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a Fall 2023 Color Trend & How to Prepare

#NSale 2023
July 18, 2023

I know, I know. We’re not ready for fall. We’re still enjoying the long, warm (hot?!?) days of summer. But it doesn’t hurt to think a little on the coming season and the fashions trends on the horizon. That way you can decide strategically which ones you’ll participate in. And you can build your wardrobe accordingly. So today I’m sharing a fall 2023 color trend I’m excited about how you can prepare to wear the colors that interest you.

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Yes, I am sharing recent purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…because that’s pretty much all the fall clothes out there. Ha! Plus, the sale is now open to everyone and it’s a great time to prepare your fall closet with some great buys.

But when I saw that some of my favorite brands were offering items in the fall 2023 color trend I had already decided to wear, I definitely included many of them in my NSale purchases. I won’t keep all of these. But I did put them on in my home and snapped photos to share with you.

The color trend? This deep, rich red that we’re going to be seeing everywhere this fall.


It’s not quite a wine or Bordeaux, but definitely richer and brighter than your everyday red. I love wearing true red, and have done so for years. But this fall and winter I plan to put most of those items away and wear this hue instead. I just felt like it was time to change things up a bit. Speaking of changes, I’ll also be wearing mauve this fall and winter, a color I’ve steered clear of in recent for years, why I do not know. So no true pink for me this year. I’m swapping in a rosy mauve I can pair with the Viva Magenta (as Pantone calls it) instead

By the way, since these are {mostly} Nordstrom Anniversary Sale finds, some are sold out. But keep checking in if you’re interested because returns are coming in and every day I see items restock, but usually only for a very limited window of time.

Red pants and sweater
stretch silk blouse (TTS) // tapered pull-on pants (TTS) (available in plus sizes) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks) // belt // earrings

Outfit Notes: Everything above fits true to size, but I am wearing the Vince tapered pull-on pants (TTS) (available in plus sizes) in a size large. The medium fit but just felt a bit uncomfortable, so I tried the large and may have them taken up a little.

But I realize that while I love this deep, intense red, not everyone will. So instead of me just showing you my red clothes (ha!), I thought I’d take you along with me by sharing how I’m preparing my closet to wear a new-to-me color or two. You can take these principles and apply them to the colors you choose to wear.

Red Pants and Silk Blouse
stretch silk blouse (TTS) // tapered pull-on pants (TTS) (available in plus sizes) // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks) // belt // earrings

Color Prep Step #1: Choose the colors you want to wear this fall.

I’m a firm believer in a limited color palette. That doesn’t mean I think there are colors you shouldn’t wear. Instead, I simply think it’s a good idea to narrow your own color selection in your closet for each season so that you can be more intentional with your selections and build a mix-and-matchable collection of clothes that really work for you.

tapered pull-on pants (TTS) (available in plus sizes) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // cap sleeve silk blend blouse // square toe ballet flat // earrings

So instead of just adding colors to my closet all willy-nilly, I generally select 3-5 colors I’ll wear for a season (or two) and 2-4 neutrals I’ll stick with. For fall and winter I’ve already chosen this deep red, mauve and lavender, all three of which are pretty new for me. I’ll also wear some shade of blue. And that will probably be it for the colors. My neutrals will be black, soft tan or camel, grey and brown. I tend to wear more neutrals than colors anyhow, so I’m fine with four colors and four neutrals.

Color Prep Step #2: Choose neutrals to wear with each color.

Once you settle on a color, make sure you also have neutrals in your closet that pair well with it. For instance, I know that this deep wine red will look nice with grey and black. But I’ve also discovered it looks nice with camel and even a dark chocolate brown.

gold top and red sweater
tapered pull-on pants (TTS) (available in plus sizes) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // cap sleeve silk blend blouse (TTS) // earrings

But I could also easily wear this vibrant red with navy.

Color Prep Step #3: Look for garments in a tone that works well with your coloring.

I really believe that most of us can wear any colors we enjoy (to a degree) as long as we look for those colors in tones that work well with our coloring and undertones. For instance, I love to wear camel. But I’ve noticed that camel comes in a wide range of tones from warm to neutral to cool. I look best in camel with a neutral undertone because I have neutral undertones. (See the camel or beige cap sleeve silk blend blouse above.)

dress with cardigan
top (also in plus sizes) (TTS) // skirt (TTS) // slingback flats (TTS) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // earrings

Likewise I look best in reds that have neutral to cool undertones, and I like to steer clear of reds with more of an orange cast.

Bottom line, make sure you collect items that are not just in the color of your choice, but also in the tone that works best for you. You might even want to create a few swatches to carry in your handbag so you won’t purchase items in the store that don’t really work with the others you have in your closet.

top (also in plus sizes) (TTS) // skirt (TTS) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // earrings

Outfit Notes: You may remember I showed this pretty surplice top and skirt in this previous blog post and this one. See how versatile it is because I’ve intentionally narrowed down my color palette for the season?

Color Prep Step #4: As you accumulate pieces in your color, be aware of the role they’ll play.

I don’t necessarily suggest you set out to purchase, say, two sweaters, one dress, one coat and one handbag in your color, although I guess you could. I think it’s hard to be that strategic, and maybe a little frustrating.

Mauve Jacket with skirt
skirt (TTS) // brown camp shirt (TTS) // similar pumps // leather jacket in moonlight pink (TTS) // earrings

But I do think it’s smart simply to pay attention to the things you’re adding to your closet so you don’t end up with five sweaters in that color, but no accessories or coats or jackets, etc. Ideally, you want a balance, especially if you really plan to wear that color a lot.

Color Prep Step #5: Think through how the chosen color will play with the other colors in your palette.

Every color in your wardrobe does not have to play well together. But it is nice to be able to pair each color with at least one other that will work nicely with it. For instance, I can wear this deep red with the soft mauve. And I imagine I’ll also be able to wear my lavender pieces with my blue ones.

Leather Jacket with Sweater
leather jacket in moonlight pink (TTS) // earrings // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // hemp & organic cotton tapered pants (Size Down; wearing a small)

So once you find a pairing that will work nicely, keep that pairing in mind as you develop your wardrobe. There’s no need to have every item in both colors. For instance, I have the mauve leather jacket above and that deep wine wool & cashmere cardigan shown below. So I don’t also need a mauve cardigan or deep red jacket.

Blouse and Cardigan
stretch silk blouse (TTS) // hemp & organic cotton tapered pants (Size Down; wearing a small) // wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // earrings // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks)

Color Prep Step #6: Don’t be afraid to go tonal. In fact, prepare for it!

Tonal or tone on tone dressing continues to be so on trend. And it’s very slenderizing and a little elevating as well. So I love to load on the color, stacking it in multiple textures and garments.

Red on Red
wool & cashmere cardigan (TTS) // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // hemp & organic cotton tapered pants (Size Down; wearing a small) // earrings // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks)

You can layer tees under jackets of the same color, dresses under coats, tops under cardigans, etc. And you can go tonal just up to, as I did above…

Skirt and Sweater
short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // skirt (TTS) // flats (TTS to a little large – wearing with these Sheec Socks) // earrings // bracelet

or top and bottom, as I showed above. One of the best tips for wearing tonal outfits is to vary the texture of the fabrics and throw in some accessories that also add balance and texture.

Skirt and Flats
skirt // flats (TTS to a little large – wearing with these Sheec Socks)

Color Prep Step #7: Don’t forget accessories.

Accessories help tie an outfit together, so it’s important to have at least a few accessories in the color you’re bringing into your wardrobe. I don’t have plans to purchase red shoes (but you never know!), but I think a smart red tote will really come in handy for pulling together outfits with my new deep red.

Accessorize with your color
leather jacket in moonlight pink (TTS) // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // hemp & organic cotton tapered pants (Size Down; wearing a small) // earrings // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks) // red tote

Of course you could certainly consider shoes in your color of choice. But also definitely think about scarves, socks and maybe jewelry in your color.

Color Prep Step #8: Consider how you’ll wear the color with jeans.

Maybe this step should have been earlier. Hmm. But the point is, especially if you wear denim frequently, you’ll want to give some consideration to how your new color will work with your jean selection. Some colors just work better with different washes, you know?

Think about Jeans
straight leg ankle jeans in faded black (Size Up) // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // red tote // earrings // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks)

I love how this wine red works with black and grey (or faded black) as shown above.

with blazer
straight leg ankle jeans in faded black (Size Up) // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // red tote // earrings // leather mules (TTS) (wearing with these half socks) // jersey blazer in storm cloud blue (TTS)

Outfit Notes: Those straight leg ankle jeans in faded black (Size Up) are one of my favorite purchases from the Anniversary Sale, and they are still available. They have a very on trend raw edge hemline and a classic straight leg silhouette. I’m wearing the outfit below with the jersey blazer in storm cloud blue, but the color really reads more soft grey.

jersey blazer in storm cloud blue
jersey blazer in storm cloud blue (TTS) // straight leg ankle jeans in faded black (Size Up) // short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS)

But I can also wear this deep red with blue jeans. I’ve paired it here with a lighter wash denim.

Lighter Wash Denim
short sleeve wool & alpaca blend sweater (TTS) // high waist straight leg jeans (no stretch; size up) // brown loafers // plaid zip trucker jacket

But I think, from taking this photo, that I will enjoy wearing the deep red more with darker wash jeans. I prefer a low contrast in intensity in my outfit composition. So to achieve that with this dark red, I’ll need to wear dark wash or black denim. So that’s the kind of consideration I’m talking about.

Color Prep Step #9: Don’t forget to add some prints!

Finally, don’t forget to add some prints to your closet that feature your chosen color. Having a few floral, stripe or plaid prints with your color will help stretch the use of your solids.

Don't forget Prints
plaid zip trucker jacket

And they’ll give your outfits more interest, too.

What colors will you be wearing this fall? Or is it just too early to think about that? Ha! Well, if you’ve given it any thought, I’d love to hear your color choices. And let me know if you’ll be wearing any new-to-you colors like I am or if you’re sticking with your old faithfuls. And will you wear a new fall 2023 color trend?

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Blessed for My Day

I think we are naturally fearful creatures. After all, life can be quite scary and feel very precarious. But the Bible reminds us over and over not to fear. That’s a choice we have to make over the circumstances that rise up against us.

One of the best ways to overcome our fears is to remind ourselves that the Lord is with us and He is always available to help us and to fight our battles. We do not have to do or face anything alone. Not only is He with us, but He is mighty and strong. And nothing we face is stronger than Him. 

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the One with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. ~ 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

xoxo, Kay
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16 thoughts on “a Fall 2023 Color Trend & How to Prepare

  1. Love the plaid jacket! Love the devotional too! I’m a fearful person, however, I am doing much better. Going through hard things (like the tortuous laser eye treatment I had) with Jesus to sustain me helps me to feel the power that God has given me to conquer fear.

  2. Hi Kay! I love this post about fall colors. Fall is my favorite season and I love the beautiful colors it evokes! Apples, cinnamon, falling leaves, crackling fire in the fireplace. I’m ready! I like the deep reds you’re featuring. Also the browns as I’ve always been a brown girl. thanks!

  3. Hi Kay, I so enjoyed your post today :):). Summer is not my favorite season, I was super excited with the fall color you have chosen. I just picked up a no iron shirt in magenta from Chicos and my first thought was, fall & my jeans and khaki’s.
    Have a peaceful day.

  4. Kay, this is helpful information, as always! You mentioned contrast in selecting which jeans to pair with the darker sweater and plaid coat. I know you have some resources on Contrast, but I would love to hear or read your take on this in more detail. I think it might be the key many times to “getting the look right”! And, yet it can be a little tricky. Thanks so much for all you do and your gentle encouragement that comes through in the BFMD section. Jamie

  5. Hi Kay,
    Thank you for this very informative post. One of your tips is to take color swatches to the store, and I totally agree! Sometimes it is really hard to ‘see’ if a color is best for me depending on store lighting, and the colors next to the item I am thinking about. I’m thinking ahead to my fall wardrobe too. I have started a list of things that felt like ‘holes’ from last fall. I did that for spring/summer way back in March, and was quite pleased to see that carefully selecting and purchasing those 5 items made my spring/summer wardrobe much more wearable. I always appreciate your great advice about thinking and planning ahead. Have a blessed day!

  6. Kay, I know you don’t like high contrast, but hear me out. I’ve been wearing magenta/burgundy/wine since 1982 and I suggest you get a fun bracelet in a shade of orange that you like. It’s a spunky little surprise in a deep red outfit. Trust me!

    1. Sounds fun! And that’s not exactly what I mean by high contrast in intensity. Those colors would probably both be high intensity, so they would pair nicely together for a low contrast in intensity. Thanks for the suggestion.

    1. Soooo glad mauve is back, and for the new ways it can be paired. I’m going to try browns this year.

  7. Hi Kay you look so good in that Wine Red , you’ve really pulled it together with the different tonal colours / patterns , Thank you . I used to love to wear Scarlet in my younger days with my blonde hair , but since I stopped colouring my hair and tanning my English Rose skin , my hair is a silvery ash which I love and my skin like I said English Rose , I love it and suit it far more ( God does really know what suits us best) , Ive found that the Wine, Burgundies, Plums etc suit me so much better . So pleased this is going to be the colour for Autumn ( your Fall ). I loved the BFMD Ive really needed God this last week for various hard situations and he certainly has not disappointed me ❤️. Take care Kay and Ladies have a Lovely week Xx

  8. While it’s still quite hot where I’m at, it still was nice to learn what the Fall 2023 color trend is. I’m looking to using VIVA MAGENTA in a clothing piece or two and possibly an accessory. Also, I’m going to use navy, winter white (as my neutrals) and mauve as another newish (fashion) color for me.

  9. Hi Kay, Thanks for addressing color with skin undertones. All of my daughters friends are having their “colors done”. Many of us will remember “Color me Beautiful” from the 70’s – same concept. I would love a post or video with a more in-depth discussing on choosing colors to match skin tone. Thanks as always for you insights.

  10. I like the leather jacket and print skirt outfit on you. It looks the most youthful. I can’t say that about the other outfits especially the cardigan. I haven’t seen anything from Nordstrom that I want to buy. I have seen items on YouTube and other bloggers but nothing appeals to me. Maybe because it’s so hot. I do just wear colors that look good on my warm skin tone. You’re right about how all colors are either cool, warm or neutral. Even black and white.

  11. The short sleeve sweater and long skirt monochrome outfit is soooooo cute! I love the updated look and that cranberry color is so fall!👍🏻