Howard County Shopping Bag: Fall fashion trends

July 27, 2011|By Jeannette Kendall

Fall is a get-cozy season full of nostalgia and homey memories. We anticipate the newness of what Seventh Avenue will preview, yet we find security in a certain amount of predictability. Uncluttered is a word that captures the mood of many designers’ new lines. Classically man-tailored looks are expected on the menu of this season’s offerings. Think Faye Dunaway (you young ones can look that up) and you understand the classic elegance we have come to love in fall. These latest trends provide a winning combination of new twists with enough warm and fuzzies to satisfy designers and consumers alike. These are my top four.

Great Coats. A great variety of fab coats abound. J.Crew’s wool swing trench coat in okra is fabulous, but more than that, versatile and practical. (I’m not sure that I’ve ever used “fabulous” and “practical” in the same sentence before.) This beauty can be worn with wide-leg pants and flats for work and then transformed with rolled-up skinny jeans and heels for play. How about a military-inspired car coat — in pumpkin! Paired with beige wool pants, the car coat gives a sophisticated office look and paired with jeans, an urban chic party look. Sherlock Holmes (if he weren’t fictional) would be rolling in his grave right now, with the big cape comeback. J.Crew’s soft beige cape is naturally sweet with an air of drama. Finally, floor-length dusters are flooding the runways. Remember the Olsen twins who played “Michelle” on the TV show “Full House”? They now own a couture house called The Row. Their dramatically elegant duster, paired with a short skirt, has won the attention of seasoned designers worldwide.

COLOR! Vibrant, saturated color will add a little kick to any fall wardrobe. Comfy camel, gold and bronze will still be plentiful, but watch out for fantastic ruby red, like the super luxe velvet skirt with matching fox jacket from The Row. DKNY mixes deep orange with fuchsia in a smashing tweed jacket as well as many more bright separates in her line. Talbots, taking its lead from old Hollywood, is showing a head-turning cerulean blue full skirt in silk.

Black Leather: the new denim. The Gap is really stepping up its game this season with skinny jean-cut leather pants — think Sandy from “Grease” (again, look it up, young’uns). The secret to black, especially leather, is to mix textures to make outfits interesting. Chunky knit sweaters or tweed jackets matched with leather pants give dimension and interest to any outfit. Some of the leather used this season is so supple that even soft silhouetted skirts are cut from it.

Horizontal Stripes. I generally say to be wary of horizontal stripes due to their widening effect. So for those who can wear them and for those who worship them from afar, feast your eyes. DKNY has a whole collection of the most vibrant wide-striped sweaters. J.Crew’s orange and beige big broad striped tunic is a warm and fun piece. The tunic is so versatile, and it adds a little bit of elongation. Theses dramatic stripes are a bit whimsical, yet oh so classic.

The fashion industry’s job each fall is to thoughtfully and creatively reflect this magnificent season in the clothes that you will be wearing. I wish you richness of color, the excitement of variety, and the feeling of warm and classic stand-bys.

Jeannette Kendall is president of Success In Style, a nonprofit with locations in Ellicott City and North Laurel that provides free business attire to disadvantaged women and men seeking employment. or 410-750-6475.

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