It's time to retire those cowboy boots from last fall and stock up on ballerina slippers and ankle boots.
This year, heading back to school is all about comfort and lots of layering — with romper dresses, leggings, miniskirts, skinny jeans, skinny belts, chunky turtlenecks and fitted sweaters among the hottest fall trends.
MTV News asked Teen Vogue Fashion Director Gloria Baum to give us the rundown of what every fashionable female student needs in her wardrobe this season.
"The main, main thing is that it's cool to look comfortable this season," Baum said. "Everything is very fitted and really pertains to the young girl."
The colors are "darker" than they have been in the past, with browns, earth tones and charcoal leading the way, as well as tweeds, plaids and tartans, Baum said.
"It's slightly reminiscent of a school uniform, and that is always very cute," she said. "But I would say it's definitely a darker palate."
A cute, fun piece — inspired by celebs like Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpson — is the jumper dress.
"The jumper dress is such a perfect little trend for this season, and we haven't really seen it for such a long time," Baum said. "It's a bit of a '60s shape and it looks like a baby-doll dress, something that you would have seen on dolls at the turn of the century."
Then there are the two L's: layering and leggings.
"I love calling it 'sweater dressing,' " Baum said. "It's really about wearing knitwear head to toe and layering one piece on top of the other. So if you're wearing a great little sweater, make sure you wear a thermal underneath that might have a pattern on it. That adds a little color to it and just makes your look very stylish, very pulled together and very cute."
Leggings underneath also add to the "sweater-dressing phenomenon," Baum said. They come in lots of different colors and can be hiked up a little bit above the ankle or worn right at the ankle with a thick sock and ankle boot.
"It's about thick socks with texture and thick tights with texture," Baum said.
On the denim front, say goodbye to boot-cut jeans and hello to skinny jeans. Major retailers like the Gap, American Eagle Outfitters and H&M have caught on to the popular trend, which has been seen on Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and Sienna Miller.
"The skinny pant is a little shorter; it's very, very skinny on the leg. It's not really stovepipe, it's more of a rockabilly jean," Baum said. "It has that very, very narrow leg, and it's really a new shape."
||Fall Fashion Is All About Comfort
Ashlee Simpson loves jumper dresses, but ankle boots and leggings also lead fall trends.
As for shoes, high-heeled Mary Janes, ballerina flats and the little ankle boot will be taking over the school hallways.
"The ankle boot is a little boot to the ankle, it's fitted, it's small, and the key is to wear it with a thick sock underneath to put some dimension on your leg."
Don't forget to top the outfit off with a belt — either skinny or wide.
"Let's say you're wearing a cute fitted sweater," Baum said. "You put a little skinny belt on top of it, and it kind of puts it together and it has that very cute look to it. Or you can wear a big thick belt that sits high on the waist and makes you look really small."
Another bottom piece that is huge — especially with layering — is the miniskirt.
"You can put it with a little shrunken cable sweater, add a thin belt with it and put a big thick tight on the leg," Baum said.
One thing you can pull out from the back of your closet is last year's peacoat.
"The key to a peacoat is sort of shrunken, super small or oversized, but it can't be in the middle. It has to be very small or very big," Baum said.
As for jewelry, Baum said it's all about personality.
"It's really about things that mean a lot to you," she said. "Earrings are really small and dainty, and a lot of the jewelry has little charms to them. I would say they are sentimental in a weird way. We've been seeing a lot of crucifixes, some funny skull-and-bones, little funny things like that. It's always very personal, never too ostentatious or too bright or too bold."
Here are the top-five looks for fall:
- The ankle boot: This tiny boot elongates the leg and can be worn with a miniskirt and leggings. "It's a little shrunken and small and has a bit of a heel to it," Baum said.
- The jumper dress: An Ashlee Simpson favorite, you can wear it with a little turtleneck and be comfortable while sitting in class waiting for the bell to ring or while texting your boyfriend during lunch. "It's the new shape of the season," Baum said.
- The miniskirt: It's baa-aack. Think Britney Spears from 1999's "... Baby One More Time" video. Instead of a midriff-baring white button-down, however, wear a "shrunken cable knit sweater and a thin belt," Baum suggested.
- A chunky sweater: Wear it under your jumper dress or with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings. Christina Aguilera is a big fan. "I am a sweater fanatic," Aguilera said. "I love being wrapped up in a sweater."
- Leggings: A throwback to the '80s, the legging is going to be everywhere this fall. "Oh my God," enthused Lauren Conrad from "The Hills" and "Laguna Beach." "I live in leggings!"