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Ask anyone around the StyleBlueprint offices, and they’ll agree: Fall is the most fun season to dress in the South, blessing us with mild temperatures, a stunning backdrop of changing leaves, and so many events — tailgates, parents’ welcome weekends, festivals, weddings, and community fundraisers. But we also know that transitional Southern weather can be a challenge, and keeping up with evolving trends can sometimes feel more like work than play. So for the coming season, we invited creative Southern women to share what they’re excited to wear this fall. As we pored over the submissions, a few trends quickly emerged!

Elevated Casual

For more casual events like open houses, parents’ welcome weekends, and tailgate parties, we’re looking to sophisticated touches that elevate otherwise casual looks. Think dimensional layers, statement belts, and chic monochromatic pairings.

What to wear to fall events: Blonde woman in wide leg pants and layered top

Ann Trammell Newton, owner of Embellish boutique in Chattanooga and Atlanta personal styling service A.T. Style, has us smitten with fall layers all over again. This look — a vegan leather top layered over a striped turtleneck, perched atop dark, wide-leg denim — translates beautifully to just about any casual fall occasion. Check out Embellish on Instagram. Image: Ann Trammell Newton

Billie Hilliard in high waist jeans and vest

Atlanta jewelry designer and branding consultant Billie Hilliard reminds us that, this season, vests are the new blazer, and high-waisted flares are definitely back. She wears a wide-brim hat for protection from the elements, and her look is complete with a set of chunky bracelets. (With stunning original pieces worn by the likes of Beyoncé and Tracee Ellis Ross, Billie definitely knows her jewelry.) Follow Billie on Instagram. Image: Billie Hilliard

What to wear to fall events: Blonde woman in sweater set and statement belt

Suzanne Crook, one of two visionaries behind Carden Avenue jewelry, is pictured here wearing Gus Mayer Nashville. A sleek approach to the sweater set, this neutral look is beautifully offset by a snake print statement belt. For new product updates and more inspiration, follow Gus Mayer Nashville on Instagram. Image: Gus Mayer Nashville

Woman in smocked maternity dress

A smocked dress in a neutral autumn color palette, like the one pictured here from Tiff.Marie Maternity, is a staple that can easily be dressed up or down with thoughtfully chosen accessories. Tiff.Marie Maternity is a mom-run online boutique, with its only brick-and-mortar studio located in Nashville, TN. Follow Tiff.Marie on Instagram. Image: Ashlee Cole Photography

What to wear to fall events: Two women in white jeans and shoes dressed for tailgating

Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day? Lindsey Catone and Blakely Whitehead of Willow Park Boutique in Marietta, GA, are pictured here in a monochromatic pairing of white jeans and shoes — with team colors up top! Follow them on Instagram. Image: Willow Park

RELATED: 5 Shoes Your Fall Wardrobe Needs

Dresses in Prints + Bold Colors

Don’t shy away from bold colors and patterns this season! Both are welcome at events of all kinds, but we noticed more than a few standout dresses in gorgeous look-at-me patterns and shades.

Tracey Wiley in golf cart

New Orleans lifestyle influencer Tracey Wiley is leading the charge on bold prints this season with a timelessly chic pairing of black and white polka dots, finished with killer black pumps. Tracey offers up regular styling inspiration on her Instagram. Image: @hey_mari

What to wear to fall events: Blonde woman in bold printed outfit

Ann Trammell Newton, owner of Embellish boutique in Chattanooga and personal styling service A.T. Style in Atlanta, steals our hearts again in this vibrant pairing of complementary prints. A total show-stopper for cocktail parties and fundraisers. Image: Ann Trammell Newton

Billie Hilliard in vibrant yellow dress

Atlanta jewelry designer and branding consultant Billie Hilliard is a stunner in a bright yellow, floor-length dress. Imagine this hue against a backdrop of autumn oranges and browns! Follow Billie on Instagram. Image: Billie Hilliard

What to wear to fall events: Catherine Slade and Sallie Tolleson in Saint Simon maxi dresses

Welcome Catherine Slade and Sallie Tolleson, wearing looks from Saint Simon boutique Two Friends, owned by Marti Tolleson. These colorful dresses are perfect for weekend brunches and showers. Just look how beautifully they pair with mimosas! Follow Two Friends on Instagram. Image: DeVoss Photography

High Necklines

Flattering and approachable, high necklines are showing up in a big way this season. They add a sophisticated hint of romance to any look, dressy or casual.

Kimberly Lewis of Emerson Grace

Here, Kimberly Lewis of Emerson Grace boutique in Nashville showcases both a high neckline and a vibrant autumn hue. She pairs this look with a heel, perfect for the season’s cocktail parties, but we’re dying to see this dress with a leather boot, too! Kimberly shares some serious style inspo on Instagram: @emersongracenashville + @therealkimberlylewis | Image: Caroline Ponder

What to wear to fall events: Monica Farber high neck dress on rooftop

Monica Farber of Hello Fancy Media in Atlanta showcases the versatility of the high-neck, printed dresses that are showing up everywhere this season. Paired here with chunky combat boots, this dress would be just as at-home at a music festival as it would be with heels and sparkly earrings at a community fundraiser. Follow her on Instagram. Image: Monica Farber

Woman at horse track in high neck printed dress

Lexington, KY jewelry designer Lee Milward is pictured here in the eclectic fall outfit dreams are made of — high suede boots, a printed, high-neck dress, chunky statement jewelry, and a timeless leather clutch. See more from Lee on Instagram. Image: Erica Lee Photography

Julie McAllister in polka dot turtleneck dress

“I love a high-neck dress for the fall — it’s always so elegant and chic, but they can pass for the in-between casual events as well,” says Charleston Cake Designer Julie McAllister. “I love a pattern that is tweaked for the season, just by changing the colors — for spring, I tend to have a lot of prints with small white polka dots, but for elevated fall, I adore this deeper blue high neck blouse dress with a black polka dot pattern.” Check out Julie’s cakes on Instagram. Image: Chia Chong Photography

RELATED: 3 Southern Dress Designers Creating Classic, Feminine Looks

LBD with a Twist

Black dresses never go out of style, but this season, we’re especially inspired by LBD’s with a special twist — a striking embellished sleeve, a subtle pattern overlay, or a statement accessory.

What to wear to fall events: Monica Faber in black and glitter dress

A self-proclaimed “sucker for all that glitters,” Monica Farber of Atlanta’s Hello Fancy Media is elevating her LBD this season with a sparkly embellished sleeve, a fabulous way to infuse a little fun into an otherwise muted color palette. Follow her on Instagram. Image: Monica Farber

Wells Maley of Swells of Splendor

Wells Maley of Swells of Splendor makes use of one of her signature whimsical prints to add a pop of interest to her little black dress. A UGA alum herself, Wells points out that, by the way, this red poppy print is the perfect UGA red, making this a fun look for tailgates and cocktail parties alike. See more on Instagram. Image: Candy Maley

What to wear to fall events: Wedding guest in black dress with subtle polka dot pattern

Jewelry designer Maureen Grable of M Donohue Collection loves this LBD, elevated by a delicate lace overlay and embroidered white flowers. It’s classically elegant, with subtle feminine touches — perfect for evening weddings! Follow M Donohue Collection on Instagram. Image: Elsa Gonzales

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Many of this season’s submissions were received from members and alumni of The Southern Coterie, a fabulous collective of creative women in the South. The Southern C promotes community among passionate female entrepreneurs, offering opportunities for learning and collaboration. Check them out here!

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