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If watching the Winter 2023 runways has you feeling seen more than ever before, you aren’t alone. In playful fashion, designers are rolling out a “you do you” ease that lets us channel our inner whomever-we-want. Styles are polarizing, from rocker chic platform boots and head-to-toe leather, to feminine corsets with flowing maxi skirts, to straight-laced and peg-legged preppy revival.
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“I see people wanting to make a statement and taking risks with their fashion choices,” says Boston-based stylist Amanda Vargus when asked what pieces will fill our closets this upcoming season. We chatted with Vargus and Lauren Rae Levy Vigneron, the style-savvy founder of the LRL Group, to uncover the top fashion trends to shop for Winter 2023. There’s something for everyone on this list to ensure we all start off the new year in style.
Tower into 2023 with a daring platform boot
Kick stilettos to the curb and replace them this winter with a badass throwback—the platform boot.
“This trend has been a repeat offender over the years for good reason—platform boots rock,” says Vigneron. There’s something about the style that brings the confidence boost of heels minus the achy feet that usually accompanies them. “Many of us haven’t worn heels much since the pandemic hit. The idea of wearing them for a long time is scary, and this trend is a fab solution.”
When it comes to wearing the trend, Vargus suggests balancing the chunky sole, which reads heavy and masculine, with a flowy dress or mini skirt to add a touch of femininity.
Asos Design’s Endgame Platform Chelsea ankle boots have a total ‘70s throwback vibe when paired with wide-legged jeans or a minidress, while Steven Madden’s Klayton Black Platform adds updated ‘90s rocker chic to almost any outfit, from slip dresses to cropped jeans. Shop the Endgame boot in women’s shoe sizes 4 to 11, and the Klayton in sizes 6 to 11.
Keep it collegiate with the prep revival
Grab your country club membership, cuff your pants and pop that collar. It’s time to put prep back into your step. While we were schooled on “prep revival” in early 2022 when sweater vests came down S/S22 runways, this season’s nostalgic prep features bold plaid, varsity bomber jackets with minis and rugged button-down knits.
“This season has an edge,” explains Vigneron. Rather than going for the predictable collegiate schoolgirl look, add some edge to your uniform-inspired looks with leather, platform loafers and faux fur. “Have fun with it, and make it your own by playing with different textures and fits,” she says.
“Try pairing your varsity jacket with a slinky slip dress, or your preppy knit with a baggy jean to give a little edge to your look,” agrees Vargus, nodding in the direction of the trend’s heavy presence on Tommy Hilfiger’s recent NYFW runway.
The Varsity Jacket by Iets Frans brings a true varsity vibe to an oversized slouchy jacket with a boyfriend feel. The tartan plaid on this pleated Black Watch Tartan Twill Pleated Skirt from Brooks Brothers has a preppy, collegiate feel that’s both classic and contemporary. Shop the Varsity Jacket in women’s sizes XS to L, and the Pleated Skirt in sizes 0 to 16.
Stay sleek with a leather ensemble
Forget sweater weather; for the style set, the upcoming months will be all about leather weather. According to Vargus, leather (or vegan leather, if you’re so inclined) is a must for winter 2022-23. “From button-down shirts, to straight-leg pants and the leather trench, it’s showing up in every way,” she explains. There is even an explosion of motocross-inspired styles, as seen in the Diesel and Alexander McQueen runways.
Crisp white cotton oxfords have been traded for butter-soft leather blouses, and bottoms range from skin-tight leggings to baggy trousers. Not quite cold enough to don the down in a big quilted number? Toss on a leather blazer like L*Space’s Echo Jacket, a wardrobe statement piece in a rich latte shade that can be paired with the matching Quincey Pant. Shop the set in women’s sizes XS to XL.
Pinsy’s Vegan Leather Shapewear Bodysuit incorporates the trend as a base layer when peeking out from under a coordinating blazer, while the baggy nature of the Mindi Pleather Peg Leg Trouser fully embraces your leather love when balanced with a fitted, more subtly textured top. Shop the Pinsy bodysuit in women’s sizes S to 3X, and the Mindi Pleather trousers in sizes XXS to XXL.
Throwback to ‘90s style with a midi or maxi skirt
As the temperatures go down, so do the season’s hems, as mini’s step aside to give midi and maxi skirts their own moment. Pleats, tulle, sequins and denim have returned in long form to bring modest yet sexy style to our winter wardrobes.
Vigneron anticipates long skirts to hang low from the hips (a far cry from the high waists that have dominated recent seasons), noting this trend is a fabulous reminder that you don’t have to show it all to be sexy. “Maxi skirts have a way of elongating the body, which is sexy without trying,” she explains.
“For an on-trend look this winter, try rocking a ribbed knit maxi skirt with a matching top as a set. And if you’re going larger on the bottom with full volume, be sure to pair with a more slimming top or bodysuit,” says Vargus.
Not to be outdone by its ankle-skimming sister, the ‘90s midi is back and looking better than ever. Vigneron suggests keeping things minimal by pairing it in a monochromatic look of tights or neutral stockings with a chunky sweater, fitted turtleneck, or a loosely fitted blouse.
Hanging low on your hip, Free People’s FP One Kona Maxi Skirt is a relaxed, utility-inspired vibe with a slouchy A-line silhouette. The Kona Maxi is available in women’s sizes XS to XL.
This Rivina Leather Midi Skirt from Banana Republic gives us a two-for-one trend haul, combining the leather trend with the long skirt look of the moment. Shop the style in women’s sizes 0 to 20.
Strap yourself into a corset
We’ve got a bone to pick with yesteryear’s corsets. Dating back to the Renaissance and Victorian eras, the piece’s signature boning lent structure and romance to the garment while also creating an extremely uncomfortable—and sometimes even deadly—pressure on the body. According to Vigneron, their revival on the runways brings a newly realized comfortability.
“In the past, corsets were all about achieving a cinched waist, but this season it’s all about rocking a corset with more of a bustier vibe,” she explains. This trend should make you feel sexy and confident, not like you can’t breathe. “I’m loving this look in a velvet fabric or in leather with metal hardware to give it some edge. Expect to see these in vibrant colors and pair them with a cargo or wide-legged pant.”
The Rafa Satin Longline Corset Top by House of CB offers just a hint of sex appeal without going full-on lingerie when worn atop staples like a flowy maxi skirt or menswear-inspired cargo pants. The Rafa Satin Corset Top is available in women’s sizes XS to L.
Worn over a simpler outfit, the Corset Detail Long Blazer by Venus is a great way to blend the daring trend into your OOTD without being too revealing. Shop the Long Blazer in women’s sizes 2 to 24.
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