Top-10 Trends for Pre-Fall 2019

Pre-Fall collections are usually a great place to research emerging looks that will satisfy consumers’ hunger for newness while remaining approachable and wearable.

Oversized sweaters are looking strong for the season, with long sleeves and oodles of knit fabric. That is translating into longer blouses with that “tunic look” becoming so popular to wear with blue jeans or dress pants.

When it comes to pants, the cropped bottom and flares are making a strong run around the fashion block.

And A-line midis are taking a page from the 1970s fashion book to wear with just about anything in your closet.

Take a look at the Top-10 trends that will be very popular for pre-Fall 2019.

The Knit Set

Knit dressing goes head to toe with coordinating sets comprising a knit tee, tunic or polo top matched with a skirt, pants, or both. Some knitted ensembles are made up of three or more pieces—top, skirt, leggings, cardigan—for a complete multilayered look.

The dress over pants, a key styling effect for pre-Fall, is reflected in the long-over-long combos of tunic or dress over slouchy pants. More interest comes for marled or sparkly yarns, tie-dyes, or engineered patterns. The look works for both cut-and-sew and fully fashioned knits and can be adapted for ready-to-wear, studio sports or lounge.

The Tunic Shirt

While the button-front shirt has been a key fashion item for several seasons now—in seemingly endless novelty variations—the new shirt is fairly classic except for its roomier dimensions.

The cut can be big and boxy or long and slim, detailed with extended collars, flap pockets, ties or drawstrings.

These shirts are versatile. They can be worn as tunics over pants or skirts, layered as a lightweight jacket or worn simply on their own as an easy shirtdress. Hems can be straight across or with shirttails, and lengths range from mid thigh to mid calf. Clean, dense poplins hold their shape and keep it crisp.

The XL Sweater

The sweater goes extra big in both cardigan and pullover styles. Since pre-Fall is often thought of as Back-to-School, it makes sense to see the continued influence of oversized varsity sweaters, complete with arm stripes, contrast edging and letter patches.

Another reference for the big sweater is the grunge aesthetic, renewed this season with a more refined attitude, as in an oversized cardigan over a satin slipdress.

Textured yarns and space-dye patterns add more interest and dimension. These cozy sweaters come in brights, neutral ivory or gray, or autumnal golds, browns and oranges.

The Vintage Dress

Last season’s flowered prairie dress slims down to a more wearable shape, a gentle fit-and-flare with a ’30s-meets-’70s vintage attitude. Flounces are key, whether it’s a ruffled neckline, butterfly sleeves or a deep gathered panel at the hem.

Silky printed fabrics are key, mostly scattered blossoms against a pastel or mid-tone ground. While the feeling is demure, these frocks are not as modest as last season—slits show a glimpse of leg, and necklines are wide enough to drift off a shoulder for alluring dishabille. Hems hit at mid to low calf.

The Workwear Onesie

A popular street-style look that is showing up in pre-Fall collections is the utility jumpsuit. Some are cut like farmers’ overalls but are slimmer and with cropped, pegged or flare legs. Others are more like authentic “boiler suits”—full-coverage coveralls that can be worn over other clothes as a protective layer or to function as outerwear.

Short-sleeved, trim-fitting versions are worn as jumpsuits and can be worn on their own or styled with a tailored blazer for a work-ready ensemble. Flap pockets and a self-belt add more authenticity, as do sturdy khakis, canvases or new light-wash denims.

The Easy Cropped Pant

Cropped pants, while often maligned on fashion blogs, remain a favorite of fashionistas as well as with classic customers, perhaps because, contrary to common perception, the cut flatters the ankles, lengthens the leg and shows off the shoe, whether flats or a low heel.

The pants usually sit at the natural waist, with straight legs, slight flares or A-line silhouettes. These breezy trousers look particularly right in fresh spring colors like apricot, pink and violet.

Fancy matelasses are trend right, but plain poplins, denims or suiting fabrics also work, as do fluid wovens, which give the pants an almost culotte feel.

The Flare Leg

The flare leg gains momentum as a new pant silhouette for both tailored trousers and jeans styles. Most of these have a natural or high waist and fit smoothly over slim hips, balancing the wide hemline.

The look gets a career-dressing 1970s mood when cut from clean suitings and styled with a feminine blouse and knitted vest. These tailored versions get more polish from center creases or sewn-in seams.

For casual options, there are dark-blue denim versions or denim alternatives including corduroy or canvas cut into five-pocket styles. Extra-long lengths are key here—from shoe covering to floor sweeping.

The Shirt Jacket

A lightweight topper is always right for those early days of fall, not only for warmth but to give ensembles that extra layer that adds complexity and brings proportion to an ensemble.

The shirt jacket is beginning to replace the trucker as the must-have wear-it-with-everything layering piece. The jacket can be slim or boxy but gets its shirt-like attitude from a point collar, button-up front and flap or patch pockets.

The pre-Fall 2019 collections showed these fashion workhorses in every material—from firm knits to lustrous satins to brushed buffalo checks, as well as leather and pleather, suede and shearling.

The A-Line Midi

Another ’70s favorite that looks right for pre-Fall is the A-line midi skirt. These are simple skirts that flare out gently and hit just below the knee to low calf. The skirt can go fashion forward when layered over new flare legs or slim pants or can appeal to more classic customers when styled over bare legs, tights or high boots.

Details include contoured waistbands, zip or button fronts, or border effects like a dip-dyed hem. Firm materials, whether wovens, leathers or double knits, are best for expressing the slightly triangular silhouette.

The Colors

Pre-Fall colors hint at autumn while still being vibrant and lively.

A softer green updates olive drab. Teal and dull aqua are new neutrals. Light blue uptrends for washed denim or works as a ground for prints.

Yellow ochre is used as a camel alternative or for accents. Soft oranges emerge, including ginger and peach tones. Purple and green work in a new combo for prints and stripes.

  1. Archroma 321-520 / 2. Archroma 328-910 / 3. Archroma 326-510 / 4. Archroma 214-630 / 5. Archroma 330-220 / 6. Archroma 431-570 / 7. Archroma 545-250 / 8. Archroma 108-840 / 9. Archroma 106-340 / 10. Archroma 110-240 / 11. Archroma 322-560 / 12. Archroma 437-450

MintModa is an online trend-forecasting service and consultancy. It is led by noted forecaster Sharon Graubard.

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