Not to be cliché about it, but fall is arguably the best time of year for getting dressed. Period. It’s the layering, the boots, the sweaters, the cool-enough-to-wear-a-jacket, warm-enough-to-not-wear-three-pairs-of-pants kind of weather. And for Cosmo shopping editor Kim Duong, it’s also a time to step outside your comfort zone and perhaps try on a totally unfamiliar aesthetic altogether.
“Especially with working remotely this past year, it’s so easy to feel like you’re in a rut,” Duong says. “So when I get dressed and go outside, it’s an opportunity to maybe put on a new character or something.” She’s not necessarily talking costumes, but rather the excitement that comes from piecing looks together that evoke a whole new vibe. In the outfits ahead, Duong channels comfortable slickness in full-body leather, mixes up her favorite fashion heroes in unexpected silhouettes, and embraces her inner prep-school kid with some sportier trends. Together with Vionic—the footwear brand famous for its Three-Zone Comfort footbed technology—Duong polished off each look with super cute (and supportive!) shoes that can keep up with any of her autumnal outings.
Take a closer look at the three ways this editor is taking her fall style to the next level, and how to copy her outfits for yourself.
Play Up ~Luxe~ Textures
“Doubling down on super soft materials like leather and shearling is perfect for fall, and this season I’m going all in. The pieces in this head-to-toe leather look are all so soft and comfortable, but the same time, still tailored so that they have some edge.
When mixing pieces with texture, the easiest thing for me is to approach it with a color palette I can stick to. For this look, it’s mostly neutrals with a slight pop of color on the ice- blue shoe. The colors work together and feel harmonized, and the shearling detail on the Vionic loafers is an unexpected twist that takes it to the next level.
My work life doesn’t dictate a strict dress code, so I would wear this outfit to run into the office or to an appointment because it’s fun but not too in-your-face. And it’s seriously comfy. These pants are so soft and the shoes are ones you could walk around in all day. I could definitely sit at my desk or head to appointments for eight hours and feel great.”
Mix Up the Classics
“Fall never feels like it lasts very long. So I’m going to try to wear my favorite pieces as much as possible. Layering up a cool dress with a sweater and boots is a great way to do that. A classic black bootie paired with a bold, oversized silhouette is something I’m really leaning into and owning this season. Yeah, there’s not much shape, but it’s fun!
Because this look is so flowy and roomy, I think going with a shoe that has a heel adds a little feminine flair. These Vionic boots give the outfit a more balanced shape. Also, the color of the sweater and the dress are so bold, it makes sense to go with a more neutral, understated shoe like your classic fall bootie.
My dream every fall is to go upstate and go apple or pumpkin picking. I just want to go on a little road trip and explore the towns and this is definitely an outfit I see myself doing that in.”
Go for Prep Style
“This year, I’m really leaning into the preppy aesthetic. Growing up Asian American in Tennessee, the idea of prim-and-proper New England style was kind of a joke to me, but now that appeal is real.
If I see a very tailored-looking piece, like the classic pleated mini skirt, I’ll look for ways to tone it down and make it look more casual with some sportier items. Going with a sneaker for this look was the obvious choice—with a mini skirt, heels can be very aughts, which I love too, but not for my day-to-day style. These comfy Vionic sneakers bring the look back into the now, plus the subtle floral print on the sides feels like a step above your standard athletic pairs.
This sporty outfit is great for weekends in the city. Obviously, I’m not going to play ball (I’m the least athletic person in sneakers). But for bopping around, browsing some shops, and getting an afternoon drink somewhere outside in the leaves, it’s an easy upgrade to my weekend look.”
Art Direction by Mandi Hayes; Styling by Sachiko Clyde; Photography by Vanessa Granda; Hair by Song Hee; Makeup by Jennifer Nam.