Fall fashion preview

By Joanna Guberow

Whether you want to be cute, chic or just warm this fall, a new refined fashion that blends trendy with comfort is “in” this season. The basics remain the same: great denim, sexy boots, and comfy sweaters. Layering is as important as accessories are to make any look complete. Want to update your wardrobe? Try something new this year; one unique piece can make a statement.

Jeans

Acid jeans are in, and washed-out grays and blacks, or other dark washes, are best. Go for embellishments. Appliqués are back as are studs, and rhinestones. If you don’t have the cash for department store brands, go to your local thrift shop for a pair of jeans. Invite your friends over and ask each of them to bring patches, appliqués, or anything else you can attach to fabric, and you can create custom denim together.

Want something a little more understated? There’s nothing better than a great dark jean.

The most important thing about denim is fit. Although a skinny leg opening is convenient when wearing boots because they can tuck in easily, a flare leg can be just as equally flattering. For short legs, go for denim with a skinny leg opening that you can wear with heels; it will make your legs look longer. For tall girls, a flare is chic and will make you stand out. For those in the middle, boot-cut jeans will look great with both flats and stiletto boots.

Pick denim that you know you will be comfortable wearing. Mid-rise and flare work together to balance your hips out with your legs if you have a curvier figure. Boot-cut and skinny leg openings are usually low-rise, but mid-rise options are out there, so girls of all sizes can rock them too.

Top

What’s better than a comfy sweater in the fall? Start with your favorite pair of denim and build up. If you love skinny jeans, bigger is better. Feel like a flying squirrel? Belt it. Or go in the opposite direction: Pair your favorite summer tank top with a long boyfriend cardigan. For a boot-cut pair of jeans, try a v-neck sweater in a jewel color. If you have blue eyes, try teal; if you like pink, try magenta. Flare jeans will look sophisticated with a light sweater under a neo double-breasted jacket.

If you’re not partial to sweaters, there are other trends that might be right for you. Try a men’s button-down shirt. This season you can find chiffon and satin fabrics, or borrow your boyfriend’s. Fit a vintage style belt at the smallest part of your waist, and pair with skinny jeans and ballet flats or oxfords.

Want to be a commander of this fashion season? Go military. Army green is in. (Please no camo.) You can find military style jackets, patterned tops and skinny pants all in this color. Pair it with cream or black. Prefer the navy over the army? Try a pair of navy pants or a navy button-down. Need a fall date outfit? Pair a navy t-shirt with a black denim mini skirt.

Shoes

Boots, boots and more boots. If you want an edgier look, try a motorcycle boot with studs, rhinestones, and/or buckles. Go for black, brown or army green. Another great boot is the wedge bootie. It looks sexy, but sweet with skirts and tights. Dress it up or down. Go for a slouchy flat boot this year to walk around on campus, but for night, amp it up with an over the knee look in taupe or gray. If you’d rather not shell out on fancy boots, try socks with heels. Legwarmers also pair well with stilettos, and wedges. With skirts, try over-the-knee socks with lace or ribbon details, and wooden heel clogs.

Accessories

For jewelry, find one-of-a-kind artisan work at websites like Novica.com or Elizabethplumbjewelry.com. Thrift shops are great places to find vintage pieces. Mixed metal jewelry will pair well with the military focus this year. Black and burnished gold are in, and so is black. Mix with pearls or other warm-colored jewelry like amber beads. These will add a feminine flair to lace looks.

Craving warmth, but don’t want to sacrifice fashion? Try a scarf, hat or tights. You can make your own scarf from your favorite old t-shirt. Snip the top half off just below the armpits, and fringe one side of the loop.

Let it hang over a loose T and skinny jeans, or double loop it over a fitted button-down and boot-cut jeans.
Tights with prints or patterns, as well as bright colors, are chic, and will update any bland fall palette.

Something else on the scene for this year for all of you animal-lovers out there are animal-shaped knit hats. Pandas, monkeys and frogs top the list for highly desired designs. If you would rather save the animals for dinner, go for a funky knit beret or 1930’s-inspired felt hat.

Fashion doesn’t have to be expensive to be chic. Mix some of your favorite basics like plain white T’s, lace camis, and basic denim with some of the trends this fall season, and make a visit to your local thrift shop. Donate last season’s clothes, and pick up some new signature pieces to add to your wardrobe. In any case, make a statement this year.

Joanna Guberow can be reached at [email protected]