Pumpkin Spice: The Ultimate Fall Palette

Non-basic clothing, even if you do love basic coffee.

It’s official, we are well into the “brrrr” months (September, October, November…), and along with that chill in the air comes something many have been waiting for all year: pumpkin spice. It is undeniably everywhere you turn. Commercials, menus, your local coffee bar, your local actual bar (you know, the one that’s currently serving on the sidewalk)—pumpkin spice has become the most unlikely 21st-century phenomenon, the one you never knew you wanted until you were told you did.

This craze can be traced to one particular mermaid-branded caffeine slinger that has been dealing in PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes, obv.) since the early 2000s. But—hold on to your candy corns!—it doesn’t stop there; pumpkin spice is a $600 million a year industry. For such a moneymaker, though, pumpkin spice is rather divisive. For some, the mere suggestion of a PSL can trigger a gag reflex, recalling assorted jack-o’-lantern guttings of their youth.

Whether you love pumpkin spice or loathe it, one thing we can all agree on is that the colors surrounding PSL season are what we crave. Those deep, rich hues, taking their cues from the turning leaves, are what autumn is really all about. They instantly bring to mind all of one’s northeastern collegiate fantasies, those of Love Story and The Way We Were, of tailgates and crisp homecoming weekends, of apple picking and over-the-river-and-through-the-woods going. Colors that, let’s face it, never emerge from the depths of your closet but for this small sliver of time. So, in honor of these fleeting fall fashions, let’s raise a PSL and toast to the hues to have.

Play With Texture

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Keep those lazy-Sunday feels going all season long by pairing silky slipdresses with snuggly oversize teddy-bear coats. Your look will be ready for the streets even if your head is still in the sheets.

Pumpkin spice fashion

(Image credit: Tyler Joe)

FIRST IMAGE: Stella McCartney coat, $3,275. SECOND IMAGE: Loewe dress, $4,600; Celine shoes, $1,550.

Leather Weather

Sure, you’ve heard of leather and lace, but leather and leaves? Foliage prints are given a jolt of rock ’n’ roll attitude with a layer of leather.

Pumpkin spice fashion

(Image credit: Tyler Joe)

FIRST IMAGE: Fendi coat, $6,900, shirt, $1,190, and skirt, $3,980; Longchamp boots, $1,165. SECOND IMAGE: Balenciaga dress, $5,900.

From the Inside Out

Pile on the seasonal hues, starting with your base layer, all the way up to your finishing touches—the perfect “right now” wardrobe.

Pumpkin spice fashion

(Image credit: Tyler Joe)

FIRST IMAGE: Miu Miu coat, $2,950, dress, $3,350, and belt, $550. SECOND IMAGE: Salvatore Ferragamo shirt, $760, pants, $3,600, and belt, $525.

Ready for Anything

Zip into an always practical (and always fashionable) fall-colored bomber and grab your matching bag. You’ll be good to go, whatever might come your way.

Pumpkin spice fashion

(Image credit: Tyler Joe)

FIRST IMAGE: Sacai coat, $1,655, and boots, $1,550. SECOND IMAGE: Anna Sui cape, $684, dress, $609, and bag, $275.

Photographer: Tyler Joe | Fashion Editor: J. Errico | Model: Anastasia Offutt at State Mgmt. | Hair: Francis Catanese for Contact NYC | Makeup: Claudia Lake at Contact NYC for MAC | Prop Stylist: Miako Katoh


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Joseph Errico

Joseph Errico is Marie Claire’s Fashion Director. As a career-long fashion editor and celebrity stylist, he has had the opportunity to work alongside the world’s top image makers and talent. He has styled editorial and advertising, red carpet, music videos, fashion shows and writes about fashion, culture and most anything bon vivant-y for marieclaire.com. He feels most at home in an airport lounge, a beach, a disco or gossiping front row at the collections. His blood type is Gaultier.