I feel like I am always running…running to a meeting…running to follow up on a phone call…running to my next appointment…running through my inbox…running to meet a deadline…running to take care of the next thing on my ‘to-do’ list…and often running late! Sound familiar? Due to this constant state of running that is a common reality for us women, I found it imperative in my own life to incorporate trends into my wardrobe that easily create instant style. I wanted to share with you my top five fashion trends for this fall/winter season that are readily available in a variety of options at all price points that do the job and that you too can easily incorporate into your wardrobes. Each trend can be tweaked to glam up an otherwise casual outfit or to create a sporty relaxed look to an originally more formal or classic ensemble. Here are my favs:
The boyfriend blazer is a more casual version of a classic suit jacket. Its length is slightly longer and its width is slightly wider than traditional styles. Plus the button stance rides lower than is usually recommended for formal blazer jackets. The boyfriend blazer has remnants of the Eighties suit jackets but has less masculine design elements than those worn by Melanie Griffith in the movie, Working Girl.
This specific trend has been carried over from the spring/summer months and adapted with fabrics appropriate for the cold weather. The boyfriend blazer is generally styled with the sleeves pushed-up or rolled-up to give a sexier relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. A word of caution is to make sure that the length of your boyfriend blazer does not go below the bottom of your buttocks; otherwise, the blazer will be too long and thus overpower the body. Same idea with the width of these fashionable jackets – many store selections have very wide width versions and it would be wise to make sure yours is not too boxy – this proportion too could easily appear to dwarf your shape!
A solid black boyfriend blazer seems to be the most popular, so perhaps you would prefer to select one in charcoal gray, midnight blue or a host of other colors to stand out from the crowd. You may also wish to try uncommon fabrics, such as tweed, plaid, flannel or even velvet. Tuxedo style, double breasted style or single button style are a few of the lapel and button variations for these blazers. The details for your boyfriend blazer should adhere to your style preferences, body type, coordinate with the other items in your wardrobe and fit well into your lifestyle.
The best ways to wear a boyfriend blazer are over a dress, combined with jeans or dress slacks, or with cropped vegan leather pants as designer Stella McCartney superbly showcases while walking down her runway at the end of her fashion show. The versatility of this trend piece, of course, depends upon the dress code and environment at your office, but on the whole, this is a versatile trend piece that adds instantaneous style.
Ah, the long cardigan sweater! This is next on my list of the top five easy trends to integrate into your wardrobe this fall/winter season. Just like the boyfriend blazer this too is a trend carried over from the spring/summer season. Again, you want to make sure the length of the sweater does not rest longer than to the bottom of your buttocks so as to keep a more balanced body proportion between the upper half of the body to the lower half.
The true wonderment of the long cardigan is in its versatility. It can effortlessly be worn over a dress, blouse, t-shirt or tank top. It comes in a multitude of colors this season and in a variety of materials – cotton to cashmere. Some styles have pockets; those are often referred to as boyfriend cardigans. If your favorite long cardigan has pockets make sure that the pockets do not slouch making the ensemble appear disheveled unless that is your desired look. Also, be sure that the pockets are not too thick or too large, so they don’t end up making your hips appear wider. Another fit tip is when you wear your long cardigan with a dress or a blousy top, either belt the dress or top, and wear the cardigan over these pieces; or place a belt on the outside of the long cardigan around the waist. Either option will portray a slimmer silhouette. Designer Chris Benz demonstrates another alternative – to simply tuck in the blouse.
SHABOOTIES & ANKLE BOOTS
I couldn’t decide which I liked better, the shabooty (aka. shoe-booty) or the ankle booty this season, so I decided to include both under one category…the booty. Both booties are fun and fantabulous! As you can see in Vera Wang’s version of a shabooty, the shoe itself is more of a shoe boot combination. One of the main advantages to this version of a booty is that the design has a lower cut making the legs look longer and leaner than an ankle booty. So, if you have shorter legs or thicker calves, this would be the ideal shape of shoe booty for you. Additionally, the shabooty is more conducive to a formal work environment, yet you can still easily wear them outside of the office and add some funk to your casual attire.
The ankle booty is just like the name suggests – a boot that resides at the ankle. The best fashion benefit with this style of boot is that it is an updated trend that is enjoyable and fierce. It provides extra ankle support versus the shabooty. This style is perfect for women with larger backsides and thicker thighs; it creates proportion not only between the foot and hips, but also, the overall silhouette of the woman’s entire body. And try to avoid those ankle boots with extra wide ankle openings. Instead choose ones that have a more fitted ankle like those showcased by designer Michael Kors.
There are so many options within the shabooty and the ankle booty styles. Both come in open-toe and closed-toe designs. Both are available at various heel heights and, certainly, price points. Some have obvious platforms on the outside while others have been built inside the shoe for added style and comfort. Both booties have been designed in leather, suede, patent leather and more this season; some have even been bejeweled, stitched and grommeted to the umped degree. And there is a large selection of colors to choose from at stores as well. Make sure to wear the same exact color (or as close as possible) of opaque tights as the booties to keep the legs looking long and slender. This leads me to my next favorite fall/winter trend this season…
I am not sure if we can call opaque tights a trend any more because it has been around for the last few years. My hope is that they become a classic staple to every woman’s wardrobe because they have so many benefits. Opaque tights keep our legs warm in the winter (we did bare legged for so long – why suffer?!) and they make our legs appear slim and long especially when they are the same color as our shoes. They even discreetly hide a multitude of areas of concern for so many of us women such as large calves, varicose veins, unshaven legs and knobby knees. And let’s not forget most of the opaque tights have the built in control top features.
Opaque tights can also easily and instantly add style to an outfit. This year I have noticed a much larger and more sophisticated color selection. The expanded color palette is a nice alternative to the previous years’ selection of solely black and bright primary colors. Today, these new luxurious color choices can actually be the original inspiration to an outfit. Another new feature this season is the micro-opaque versions that are now available in stores. The micro-opaque tights are simply more sheer adaptations of the standard opaque tight yet not as sheer as colored hosiery. They are a refreshing alternative.
This Diane von Furstenberg ensemble incorporates three out of my five recommended simple, effective and versatile fall fashion trends.
MIXED METAL JEWELRY
And finally, my final favorite easy fall fashion trend this season is to add a piece (or two) of mixed metal jewelry to an outfit. Bottega Veneta took their renowned hand-woven leather techniques and created splendid brushed gold and silver bangle bracelets. This is a brilliant approach to this trend; perfect for more reserved settings. Many mixed metal necklaces and bracelets in the marketplace combine different materials in one piece including multiple strands of antiqued gold, antiqued silver and brass metal linked chains. Some even include crystal and pearl embellishments.
Although your initial thought may be that this trend has too much of a rocker(ish) vibe for your sensibilities and, therefore, would not be suitable for your work environment, yet strategically worn pieces can override this initial assumption. Choose medium size chain-linked strands rather than large bold thick chain links to create a feminine and sophisticated look. Add a mixed metal bracelet with your standard black suit and presto! instantly chic. Or, throw on a mixed metal necklace with a long cardigan, tee and pair of jeans or dress slacks and the outfit now has an extra fashionable charm to it. These two options alone make for a simple multipurpose fashion trend that you would be amiss not to include in your wardrobe.
So, those are my favorite easy fashion trends this fall/winter season. As always, feedback! feedback! feedback!- let me know how they work for you?!