Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered Your Fall 2011 Special Fashion Update

September 9, 2011

The Fall shopping season is my favorite.  The colors are beautiful and everything looks so cozy.  For the most part, I have to say that this season is shaping up nicely (of course, it is still early but I’m hopeful it will stay that way and get even better as the months pass).

Brown is back (a huge yay!) – although it is still only dribbling into the stores but that should change as the weeks pass.  Stacked heels are giving women the lift without the wobbly feeling.  And, there’s more!

That’s what this special seasonal update is all about.  I’ll share with you what I love and what I don’t in my Fall 2011 “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” Fashion report.  Enjoy!

Bewitched

Color: Bright, bold and rich colors are in.  It’s a delicious time of year!  Orange (we’ll come back to this), cobalt blue, red (yes, it’s a tribute to vampires and blood), magenta, Forest colors (sage, hunter, jade, teal).  Brown is back…thankfully!  And, camel takes on more of a rust tone.

Let’s talk about red for a minute.  They are touting it everywhere as THE color of the season, but I just spent an entire day in Lord & Taylor in New York City with a client who really wanted to wear red and could we find any at all?  Nope!  Not one piece.  So, perhaps it is planning to be fashionably late but don’t get too excited about it yet.

All of this is good except the focus on orange (it’s not a great color for a lot of people although those of us who can wear it are happy!) and the camel moving closer to rust is not fabulous.  Again, those with super duper warm tones in their skin will be ecstatic.  Everyone else will have to admire it from afar!

Dresses & Skirts: There is a lot going on here – every imaginable length is in.  Work dresses (with sleeves…hallelujah!) are hot.  Midi’s (that hit mid-calf) are the newest (albeit tricky) addition.  If it hits you at the widest part of your calf it will make your legs look heavy, so be careful.  Maxi dresses are all the rage but they can overwhelm you in a heartbeat and can look a little goth.  Go ahead and try them but don’t feel badly about leaving them on the rack.

Stacked Heels (including loafers): This trend will make many women’s hearts sing.  What’s most lovely about this is that every heel width is still available so for those for whom stacked heels are too clunky, you can still find slimmer heels, wedges and flats.   For those who have been longing to wear heels but don’t like teetering on stilts, these will be a blessing.  The loafer look (some are even platforms!) could be a bit over the top but some will embrace it and carry it off just great.  It can be a fun look with pants.

Shimmer for Day: One of my favorites!  When the weather gets cold and dreary, wearing something with a little shimmer or sparkle can be a great pick-me-up.  Here’s a great example to wear under a casual sweater or a jacket: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lauren-by-ralph-lauren-sleeveless-metallic-jersey-top/3191392?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=5934

Plaid: Once again, plaid is big for Fall.  Like most prints, a little goes a long way so if you like it wear it sparingly and be sure the basic colors in it look good on you.  If you just want to experiment, a scarf is a great way to add a touch of it without going overboard: http://www.zappos.com/echo-design-embroidered-plaid-olive

Capes: Capes are pretty but often fairly impractical – at least here in the northeast where there are usually about 10 days when the weather is just right for you to wear them.  But, if you like that Jane Eyre kind of feeling, have fun with it.  Here’s a beautiful short cape (that is also cruelty-free!): http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/via-spiga-asymmetrical-cape/3176405?origin=related-3176405-60133843-0-1-1

Bothered

Bright Pants: Oh, dear, I had a little 1980’s déjà vu.  Bright red jeans are everywhere.  With rare exceptions (most of which are on the very young) they are tricky.  You really have to know what you are doing and have the personality to pull it off.  Eager to try them?  Get one pair and see what you think (and if you wear them or they sit in your closet looking tempting but never actually make it on your body!).  If you aren’t sure, I’d say skip it.

Feathers in your hair: This is a hugely cruel new fashion trend.  Those long feather extensions sported by celebrities like Mylie Cyrus and Hillary Duff come from live roosters.  They are not fake.  It is bad enough that the roosters are raised so their feathers can be used as fishing lures in fly-fishing but to be a fashion trend has caused the demand to escalate and more roosters are suffering.  Please say no to such a cruel and unnecessary trend. Click here to read more.

Choker Necklaces: These remind me of a prom outfit gone wrong.  Occasionally they can look sweet but mostly not.  And, if you have any softness in the neck area, they will only draw attention to it.  Not to mention that the proportions are totally unbalanced.   There are plenty of other beautiful necklace trends and lengths to experiment with (including long pendants).  I suggest leaving this one alone.

Silky pants: With rare exceptions these will look like you are wearing your pajamas.  They are great for lounging around the house or for celebrities who are super trendy, but otherwise save your money for a style more lasting and flattering.

Sky High Platforms: So what’s up (so to speak) with this crazy trend.  Women are falling (yes, they are!) and teetering unattractively on platforms so high that we fear for their lives.  It is hard to walk gracefully in a shoe like this!  Yes, I think platforms are great fun but when women’s lives (and ankles) are at risk or they walk funny, then what’s the point?

Bewildered

Beehive Hairdo: I have often wondered if this style would ever make a comeback.  Well, it has and not only that but it has incorporated a twist that makes it even a little more eeeuw! – Imagine a “grunge beehive” and the image that brings up.  I’m sure a beehive hairdo can be done tastefully especially if it’s just for an evening out (although I still can’t imagine it’s good for your hair!) but when you add the grunge factor I think all hope is lost.

Mustard Hues: I thought yellow was challenging when that was all the rage for a few seasons but now they are taking it one step further from wearability – mustard!  Sure, there are a few people who look good in it but whereas at least bright yellow looks lively and fun, mustard just looks blah and a tad sickly on someone whose skin tone can’t handle it.  Unless you’re sure, skip it!

The Denim Shirt: Denim never seems to go out of style and that’s fine.  Now that we have a little stretch in denim I have my fair share.  But, when it comes to jean shirts and dresses, beware.  Most of them are made from a soft, lighter colored denim.  Unless you are sure this is a great color for you, I would walk on by.  Also, in most cases, it has a super casual, slightly rustic feel to it, so if that doesn’t fit with who you are or how you want to express your style, again, leave it on the racks.

The shopping season is in full swing and there is a lot to celebrate out there, and, as always, the styles will shift and evolve as the season moves along. Right now, for instance, there are not many jackets for women to wear to work (although there are plenty of suits), while there are lots of long cardigan sweaters.  They can be great for business casual but it’s nice to have the option of a fabulous jacket or two…I suspect we’ll see more of those in the next month.

Have fun exploring.  You’ll see lace, peplums and polka dots throughout the season as well – all fun trends for the right person.  If shopping sometimes feels overwhelming, take this guide with you for a little moral support!

Plan to shop now and again in October, and you’ll round out your wardrobe for the approaching winter.  Mostly, have fun and listen to your inner voice as it guides you to styles that look and feel fabulous!

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