With last Friday officially starting the autumn season, it’s time to take a look at the best trends for Fall. This year is the year of classics, from menswear-inspired suiting, to timeless plaids, to always-popular denim. Sure, there are some other obvious trends. like Americana/Western and 1960’s Go-Go Girl metallic, but the top trends are wardrobe staples and will stand the test of time (okay, I may have thrown in a few wild cards in here, too).
Suiting & Plaid
Whether you decide to go full-throttle in a coordinating suit, blazer with jeans, or take a more feminine approach with a skirt, the suiting trend is one that I can get behind. What makes it even better? How about a county-club inspired herringbone or Glen Plaid? LOVE. Plaids are reminiscent of boarding school uniforms and horse-back riding, what more appropriate way to signal the Fall season? Not to mention they only get better when wintertime rolls around.
A wonderful combination with plaid this season has been velvet, whether in a simple ribbon wrapped around the waist of your blazer or a floor-length gown, it’s not only a gorgeous sheen but a great weight (does that rhyme?) material for the season. It’s instant luxury, but don’t hesitate to wear a little velvet tank with a distressed pair of jeans either.
Denim is always big, c’mon it’s denim. So break out your Canadian Tuxedo!
If you have read my previous posts, you know that I am a huge fan of this color! All year round, all the time, you can’t go wrong with red.
Who doesn’t want to wrap themselves with the innards of a teddy bear? Not only does shearling serve on a practical level with its warmth and intoxicating coziness, it’s a great texture to add interest to any outfit.
On days off, there is nothing better than a great athleisure outfit; comfortable, practical, and unexpectedly chic. Runway’s this season were particularly taken to a retro vibe, monochromatic leggings and jacket combos in primary colors with striping or graphic detailing. Whether you choose classic black or grey, or your favorite crayon color, you can be sure you’re as comfortable as stylish.
Another one of my favorite colors, yellow, is a perfect shade for Fall in a golden-hue. It likens back to autumn foliage without getting into dull shades of brown and burgundy. It’s serves as a wonderful pop to an outfit, whether in a pair of shoes or blazer. And don’t even get my started on the magical combination of….be still my heart…yellow velvet…OMG!!!
I love bringing in candy-colored, Spring-colored hues for Winter, as a way to brighten up the sometimes dreary atmosphere. Another unexpected style-choice are florals, from jewel-tones to pastels. Fashion is about breaking rules, and there’s no better way to do it than a floral sun dress and a shearling coat during chilly-weathered months.
As I like to call, “Undone” styling is the easiest way to get that “cool-girl” vibe. It’s a half tuck of a shirt, scrunched up sleeves, a button or two more than needs to be undone. But this season the actual garments are taking the same approach, creating a messy, but effortlessly chic look. One of my favorite pieces is this top, with a few buttons left unbuttoned to expose some shoulder (scandalous!).
BONUS: My favorite way to sneak in the glitter trend….
Metallics and glitter are continuing to be big this fall, from silver lame dresses, to well, every other article of clothing. My favorite way to wear this look is with glitter booties, like these. Imagine, a cute top, little jacket, jeans, and then BAM, glitter boots. It’s like literally adding an “!” to your outfit.
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In case you need some clarity on what we’re trying to accomplish with this blog, I thought I would elaborate just so you know what you are getting yourself into. This is best illustrated by an example, of which I experienced the other day.
While I was getting dressed for work (my work is very lenient on the dress code, encouraging fashion-forward dressing), I chose a leopard print skirt with a tie-waist in a taffeta-like fabric, and a graphic tee with cute illustrations of iconic symbols of London. I paired this outfit with a pair of strappy nude heels and some arm candy, but felt I was missing something to really pull everything together. I wanted a statement earring, so I started to pick up every pair of earrings I owned and held them up to my ears as I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. As I picked up a pair of statement gold ball drop earrings, I thought these will never “go.” Nonetheless, I held them up to my ears with my outfit and immediately knew my outfit was complete. There was something about the combination of a bold but classic skirt, the child-like tee shirt (in fact, it was child’s tee shirt, size 14) simple shoes, and elegant earrings that made for a interesting, compelling, and comfortable ensemble. Each of these pieces were an extension of a different part of myself, and the mixture of high and low demonstrated, “I like fancy stuff but I don’t take myself too seriously.”
Discovering the magical completion of the outfit with the unlikely earrings, I remembered that this is the joy of dressing. Just taking different items of clothing that you love for different reasons, haphazardly pairing them together, and somehow creating a look that’s uniquely you.
When I purchased those gold drop earrings, I had no intention of wearing them with this kind of outfit. But at the same time, I do not buy items because they will go with one outfit, I try to think of multiple options. If I can think of three or more instances I might wear it, I buy it. And typically I find even more options to wear with this item once I have it in my closet. I cannot stand owning something that I can only wear in one outfit, unless it’s truly fabulous, like a cropped feathery jacket (I’ve worn in three times in four years and I still do not regret purchasing it). Other than that utterly spectacular piece, which you should probably only wear once a year as to not diminish its amazing effect anyway, that’s it. I recently worked with a client who believed if you liked something and did not have a thing to go with it, get it anyway and the right piece to complete will come along. Though this advice has a optimistic appeal, I do not recommend it. How many times can we all re-account of purchasing something because we loved it, only to never wear it because we never had or found something to go with it?
To me, getting dressed should be treated similar to the way you played dress-up as a child. You didn’t pick thing because they coordinated, you picked things because you simply liked them. Like wearing my ruby red slippers with EVERYTHING; dresses, tee-shirts and sweatpants, swim suits, everything. I wore what I loved and I loved what I wore. So what if you built a wardrobe of fantastic pieces and great basics that you love, and could virtually get dressed in the dark and end up with an outfit that surprisingly made sense. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish, and that’s what I hope to help you accomplish. Stick around, and you might learn a trick or two. And if you find place that sells adult ruby red slippers, let me know.
As I mentioned in a previous post (which you can check out here) one of the easiest outfits to make you look like a style guru is through dressing in an outfit all in one color. This strategy can be as bold or subtle as the color you choose to wear, and is effortlessly chic. It can be an unexpected choice, some people stray away from a head-to-toe look in one color for fear of looking like a walking high-lighter. If you’re one of the skeptics, start off with a neutral, such as grey, camel, or the always on-point color black. From here you can work your way up the rainbow, no color is off limits (except nude–eye-catching, yes, but not a good look). Some of my favorite monochromatic looks feature the most surprising colors, like candy-apple red, cotton candy pink, and canary yellow. The drama really comes with amount of a single color, so don’t stop at just your clothing. You can match your shoes, handbag, jewelry, lipstick, everything, in your ensemble.
I will admit there is one obstacle you will most likely face during this endeavor; getting everything to match perfectly. We have all had to change out of an outfit after we take one look in the mirror and discover that our black top and bottom don’t exactly match (I mean really, how many shades of black can there be?!). But I will let you in on a few tips to save your sanity, I’m nice like that. My number one rule, and I cannot stress this enough, is when you are trying to see if two colors match, stand about a foot away from the items. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve worked with clients who practically take out a magnifying glass to two items and try to find the slightest difference between the hues. They always do find a difference, because the chances of two colors matching from two totally separate items of clothing, typically in different fabrics, and sometimes from different manufacturers even, has to be microscopic. Save yourself the antagonizing. No one is going to be that close to your clothing anyway, except maybe your significant other. So, again, look at the items the same distance as if you were talking to a close friend. Still match? Good, moving on. Next, be sure to look at the items in different lighting. I usually just check indoor lighting and take a look in front of a window for natural lighting. If you work somewhere with florescent lighting, you might want to check by that too. But otherwise, if it passes the natural lighting test, you’re good to go.
The key to this strategy is keeping it simple. Like color-blocking, you want the focus to be on the color, not any crazy design feature. That does not mean you cannot experiment with silhouettes and textures, but it is best to keep these to a minimum. And if you’re really uncomfortable with making a commitment to one color, feel free to have a slight break with a nude or neutral shoe or accessory.
Whether you stick to simplistic and neutral, or go bold with vibrant color, monochromatic outfitting is one of the easiest style sticks in the book to look innately chic. Just don’t let anyone get too close to you with a magnifying glass…
As a visual merchandiser for multiple retailers, I’ve dressed hundreds of mannequins from women, to men, to kids. And though they have been as different as dressing to go biking or hiking, to dressing for a graduation or wedding, they all have one thing in common: they follow a specific color story. This means, that between the groupings of mannequins, they all have one or multiple colors in common, in different outfits. So, a female mannequin could wear an aqua cocktail dress with oranges pumps, and standing beside her, a male mannequin could be wearing an aqua and orange print tie with a aqua pocket square. The same goes for a grouping of same-sex mannequins. It’s just more pleasant to the eye to see a common color thread throughout a presentation instead of a jumble of hues that may or may not go with each other.
This is a great rule to apply to your wardrobe. Have you ever looked in your closest and felt overwhelmed by seemingly incoherent choices? How many times have you brought an item home thinking you’ll have something to go with it, and find that nothing quite goes. Color plays a major role in wardrobe choices, it’s the first thing your eyes compute. So to create a color story is to create a wardrobe that encompasses a range of colors that work well together. I.e. making choosing an outfit easier.
At first this might sound limiting or matchy-matchy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to be strategic about your foundation pieces, so you’ll still have the option of adding an unexpected color if it tickles your fancy. Though you could start with choosing your neutral colors, I personally like to start with the fun colors that I always find myself drawn to. I call these my signature colors. Whether you know it or not, you probably already have a signature color, it’s the color that you have the most in your wardrobe, or is the color of your phone case, or favorite nail polish. You may even wear so much of this color, that people start to associate the color with you. The reason I like to start here is because how devastating would it be to plan your whole color story, only to find in the end that your signature color doesn’t fit into it. And this color doesn’t necessarily have to be a vibrant or unique color, it can be whatever you’re drawn to, even if it’s just classic black. And again, you may have one or two signature colors.
After designating your signature color(s), you will choose other colors as secondary colors (they’re kind of like the back-up dancers to your signature color). They could be in the same family, creating a monochromatic look, or complimentary, meaning they would pop off each other. I’ll talk more about how to mix these colors together to create monochromatic and color-blocked looks in upcoming posts.
And lastly, you can incorporate your neutrals, the perfect backdrop to your signature and secondary colors. Even though neutrals are designed to go with pretty much everything, there are definitely preferable choices to certain colors. Like khaki typically doesn’t go well with yellow, since they’re not similar enough or different enough (make sense?).
Once you become a pro with the whole color-coordinating thing, it becomes easy to envision whether or not a unexpected color can be incorporated into your color story, as well as seasonal colors you wish to adopt to make your wardrobe feel more “summery,” “wintery,” and so on.
Let’s recap; to create a color story for your wardrobe, you decide what your signature, secondary, and neutral colors are for a cohesive wardrobe. Got it? Got it. Having cohesion in your wardrobe will make picking out outfits effortless, because we all know, an effortless wardrobe makes for a happy girl.