Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered Fall 2020 Fashion Update

October 16, 2020

I’m sure we can all agree that this is fashion season is like no other! So many stores have closed their doors forever. Some stores are open but with no dressing rooms and others have moved totally online. Over the past 18 months, five of my go-to stores have closed. It’s a difficult time for those in fashion retail and those challenges are passed onto us as consumers.

Many fashion retail stores are still trying to sell their past season clothing, some have postponed or cancelled their Fall inventory and many are moving cautiously into this new season. Shopping has become tricky and even people who never liked online shopping are finding that’s the best way to shop with the most choices.

The styles being offered have also changed dramatically. Yes, some was predetermined at the beginning of 2020 when the Fall fashions were revealed, but so much has happened since then. Who would have guessed back in January that major department stores would close their doors and that face masks would be the new fashion accessory? This is certainly a year with many unexpected (and mostly unwanted) twists and turns.

What is in store for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere as the temperatures take a nosedive?

As usual, I have researched the trends and am looking forward to sharing those with you here. Whether you are living in the same clothes day in and day out, are revamping your wardrobe for our new virtual work environments or are finding fashion is a way to create some sense of normalcy in your world, let’s take a look at what’s out there to wear!

If you are new to the ‘Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered’ style update, you’ll see that I add the trends to the appropriate depending on whether I think it is worth exploring, is a bewildering choice or is truly ridiculous or perplexing. I share a variety of colors, styles, sizes, inner beauty words and price points.

Have fun reviewing the styles and I’d love to hear what your favorite choices of the season are.

Bewitched

Color
Let’s start with the most popular colors for the season. In this doom and gloom world, especially as we head into the bleakest seasons, you might think that dark, dreary colors are what they are showing us. Thankfully, there’s some relief. Jewel tones reign so if those are colors you adore, you’re in luck. Other colors can be found, but rich colors are everywhere.

Look at this stunning top (click on the photo to go directly to their website):

Also, if you’ve missed having a deep brown as a basic neutral, you’re going to love this! I’m seeing a bit of a resurgence…at least I hope it’s the beginning and not just an aberration. A true dark brown tends to look good on a lot of people so it’s nice to see it back…hopefully to stay for a while.

If you know how long it has been since we’ve seen dark brown jeans, then you’ll appreciate these even more (and you can click here to see more brown options).

Plaid
It’s never a surprise when plaid pops up in the Fall. Yes, there are the ubiquitous plaid flannel shirts and tartan plaid is a staple in some people’s wardrobe. But finding something a little less traditional (and very much in keeping with the jewel colors that are popular this season):

Houndstooth
A print that is always in style is houndstooth and it is particularly popular this Fall. Like plaid you can wear it in its traditional form – for houndstooth that would be black and white. Or you can play with it a bit and try something like this houndstooth puffer coat (whichever is more in keeping with who you are and your perfect colors, of course!).

Patchwork
Patchwork can go horribly wrong in a heartbeat. At its best it can look intriguing, fun and clever and at its worst it can look confusing, frumpy and downright ugly. It also tends to fit in more traditionally with a bohemian vibe, but you don’t have to have a hippie flair to your style to wear it. Here’s a fun option…patchwork sneakers.

Fringe
While fringe has been on trend for several seasons it seems to be a bit more tempered now than in the past—or perhaps I’m seeing it in more accessories than clothing. You can find fringe on jackets, handbags and scarves, but jewelry seems to be hottest place to wear it. Check out these earrings – a fun fringed take on a hoop earring:

Feminine Blouses
We often see lace, ruffles and bows in the spring, but perhaps because we basically skipped spring this year, they are turning up this Fall. They can be a lovely way to add some visual interest to an otherwise simple outfit as long as they reflect your personal inner beauty. There are a lot of them in white, but I also found this pretty pink top with a bow and a slight puff to the shoulder.

Puff Shoulders
If you have broad square shoulders, you’ll hate this style. If you have narrow sloped shoulders (like I do) you’ll take a second look. They add volume and a slight (or large depending on the puff) lift to the shoulders, but they can also tend to look a bit sweet or cute. So choose carefully.

Here I am in a cozy sweater with a slightly puffed shoulder.

Victorian Embellishments
The trend didn’t stop at feminine touches to blouses. It has, in some cases, gone full-blown Victorian with ornate lace, frilly sleeves and lacy high necklines. You can make this feel ultra-feminine, a bit campy or add a touch of softness to a grunge look (yes, 90’s grunge has returned). Here’s a pretty Victorian-style blouse that looks great with a pair of jeans.

Quilted Jackets
The trend reports implied that quilted blazers would be popular, but if they are I’m not seeing them. Maybe it’s just too early in the season? Here’s a basic quilted puffer coat I thought was different and has gorgeous detailing so the wearer doesn’t look too puffy.

And a cute peach colored quilted jacket. Be aware, it’s a boxy cut but could be fun with jeans.

Matching Clothes & Masks
This is a category that has never existed before, but now some retailers are realizing women would like to make it easy and have their clothes and mask match or purposefully blend so you don’t have to worry about whether the combination looks garish or messy. No more guessing! Here’s one example you can find at https://www.eshakti.com/productdetail.aspx?productid=CL0077276

Preppy Style
This style never really goes away. You either love it or you don’t! If you do, then you’re in luck because preppy is in. Traditional argyle sweaters, sweaters over collared shirts, blue and white stripes, classic blazers over a collared shirt are just a few preppy possibilities. I love this argyle sweater because it gives a nod to the argyle design, but it’s subtle and in a gorgeous color.

Tiger Print
Leopard print has been the animal print of choice for more years than I can count. This Fall, however, tigers rule. You’ll see the print everywhere and in every conceivable color combination. If you enjoy animal print (obviously not harming any animals), this is a fun one to add to your collection. Here’s one of my favorites.

Faux Fur, Leather & Suede Coats & Jackets
The popularity of ‘faux’ animal fabrics is gathering lots of momentum. Now they are available in a variety of colors, styles and lengths. Here’s one of my all-time favorites. I have a version of this jacket in two colors!

Bothered

Everyday Lingerie
This is a continuation of the trend of wearing your undergarments on the outside or visibly through your clothes. It’s very tricky to do tastefully and as we get older, probably not our best look.

Baggy Clothing
We cannot blame this trend solely on COVID. It has been gaining momentum ever since the rise of athleisure wear a few years ago. Of course, staying home for months during a pandemic has accelerated the popularity of wearing baggy, non-confining clothing, but in many cases it’s a hot mess (as my niece would say). At home it can feel cozy and soothing. But out and about there are other trends that are nearly as comfortable (few things are as comfy as pajamas) and generally look a whole lot better.

Oversized Scarves
Wearing a scarf serves so many useful purposes, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! Oversized scarves, even if you aren’t petite, can easily drown you in fabric and look totally out of proportion for the scale of the outfit and you!! But, if you can pull it off, more power to you!

Oversized Blazers
Do they have to bring back this 80’s trend? It wasn’t particularly flattering 40 years ago and that hasn’t changed. Yes, it’s possible to find the right blend of pieces that work with an oversized blazer, but if you don’t get it right you’ll mostly look like a blob of fabric.

Wide Leg Pants Tucked into Boots
Really? This is one of the worst ideas to come around in a long time. If you’re stuck in a blizzard and don’t want your wide leg pants to get wet, then by all means, tuck them in. Otherwise, no!!!

Bewildered

Yellow Maxi Coats
Please do not buy a yellow coat unless you are absolutely sure you look amazing in yellow. It’s a tricky color to wear and if it doesn’t look good on you it will make you look sallow and slickly sickly which is no one’s best look!

Puff Sleeves
I know I have these in the bewitched category, too. That’s because they can go either way. As I mentioned, puff sleeves and shoulders can make your upper body look much larger and can sometimes look too cutesy. Be very judicious in your selection or avoid them altogether.

Cropped Blazers
In general (actually, like many fashion trends), they are designed with very young women in mind. It’s not that this trend cannot work for those of us who are older, but as we get older and our bodies change it becomes even more important that we understand how to balance our bodies when we get dressed. Cropped blazers can be fun to wear as long as the outfit is well thought out. Otherwise they can throw your body out of proportion and draw focus to your tummy.

Midi Skirt Suits
Now that midi dresses are a solid part of recent fashion trends designers are expanding into midi skirt suits. Hmmmm…even midi dresses can be tricky since they hit mid-calf, but midi skirt suits have an even greater tendency to look frumpy. Of course, it depends on the style of the skirt and the length and design of the jacket as to whether it’s flattering or not, but if this is a trend you like, just go forward cautiously.

Distressed Jeans
Oh, geez! Will this trend never go away? Now, not only do we have tears in the body of the jeans, but the hems are ripped and damaged. Sure, some people like them and some even rock them. All I can say is, thankfully there are other options!

Pullover Sweater Vests
I’ve read that these will be popular, but I’m not really seeing them in the stores much yet. Of course, it’s still a bit early in the season, so time will tell. But be careful. They can make you look like a blob in a heartbeat. Not only are they generally somewhat fitted, but they also have bulk underneath and you can guess how flattering that can be.

Whether you are looking to infuse your pandemic wardrobe with a little fun, beauty or just something different or you are window shopping but not buying, I hope you had fun exploring the new trends here. Please note that the trends above are only a fraction of the styles you’ll actually see in the stores, but they are fun to explore and consider (or wholeheartedly reject!!).

Have you had some time to review your wardrobe over the past few months and find it lacking? Has your lifestyle (like most of us) changed so dramatically that your wardrobe doesn’t meet your needs anymore? Have you changed sizes and now have nothing to wear, but the thought of shopping strikes dread in your heart and soul, let’s talk and together we can explore how I can help make your wardrobe experience easier and more joyful.

I work with clients all over the world whether in person (although less of that right now) or virtually. In this new world of ‘social distancing,’ virtual can be the perfect answer to staying safe and healthy and enjoying your wardrobe at the same time.

Enjoy and please take good care!

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A Note About the Clothes: All of the garments pictured here 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 very small commissions for Total Image Consultants. This helps offset the cost of the special software used to create this report.

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