Outdated Fashion Trends & What to Wear Instead

When it comes to fall fashion, I probably get more questions about what is OUT than about what is IN, so today I’m deep diving into the list of fashion trends that are on their way OUT from my 2022 Fall Fashion Trends Report last week.

But first, a disclaimer: Take this list with a grain of salt. If you love it, wear it. There are no fashion police who are going to throw you in jail for wearing skinny jeans, and I’m not telling anyone to stop wearing the items on the “out” list. In fact, you might even still see them in stores.

I just wouldn’t recommend investing in more of these this season unless it is something that uniquely defines your personal style. And if you are looking to purge some items from your closet, this is a good place to start.

OUT: Infinity Scarves

Infinity scarves have been “out” for a while, but I still get questions about them, so I wanted to include them here. Also, the big square blanket scarves tied kerchief style have come and gone.

Wear Instead: Traditional Oblong Scarves

A more classic choice and one that never goes out of style is a traditional oblong scarf.

These are typically made of wool or cashmere, but you can find cotton and acrylic versions if you’re allergic to wool. I mainly wear these as a cold weather accessory. It’s not something I’ll wear after going inside.

The fashion scarves that you wear as part of your outfit aren’t trending, but they’re a classic wardrobe accessory that can be worn in a modern way if they suit your style.

OUT: Cold Shoulder Tops

Yes, my friends, the cold shoulder trend has come and gone… It arrived on the fashion scene very suddenly, and it was everywhere for about two years, and then it disappeared almost as fast. That’s the sure sign of a fleeting trend.

Wear Instead: Flutter or Puff Sleeves

Maeve ruffle sleeve tee (M) // Wit & Wisdom shorts (6) // Dolce Vita slides (8)

Flutter sleeves and puff sleeves are both big trends right now, but they don’t flatter every body type. They really don’t flatter mine, but some of the more subtle styles work for me, like the one above. I also like this longer flutter sleeve top.

OUT: Long Pendant Necklaces

As I said in my Fall Fashion Trends Report, some long pendants are classics, but big stone tassel pendant (see above) that was a huge trend for a short time is definitely out.

Again, what makes an item super trendy is when it gets popular really fast, you see it everywhere, and then it’s gone after only one or two seasons.

Wear Instead: Shorter, Layer Necklaces

Madewell Story Set of 3 Layered Necklaces

A more modern look in necklaces are the shorter, layered styles like the one shown above. This one was sold out for a while, and I’m happy to see it back! I like how it has a mix of gold and silver, and the pendant is reversible so you can choose with metal tone you want to be predominant.

OUT: Low-Rise Skinny Jeans

I’m sure no one is surprised to see these in this list. While skinny jeans are more or less a classic and I think they’ll always be around, they are less popular this year than some other styles. I kept a couple of high-rise pairs to wear with tall boots this fall.

Wear Instead: High-Rise Flares

Flares are making a comeback this season, and I could not be happier about it. I always loved this style! (Bootcut jeans fall into this category; they just don’t have quite as wide a leg opening.)

AG Farrah Fray Hem Bootcut (28; similar for less) // Nordstrom Signature cashmere sweater (S; similar for less) // Marc Fisher Urmi Booties (8.5) // AllSaints tote

Rather than the low-slung styles of that were popular 10 years ago, we are seeing higher rises along with raw hems and the occasional busted-out knee. Full-length flares, like those shown above, as well as ankle-length styles (shown below) and crop flares are all trending this season.

Mother Hustler Raw Hem Flare Ankle Jeans (28) // Paige booties (8)

If you’re not a fan of flares, straight leg jeans are still trending in cropped, ankle, and full-length styles. I like to have a variety in my closet.

Paige Cindy (29) // Halogen sweater (8) // Michael Kors heels (8)

The slouchy look is more fashion-forward, but if you don’t care for that, the slimmer straight jeans like the ones shown above look more current than skinnies, and they allow you to achieve a similar balance in your outfits.

OUT: Dusters & Waterfall Cardigans

Cardigans as a general wardrobe piece are a classic, but certain styles wax and wane in terms of popularity. I’ve given away all my waterfall cardigans, and I would say, only wear the super long duster style if it helps define your personal style. I never felt comfortable in those to begin with, so I was happy to let mine go.

Wear Instead: Shorter V-Neck Cardigans

Cardigans may not be on the cutting edge of fashion, but traditional styles can look chic if styled in a current way. One trendy way to wear a cardigan this season is to wear a v-neck cardigan buttoned-up, like the one shown here.

Quince Boyfriend Cardigan (S) // Caslon t-shirt (S) // AG Mari (28) // Marc Fisher booties (8)

I wore that one over a t-shirt, but they look especially fresh worn alone (or over a lace-trim cami or pretty bralette) and front-tucked with flares or straight-leg jeans.

Vince cardigan (S; similar for less) // Good American jeans (6; similar for less) // Kork-Ease clogs (8)

The look you’re going for here is somewhat slouchy, with an air of nonchalance. (I really need a cami for this to be truly wearable, but it worked for these pictures.)

A wrap cardigan is another good option that looks more modern to my eye, and sweater blazers are also trending.

OUT: Quilted Puffer Vests

Puffer vests are a classic, somewhat preppy/outdoorsy style, and I’m sure they’re still worn a lot in some areas because they are so practical. But as a fashion item, the style I’m wearing above is looking a little tired at the moment. You can also toss your faux fur vests… yowsa! That is some outfit I had going on there!

I also want to address the riding boots I’m wearing there. I declared them “out” in my last post because they’ve been on the decline for the past few seasons, but then I saw them declared an in-coming trend for Fall 2022 by Who What Wear. Go figure! I don’t think we will see these hitting the mainstream this fall, but perhaps next year? I’ve always loved the style, so I’m hoping this is true.

Wear Instead: Shacket

Shackets have that same cozy, casual feel as a puffer vest, but they’re more on trend at the moment.

Not a fan of a shacket? There are so many cute jackets out this season that will top off your favorite t-shirt or lightweight sweater… like this leather moto with removable hood, this sweater blazer, or this cotton twill boxy jacket.

Caslon leather hooded moto jacket (S)

I still love my leather jackets for transition season. The hooded one I’m wearing above is still available, and I also picked up this leather bomber jacket with removable shearling collar during the #NSale.

OUT: Low Shaft Booties

It is with great regret that I inform you, this low-shaft ankle boot with the split shaft that was everywhere just a few seasons ago now looks terribly dated.

These booties were perfect with skinny ankle jeans, but now that straighter styles and full-length jeans are on the upswing, we are seeing a resurgence of higher shaft boots as well as other shoe styles, such as clogs.

Wear Instead: Clogs or Tall Ankle Boots

Kork-Ease Darby Clogs (8) // Good American Good Classic Bootcut Jeans (6)

Clogs are having a moment, and they pair easily with ankle-length jeans, but I find it difficult to wear clogs with full-length jeans and pants because they get caught under my heels when I walk.

With flares, I prefer a sleek leather ankle boot with a slender shaft. Western style booties are also trending this season.

Sam Edelman Agnes Western Boots (8)  // Treasure & Bond sweater (S) // Paige Cindy straight ankle jeans (29)

Just make sure the shaft is high enough that the jeans don’t get caught on the top when you sit down or walk around.

OUT: Camo Print

These old pictures are cracking me up. This is from 2017, and I loved that tee so much…. and those jeans. But yeah, camo is on the back burner at the moment. It comes back around every few years, so if you have a piece you love, don’t get rid of it. Just stick it in the back of your closet for the season.

Wear Instead: Moody Florals

Mini Floral Ringer Tee

I’m just making this up, but I was trying to find something that looks more modern but has the same slighty edgy undertone as the camo, and I came up with this! It’s pretty spendy for a tee, so I’m going to try to find some other options, but I love this vibe.

OUT: Colored Jeans

This was a specific question from one of you, and I have to say, colored jeans aren’t really a thing this fall. I’m mostly seeing that off-black that has been trending for a while, as well as all shades of blue denim.

Wear Instead: Washed Black or Ecru

Paige Claudine (28) // Paige booties (8) // vegan leather puffer // similar black sweater

I guess I got a step ahead of myself there! So  yeah, if you’re wanting an alternative to blue jeans, rather than a color like red or plum or green, I’d go with washed black or ecru. I’ve also seen some khaki-colored denim. In other words, neutral denim washes are more current.

Also utility pants are still a big trend this year. If I want to wear olive or another color, I’ll do that in pants rather than denim. I kept that pair of Vince chinos in Deep Laurel from the #NSale, and I hope to play around with them soon.

OUT: Leopard Print & Snakeskin

True confessions: I still like that cheetah print sweater… the whole outfit, in fact. And I think that sweater is enough of a classic that it still works, but I did pass it on, so I guess that says something.

Again, some of these trends phase in and out every few years — especially the more classic styles like this one. Cold shoulder tops were one and done, I think… I hope, anyway! Leopard and cheetah prints, on the other hand, are classics that simply aren’t “trending” at the moment.

If you want to keep your looks fresh, consider a more obscure animal print…

Wear Instead: Zebra and Tiger Prints

J.Crew Gathered Scoopneck Top

We are seeing a lot of zebra and tiger prints, and abstract versions of old favorites (like leopard, python, and cheetah.) Other prints that are popular this season are plaids and stripes.

I’m sure I could go on. What else are you wondering about? I’m not an expert, but I pay attention, and I can tell you what I think based on what I’m seeing in stores and on the style blogs.

And please remember, none of this is a personal affront to your wardrobe choices. This is just what “they say” is going to be happening in the world of fashion this year.

Feel free to take it, or leave it; and as always, wear what makes you happy!

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99 thoughts on “Outdated Fashion Trends & What to Wear Instead

  1. Liked your posts and comments regarding the next season of fashion. I appreciate your perspective and predictions.

  2. Awesome article! Thank you. You’ve made a nice, down-to-earth and accurate list of what-to-wear instead. I appreciate it!

  3. I would love to know where you got the shacket from. It’s hard to find things that are in the darker colour and are more of a grid rather than a full on plaid or check. The plaid and check gives me trucker vibes. But I love the grid on you!

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