Active Trends for Fall Take On a Rugged Look

Active influences take on a high-function turn for next Fall. Utility details and shelter-like proportions offer support in uncertain times, while pops of color and exuberant attitude show optimism.

Here are some Fall 2019 active trends called “Soul Survivor,” detailed by Graubard from the trend service MintModa, an online trend forecast service. If you would like to learn more about MintModa, visit or email

Photos courtesy of MintModa.

The Active Hybrid

A cross between activewear and a fashion piece, these knits bring the cut-and-sew top forward for Fall. Mixing materials and juxtaposing styles are key to getting the hybrid effect. A jersey zip-neck mock turtle gets billowy poet sleeves; a fleece pullover is sporty with toggle drawstrings yet elegant with a wide funnel neck; a built-in scarf details a zip-front blouson. Logos, bold text or stripes add to the active feel, as do fingerless mitten sleeves. Even with all the details, the effect is simple and clean.

The Survivalist Sweater

Bulky sweaters provide all-important coziness in times of uncertainty. The slouchy and slightly deconstructed sweater has a just-picked-off-the-street chic. Extra-long sleeves extend past the fingertips or heavily bunch at the wrist. Patterns include camouflage intarsias, pieced ski-sweater Fair Isles, or splotchy space dyes with intentional runs and holes. Dropped shoulders are a must for a roomy feel. More details come from zips or ties. A new way of taking the slipdress into Fall is to layer it over a gutsy knit, which emphasizes the post-apocalyptic, nomadic look.

The Body-Armor Base

Foundation garments and activewear merge in meant-to-be-seen base layers. Active elements are upgraded with a sleek, futuristic approach. Structured sports bras with matching high-waisted leggings work out at the gym or take to the streets. Cat suits take off as a practical base layer for diaphanous sheers or give an edge when layered under wear-it-to-work ensembles. Reinforced areas and tech details follow the body’s contours to create graphic patterns. Belts, buckles and bra seaming bring an active spirit to jackets and woven tops, while logos, “instruction” labels and industrial typefaces add to the utilitarian feel.

The Tech Turtle

High-neck tops are on high alert for Fall. For turtlenecks, newness comes from woven fabrics, sheer tulle overlays or high-shine fabrics. Extended shoulders, neon colors, visible zippers and V-shaped insets are key components. Futuristic surfaces like metallics or oil-slick effects add more dimension, as do fringe-shaped plastic paillettes in bright colors. For a more contemporary take, interpret the turtleneck in silky fabrics accented with bold chevron stripes. These tops can be sleeveless or long-sleeved and look great tucked into sleek pants.

The Doomsday Dress

Dresses evolve from frilly, feminine signifiers to powerful statement pieces. Silky or structured silhouettes can be styled over a body-con base layer, making these dresses daytime ready and fall-weather appropriate. Digital prints are key—whether giving an edge to splashy florals or proclaiming a passion for nature. The shape can be as simple as a slipdress or as complex as a multilayered frock that melds into a complex yet elegant shape. For any dress style, covered legs are a must. Bright-colored socks or tights add another eye-catching element, and sturdy shoes keep the look all grounded.

The Utility Jumpsuit

The workwear jumpsuit is an urban-survival basic. Utility pockets get extra emphasis with contrast piping or industrial zippers. Those zippers also work as statement front closures, making these grown-up onesies easy to get in and out of. The fit can be easy or slim, waisted or not. Strappy versions work as club wear, while a clean, minimalist approach takes these jumpsuits from office to cocktails. Even though the coverall’s roots are in true workwear, the look here is surprisingly clean and elegant.

The Running Pant

Wide-legged pants take over this Fall. For a soul-survivor look, these are cut from Windbreaker nylons or high-performance blends. Wide channel-elastic waistbands are both forgiving and trend forward, designed to sit comfortably at the natural waist. Active stripes are still happening, but a side zip detail can make a striped gusset hidden or visible, leaving the choice to the wearer. Other details include shirred side seams or wide industrial straps. The tech pants are worn extra long or tucked into a “Wellie” boot for fast getaways.

The Protective Set

Two-piece sets are popular on city streets this summer, and we see the trend evolving into a protective duo for Fall. A far cry from the tailored power suit of old, these new ensembles are cut from firm wovens, vibrant tweeds or new-age metallics. Velcro closures and pops of neon keep it futuristic, while familiar shapes make it wearable. The layered outerwear that has ruled the runways informs wearable interpretations in multi-paneled jackets matched to asymmetrical skirts. Cargo pockets and snap closures complete the practical approach.

The Shelter Topper

Oversized outerwear is a must-have for the well-dressed survivalist, protecting the wearer from harsh elements—or from unwelcome eyes. Sturdy fabrics and XL silhouettes may seem imposing, but the effect is balanced with fun colors and exuberant attitude. Details like reflective strips, Velcro closures, fireman clips or adjustable drawstrings are key to getting this topper right. These coats and jackets work over everything, from classic shirts or dresses to leggings and gym clothes. Hoods or high-funnel collars combine with extra-long sleeves for an outerwear piece that feels like it could be inhabited.

Soul Survivor Palette

The “Soul Survivor” look is part faded workwear and part shiny new tech. The palette has a strong neutral foundation including dusty purple gray and olive green along with true blue and fleecy cream. Pops of bright caution yellows and emergency oranges bring out the tech side of the story while accents of neon pink and acid greens add a playful touch.

MintModa palette expressed in Color Atlas by Archroma color standards.