Fall Is Here It's About to Be a Charlotte York Fall The Fall Issue
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It's About to Be a Charlotte York Fall

This Sex and the City–inspired look is bound to take off.

There's no denying this summer belonged to Carrie Bradshaw. With #FashionTok It girls rediscovering her go-to summer outfit formula (Patricia Field's genius combo of athletic shorts, a breezy blouse, and heels) and Carrie-inspired curl tutorials blossoming on For You Pages everywhere, it was clear Sex and the City’s relevance as one of the all-time great sources of outfit inspiration has yet to wane.

But as warm weather subsides and the leaves start to show their true colors, I'm predicting a new style star from everyone's favorite fictional brunch quad will inform your fashion choices. That's right: It's about to be a Charlotte York fall.

Fall Is Very Charlotte-Coded

If Carrie is the messy, sexy embodiment of summer style, Charlotte is the stealth-wealth hero we deserve for autumn. Arguably, it's already happening. The industry's recent embrace of quirky prep and quiet luxury meant that Charlotte York signatures like headbands, cardigans, and sophisticated handbags were all over the F/W 23 collections. From Miu Miu's sexily prim sweater sets (paired with Charlotte-approved black-and-white polka dots, no less) to gallery-ready outerwear from Loewe, runways this season felt very Charlotte-coded, with plenty of old money polish and luxe minimalism to satisfy any Smith graduate.

Collage of Charlotte York headband and white coat in Sex and the City

Getty Images

Celebrities have gotten in on the Charlotte York action too. It almost feels like there was some sort of secret meeting (my invite must've been lost in the mail) where all the famous fashion darlings collectively decided to pare down the Instagram-bait maximalism and pump up the timeless elegance in their closets. Case in point, Kylie and Kendall Jenner swapping bodycon for A-lines that would make even Bunny MacDougal proud. Consider how Sofia Richie Grainge's Park Avenue–worthy Instagram feed captured so many hearts, minds, and wallets these past months. Oh, and let's not forget the stir Jennifer Lawrence and her stylist, Jamie Mizrahi, caused with her gallerist-goes-to-Bergdorfs energy on the actress's most recent press tour.

Remind you of anyone? A certain Park Avenue–obsessed single should immediately come to mind.

Why You Should Embrace Your Inner Park Avenue Gallerist

Of course, the secret to Charlotte's enduring appeal is that her '90s minimalism still manages to feel fun. Yes, she loves an all-black moment (she does buy and sell art for a living, after all), but she knows when to add a pop of red (another trend that dominated collections during fashion month), a quirky accessory (see Charlotte's recurring cherry theme), or a classic bag in a fun color (never forget her pink Hermès favorite) to take a look to the next level. It's elegance with personality. It's headbands and pearls, yes, but it's also structured tube tops and interesting necklines. It's Patricia Field–approved prep, and it's time: Charlotte's wardrobe deserves its moment in the fashion spotlight.

Now, before you start doom-scrolling on Pinterest or filling up your Net-a-Porter cart, allow me to let you in on a little secret. The Charlotte York approach to fashion is actually very anti-fashion. There's no need to go out and buy a matching tweed suit or a giant pink headband. Her style is about restraint, classic silhouettes, and having a little fun with what you already own.

Collage of Charlotte York wearing pink dress, bucket hat, and hoodie

Getty Images

The Charlotte York Fashion Formula

Here's what I call the "Charlotte York fashion formula." First, build an outfit of head-to-toe classics. Think of pieces your parents or grandparents probably owned at some point, staples that have been in your closet for at least five years, or so-called "boring" wardrobe building blocks like turtleneck sweaters, pleated skirts, and studs. Then, pick one element to replace. It can be your earrings, your hat, or even your dress. But, whatever you choose, you have to replace it with something unexpected.

It might sound overly simple, but the 'fits don't lie. Peep-toe heels, silver hoops, Burberry plaid, and… an ombre dress? Jean jacket, hot rolled curls, a white button-up, and… a floral bucket hat? Black headband, black cardigan, floral studs, and.... a white tube top? Each of her greatest hits follows the same logic: classic, classic, classic, and unexpected.

Woman wearing pin stripes and gold hoops

@lady_hadeline / Instagram

My Charlotte York outfit formula

Like any good outfit formula, there are obvious exceptions, and like every easy-to-digest fashion "rule", it's meant to be broken. Still, the fact remains: The Charlotte York formula works, and it works well. My personal version is ballet flats, trousers, gold hoops, and… a silly little puffed-sleeved milkmaid top. It's fall classics all the way through except for the top, which, to be frank, makes zero sense with the rest of the ensemble. But that's part of its charm.

But don't just take my word for it. The genius of this concept is that whatever your style looks like, you can make the formula work. Maybe it's dusting off an old peacoat or resoling your favorite pair of loafers to pair with an asymmetrical dress. Perhaps, it's doing some girl math to justify that gold investment piece you've been eyeing (I can't stop thinking about this tennis necklace, but there are affordable options too) so you can wear it with a corset top and slacks. Either way, it's a great time to embrace your inner Charlotte York: 90% lady, 10% freak, and 100% ready to hit the streets.

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