How to Wear the Latest Fall Hair Accessories (Without Looking Like a Fashion Victim)

The tricks to stepping up your game without looking like you tried too hard (or at all!).

The few weeks following Fashion Month are the best time to sit and ruminate—and in most cases, distill—the flurry of sartorial activity that just went past. To wit: We’re met with Top 10 lists and “Best of” rundowns galore, a.k.a. a fashion and beauty lover’s dream. But even though these well-meaning summaries indeed help us do away with the chaff, few actually take the time to workshop how exactly to incorporate these new trends into our current wardrobes; oftentimes it’s as patronizing as slapping on a photo on a page, as glossy and aspirational as they come, and telling us mere mortals to literally “cop this next big thing.” However, particularly with this year’s crop of hats and fall hair accessories, which are, even compared to other seasons, rather conceptual and acutely “retro,” a bit of deconstruction is in order.

The trick to not being a fashion victim? Remember that what you see in social media, especially at events like these, isn’t necessarily real life-friendly. Another thing we tend to forget, especially while jealously scrolling through our fave bloggers’ feeds, is that so-called street style stars dress editorially, for an audience, for a living. Their livelihood literally depends on them taking it up several notches; other people IRL are a tad more reductive, and the savviest, most stylish people usually take these trends with a grain of salt (at least for the 9 to 5), with respect to practical concerns, such as a snowy/rainy commute or several hours in an office.

But not that we’re relegated to living lives of drudgery either! Scroll on as we help navigate the waters and find the best ways to wear this year’s fall hair accessories, without the headache of figuring out how to mix and match the latest trends. Leave all that street style frustration at the door, sit back, relax and leave the fashion math to us:

1. Stick to a fave, and find a seasonal “uniform.”

One of the simplest (not to mention, most economical) ways to massage in a new trend is to pick a style, and commit to it for as many outfits as possible. If you find yourself gravitating to the season’s newsboy caps, choose the style you can maximize with a lot of items in your wardrobe, which helps make you transition more seamlessly between seasons and even give you a fun underlying theme or uniform for the months to come.

fall hair accessories chained newsy
Choosing a standout accessory for the season helps avoid fashion overkill. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories black classic newsy
Find a classic cut and shape that can work with multiple outfits. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Go monochrome.

As we’re sure you’ve heard, matchy-matchy is IN, and that extends to your accoutrements as well. The easiest way to nail this approach is to choose fall hair accessories in your fave neutral—like charcoal gray, khaki or taupe, for example—and dress around that color family. Streamlining your look gives it polish and gives even high-street items a luxe feel.

fall hair accessories bucket hat navy
Blue (royal, cobalt and navy) is the warmest color this fall… at least as far as we’re concerned. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories brown camo
A mocha topper pulls together a slew of browns, taupes and khakis and yes, camo. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories charcoal gray
Grays are one of the most versatile, nuanced neutrals, with each tone serving up so much texture. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

 3. Embrace some quirk, but keep it to 2 pieces max.

This season’s hottest retro-inspired pieces, like the beret, require a bit of laissez-faire to pull off. The charm lies in embracing the quirk and having fun with it. In short, make like its French roots and don’t take it too seriously, else you rob your outfit of its lighthearted appeal. Looking to pair it with a belted shirtdress, or a swingy tennis skirt? Go for it. Tip: Stick to one or two “themed” pieces to not risk going full method; maybe pass on the striped breton tee and cropped capris (and, needless to say, the baguette sticking out of your grocery bag). You’re not at a costume party!

fall hair accessories black beret
A thoughtful accessory is one that harmonizes with the rest of an outfit without being corny or resorting to a cliché. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories white beret
Whites for fall? White not? Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories leather beret
Leather + sheer ornate print = low-key, classy sex appeal. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Give your separates some context.

Avoid making that statement piece the dreaded elephant in the room—your fall hair accessories are there to punctuate your outfit and make you feel fierce, not awkward, out-of-touch or thirsty for attention. A floppy hat looks fabulous when paired with a cozy cape top on a brisk, autumn day, just as a more casual dad hat-and-jeans combo is a cool, foolproof downtown formula. Ask yourself if your outfit combination makes sense to you in real life, then spice it up from there.

fall hair accessories floppy hat
Big hats look better structured with looser tops. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com
fall hair accessories dad hat
Bright caps can spiff up your everyday pieces like jeans and button-downs. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com