Happy day, dear reader!
Whew, we made it to September! Even if the weather here doesn’t feel like fall (Usually that’s around November.), fall clothing is on the racks, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. That said, it seemed like a good time to tackle a couple of the major trends for this fall/winter season. We often see a trend in an ad, or on a store mannequin and think “Ooooh! I love that, but…” Or we try it on and feel silly, like we showed up in costume to a non-costume party. There are oodles of trends to choose from, so for your sartorial pleasure, I have chosen five of fall’s big trends and how to finesse them for everyday, without looking like a fancy dress refugee…
This look (and its Prairie Chic/Cowgirl variations) was all over the runways, and in the stores. I remember seeing this a few years ago in the windows at Chanel, admiring all the lovely fabrics and details, and wondering who would look at home in the outfits. If this speaks to you from head to toe, go for it! If head to toe feels like too much, choose one or two elements and add them to your everyday look. Maybe that means wearing cowboy boots with your leggings and tunic rather than ballet flats. Or try some bold turquoise jewelry with your work dress. I love the sweater belted over layers of flannel or denim look, but in our climate, I’m lucky to need that much clothing in January. Instead, I’ll layer my old Levi’s snap front shirt over a tank or tee, and belt that. Maybe I’ll wear that same shirt with a pencil skirt and boots. Speaking of skirts, if long riding or prairie skirts are your thing, try pairing them with dress boots and a silky blouse for a more refined feel. On a bold day, throw on a brimmed hat for a frontier feel, especially with a jean jacket or barn jacket. (You’ll hit two trends in one. Hats/hoods ruled the runways, too!)
The white on white look does not have the costume-y issues of cowboy chic, but still has its challenges. Keeping clean is my biggest problem; I just know it will be an everything-goes-into-the-wash afterwards day. I’ll admit it, I never wore white until I was in the Navy and learned to watch where I sat. (And to carry a stick of chalk… For more about that and other style lessons the military taught me, click here.)
Some women get wrapped up in the no-white-after-Labor-Day “rule.” Don’t worry about it. It was meant for shoes, and no one pays any attention to it anymore. If you love white, wear it all year long! Not just any old white, choose the white that looks best on you, whether bright white, soft, or ivory. And you don’t need to worry about your whites matching. A variety of shades and textures will keep the look interesting, and avoid a cold and clinical feel. If you pair your whites with a not-white shoe, try a pair the color of your hair! If you choose a colored shoe, use that color again somewhere in your portrait area (like earrings or a scarf), to keep the attention where it belongs, and not stuck at your feet. Until now, I had only one pair of white shoes in my adult life; this season I splashed out on a pair of white booties, I expect that once I get up the courage up (and the temps down) to wear them, they will become fast faves!
No, it’s not Throwback Thursday, it’s the 80’s all over again! Big shoulder pads, narrow hips, and lots of shine. Other F/W trends can fall under this 80’s Revival umbrella as well, namely Rock ‘N Roll and Leather. Any of these are easy enough to add a single piece of two of without getting overwhelmed, but before you drag those old blazers with the gigantic shoulder pads out of the closet for a second run, make sure the fit and fabric are impeccable. Otherwise leave them to the young and ironic… Your old leather jacket is probably a better bet. I saw loads of lovely leather skirts, tops, and dresses at a department store in Atlanta over the weekend. It’s a good thing the wine leather dress didn’t come in a petite, or you would have had to drag me from the store! Does your Rock ‘N Roll chick still live inside, but you fear she’s not office appropriate? I beg to differ! It’s all in subversive subtlety, and how you choose to let her out to play. If that’s still too much, pick up an oversized chain necklace from your big box store, and wear it day in and day out as your seasonal signature. (But let’s leave the big band hair back in time where it belongs…)
Men’s Wear Tailoring/Plaids
Plaids see a revival every fall, but this year they are paired with snappy menswear tailoring. Not that the plaid flannel shirt is unwelcome, there’s plenty of them as well back up in the western chic department, but these plaids are more adult. Everything from black and white, to colorful tartans, subtle glen plaids, Prince of Wales, and windowpane patterns, both bold and subdued. If you love a plaid, step away and take a look at whether it is predominantly horizontal or vertical. If horizontal, make sure to wear it where you do not mind a widening effect. (This is the reason a checkered jacket makes a man look wider through the chest and shoulders.) If the plaid is predominantly vertical, wear it in an area you want some lengthening. If the plaid is very small or low contrast, the directionality of it will be far less noticeable than on a large plaid. And don’t forget to take your personal scale into account when looking at checked clothing items. If all this is just too intimidating, there are some awesome checked bags and shoes out there right now…
Brown: Lots of shades of browns, from caramel to bitter chocolate. If you love brown, this should be a good shopping year for you! Browns are a neutral (wearable with most colors) and come in both warm and cool undertones. Browns convey trustworthiness, stability, and warmth. Browns can also be really sassy–think animal prints! (No, I couldn’t leave THAT trend out!) I don’t like to call animal prints a trend though, because I don’t think animal prints ever go out of style. They just are easier or harder to find in any particular year. If you like them, this should be a good shopping season for them. And all those browns also look amazing paired with another big color trend…
Red: Red was huge last fall, and is still everywhere. This is lovely because there is a red out there for every woman. Reds, like browns, also come in both warm and cool undertones, and many intensities, so it’s just a matter of finding your red. Is red clothing too much? Then try some red accessories, or a swipe of red lipstick! Or nail polish!
Silver/Foil: Feeling metallic? Silver shine was everywhere! High shine foil overcoats, ponchos, and trousers. Not very wearable, and certainly not likely to translate well from the runway into everyday life. However, if you love silver (I do!) you should find lots of silver jewelry, and other accessories. Lots of sequins, too! Lower shine versions, and those with a more matte/brushed texture are more daily-wearable. Hmmmmm, I have a pewter leather coat that just may make it back into rotation this fall…
How about you? Do any of these trends or colors speak to your inner fashionista? Or has something else caught your eye for fall? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below; I love to hear from you…
Thank you to the lovely Nancy, at Nancy’s Fashion Style for her Friday Link-Up!