The start of spring is always like the start of a new year–at least, for fashion. While September issues are the thickest of the year, I find that it isn’t until spring that you really see the mood of the most popular looks shift. (After all, spring is when the Met Ball–fashion’s biggest event of the year–occurs.) The Fossil summer 2018 collection is a great way to update your wardrobe with the start of the season, and it’s rife with stylish picks.

Fossil has been making a slow transition over the past decade. What started out as a raw-looking, brown-leather company has carefully edged its way into a more accessible form of fast fashion, moving away from investment pieces and into seasonal ones. Rather than offering five equally-beautiful brown messenger bags that’ll last you a decade, the line is pushing more and more of its colourful female-coded products: whimsical satchels, jewelry sets, and delicate watch bands.

It’s a brand evolution that I’ve had my eye on even before I started covering style at Best Buy, and one that I think is coming to a head. The brand seems to be where it wants to be now: a little more Coach than Roots. While it still offers plenty of investment pieces, its seasonal collections sit at an affordable price point and offer a mix of leather and PVC pieces. The Fossil aesthetic stays true to its origins by offering fairly modest pieces, with literal key charms tying each collection together.

Despite this focus on women’s fashion, however, Fossil still offers plenty of accessories for the guys–starting with this season’s collection of watches.

Fossil Summer 2018: Men’s watches

I’ve always been a fan of Fossil’s men’s watches. A past partner of mine had a gorgeous, brown, leather Fossil watch that he wore on almost every date night: a beautiful mix of manly woodsiness and style. He received it as a gift years before I came onto the scene, and when I left, it was still in picture-perfect condition.

Fossil’s men’s watches have always struck me as a great Father’s Day gift, but the summer 2018 collection is a little less timeless and a little more timely than what I’m used to seeing from the brand. This season’s silhouettes are sleeker and more contemporary than their regular stock, with a notably slimmer aesthetic.

Men’s watches: What to wear

For some reason, I’ve always been pulled towards really gendered watches–so I love the Fossil Neutra. It’s a 44mm watch with a classic brown leather strap, and it looks just a little bit more like it would fit into an old-fashioned gentlemen’s lunch club than the rest of the collection. Like the rest of the brand’s seasonal pieces, it’s offered at a more affordable price point, but it’s a style that you or your loved one could wear for years.

The striking navy and gold Fossil Townsman comes in at a close second for me–I love a chronograph watch, even a casual one like this–with the Fossil Minimalist sliding in at third and fourth. The Minimalist is offered in both navy and black, and its monochromatic design makes it easy for the eye to slip over the piece entirely: accenting an outfit rather than making it.

The last watch that I checked out from the Fossil summer 2018 collection, however, was a bit of a different beast… and I’m still not sure if I like it or not. The Fossil Goodwin touts a grey suede band that looks almost marled, with white and light blue detailing on a white watch face. It’s a unique look from the brand, and I’ll be keeping my eyes out to see if I can catch anyone wearing it this season!

Fossil Summer 2018: A giftable set 

In the summer watch collection this year, Fossil has a few modern pieces alongside watch-and-earring sets. The little pairings are something I’ve noticed from Fossil over the past few seasons, and they seem to do well each year: they offer a little more than just a watch, and come in boxes that are just beautifully giftable.

This year’s keystone set is the Fossil Neely 34mm watch and stud earring set. I prefer the brand’s more androgynous pieces, so I wouldn’t wear the Neely myself–but it would be great for a more feminine recipient. The Neely watch band is detailed with little 3D leather cutout flowers (very ’90s), and the heart stud earrings are offered in the same rose gold-toned stainless steel as the watch case.

I’m not great at giving gifts, so I love it when items come pre-matched and ready for wrapping. The Neely set is exactly that, with coordination and a lovely box to boot.

Fossil watches à la carte

What I would wear, however, is the Fossil Jacqueline watch. It’s offered in both brown/rose gold and grey/rose gold, with black and white marbled watch faces, respectively. Faux marble finishes are so “in” right now that I am certain these will date like nobody’s business in 5-10 years, but they’re so darling and contemporary for the moment.

I’m deeply in lust with the grey watch band of the white marble Jacqueline, detailed with minuscule, pastel pink time markers. It’s described as a mineral grey, and I couldn’t agree more: the watch band is the perfect, light shade of neutral-cool grey. The grey and white marbled face is noticeable even at a distance (the black marble is a little harder to distinguish as faux marble), and the tones are just so airy overall.

I like to think of this as the marbled iPhone aesthetic: sleek, contemporary, and a tiny bit Scandinavian.

The Fossil Jacqueline watch is also offered with a casual, stainless steel bracelet. This 36mm beauty is a pearlescent white, with a crisp finish and water resistance up to 30 metres.

Fossil Summer 2018: Handbags

Of course, where every Fossil seasonal collection really focuses is its women’s handbags. There are always plenty of offerings in natural and synthetic materials, and they tend to sit at a more affordable price point (as I mentioned earlier). Fossil’s styles are always very whimsical, but they’re not the patent leather, bow-adorned kind of whimsical that you may expect.

Instead, they’re a little earthier; a little more Hamptons than Hampstead.

The Fossil Summer 2018 wallets and wristlets

I’ve always maintained that Fossil make wallets like nobody else, and their summer 2018 launches continue to evidence this. I’ve had a little Fossil change purse that I’ve carried on and off for a good decade (or maybe a little more), and while it’s getting a little worn and very weather-stained, its structure is still wholly intact.

Best Buy is carrying two Fossil wallets this season that are updates of previous styles in new prints: the Fossil Fiona and the Fossil Emma. This season’s Fiona is offered in a dark blue with a multicoloured striped print, and as always, it’s a really basic little wallet.

The Fiona Leather Coin Pouch is made from leather and clasps shut, with a few card slots, an ID spot, and a generous zippered pocket for change. (I always end up storing extra plastic cards and stamp cards on one side of this.) It’s small enough to fit in a clutch or in the side pocket of a backpack, making it great for carrying around everyday items like your ID or bus pass.

The Emma RFID Leather Wallet, on the other hand, is a slightly larger wallet–but no more bulky. It’s RFID protected and made from a smooth, glazed leather (in hot pink this season), with a small, additional billfold.

For something a little larger, the Emma RFID Flap Clutch is offered in a colourful floral print this year. The larger-bodied Emma is made from PVC, and it has quite a bit more space: two bill compartments, 12 credit card slots, and 3 gusseted pockets (one zippered), in addition to a zippered pocket for change on the outside. It’s a classic trifold wallet that closes with a snap instead of a zipper, which gives you more space for the built-in gussets than a zippered wallet.

The Fossil Summer 2018 totes and cross-bodies 

I have five of Fossil’s summer 2018 purses photographed here, and each one is cuter than the last. While I prefer the brand’s more utilitarian pieces, I’m always charmed by how lovely and almost vintage-inspired their seasonal collections are.

The Fossil Campbell Crossbody was the first bag to catch my eye, with its structured pillbox shape and sharp corners. It’s made from a durable polyurethane, and has three zippered pockets: two smaller ones on the outside, and one main compartment.

The two that I’m most likely to carry, I think, are the Fossil Charlotte Leather Hobo Bag and Fossil Ryder Satchel Bag. The Charlotte is a super-simple design (very much my style, although less so with each passing year) made from soft leather that follows each curve and bend of your body. It makes for very easy, comfortable carrying, and the bag itself has tons of room in it. The top of the Charlotte is zipped, and the two half-height pockets on each side open from slits. 

If you love satchels, the Ryder has a lot more detail, but still offers plenty of space. Its textured front and back look almost like wicker, but because the design is embroidered into polyurethane, the bag isn’t as brittle or prone to breakage as actual wicker. Like the Charlotte, the Ryder has a large zipped pocket and two gusseted side pockets, but one is closed loosely with a tab.

Slim-bodied Fossil bags

Finally, the Fossil Kinley Crossbody and Fiona Leather Crossbody sit closer to the body with thin profiles, maintaining a streamlined silhouette. They’re what I think of as sociology bags, or farmer’s market bags–because they’re in a style that I frequently see on Arts majors at the farmer’s market.

The Kinley is a PVC bag with one of Fossil’s signature prints on it; that line-dot-line-dot combination, almost like polka dots on a wire. Its main pocket has two little fabric pockets in it (great for earbuds and keys) as well as a zippered pocket, and there are zippered pockets on the front and back, too. Finally, the front features a smaller foldover pocket that looks almost like it should come off, but it stays securely in place.

The Fiona is a very similar style to the Kinley, with an open back pocket and two slide pockets on the front. If you like them both, I’d actually recommend the Kinley over the Fiona: it’s almost the same price, but its leather body will wear better with time.

If you love a bag that’s a little nostalgic, or a watch that completes your outfit rather than hogging all of the attention, then there’s something in the Fossil summer 2018 collection for you. It’s available now at Best Buy, but as with any seasonal collection, I’d urge you to shop as soon as you can.

These styles are ones that Fossil often brings back season after season, but they’re always in fresh prints with updated finishes–so now is the perfect time to round out your spring and summer wardrobes with them.

Shop the Fossil spring/summer 2018 collection online at Best Buy.

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