That’s Fashion, Sweetie: Welcome to your fall 2022 back to school shopping guide

Five fashionable people, modeling trendy fall looks on a square patterned background.
Lyndzi Ramos | Daily Trojan

Welcome back to another school year at USC! For all my new Trojans who may be worried about what to wear or how to look among the effortless cool girls of Los Angeles, fear no more — I’m here to let you know exactly what will be trendy this Fall/Winter season. 

First, we have to discuss our beloved trend cycle. It’s been a little chaotic, but it seems to have finally settled on what may be the next “it” vibe: sultry. Smokey eyes, red lips, suggestive cutouts  and sheer fabrics will be key for this model-off-duty look. If it isn’t for you, that’s fine too — it seems to be competing for first place with bobo fashion, which elevates the patterns, beading and soft flowing energy of traditional bohemian styles, and twee, a style all about dainty and quaint -— essentially Jessica Day from “New Girl.”

Ballerina core will continue to be in. Ballet flats with bow accents, such as the Miu Miu black and pink flats or classic Repettos, will be stylish and versatile for your next networking night. Want a small heel? Look for the classic Mary Janes. Bodysuits will continue to prove their superiority and take on more leotard elements, such as small ruched details on the neckline, and low and high buns with hair pins will also maintain their popularity, along with boleros or knit shrugs.

Mirror Palais has demonstrated that it can keep the world in its chokehold, and I, too, am a devoted follower. But, like many other average consumers, I can’t afford nor justify spending $800 on a dress. So, Mirror Palais’ aura of delicate lace, maxi skirts, midi dresses and delicate, elegant, almost flirty corsets have been actively gaining popularity. When thrifting, look for white linen pieces with floral cutouts, shaped bodices and tiered prairie skirts. But, if you would like to purchase directly from retailers, other brands that share the same quality are Fait Par Foutch and Enduring Kairos. Pair these with kitten heels with flowers, delicate cutouts or hardware — specifically vintage Prada or Manolo Blahniks (there are some great deals on eBay) — and a small baguette bag to turn heads. 

Since the fall can get chilly, especially at night, it’s time to whip out the jackets. This year, look for motorcycle jackets with straight, choker collars (bonus points if you score a double zipper). Stick to neutral colors like khakis, cremes and greens — or if you’re feeling bold: white. You might find that more jackets may have shoulder pads or a cinched waist, as the structure and physical shape of garments will be imperative this fall. But, if you aren’t into leather (or, lets be honest, pleather), utility jackets, quarter zip windbreakers and light bombers will also come back into style. Just one pro tip, it’s all about the slouch! Notice how recently denim has shifted from high waisted and fitted to mid/low waist and a boyfriend cut? Aim for looser fitting jackets with slightly longer sleeves for the perfect, effortless coverup as the nights get cooler. 

On the topic of effortlessness, brands such as Djerf Avenue will continue to lead the way of the cool business casual girlies. Stick to elevated basics like loafers, medium wash denims, single color midi dresses and the classic tank top. Some great brands besides Djerf Avenue are Joah Brown, Aritzia, Helmut Lang, The Line by K and SKIMS. Want more of an edge? Consider Diesel, Khaite, Pleats Please by Issey Miyake and Sandy Liang. Not a fan of the classic tank top? That’s fine too! This year, Y2K has gone through puberty and emerged with its teenage and college year forms. For a more youthful Y2K approach, continue to look for ironic texts and screen prints from brands such as Melimayystudios, Juliette Johnstone, OGBFF, stomachofyourdeadsoulmate and cydn3yyy. On Y2K’s wild nights at the 901, a cute twist to the miniskirt trend is Danielle Guizio’s sequined mini skirt. 

Have a date with a cute classmate or someone from USC Missed Connections? This year, the sneaky and sexy sheer is back to remind us she can’t be beaten. We first are transitioning out from slip and slinky midi dresses, as the vintage midi slip dresses with asymmetrical, torn and ruffled hem are taking up the spotlight. These dresses are a whimsical amalgamation of bubbles, laughter and DIY jewelry kits, donning fun patterns like bobo prints or splotches of color with the elegant cowl neck neckline — look up vintage Plein Sud, vintage Betsey Johnson, or Fanci Club to see more. While some completely sheer dresses will be popular again and intentionally worn with undergarments like barrettes and high-waisted underwear/boy shorts, it’s also about semi-sheer, where outlines of your legs or your silhouette only come through in the sunlight during the most seductive times of day. 

The half moon nail is rumored to come back, taking inspiration directly from Old Hollywood amidst the release of films about these golden age stars, like Ana de Armas’ soon to be released biopic on Marilyn Monroe. And, with the rise of sultry, there will continue to be an emphasis on the doe-eyed-Lily-Rose Depp-coquette makeup look, often using neutral or base color palettes like those from Dior’s Backstage collection. But, I have a small hunch blue eyeshadow is coming back soon. 

Some other great accessories having their moments are chunky heart necklaces, lockets and straw/weaved bags. My obsessions as of right now are the horny heart from Muddpearl and With Jéan’s latest jewelry drop. A more affordable option to check out is 67 jewelry. Want a smaller everyday necklace? Vintage lockets a la Lana Del Rey are rising in popularity, specifically through American author Ottessa Moshfegh’s Depop page, as she often ships them with a sweet message inside the lockets such as “everything will be okay” or “you are a genius!” Still not sold on the weaved bag? Some great inspiration comes from Prada’s free bag (with purchase) they have given at select stores and Emilio Pucci’s new basket bag with a detachable scarf tote inside it. You might disagree with me on this, but according to, the work of Harvard graduate Madé Lapuerta, the basket bag has seen a 120% rise in popularity recently. 

What are your thoughts on these trends? Happy, or about to call the fashion police? Regardless, the best part is that trends come and go, and you won’t be reported to Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for not following them. Go forth and trailblaze with confidence, little fashionistas!

Hadyn Phillips is a sophomore writing about fashion in the 21st century, specifically spotlighting students and popular controversy.