Trends of the Season
Leather is popping up in all sorts of unlikely designs, from blouses and A-line skirts to swing jackets with unique “fabric manipulations,” a fancy way of saying gathers, pleating, roses, and other fun accents. And, believe it or not, leather is available in colors other than black. Try a piece in red, white, or even purple, if you dare. Before you make that investment—good leather is pricey—make sure you absolutely love the piece. Once you’ve taken the plunge, wear it in lots of different ways: Dress it down with denim, go sophisticated with textures (wool tweed or cashmere), or get dressy with satin.
The classic black pencil skirt is just that: classic. It’s a piece that really never goes out of style. Some seasons (like fall 2007), it’s more “trendy,” meaning you’ll find it at most stores and at various prices—and that’s a good thing. When an item is a “classic,” it comes back every few years, as the pencil skirt has risen to popularity repeatedly since the 1950s. If you have an hourglass shape (full bust, small waist, full hips), this skirt will show off your inherent sexiness. If your shape is straighter (bust, waist, and hips measure about the same), it will give you some curves. Steer clear of the pencil skirt if you have very full hips. Top it off with a “sexy secretary”–style blouse (tapered through the body, with a puffy short sleeve and feminine detailing) and a pair of platform slingbacks, and you are ready for business.
Shift, Day or Night
The shift dress hangs from the shoulders without a defined waist, and it is one of the biggest trends of the season. It has a 1960s feel—fun and flirty. This style is great for the woman who may want to cover her tummy or midsection and show off her killer legs. Be sure that your legs are truly “killer,” or the look will flop. I have been “blessed” with pudgy knees, so this is a trend I don’t wear. Women who have already seen this trend may want to let it go by as well. The saying goes, “If you’ve already worn a trend (back in the day), then don’t go for it again.” These dresses often have a neckline that is flattering to the shoulders/décolletage/back, so if you’ve got a well-defined upper body, go for it! Opt for puffy sleeves if you’re not as comfortable revealing your upper arms. The dress is best worn with matte-colored or textured tights and round-toed Mary Janes.
Tunic or Not Tunic
A cozy sweater tunic is a great way to stay warm this fall and winter. Wear it over leggings or skinny jeans, with boots. Make sure the tunic is long enough to cover your bum, especially if you choose the leggings. Leggings were a big trend in the ‘80s, but this time around, they’re intended to be worn as a layering item, so you absolutely do not want to provide a rear view (no matter how toned it is!). It’s really all about proportion: voluminous on top, slender on the bottom, or vice versa. Don’t wear a tunic with wide-leg pants. Keep your shoes or boots flat and comfy—a slouchy boot, a round-toe riding boot—to maintain that cozy look.
Mad for Plaid
Last year, plaid was edgy. This year, it’s ladylike. Anyone can wear plaid, but the key is moderation: Make the rest of your outfit simple in color. (It doesn’t have to be black: Grey, navy, and brown are other neutrals that work.) Don’t mix plaids, and wear only one plaid item at a time (a good rule of thumb for animal prints, too!). This is a great trend for someone who previously considered herself a “preppy.” Now you can enjoy a little nostalgia without looking like an ‘80s throwback—and embrace a more refined spin on a trendy classic.
The metallic trend has been consistent for the last three years, and this fall it’s stronger than ever. Metallic clothing is popping up everywhere: jackets, skirts, and even jeans. The key to wearing metallic, as with plaid, is moderation. Let the shimmery item of clothing take center stage. If you’re outfitting yourself like our model, wearing several pieces is fine, as long as there is something matte (not shiny) to offset the metallic. The last thing you want to do is look like a walking aluminum foil sculpture! So mix your metallics with other fabrics—denim, cashmere, soft tweed—to make the most of this look.
Trousers are on the rise! A longer rise (the distance between the crotch and the waistband in the front), otherwise known as a “high-waisted” look, is back, along with a fuller leg. The gal with full hips is thrilled, as this style of pant is perfect for the triangle-shaped figure (narrow shoulders, small bust, and a wider bottom half). Keep the top slim, and try a swing jacket for a little flair. Shoes need to have a good heel (stiletto or platform); flats just won’t do. If you’re petite, be careful not to buy too full a pant, or it’ll swallow you up.
Finally, not all trends are for everyone. If you can’t get into a new look (literally or figuratively), then stay true to your own personal style, and let it go. Remember, trends come and go, but style is forever.