Though the runways for Spring/Summer 2021 have looked a bit different this year (ICYMI, nearly all of them went virtual.) the Fall/Winter 2020 runways were a sartorial—and in-person—delight. Since we aren’t getting to have the same experiences with the 2021 shows, we might as well take full advantage of what the runways predicted we’d see this fall—and in particular, all the gorgeous fall dress trends already starting to pop up. If you didn’t really pay much attention to the 2020 runway shows for Fall/Winter 2020, have no fear. We took a good, long look at what designers will be offering in the next several months and put together a list of eight different dress trends we’ll all see throughout fall of 2020.
Whether you’re someone who likes to plan out their wardrobes based on the trends or you just like to know what trends you’ll likely see all over Instagram, the fall dresses are a fantastic place to start. While it might sometimes feel like dresses have their moments to shine in the spring and summer, we’re here to declare that fall dresses are seriously underrated. In most places, the weather doesn’t even begin to cool off until mid-fall, so wearing dresses don’t even require tights for most of the season. You can just don a mini dress and booties all day, then add an oversized cardigan when the temperatures drop at night. And then, when the weather does cool off, there are so many high-neck and long dresses that’ll keep you nice and warm even while you’re out picking pumpkins. Fall dresses are low-key one of the best clothing options for the season—full stop.
Sure, jeans, leggings and oversized sweaters are all fall staples, but once you feast your eyes upon on all the amazing fall dress trends for 2020, you won’t be able to resist swapping out your classic fall looks with some of these frocks. From the runways of Carolina Herrera, Prada, Balenciaga and more, there are so many fall dress trends of which to be aware. For 2020, you’ll see statement sleeves, oversized ruffles and fringe galore—an endless supply of cool details that instantly elevate any dress.These trends are big, bold and most of all, statement-making.
To give you a peek into what amazing fashion fall 2020 has in store for us all, we rounded up eight of the chicest fall dress trends below. You’ll find runway iterations and ways to shop them all from some of your favorite brands. Before you know it, you might find that dresses are your new go-to fall wardrobe pick.
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1. Bling Bling
The fall 2020 dress trends want you to stand out this season. Frocks covered in bling are going to be everywhere this autumn—as seen on runways like Balenciaga’s FW 2020 show—so get ready to steal the spotlight. Whether its sequins, metallic hues or sparkly fabrics, fall 2020’s dresses are majorly statement-making.
The cut-out detail on this sequin-covered dress is seriously sexy. Pair this frock with your favorite black or gold heels, and you’re good to go.
This sequin mini dress is an easy fall option for nights you want to stand out—from the club to a late night cocktail party. If the weather is too chilly for a mini, just add some sheer black tights!
2. The New LBD
The LBD is getting a fall upgrade thank to runways like Oscar de la Renta’s, folks. Forget “little”—the new LBD is the Long Black Dress, with elegant flare and styles perfect for cooler weather. Your nighttime looks are going to be so, so sultry. The best part? Long black dresses can stay casual (paired with your favorite sneakers, obvs) if you’re not into a more formal ensembles. There’s no wrong way to try this dress trend, so treat yourself to the new LBD.
For a look you can easily dress up or down depending on the occasion, try this long black dress from Amazon Essentials. You can keep it casual for low-key evenings or elevate the frock with your favorite heels and a little bling.
This black ruched gown is ready to join you at the swankiest fall parties. Just add a cocktail.
3. Fringe Benefit
We saw fringe pieces all over the Fall/Winter 2020 runways, but perhaps the most prevalent was within the Prada runway show. The designer’s latest collection was filled to the brim with gorgeous fringe, and it’s already become one of the coolest fall 2020 trends to date. Autumn’s dresses are all getting elevated with this swoon-worthy detail, and we can’t wait to wear it all season long.
The 1920s are alive and well with this gold fringe dress. I can practically hear Gatsby’s part in the background.
The little bit of fringe at the bottom of this sexy black dress is a game-changer.
4. Red Hot
One of the hottest trends to come out of Fall/Winter 2020 Fashion Week was the red dress. Fiery looks showed up on runway after runway (including Valentino’s stunning show), proving that the red dress will never get old. Whether it’s a red mini, a red bodycon dress or a red slip dress, there are so many easy ways to rock the red hot trend this fall.
Perfect for everything from an office party to a chic holiday cocktail hour, this little red dress will serve you well in the fall—all the way through winter. Sometimes, simplicity is your friend.
Hello, flare sleeves! This hot red dress is definitely going to make you stand out at any fall soiree.
5. You’re A Doll
Hi, hello, and welcome to the throwback trend of the moment: the babydoll dress. With some sleek 2020 upgrades, doll-like and babydoll dresses have made their way back onto runways like Ulla Johnson’s—and subsequently, back into your favorite retailers. These flow-y frocks are set to be huge this fall, so we might as well lean into the easy, breezy and adorable style.
Your favorite oversized white button down, but make it a babydoll dress. This pick from Danielle Bernstein will take you through fall and all way through next summer, too.
For something a little more playful and casual, try this Wild Fable floral babydoll dress. Add some chunky booties for a fall touch and you’re set.
6. Strong Arm
We’ve seen puffy sleeves make their way into nearly every retailer’s offering this past year, and the statement sleeve isn’t going anywhere for fall. The puff sleeve has already been seen on so many summery dresses, but now it’s getting an autumn-ready upgrade, thanks to runways like the Dries van Noten show. Expect to see statement sleeves on all the cutest fall dresses this season.
For Love & Lemons always kills it, but this puff-sleeve mini dress is particularly good. The floral pattern paired with ruching and statement sleeves? Iconic.
For something with a less-obvious puff, this fall-ready Free People dress will let you get the statement sleeve look in a more casual way.
7. Life Is The Bubbles
Apparently everything is having a comeback, because along with babydoll dresses, bubble dresses are trending for fall 2020. We saw a blue, feathery, bubbly beaut on the JW Anderson runway, and it was a sight. The interpretation on this one is a bit loose—and some babydoll dresses are often also considered bubble dresses—but if you see that tucked-under hem, safe to say it’s a bubble dress. Try this trend with some chunky booties or dress it up with heels for an early aughts prom vibe.
If you’re not totally sold on the bubble dress trend, opt for a barely-there bubble hem. This green floral dress features a a slight bubble detail at the bottom, and it’s an easy way to test out the look.
A baby pink bubble hem mini dress? Yes, please. This cute little number is fun for all seasons.
8. Don’t Ruffle My Feathers
Bring back those ’80s bridesmaid dress vibes, baby. Ruffles are popping up in myriad fall and winter 2020 collections, thanks to runways like Carolina Herrera’s. We’re already seeing so many dresses with oversized ruffles, tiered ruffles and fun ruffly details, so you might as well get on board this season. Go maximalist with it or keep it simple—either way, these ruffle details will make you look cute AF for fall.
Honestly, having the coziest wardrobe possible for 2020 is a must. This Cable Stitch ruffle sweatshirt dress is truly the exact kind of comfortable-but-cute look we all need in our lives right now.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is this Norma Kamali houndstooth dress. Sleek, elegant and with a touch of ruffles on the bottom, you can’t go wrong.
A version of this article was originally published on July 16, 2020.