From left Puppets and Puppets Photo Rodin Banica  Getty Images Etro Photo Filippo Fior Louis Vuitton Photo...
From left: Puppets and Puppets, Photo: Rodin Banica / Getty Images; Etro, Photo: Filippo Fior /; Louis Vuitton, Photo: Armando Grillo /; Dolce & Gabbana, Photo: Daniele Oberrauch /; Burberry, Photo: Courtesy of Burberry

Say Hello to Real Life: The 11 Accessory Trends From Fall 2023 You’ll Actually Wear

The fall 2023 season wrapped up last week, and one of the things we noticed is that more and more designers are crafting narratives not just with their seasonal collections but with their brand identity. It means that overarching themes extend from one season to the next, so many of the trends from spring—like gloves, shoes with embellished details, and even little socks—continued on to fall in one way or another. 

This season there is both a desire to recognize the way we’re living and dressing in real life and a wish to imbue that reality with special details. It can be seen as a reaction to a world that threatens to fall apart around us—Undercover’s Jun Takahashi zeroed in on the lyrics of a song by the Specials that goes, “Enjoy yourself / It’s later than you think,” and Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada paired bridal skirts with gray cashmere sweaters as a way to emphasize the importance of love, or rather the action of committing to love. “Why should this celebration of love be for only a single day?” asked Simons.

What does all this translate to when it comes to accessories? It means that the return of the pointy toe, a symbol of a specific kind of femininity, coexists with a practical, combat-boot-inspired lace-up style. It means lady bags that dangled from an extended wrist but also oversized bags carried under your arm as a form of protection (of them or yourself, it’s not clear). It means there is no longer a reason to suffer for the sake of fashion, whether you wrap yourself in an enveloping scarf or simply refuse to give up your eyeglasses (like so many teen movies have encouraged us to do to reveal the babe within). So go ahead, indulge yourself. You deserve it. 

Saint Laurent, Etro

All Wrapped-Up

At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello sent out glamazons in jackets with extra-wide shoulders wrapped in even bigger shawls. At Etro, an oversized scarf was a sign of a carefree bohemian lifestyle, and at Giorgio Armani it was a throwback to the glamour of Old Hollywood. Any way you twist it, the scarf is the accessory of the season—can the return of the pashmina be far behind?


Well Appointed

This isn’t the moment for the sweetness of the girly round toe. As women’s rights continue to erode, the sharply pointed pump is an invitation for women to own their sexuality and find and exert their power. 

Bottega Veneta, Puppets and Puppets

Handle with Care

This season’s handbags are all about their handles. Sculpted in sometimes intricate, sometimes simple shapes, they take on the look of cuffs or bracelets as bags rest on your wrist or hang from your hands. Be it Bottega Veneta’s fish shape or Puppets and Puppets’ old-school telephone receiver, a fancy handle can add a dose of whimsy to your everyday life.

A Higher Power

For power and practicality, nothing beats an over-the-knee boot—except, that is, for a thigh-high style. The perfect pair is a bit slouchy and slightly taller than the skirt—or coat—it’s worn with.


Precious Metals

Be they in silver or gold—or silver and gold, as in the case of Gucci’s reissue of a 2003 Horsebit bag—metallic purses do double duty: They carry your essentials and also act as a shot of dopamine to get you through your day. 


Soft Footing

There’s something very tender about enveloping your feet in soft faux fur as you go about your day. On the sandal silhouettes we saw this season though, it was less about warmth—the material’s practical use—than a feeling of softness that stands against the hardness of the world.

Miu Miu, Stella McCartney

Carry Things Close

Fall’s biggest bags weren’t slung from the shoulder but clutched under the arm. Are they protecting you, or are you protecting the bag? 

Fendi, Christian Dior

Made for Walking

Whether combat style, buckled, or hiking inspired, a lace-up boot is an essential part of the fall wardrobe. They’re good for getting around in, of course, but the truth is designers simply love to ground feminine silhouettes with a great pair of boots.

Dolce & Gabbana, Rev

Seeing Red

For reasons we can’t quite discern, a pair of red tights is the de facto accessory of the moment. They anchored gauzy gowns at Dolce & Gabbana and office-ready short suits at Theory; they showed up underneath sheer silk slip skirts at Gucci and oversized layers at Lemaire. Are they a sign of our inner rage? Or are they simply an easy way to add color to your wardrobe? 


Blow Up the Logo

Designers are embracing inconspicuous consumption with bags that take the shape of their house signatures, like Chanel’s camellia clutch or Thom Browne’s update of the forgotten classic that is an office wall clock. Logomania is dead; long live logomania.

Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga

20/20 Vision

Eyeglasses are shorthand for wanting to see clearly, for seeking out uncomfortable truths. It’s strange to consider eyeglasses, a necessity for those who wear them, as a runway trend, we know, but it’s even weirder to think that models wearing glasses is an extremely rare occurrence. At Louis Vuitton, they seemed like a symbol of looking to the future—hopeful.