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Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered: Fall 2016 Trend Update

As you might know, I am somewhat disenchanted with the options we have for clothing and trends out there in the retail world. I don’t know what the designers are thinking, but it definitely isn’t about those of us who want to look great! If you missed my recent blog post you can read it here: ‘The Future of Clothes Shopping.’

That said, we still have to get dressed and generally we add at least a few items to our wardrobe each season. To do that, it is helpful to know how to separate the crazy fashion fads from the reasonable and captivating fashion trends.

Each season, for your reading and shopping pleasure, I study the trends and share them with you with my frank comments. This season is no exception and, as always, you will find a variety that are bewitching, bothersome and bewildering, a.k.a., the good, the bad and the ugly. And, I’ll give you specific examples so you don’t have to guess.

Keep reading and enjoy!

With beauty, style & grace,



A perennial winter favorite, this season is no exception. There is something delicious about wearing velvet in the cold weather whether you wear it head to toe or pieces here and there.

Having a velvet jacket for the winter feels wonderful—here’s a great option in a green/brown (they call it moss):

Or how about a pair of velvet boots (they also come in black):

See more beautiful velvet options HERE.

Leopard print

Animal print never goes out of style and leopard is the print of choice this season.

Here is a simple top in a warm animal print (great on redheads or people with warm skin or hair):

Or, if your coloring is cooler or you look great in black, here’s another option:


This trend is usually reserved for the summer, but this year it extends into the fall and winter.

Here’s a simple sweater that nods at the nautical, but isn’t over the top:

And, since wide leg pants are back in, these pants are great. Of course, you have to feel comfortable tucking your top in or the nautical feel is lost:

Tiers & Ruffles

Some people are ruffle people and some are not. If you are, this season will make you smile. The ruffles are understated, generally, which is lovely. You can see what I mean with these two ruffled tops:

And, tiers can be very flattering and forgiving, especially with these diagonal lines. (Although the colors in the dress don’t work for everyone):

You won’t believe one of the places they are showing ruffles – In my 30 years in business I have never seen this. You’ll find it under the ‘Trends to Avoid’ section HERE.

Bold Shoulder

Having naturally narrow sloped shoulders, I actually LOVE the bold shoulder trend, but it really hasn’t made it to New England as yet. I’m not talking about giant shoulder pads from the 80’s. It is more about decorative features or oversized/contrasting collars, perhaps architectural shoulders design or shoulders that stand up rather than out. It’s very dramatic. My fingers are crossed. I know it’s not for everyone, but I (and others like me) will rock it!


I cannot tell you how many of my clients say I don’t have anything green in my closet and I wish I did. Well, now you can…sort of. It’s supposedly a somewhat popular color this season and I’m seeing a little bit (mostly army green or a brighter Kelly green) in the stores—certainly more than usual. But, we are a far cry from seeing green everywhere. The season is still young, however, so, if all goes well, that could change. Here’s one example and you can see a few more green items HERE.

In addition, you will see a slight return of brown (it’s about time!). I LOVE these brown boots (they have free shipping and free returns):

As well as colors like medium blue, camel and a vivid purple.


Nearly every fall we see signs of plaid and this year is no exception. The trend has been tweaked to feature ‘understated’ plaid options and I have found some beautiful examples like this lovely sweater:

One of the things I love about the plaids as well is the gorgeous color combinations. Here is one blouse in yummy colors:

And even in shoes:

See many more examples HERE including a gorgeous gray and silver jacket.

High Fashion Puffer Coats

If you live anywhere north you’ll find that a puffer coat is handy. That said, most of them have been functional but nowhere near attractive. This year not only are we seeing them in pretty colors like the one below, but they also have a bit more fit to them so you don’t feel so much like the abominable snowman.

Shiny coats are also in, but I haven’t seen a lot of them. You’ll see a couple of examples (as well as other pretty puffer coats (I couldn’t stop finding them!)) HERE.


Normally I’m not wild about this trend, but this season there are some notable exceptions. Pants, for instance, are moving from exclusively skinny to trouser and wide leg styles that are beautiful and flattering. You can find trousers HERE in every price point and size. Here is one example:

Continuing with the menswear theme is shoes. Tie shoes fashioned after men’s shoes are all the rage. Here’s a beautiful example:


While slim heels still abound, the popular and comfortable block heel is back. Take a look at this one:

See many more shoe styles of the season HERE.

Stirrup Pants

These are not the stirrup of 30 years ago that often bagged at the ankle. These are like dancers’ tights and with the stirrup they will stay in place better. Here’s a perfect example (you’ll see it under the section of ‘Your Call’ in the catalogue HERE).

As you can see, the season looks somewhat promising – fingers crossed!

Now onto those styles that gave me pause…


Big Over Big

Really! What woman do you know who wants to look bigger? Enough said! I recommend leaving this look (oversized top over full pants or skirt) to the teenagers who can make it look cool! Hopefully, for the rest of us, this trend will meet a quick demise.

Menswear Pantsuits

There is nothing wrong with this, per se, it’s just that it has become increasingly hard to find pretty blazers because someone thinks we all want to wear a men’s style blazer day after day. Enough already!

Patchwork Fur

As if fur isn’t horrific enough, they now make it truly dreadful by creating patchwork fur garments. What drugs are they taking?

Androgynous 90’s Sweats

If you haven’t read my article entitled, “Activewear is Not the Answer to Dressing Comfortably” then you can read it HERE. While sweats have their place in some wardrobes, they are not meant to be the only item in your wardrobe. And, be forewarned, this particular twist on sweatsuits can make anyone over 25 look wildly dated.


Large Florals

They had an appeal in the beginning, at least as a fun alternative to the traditional, conservative tiny florals we were used to, but we’re done. Oversized floral patterns are relatively hard to wear since they overpower many women not only in terms of size but personality. It can be hard to see the woman behind the giant flowers. And, are designers that limited in their creativity that they can’t move beyond this print?

Turtlenecks Under Dresses

This isn’t a terrible trend. It’s probably a personal thing for me. My neck isn’t as firm as it used to be so wearing a traditional turtleneck just draws attention there. Add to that the fact that I wore turtlenecks under dresses (we called them ‘jumpers’) when I was a young teenager. So, they make me feel like I’m 13 instead of…well, instead of an adult. If you love them and feel good wearing them, go for it.

Socks with Heels

This always makes me think of Dorothy in the ‘Wizard of Oz.’ For this trend to work you MUST have the edgy, trendy attitude to go with it (unless you are a teenager in which case it’s cool automatically). Here is an article about how to pair socks with heels if this trend intrigues you:


For me, maybe these were good 30 years ago, but not now with a softening neck!

Reconstructed Patchwork Denim

This trend looks like a train wreck all on its own. Maybe a handful of brave or super trendy souls can pull it off, but mostly I’d recommend leaving it on the rack. The designers must be desperate, but to think that this is the best they can do is truly scary.


There are always a few trends that seem intriguing or perfect for the right person (often someone much ‘cooler’ than I am). I show a few examples of these and much more in the ‘Your Call’ or ‘Trends to Avoid’ HERE, but to give you a little preview.


I wasn’t wild about these when they were in 10 years or so ago. They remind me too much of something I wore as a teenager back in the 70’s so I’ll pass. But, if you can rock them, go for it. The twist on the trend this time is that they are worn over turtlenecks. I did find a few neckerchiefs that I liked and one way, in particular, that I think it is very elegant. You can see all of that in the ‘Your Call’ section HERE.

Feline Frenzy Motif

Cute, but unless you want to look ‘cute’ or can wear it as a bit of a hidden surprise, I’d skip it.

Off the Shoulder Jackets

This is not a specific garment but more a trend of letting your jacket slide off your shoulders and fall down around your elbows or a bit above. I run too cold for this to happen and I’m not nearly that laidback!

Balloon Sleeves

Here’s on option in a gorgeous color and you’ll see a few more ideas under ‘Your Call’ HERE.

Black Sheer

Not new and sometimes tricky to wear. This is very much a personal choice.


Wearing butterflies on your clothes can go either way. It can look corny and overdone or it can look sublimely elegant. It all depends on the garment and your attitude. I have found a number of butterfly prints that are beautiful ranging in price from $21 to $5,000!

Here’s one of my favorite ways to wear butterflies this season:

You can see the rest HERE (go to the bottom to ‘Your Call’).

Do you see something you like? As always, have fun with the trends. Be sure they make you happy to wear them and then go for it. Otherwise, smile and walk on by!

A Note About the Clothes: All of the garments pictured here (and in the catalogue) are vegan (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals). Please note that I am passionate about ending animal suffering and choosing cruelty-free clothing is just one aspect of a vegan lifestyle. If you have any questions about being vegan or what fabrics are vegan please let me know. I am happy to help and will answer any questions with kindness and compassion.

Some of the affiliate links may generate commissions for Total Image Consultants. This helps support the time spent creating these very specific recommendations.


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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.