A rise in throwback fashion, a seasonal dip in temperature, and an urge to cuddle up and watch classic rom-coms. It's essentially the perfect formula that lead us to 2021's most unexpected (yet completely fitting) fall fashion icon: Meg Ryan. The actress, who is primarily known her roles in feel-good movies like When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail, has worn her fair share of chunky sweaters, loose trousers, and effortless layers on-screen. And now, those cozy-cute outfits are once again gaining attention, as influencers on TikTok declare Meg Ryan Fall the new Hot Girl Summer.
It does make a lot of sense. Work pants are back, cardigans continue to trend, and Ryan's most iconic characters seem to enjoy wearing basic wardrobe staples that many of us already own. Following her lead is pretty much the perfect style solution for the months ahead.
If you're ready to hop on board and give Meg Ryan Fall a go, we've compiled inspiration to get you started, along with a few timeless fashion tips we've learned from this leading lady's best movie looks.
Even as her style evolves throughout When Harry Met Sally, Ryan's Sally Albright, continues to follow one main "rule:" add a little something extra. She pairs her shorts with knee-high socks, wears a bow tie with her button-down, and even tops off her fall outfit with a brown felt hat. It's these finishing touches that make her outfits all the more special.
Make Use of Closet Staples
Many of Ryan's characters seemed to prefer basics over bolder, statement-making items. However, their looks were far from boring, proving that the trick often lies in specific cuts, color, and styling. An easy way to spice up simple pieces is to play around with proportion. Style a slim-fit turtleneck with baggy, high-waisted pants, complete your look with an oversized blazer, or cinch your waist with a belt, all of which will add interest and transform your look.
Stick with a Lighter, Neutral Color Palette
Once fall rolls around, it can be tempting to reach for darker shades or balance out our outfits with bright, saturated colors. But in You've Got Mail, Kathleen Kelly teaches us that sticking with a combination of gray, beige, and white pieces can feel fresh, seasonless, and fashion-forward — especially if they're tailored to your body and feel more classic than trendy. We'll never underestimate the power of a white tee, button-down, or a pair of khakis again.
Add a Layer or Two
Vests have snuck back into our wardrobe and, honestly, we're extremely grateful. Even Kathleen Kelly knew that this piece would provide the perfect finishing touch to an outfit that's missing a little something. When in doubt, follow her lead and experiment with layering. Sometimes, an extra-large bomber jacket, chunky knit, structured blazer, or even a shrug can work to pull a look together.
Rethink Your Outerwear
There are certain wardrobe staples we don't mind splurging on. At the top of the list is a timeless trench or overcoat. A solid neutral option, similar to Annie Reed's version from Sleepless in Seattle, works for both formal and casual occasions and can be made to suit your personal style with the help of accessories. For instance, styling this coat with printed satin scarf might give it an elegant feel, while a ribbed beanie can toughen it up.
Slip in Some Prints
With the right styling, lighter-colored prints, animal prints, certain plaids, and even polka dots can read as a neutrals rather than in-your-face statements. If you prefer a subtle pop, pull the same move as Alice Green from When a Man Loves a Woman and keep things monochromatic. When your top and bottom are within the same or a similar color family, that printed piece won't feel as loud.
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