How to prep for fall and winter fashion trends

While optical doesn’t fast forward into the next season the way the fashion world does (they’re well into 2017), you definitely need to be planning for fall and winter fashion now. Here’s why:

Tip: “Look at what’s going to be hot this fall and winter…then gradually start adding pops of those colors.”

1980s ”Winter will be back to the ‘80s…about lace, velvet, and animal prints; knee-length pleated skirts, floor-length coats.”

  • POSITIONING. You need to remind consumers you are, indeed, in the world of fashion. If not, then why would they even consider buying more than one pair of eyewear from you?
  • MERCHANDISING. You’re hopefully already planning your windows and displays for the rest of the year. You can’t merchandise the trends, however, if you don’t know what they are.
  • HOT POPS. Look at what’s going to be hot this fall and winter, and start shopping for a few accessories—maybe throw pillows or accessory items in soon-to-be-popular colors. Then gradually start adding pops of those colors throughout.
  • FRAME IT! Check out the fashion and style magazines, pull out images of the next hot colors, and frame them. There’s always some place to put new images, but one idea is to create a “what’s trending now and next” section of wall space. Maybe it’s with your frame boards or near a dispensing table. Just make sure it’s located where staff can point to and talk about it.



So, those are some of the reasons it’s important to follow the trends + ways you can feature them. Now, for the essential info about exactly what some of those trends are.


  • COLOR. Pantone Color Institute points to a number of key color trend palettes for winter 2016/2017. They are:
    • black, perfect as a canvas or backdrop;
    • white, in both cool and warm;
    • grays, soft as well as dark;
    • green, from yellow/olive to glassy/mineral;
    • yellow, in all shades and textures;
    • oranges, with influences of cinnamon, saffron, and caramel;
    • purple, considered key to the season;
    • blue, with grey touches, not the indigos of early 2016;
    • browns and reds, both mixed wine tones and strong standalone pops;
    • pastels, but more assertive than in early 2016; and
    • metallics, though this time around they’re about texture and light, not the materials themselves.


  • FASHIONS. Though Fashion Weeks around the globe have ended, here’s some of what fashionistas say is hot and literally just off the runway:
    • non-gender-specific looks (masculine pantsuits and chunky footwear for women);
    • layers, layers, and more layers;
    • mesh, plus metal/embroidery and lace;
    • back-to-the-‘80s glam, including miniskirts, velvet, and animal prints;
    • knee-length pleated skirts and dresses, floor-length coats;
    • suede combined with satin;
    • leather, leather, and more leather; and
    • fur, both faux and real.


How far ahead do you plan your purchases? Do you have staff tracking trends and talking to reps about what’s next? Tell us how you plan for the coming season in both purchasing and merchandising by sharing in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan