Fall Fashion Preview
Photos, styling, and writing: Emily V. Smith
Models: Julie Blood and Blair Koons, both of Fayetteville
Believe it or not, the fall season is fast approaching. It’s hard to envision the turning of the leaves and the brisk mornings of October as sweat drips from every crevice in the dead heat of summer, but, alas, it will soon once again be time to break out the cold weather gear and make our best attempt at conquering fall’s biggest fashion trends.
In the spirit of keeping things simple, I have compiled a list of trends, ideas and closet staples for fall 2011, albeit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the plethora of information available both online and in the glossy magazines, I hope it will be a starting point for some readers to think outside the box and try something new this year.
No. 1: Monochromotic Brights
What adult can look back on their childhood and not feel nostalgic toward a good ol’ box of crayons? From the way they smell to the built-in sharpener that came with my 64 color-filled box, I have loved them all. Luckily, this season, it is completely on trend to dress like one. Who knew?
Monochromatic brights (pick a color, any color) are all the rage according to online reports, and it seems all the big designers are dabbling in the brights department. From sharply tailored pencil pants to dramatic knits, look for your favorite shade and don’t be afraid to don plenty of color for fall.
Here, we play with beautiful, blissful blues. Blair Koons of Fayetteville wears a vintage suede dress, linen bow as a belt and platform heels, all in glorious azure.
No. 2: Put A Lid On It
(Hats Add Drama For Fall)
Sadly, we no longer live in the day and age when ladies wore hats and gloves to take a trip to the grocery store.
No longer seen as an Easter Sunday type of monstrosity, hats worn purely as decoration are making a huge comeback. Most women look phenomenal in a stunning topper, and hats have an uncanny ability to pull almost any outfit together. Just see what a hat can do to jeans and a T-shirt: The hat becomes the focal point and can also hide a bad hair day.
Whatever your viewpoint on hats, try a couple on for size before you say “No, thanks.” It could be exactly what your wardrobe was missing.
Here, Julie Blood of Fayetteville wears a fabulous 1950s black velvet hat, encrusted with rhinestones. (Note she also sports a peplum-waisted jacket, as seen in No. 6, below.) Simply lovely!
No. 3: Raiding Your Boyfriend’s Closet
Every season, every year, someone somewhere talks of the importance of incorporating a little menswear into your feminine wardrobe.
Guys have it easy when it comes to dressing up or down, less muss and fuss, lots of clean lines and simple shapes for a more timeless, less trendy closet that can be maintained for years. Let’s take a cue from the fellas in our lives and steal a garment or two, eh?
Some of my favorites include The Boyfriend Blazer, The Boyfriend Sweater and any simple button-down shirts. Heck, I’ll even throw a necktie into the mix just to “masculine up” an overtly feminine ensemble. Remember, the key to not looking like a Marx Brother in drag is to MIX his things with your own, to avoid going head-to-toe dude.
Here, Blair mixes her menswear blazer with a feminine, waist-cinching belt and a bright green mid-length skirt (as in No. 1, above).
No. 4: The Jean Theory
(Get It Right)
We all own and wear jeans. They are nothing less than a major staple for every season, every year, and come in an endless array of cuts and colors. They are never going out of style, and you can bet your sweet ass and your bottom dollar that last season’s jeans look exactly like this season’s jeans.
That being said, my theory on jeans is this: know your body type and go from there. Find the style of jean that most compliments your frame and buy them in multiples. Money is not an issue when you are investing in wardrobe staples that will last several years.
Some of us like skinny jeans, while others prefer boot cut, cropped, boyfriend slouchy … you get the idea. Any woman over the age of 18 has spent enough time in the mirror addressing her backside to know which jeans make her look the best. Don’t let current trends force your cute little tushie into questionable cuts. Ladies, go with your gut, and, always, always, always check out your butt!
Here, Julie wears her favorite curve-flattering jeans. Regardless of price, brand or style, she exudes confidence and wears what best fits her body type and her sense of style.
No. 5: Embracing Mustards
Like it or not, mustard is all over the runways for fall 2011. I have never really owned anything in mustard and have fancied myself more of a “ketchup-kind-of-gal.” Being a fair-skinned blonde, the thought of head-to-toe yellow scares me a little.
That being said, use your mustard sparingly. Accessories in shades of the pucker-worthy condiment will lend just the right amount of spice to your outfit if you don’t think the hue will compliment your coloring. Trying something new is part of the fun of fashion. Some are a hit, and some are a miss but it’s always fun to try something different.
Here, we like our mustard spicy-printed and cropped pants paired with an equally sassy burnt-yellow leather satchel. Mmmm, mustardy!
No. 6: Peplum Jackets
Once a hit in the 1940s with women-in-the-know, peplum jackets and tops have been making a big comeback during the past several years, and fall 2011 is no stranger to the skirted waist.
One of the hippest ways to show off a whittled waistline, these jackets look fabulous alone or when paired with an equally stunning belt. What’s so wonderful about the peplum? It flatters figures from petite to buxom, allowing women of all shapes and sizes to play up our two most important assets: our waist and our bust. Peplum waists create the illusion of a smaller waist and a larger bust, and what woman can say no to a proposition like that?
Here, a vintage 1960s peplum-waist jacket, complete with crocodile skin inlay, gives Julie just what she needs for optimum OOMPH. Looking good, curvy lady! And, no belt required.
No. 7: Denim On Denim
Known to some as a “Canadian tuxedo,” the prospect of denim on denim seems a little scary to a handful of folks. Well, fear not, Fayetteville, because this season it is all the rage to mix and match your denims.
No longer a frowned upon combination, wearing multiple denims at once can be conquered. The key is to appear nonchalant, a bit happenstance and like you just threw it on and couldn’t care less. With contrasting shades of blue, this no-brainer combo could just become your new favorite go-to outfit.
Avoid looking like a 50-something biker chick by keeping cuts current (i.e.: no “mom” jeans with pleats and PLEASE don’t tuck your shirt into your pants.)
Here, Blair’s disheveled hair and lackadaisical demeanor give the all-denim look just the vibe it needs. Add a tough pair of Harley Davidson boots, and she is ready to go.
No. 8: Statement Jewels
While it is fun to pile on the jewelry, a couple necklaces here, a wrist full of bracelets there, sometimes we tend to go overboard on the accessories.
One major trend this fall is bold, singular statement jewelry. Statement meaning it can and should stand alone. It needs no back-up singers because a statement piece is Tina Turner AND Kate Middleton all rolled in to one.
Less is more when it comes to your jewels and, really, I am quite thankful. Although I rather enjoy my massive jewelry collection, I would much prefer sticking to one show-stopping piece to compliment my outfit. There is nothing quite as special as donning that one eye-catching showpiece that becomes the star of your outfit, garnering praise all evening, wherever you may venture.
Here, Blair lets her jewelry take the lead. The outfit, a simple, ribbed men’s tank top and stunning maxi skirt (see No. 10, below), takes a back seat to the enormous and beguiling leather fringe necklace. Statement made, eh?
No. 9: Dramatic Outerwear
(Yet another no-brainer)
Luckily, our fall and winter seasons in Northwest Arkansas aren’t so intense that we all must dress specifically for gale force wind and blinding, blistering snowstorms. And, while fur-trimmed parkas have a special place in my heart, they aren’t necessarily commanding any attention in the fashion arena.
For me, this season is all about the drama when it comes to outerwear. Go for bright colors, luxurious fabrics and interesting cuts when choosing coats and jackets to properly enhance your wardrobe. Remember, your outerwear is the first thing people see in the colder months, and sometimes we never get the opportunity to remove our coats to display our well-planned outfits that lie beneath. Make sure you are noticed regardless by making your warmest layer also the coolest layer.
Here, Blair sports a phenomenal eggplant-colored, wool, military overcoat. With ornate gold buttons and a hemline that skims the floor, this lady has created enough drama for 10 people.
No. 10: Maxi Skirts
Last but certainly not least, let’s take a gander at the flowing, flattering and very much in-style maxi skirt.
All the rage for fall 2011, some designers are pairing their larger-than-life skirts with chunky knit sweaters, while others are keeping it a little more streamlined. Equally versatile as the mini, the maxi does a better job at keeping you modest as well as allowing women of almost any age a chance to take on the trend. However you choose to wear your maxi skirt, try not to overload yourself with too many accessories (scarves, belts, etc.) as they tend to drag this look down. Keep it simple, and you can’t go wrong.
Here, Julie wears a red, silk maxi skirt paired with a cropped sweater in a black-white stripe. The bow on the sweater is the only the accessory she needs to keep her look clean, easy and breezy.