florals down a notch.  I especially love these paired with a leather jackets. So here they are on the runway, on celebrities, and in recent magazine features:

 Erdem's fall/winter 2017 collection

Alexa Chung, one of my style icons, looking fabulously 90s in her dark floral. Image from wireimage 

Dark maxi dress paired with a vest in Harper's Bazaar 

 I am in love with this outfit from Cosmopolitan; mini dress + sneakers forever. And pockets. 



 So how do you rock this look without spending a ton? Here are a few suggestions (images link to product): 

This jersey dress from H&M hits the mark perfectly, $17.99 and they have sales all the time, watch for one! 


 This ruffle sleeve top from Old Navy could work with jeans or dressed way up. Same deal here about the sales!


 This bodycon dress from Forever21 is a gorgeous dose of this trend for $35.
Wear it out as is, or pair it with some bright mustard or pink tights!


Gold Velvet

Oh man do I love gold and yellow clothing and accessories, so I am thrilled about this trend for fall. My favorite thrifted bag is a gorgeous deep yellow Boden shopper that is with me at all times. I love the richness adding velvet to my beloved gold brings, and I think it's perfect with other fall jewel tones. So here it is on the runway:

 About as queenly as it gets, from the Jason Wu Ready To Wear Fall 2017 collection.


 This dress from the Andrea Lieberman Collection just screams fall to me.

I would totally wear it with black tights and boots as shown. Image from @thefashioncourt on Instagram


So how do we mortals wear this trend?

 This crushed velvet camisole from H&M is on sale for $6.99 right now. It's styled for summer here but you could totally wear it with a blazer or cardi, and high waisted pants or a skirt.


This gold velvet camisole dress from Forever 21 would be amazing for a fall cocktail party, or warmed up with a blazer and tights, and comes in sizes S-3X.


Cosy Oversized Knits

I was not aware the cosy knits were ever NOT in style for fall. This is the one "trend" you could validate spending more on for a high quality piece that would last, because when you do not want cozy knits in the fall and winter? The much talked about Danish concept of hygge is apparently even sweeping the fashion world too, and thankfully bringing us a highly practical and enjoyable trend for fall. 


 Vogue Paris put together this great compilation of oversized white sweaters from Paris' fall 2017 fashion week.

 And more in nice warm earth tones from this compilation of oversized sweaters
from Victoria Victoria Beckham Pre-Fall 2017, Edun Pre-Fall 2017, Pringle of Scotland Pre-Fall 2017, images Courtesy

So how do we wear this? I would love to see these big sweaters paired with another fall trend, leather/faux leather pants, to give some structure to the outfit and keep the whole thing from looking too slouchy. I don't know about you, but I don't think I could really pull off the slouchy sweater+ bulky maxi skirt look. These biker leggings ($34.99) from H&M are a great option...but on to the sweaters!

 You could wear this brushed knit cardigan from Forever21 with almost anything, and it's on sale for only $14, so you don't have to worry too much about the fact that it's white. 

 This cardigan from Old Navy checks two fall trend boxes: oversized sweaters and fringe. 


Really, I think the best way to rock this trend is to go to a thrift store, and get some big men's sweaters for $2-15 each.

Gigi Hadid looks comfortable and stylish in this feature on layering in Teen Vogue


 If you are inclined to spend a little more on something that will really last, L.L. Bean has a legitimate lifetime guarantee on their products, so it's worth the extra cash. This classic fisherman's cable knit tunic isn't outrageously spendy at $100, but I will admit, it would be a pretty big deal if I spent that much on a sweater at this point in my life.


Now on to the last trend, which seems too good to be true:



 Yes, that's right. Pajamas. I am seeing this listed as a fall trend everywhere! Sleepwear as fashion is trickling off the runways and out to the regular consumer, and in celebration of all things comfy, I am ready to embrace this trend. Silky fabrics, soft corners on necklines of buttons downs, and soft wide legged pants are the hallmarks of this trend. So here it is in Vogue:

 This take on the trend from J.Crew's ready to wear fall collection as featured in Vogue is so swoonworthy I don't feel like I need to show you anything else. Just Google "fashion pajamas trend" and a bazillion things come up. 


Okay, so how do we wear this trend without looking like we forgot to get dressed? 

I will admit to coveting these wide cut Lycocell pants from H&M. They aren't that cheap at $49.99, but H&M has sales all the time, so I will keep my eye out and hope I can get them for a little less! They remind me of the pants my great-grandma sewed for herself back in the 1930's when women didn't really wear pants yet. I am proud to come from a long line of bold, fashion forward women. 

Photo from around 1930 of my great grandma Ruth in her homemade and currently trending pants.


Getting back to the currently available clothes...


 I think this Classic Shirt from Old Navy has what it takes to reflect the pajama trend without looking too frumpy. 


 Pineapples are trending all over the place, so I think you could wear this actual pajama top from Forever21 with a pencil skirt and a cardi or blazer and knock this trend out of the park. Bonus it comes with pajama shorts. 



So there you have it; my take on how to make some of this fall's top trends affordable. When I look at fashion and style websites and they list their high and low priced options for a trend, the low priced option is still usually out of my price range. There are tons of more accessible options out there, and I plan to do a trend report like this for each season in the hopes that I can show that fashion can be a fun, creative outlet for people who don't have a ton of extra money.  For more style ideas, don't forget to follow Hey Jillian on Pinterest.  


What other fall trends are you looking forward to? Polka dots? Camo? Fringe? Backpacks? Bright colored faux fur? What are your favorite sources of inexpensive on trend pieces? Let's talk about it in the comments or on Facebook!




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Hey, I'm Jillian, and I'm creating an extraordinary life on an ordinary budget. 

I'm just an actual person, trying to make sh*t work. I'm doing pretty okay at it.  About Me.

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Hey Jillian features articles on self-care and mental health, budget beauty, parenting, recipes and meal planning, DIY home improvement projects, and product reviews relevant to people who are interested in those things. xoxo Jillian
Jillian Kirby | Burlington, Vermont | Email me at