Fall 2011 Fashion Trends

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  • There’s something about the fall wardrobe that ignites excitement. September and October may top the list of the two best months to get dressed. We can layer our sweaters and light jackets and wear chic booties for a couple of months before we need to hide under waterproof coats and boots. Mary Marino, editor of www.flashionista.com, shows us how Fall 2011 fashion fun is going to roll:

    Color

    High-beam color is being touted as the next big thing. If you’re hooked on black or taupe or navy, this is the season to break out of the rut. Instead of splashes of color mixed with neutrals, the new pairings will mix bold colors together. The ones to watch: orange, turq, teal, red, and parakeet green. Could Santa Red be the new black?
  • Suits They’re back. It’s tempting to drag the oldies out of storage, but nothing can date you like an old suit. Cuts and fabrics are updated. There’s a wool revival happening: the lightweight textures, tweeds, and hound’s-tooth patterns are not your granny’s woolens. They’re blended with silk and other fibers and have a bit of stretch. Pleated skirts, and pants with long full legs, look best with jackets that fit close to the body. Slimmer pants and pencil skirts can carry either a close fitting jacket or one that’s roomier.
  • Day Dresses Office manager Joan Harris (nee Holloway) looked smashing in the jaw dropping numbers they put her in on "Mad Men." But if the amply endowed Joan had to buy her dresses off the rack, she would have a huge problem. Getting a single garment that fits the individual woman’s body perfectly on the top and bottom is probably the main reason day dresses went out of fashion in the first place. Ten women who are all size 8 will all look very different in the same size 8 dress. Knitted fabrics made fit more forgiving, but in the end, separates dealt a death blow to tailored dresses. Now they’re back! Nothing looks as fabulous as a tailored dress. If the dress fits, this is the season to buy and wear it!
  • Coats Coats might just be this season’s “statement” item. The standout shapes include the tailored topper Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O favored, the more relaxed boxy wraps and pea jackets worn by Ali McGraw in "Love Story," and the cape-poncho-serape looks worn by Juan Valdez and assorted fashionistas. The styling may be tried and true, but the colors and patterns this season are a whole new story. Don’t let a red coat scare you, or a hound's-tooth or plaid one either: a brilliant coat is just the thing to enliven your wardrobe and make you feel good even in the dreariest weather.
  • Handbags It’s a blow to those of us who carry our lives in our handbags, but flip through the big fat September issues of the top fashion magazines, and there is a noticeable absence of purses big enough to park your car in. The season’s best bags are more ladylike with hand-stitching detail, refined (rather than gauchely overladen) hardware, and charming chain shoulder straps. Lightening our load sounds like a good idea anyway.
  • Prints And Patterns It’s a jungle out there. The animals that are in NO danger of extinction are leopard, tiger, and zebra. This season’s “new” skin is snake. Fakes are OK, it’s the pattern that counts. You’ll be able to wear wildlife on your clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories. There will be plenty to choose from. The fashion industry loves animal prints because they always sell. The consumer loves animal prints because they always ook right. They’re never really out of fashion, but some seasons, they’re really in! Own as many as you want, but wear only one animal pattern at a time if chic and modern is your goal.
  • Footwear It looked like we were set to get a stiletto reprieve almost a year ago when kitten heels started giving us new hope for stylish footwear. So why does the sky high stiletto refuse to go away? My guess is it’s hard to argue the value of looking 10 pounds thinner just by putting on shoes. But it’s also important to be able to function without falling on your face. Right now, the major department stores are showing heel heights that vary from flat to sky high, with lots of 2” and 3” heels in between. Oxford styling still looks cool and new. The really chic boots are the flat-heeled knee highs.

    To learn more about fashion trends and see how to put them together in your wardrobe, visit www.flashionista.com.