Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered: Fall 2017 Fashion Trend Update

September 22, 2017

Each new season brings a whole new set of wardrobe choices. Hopefully you enjoy the seasonal changes, but if it feels daunting rather than fun, don’t worry. I’m here to review the options and help you find what appeals to you.

This season is showing us more of what we’ve been seeing (cold shoulder tops and florals) as well as what we generally expect this time of year including velvet and moto jackets. The trick with all the options, whether old or new, is to figure out what to buy and how to wear what you buy.

As usual I have chosen my favorite trends to share with you and have divided them into three categories: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered. There are some truly wacky trends out there like jackets with no pants (really!) and clothes covered in slogans that I have chosen to ignore. Clearly they are extreme and most of us won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Of course, as with all fashion there are exceptions to every rule and some people can rock unexpected trends.

As always, the final choices are up to you. I have fun sharing my thoughts with you and I hope you enjoy it. Most importantly, have fun exploring what you want to add to your wardrobe this season.

Without further ado…



Color is one of the foundational aspects of any wardrobe so when adding to your wardrobe begin by assessing the color. Choose only the colors that look amazing on you. While black is ubiquitous, we do have other options. I’m delighted to say that a gorgeous green teal is one of the colors this fall. You’ll see an example below along with navy which is giving black a run for its money.

If you want to see all of the hottest colors for fall-winter, go HERE. Of course, there will still be other options (not on the list) in the stores so do not despair if these don’t delight you. In the ‘Bewildered’ category I will share some of the other seasonal colors with a few words of caution.


This trend has slowly been gaining popularity. Often it has been associated with a more down to earth (think Lucky Brand) or western look, but now you will see it on everything. Here is one example: an elegant duster coat with a small amount of embroidery down one side:

You will also see boots with embroidery. It’s a fun way to add a hint of a trend.

Roses are especially popular as an embroidery design, especially, it seems, on denim. But, if you don’t care for roses there are other designs as well. Embroidery, in general, is a big trend so enjoy it if it appeals to you.


What would a fall-winter season be without velvet? I’m not sure I’ve every experienced one! It’s a beautiful fabric and often comes in delicious colors.

I adore this moto jacket in a gorgeous deep merlot:

And, this one shoulder top in a pretty blue-periwinkle is lovely. Of course, you have to enjoy the one shoulder look, but those of us who won’t wear it can at least appreciate it!

Go here to see many more options for velvet including a stunning clutch that comes in several velvet colors and boots as well.


Perhaps you are more of a lacey person than velvet in which case you’re in luck, too. I have to say, however, that the designers have gone a bit crazy with the lace trend. It seems it’s all or nothing. It’s hard to find garments with just a hint of lace rather than lace everywhere. I’ve chosen some that are beautiful, but you have to love lace to wear them, that’s for sure!

Here is one example. Because the color is so deep the lace seems understated even though there is a lot of it:

To see more elegantly dramatic lace tops, go HERE.

And, sometimes the way to go is with an accessory like earrings that have a lacy look:

Leopard Print

Some form of animal print has been trending for the past 30 years. Really…I’m not kidding. This season it seems to have picked up steam, especially leopard print and especially in shoes…go figure. But, not all animal print is created equal. If you like it, there’s something for everyone. Here are two examples of warm and cool leopard print:

Sleeve Drama

If you’ve done any shopping at all in the past year you can’t help but have noticed that sleeves are not just sleeves anymore. They have cut-outs, lace, embroidery, bells and bows, just to name a few options. In fact, it is hard to find a plain sleeve. Often when a trend becomes this extreme it means it is nearing the end. But do not despair, if you have some embellished sleeves in your wardrobe they will still be in style for awhile, especially the more subtle ones as opposed to those that combine all the embellishments in one garment. Of course, I always encourage you to wear what you have – don’t save it! You want to have gotten your money’s worth and enjoyment out of your clothes before a trend does run its course.

Here are two examples of interesting sleeves and you’ll see many more here:


They are everywhere and on everything. You will either love this trend or despise it. While I (personally) am not a bow person, I think it can be a pretty trend on the right person. Here is one example of a bow on this denim top. It’s a nice clean look and not at all fussy.

To be honest, I found quite a few that I feel are done tastefully and (gasp!) I might even wear one or two of them. Take a look HERE. There is a handbag that is stunning and a white top that I’d wear if only it came in a different color.


While I am even less a ruffle person than a bow person, I have found some ruffles that are understated and fun. I also have a number of clients who rock ruffles of all sizes which makes it so much fun to help them find the ones that make them smile.

Here is a top that is pretty with a ruffle that blends into the print:

And there’s a great pair of ruffled pants (yes, you read that right) and an amazing ruffled clutch at a very reasonable price. You will see both HERE. I actually scrolled through thousands of ruffled garments to find the few you’ll see on that page. As a result, be sure to visit the ‘Do Not Wear’ section where sadly the ruffle trend made quite an appearance. While I groaned a lot, I also laughed out loud more than once!


Now for a complete change of pace! Patchwork. It won’t go away! You have to tiptoe very carefully through this trend. So much patchwork is messy and ill-conceived, but there are a few beauties in there as well.

Here is an example of a patchwork top that works. It’s uses just two colors and two sizes of prints so your eyes don’t cross when you look at it.

I love these patchwork earrings. Accessories, as you’ve seen, can be a fun way to give a nod to a trend:

And, you have to see the most beautiful patchwork dress (sizes 14-24 only) as well as the coolest pair of boots HERE along with several other fun patchwork options.


Denim is as hot as ever and denim shirts are particularly popular right now. The problem is that they can easily look messy and frumpy. I found a few that work and a couple that I encourage you to avoid.

Here is one that works and it has a little unusual twist:


This trend is so hot that I had to stop myself from adding more examples. No longer are backpacks just functional and practical. They can be beautiful and fun as well.

Here are two of my favorites in pretty colors:

You can go HERE to see many others (plenty of black options as well as some beautiful colors) and many of them (including the ones above) come in a variety of colors.

Fall Florals

Recently, florals have been a big trend not only in the spring but in the fall as well. I find most of them to be overwhelming, especially when you combine them with all the fussy trends that I’ve mentioned above. I found a few florals I thought were worth sharing and you can see them here:



Remember I mentioned I’d come back to color? Well, here we go. There is still way too much black and gray in the stores. I worry that we are in danger of becoming a colorless society! Besides that there are three colors that are not ugly, by any means, but they are challenging for a lot of people to wear. One is a color they call Butterum, another is called Autumn Maple and the third is Golden Lime. All three colors are very warm so they will look best on someone with warm dark skin and many times a redhead can wear them well. If you aren’t sure, skip them.

Fishnet Ankle Socks

Fishnets are back and they can be fun. I especially like the light color on fair skin because you can’t really see the detail until you are close. But there are two new fishnet trends that have me rolling my eyes!

One is a large scale fishnet. Hmmmm…be careful. The width of the design can add visual width to your legs.

And, the other trend is fishnet anklets. Maybe you will want to run right out and buy a pair, but I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull these off!

Shirt Dresses

Shirt dresses have been around forever. While I know designers like to tweak traditional trends, in this case I can’t help but think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” But instead, they mess with a perfectly good design. Too many of the dresses are in fabrics that are too soft and they look droopy or, as my mom would say, they make someone look like a sack of potatoes tied in the middle (that’s my dream look…NO!). Or, they have absolutely no shape at all and look boxy and messy…or both! Not to mention that most of them are in dreary colors.

That said, I did find some great looking shirt dresses including this midi length dress:

And, I found some great denim shirt dresses and a couple of color options as well. You will see them all HERE. Oh, and you’ll see lots of terrible, scary shirt dresses in the ‘Do Not Wear’ section.

Now it’s time for you to take a look at your existing wardrobe and see what you want to add for the fall-winter. Remember, this season, at least here in the northeast, tends to last much longer than the warmer weather. You don’t want to find yourself feeling horribly bored with your wardrobe by mid-January. By then it will be too late to add anything seasonal.

If you see something you like from the more than 100 items I have personally selected for this article, all you have to do is click on the photo and it will take you directly to the website. This is designed to make your shopping experience much easier and more productive!


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I will do many more of these types of ‘catalogues’ as part of my new monthly program. Details will be available soon with many thanks to those of you who gave me feedback and ideas. I am incorporating much of what you suggested to make it as value-packed as possible. For instance, upcoming catalogues will be featured on these topics—all of which you suggested (and many more as time goes along). How do I…

  • create a casual ‘around the house’ wardrobe
  • dress my personality (whether you are classic, elegant, natural sporty, dramatic, artsy, etc.)
  • still wear my black clothes while I add colors that are more flattering?
  • complete an outfit instead of always feeling like something is off?
  • dress to hide my tummy? (or arms or hips…whatever is most helpful to women)
  • accessorize without feeling like it’s too much or not enough?
  • add flair to an outfit without breaking the bank or making me feel uncomfortable?
  • choose shoes (flats and heels) that complement an outfit?
  • dress when I am always hot…or always cold.

And the catalogues are just the tip of the iceberg for what this program will offer. Stay tuned…I can’t wait to share it with you!

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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 small commissions for Total Image Consultants. This helps support the many hours spent creating these very specific recommendations.


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