Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered Your Very Special Fall 2010 Fashion Update

September 23, 2010

Although I love fashion I often look at seasonal trend updates and think…”Really, you want women to wear THAT?”  I find myself wondering why the style and design gurus don’t check in with me first before creating their new line, but hey, they don’t.

Unfortunately, it often means that women who are not tall, slim and twenty-two years old (which is a lot of us!) have to sift through goofy stuff to find sophisticated fashions, clothes that fit properly (or cover everything!), or have a hard time completing an outfit (why don’t we have shell tops in every color or little sweaters to go over sleeveless dresses in the winter?).

I have to say, however, that this season is off to a pretty good start – with a couple of notable exceptions which are mostly just laughable…more below!

Bewitched

Jewelry is Hot! Jewelry is one of the best, easiest, and often least expensive ways to add personality and distinction to an outfit.  You get to determine the mood, intensity, and drama of any outfit in the blink of an eye.  Take a bland top from yawn to fabulous in seconds.  And, this season jewelry makes a huge statement.  It can be large and chunky, multi-stranded, burnished metals or jewel tones.  The sky’s the limit.

Color: Color is a mixed bag.  On the one hand they’ve brought back camel so for those of you who look great in it, grab it now!  Gray is still around (which is good for those who can wear it) but it’s not quite as all-pervasive as it has been (thankfully!).  We’re seeing a bit more green and teals than in past years (although not as much as I’d like to see) and red and purple are as popular as ever this time of year.  Black…ahhhh, black…don’t get me started.  No, no, no, everyone does not look great in black.  Some of the women who recently attended the Fashion Fairy Godmother retreat have personalities that are refreshingly spirited, bright-eyed, passionate and joyously unrestrained.  Put them in black and ooops, their spirit is squashed.  Don’t let that happen to you!  Revolt and instead choose colors that support your uniqueness! (Okay, I’m off my soapbox now!)

Dresses: They are still here and going strong.  This is a good thing.  We are seeing everything from fitted to trapeze to A-line (a la Mad Men) styles so there’s something for everyone.

Boots: I love boots!  I live in them for about 8 months of the year.  If I can go directly from sandals into boots I’m a happy camper.  Our love affair with boots continues.  Every conceivable height from shoeties (those are booties that don’t go over the ankle!) to booties to knee-high and over-the-knee (tricky, so beware!).  Every heel height and thickness is available, and you can find round or pointy toes, plain, strappy or lace-up.  It’s a boot shopper’s paradise!

Animal Print: I have been an image consultant for 23 years and every year (yup, every one) animal print is touted as a hot trend.  I’m not complaining because it’s a flattering pattern and can come in cool and warm tones so there’s something for everyone.  Just keep it understated and you’re good to go.  (Hey, even Talbots has a great looking animal print coat.)

Belts: The new Mad Men obsession has brought back 50’s-inspired styles and with it attention to the hourglass shape, and what does that better than a belt?  Wide, thin, doubled, metal, stretchy, interesting buckles…you name it.  If belts aren’t your thing, then skip them.  There are plenty of other flattering styles out there to wear.

Faux Fur: It’s everywhere (even Chanel!), and it can look elegant and add texture whether it’s on your coat, your boots or your handbag.

Ladylike Handbags: If you’ve never warmed up to the huge handbag trend (or are you ready for a change or just options?), then you’ll be happy this season as “ladylike” framed handbags make a big comeback.

Shoes: You name it, it’s here.  Kitten heels have made a comeback (for those of you who want something to wear between 4″ and flat!) and cute flats with bows are big.  And, if your taste runs more to platforms, then you’re in luck, too.  All in all, there’s something for everyone.

Bothered

Thankfully, this is a short (but powerful) category this season.

Fur: From last week’s article you know my feelings about this.  It has absolutely no redeeming qualities as a fashion statement.  It’s just sad and deplorable that it still exists except on the animals to whom it naturally belongs.

High Heels with Socks: Yup, you read that right.  Think Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) meets teenie-bopper, rocker girl.  It’s very creepy – even worse than when baby doll tops were all the rage a couple of years ago.

Bewildered

Peep-toe, high-heeled, lace-up hiking boots: Say, what?  I know we all have a use for those in our lives, right?   Not only are they goofy looking, but they have absolutely no practical use.  I doubt you’ll hike the nearest mountain and I doubt you’ll wear them with anything pretty.  So, about one in a million can pull this off and hopefully it’s a very, very fleeting trend.

Boyfriend Cardigans: They tend to be a bit oversized and usually in soft delicate knits (there’s the biggest problem). A fraction of the population can pull this off well.  If you’re one of them, then go for it – it’s a creative, relaxed look.  For the rest of us, they cling to the parts we don’t want them to and look shapeless and messy.  Boyfriend or no boyfriend, think long and hard before you buy into this trend.

Jeggings: By now you’ve probably heard of these, I’m sure (if not, consider yourself lucky).  They are a cross between jeans and leggings, a.k.a., jeggings.  If you have to wonder if you can wear them, you can’t.  Leave them to the 16 year olds, please.

Jackets: I’m bewildered about jackets in general.  I’m bewildered because there are so few out there!  Maybe that will change as the weather gets colder.  Hellooooo, anyone listening…women want jackets in the winter!

So, there you have it.  Yes, scarves are still in and every imaginable width of trousers so that’s all good.  I was shopping today, and my client and I found her a number of tops in teals, greens and purples so there’s hope!  Have fun and enjoy this beautiful weather (we’re having a brief return of summer at this moment but I’m sure the crisp Fall air will make a comeback very soon!).

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