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If there's a key takeaway from the Fall 2021 runways in Milan, it's that life after lockdown will be anything but boring. Designers suggest we should invest in retro clubwear and party-ready metallics. Meanwhile, those opposed to flashy going-out clothes can pick up a neutral-colored get-up or a practical poncho come September — as those, too, emerged as major trends for the season.

As proceedings in Paris are already underway, we'll make this one short: Here's a cheat sheet to the nine Fall 2021 trends that came out on top during Milan Fashion Week.

Anti-Basic Puffers

Functional and fun, puffers for Fall 2021 are anything but basic. Marni showed several unique shapes of the insulated jacket — think puffer capes — while MSGM went for bold colors and Robert Cavalli played with puffy animal prints. 

Exposed Shoulders

Plan on covering everything up this fall except your shoulders: Designers in Milan dared to bare the all-important joint with several off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder garments. Turns out a hint of décolletage is a sure-fire way to subvert traditional formalwear. 

Fringe Hem 

Call it the "Bottega Effect" or just chalk it up to a stringy-trim coincidence, but Daniel Lee's fringe-hem frenzy has made its way onto coats and dresses at Fendi, No. 21 and Beatrice B, to name a few. 

Modern Metallics 

The lack of parties and red carpets has definitely whet our sartorial appetite for glitz and glamour. Luckily, the Italians — who excel at fulfilling both our clothing and food cravings — are leading the shiny charge with futuristic metallic suits, gilded skirts and chainmail gowns. 

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Neutral Tonal Dressing 

Calming, nature-inspired colors took over the runways in Milan. The earthy, go-with-everything hues were skillfully mixed-and-matched for a welcome lesson on neutral tonal dressing. 


Electric slime green is officially out and a more natural shade of olive is in. This rich tone was a popular choice for luxe suede and plush fur outerwear. It also cropped up on buttery leather separates, as well as knits. 


A carryover from last fall, ponchos are still having a moment. The protective topper appeared in Salvatore Ferragamo's cold-weather lineup as a clear biodegradable PVC outer garment, and in Missoni's as a patterned knit. 

Retro Clubwear

Remember clubs? We don't really either, but designers in Milan are helping to jog our memory by referencing retro going-out clothes for Fall 2021. Italian labels turned up and turned back the time with shimmery ruched halter dresses paired with '70s-style shaggy fur coats. 

Rugby Stripes

A nod to European athleisure and Princess Diana, rugby stripes, as well as actual rugby shirts, were spotted in Milan. The look is sporty with just a touch of country-club privilege. 

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