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Fall Fashion, Vegucated Style.

As the breeze turns cold and the air smells of crackling fires, we turn to coats, boots, bags, and scarves.

It comes but once a year: The Vegucated Fall Fashion Guide. And this year is no slouch. We’ve compiled our favorite coats, boots, and bags (for the gents, too) to get you prepared to face chillier weather and the busy upcoming holiday season with style – sweet, compassionate style. How’s that for warm-hearted?

What Makes Fashion Vegan?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked! Vegan fashion means that a garment or accessory has been produced without animal products (think: leather, fur, wool, silk, feathers, suede, exotic skins, hair, etc). Truly vegan companies also avoid using any glues, threads, or other assemblage that are tested on animals or contain any animal ingredients. Many people will apply their ethics further by seeking out products that have been re-purposed or recycled (either via consignment or refashioning), are organic or made from only natural materials (think: cotton versus rayon), and / or made by companies based locally or domestically that pay artisans a fair, living wage. Think that sounds like a tall order? Well, it can be, but we’ve got the goodies that are, at the very least vegan, and at the very best, all of the above.
Before we get startedcheck out last year’s guide, where we outline materials to avoid and swap, tricky topics (hello, real fur masquerading as faux…), resources that keep us honest, and tips for saving money and being environmentally friendly (clothing swaps are your friend). Also, check out my latest blog post on a cruelty-free fall fashion segment I did on Fox’s Good Day Chicago. The clip is no longer active, but it was an awesome opportunity to regularly use the word “vegan” on big-city television, discuss why materials like leather and feathers are so nasty, and present gorgeous alternatives from wonderful companies. 

Bundle Up: Coats

A quality coat is one you’ll wear all autumn-into-winter long, but that doesn’t mean you have to have just one! Here are some of our favorites for ladies and gents, in styles that owned the runway and are versatile enough for every occasion:

  • Classic and PolishedVaute Couture’s Belden in V-Velveteen. Warm, sophisticated, and wear-anywhere in oodles of rich colors. This coat is an investment piece you’ll wear with joy for many seasons ($300). Looking for a more affordable fix? The H&M Short Coat (pictured above, $50) in grey has a striking high collar and simple silhouette that is perfect for work or play.
  • Leather-Like: Colored leather took over the fall runways, and you can easily get the look without the meanness or the price tag. BLANKNYC’s Faux Leather Jacket ($98) in red is cropped and embellished in all the right places for a fine balance of feminine and slick. If you want a longer coat, the Ark & Co. Special Agent Coat in Midnight Green $105) is the belted vegan trench coat of your dreams. H&M’s Coat with Quilted Sleeves ($60) is a beautiful mix of quilted faux leather and canvas, and I will be buying it promptly after finishing this newsletter.
  • Military-Inspired: Dress the Stussy Vegan Leather-Sleeved Surplus Coat ($115) up with a flowy dress, motorcycle boots, and a romantic scarf to complete that grunge-romantic look. Not digging the camo? Check out the Margot Hooded Oversized Parka ($99) or this Forever21 Hooded Parka ($45) for all of the function, but less of the fuss.
  • Casual Weekend: Body-conscious fit? Check. Supple faux leather? Check. Cozy sweatshirt hood? Check. The Jack by BB Dakota Kaia Walnut Hooded Jacket ($57) will take you from midday apple-picking, to the playground with the kids, to a dive-bar concert, and for a song, too. Denim is always a classic, and with its snuggly fleece interior and generous length, the BDG Sherpa-Lined Trucker Jacket ($89) is just begging to be taken out for hot apple cider.
  • Outdoorsy: Don’t let the name fool you, this BDG Waxed Canvas Hunting Jacket is made for campfires and animal-snuggling (not hunting) in vegan materials ($179). And who says shearling has to come from lambs? Patagonia’s Arctic Jacket ($139) is not only on sale, but is also made to withstand chilly weather without any animal byproducts. Same goes for the Central Park Concert Jacket, which gives a classic shearling look sans the cruelty ($78).
  • For the Gentlemen: Thankfully, the selection of compassionate, work-worthy coats for men has improved dramatically, and we’re loving these for work, play, and everything in between: Levi’s Racer Faux Leather Jacket ($70), with its cozy hood, will take you from day-to-night, casually. Vaute’s Stargazer ($319) and Whitman ($375) have you covered for professional shindigs, while the insulated Williams Jacket ($412) will keep you looking sleek and stylish, no matter the occasion.

Walk Softly: Boots + Shoes

Shoes for the Gals:

Shoes for the Guys:

Wear Your Heart on Your Arm: Bags for All Occasions

Your handbag or briefcase is your closest companion. Whether you switch it up to suit your mood or outfit, or stay with your steady, these bags will fulfill your every need:

  • Everyday Steady: The A Diamond A Day Bag ($45) offers delicious pattern and texture, with the functionality of interior pockets and cross-body strap, all with a doable price tag. The Asta Tote ($105) boasts pattern, texture, and color in perfect, affordable, roomy harmony. 
  • Luxe: The X Marks the Spotlight Bag by Deux Lux ($154) has enough space for your stuff, with a gilded flair. For a more affordable, but nonetheless polished statement, the Small Bag (pictured above, $50) from H&M in rich navy has the right styling and gold hardware to fool any bag snob. Exotic skins were hot on the runway, but we all know how cruel the real thing can be. If you love the look, check out this bag from H&M ($50), which has all the glitz without the nasties.
  • Clutch: Leave it to GUNAS to bring you the Birdie 2 ($150), which has just enough Gatsby-inspired glam to keep your LBD interesting, and the Admiral ($350) which is full-on decked-out with gorgeous embellishments. Want to majorly splurge and carry what the celebs like Anne Hathaway and Carrie Underwood do? Check out Jill Milan’s line of luxe vegan bags. And be sure to pick me up a Holland Park Clutch ($1,700) while you’re at it. If you’re looking for an affordable accent, this perforated vegan Clutch Bag ($35) from H&M or Neon Pop Clutch ($20) from Forever21 are sleek complements to any attire. For a Downton Abbey-style shindig, nab Shiraleah’s Donatella Crossbody Clutch (pictured below, $50). Extra feel-good bonus? Proceeds from this and other purchases go to help a center for disabled children in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Honorable Mention: Things We’re Loving Now

Things we love? Yeah, we have quite a few. And here are some vegan clothing companies that are making a big splash. 

  • Miakoda: Organic, handmade, vegan clothing that is perfect for cuddling in or going out. Fall favorites include their slouchy and stylish Sweatshirt Dress ($256), hand-crocheted Tabi Socks ($42), and Classic Cotton Leggings ($98). These are pieces that will keep you warm and anchor your wardrobe for seasons to come.
  • Brave Gentleman: It used to be that “vegan suits” meant having to settle for cheap-looking polyester or grandpa’s hand-me-down. Not so, with Brave Gentleman on the scene (you might remember Josh’s awesome shoes and accessories, too), gorgeously tailored suits in fashion-forward fabrications mean that you will, yet again, reclaim your title as the best dressed gent in the office.
  • Atelier Tammam: Fear not, vegan brides. Atelier Tammam makes bespoke vegan gowns for all occasions, whether you’re walking down the aisle or the red carpet. British designer, Lucy Tammam has been dressing the UK’s animal-loving celebrities and now her creations are available to us, too. 

Have compassionate fashion tips or strategies that you’d like to share? Join the conversation in the Vegucated Schoolhouse today!