Top Ten Styles for Fall – Part II

Accentuated Shoulders – continue to enjoy a prominent place in fashion this season.  This look is less extreme than in the spring but you will see many variations of a cap sleeve on dresses as well as more elaborate sleeves with pleats or tucks at the shoulder.  Larger shoulder pads are also featured on suits and jackets.  This look generally will work well for a triangle as it gives balance for a wider hip.  However, for an inverted triangle, it will accentuate the wrong area.  When trying on a garment with added shoulder features, be sure to take a long, hard look in the mirror and assess your balance and proportion.

Metallic Shoes – are being shown in every style from boots to very high heels of every description to ballerinas.  If you are not into some of the more extreme styles, you can always find cute ballet flats or more utilitarian walking shoes.  The pewter or bronze colors can be fun new basics that work well with beige/brown tones or black/grey/blue basics in your wardrobe.   And, of course, winter white will work with either one; just choose the one that compliments your coloring.  These lighter colors are an excellent choice if you have lighter hair as it draws your eye back up to your face after the eye has naturally scanned from head to toe.

Major black dresses – is simply a rephrase of the “little black dress”.   Dresses have been such a major fashion trend for past seasons but often featured in jersey prints.  I, personally, am not wild about seeing so many knit dresses in the work place as they are often too revealing and not always flattering.  The new black dress look features other fabrics and ranges from business appropriate dresses to evening.  Unfortunately, black is not the best color for many people.  If you are warm-toned or have light hair and skin, black is too harsh, however, you should be able to find styles with contrasting colors near the face.  Another trick is to add a scarf at the neck that contains colors from your palette.   The black dress is a great way to transition from work into evening.  Just add a jacket in your color palette to a simple black dress for day then remove the jacket, add some sparkling jewelry from your color palette,change to strappy shoes, swap your larger handbag for a clutch.  Voila!   

Cozy Knits – range from sweater coats and jackets to a variety of sweaters, sweater sets and dresses.  There are so many variations that I’m sure you can find something you love that looks great.  Remember that the bulky knits will visually add pounds and can overpower a petite person.  Another consideration is the texture.  If you have very smooth skin and hair, the texture of a bulky knit does not usually work well.  If, however, you have curly hair and/or texture to your skin such as freckles, the texture of a bulky knit will compliment beautifully.

 

High Impact Jewelry – is again an important fashion accessory this season.    Scale is the most important principle to observe.  The jewelry should not be overpowering or too insignificant for your presence – your bone structure and your personality.    It should also work with what you are wearing.  If you have a higher neckline, your necklace should either rest above the neckline or drop appropriately below.   Also, note how bracelets work with the sleeves.  Jewelry is intended to enhance your total look and not give an “almost worked” impression.

Since a number of these featured looks are similar to previous seasons, I am sure you can find several things already residing in your closet.   Of course you will not want every one of these ten as you will find some that won’t work or that you simply choose not to participate in wearing.  Good for you!  You know what is best for you.  Carefully selecting some key pieces will update you to “Fall 2009”.  And most of all,  have fun!

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Top Ten Styles – Part II

 

Accentuated Shoulders – continue to enjoy a prominent place in fashion this season.  This look is less extreme than in the spring but you will see many variations of a cap sleeve on dresses as well as more elaborate sleeves with pleats or tucks at the shoulder.  Larger shoulder pads are also featured on suits and jackets.  This look generally will work well for a triangle as it gives balance for a wider hip.  However, for an inverted triangle, it will accentuate the wrong area.  When trying on a garment with added shoulder features, be sure to take a long, hard look in the mirror and assess your balance and proportion.

Metallic Shoes – are being shown in every style from boots to very high heels of every description to ballerinas.  If you are not into some of the more extreme styles, you can always find cute ballet flats or more utilitarian walking shoes.  The pewter or bronze colors can be fun new basics that work well with beige/brown tones or black/grey/blue basics in your wardrobe.   And, of course, winter white will work with either one; just choose the one that compliments your coloring.  These lighter colors are an excellent choice if you have lighter hair as it draws your eye back up to your face after the eye has naturally scanned from head down through the body to the feet.

Major black dresses – is simply a rephrase of the “little black dress”.   Dresses have been such a major fashion trend for past seasons but often featured in jersey prints.  I, personally, am not wild about seeing so many knit dresses in the work place as they are often too revealing and not always flattering.  The new black dress look features other fabrics and ranges from business appropriate dresses to evening.  Unfortunately, black is not the best color for many people.  If you are warm-toned or have light hair and skin, black is too harsh, however, you should be able to find styles with contrasting colors near the face.  Another trick is to add a scarf at the neck that contains colors from your palette.   The black dress is a great way to transition from work into evening.  Just add a jacket in your color palette to a simple black dress for day then remove the jacket, add some sparkling jewelry from your color palette, switch to strappy shoes, change your larger handbag to a clutch and you are set.

Cozy Knits – range from sweater coats and jackets to a variety of sweaters, sweater sets and dresses.  There are so many variations that I’m sure you can find something you love that looks great.  Remember that the bulky knits will visually add pounds and can overpower a petite person.  Another consideration is the texture.  If you have very smooth skin and hair, the texture of a bulky knit does not usually work well.  If, however, you have curly hair and/or texture to your skin such as freckles, the texture of a bulky knit will compliment beautifully.

 

High Impact Jewelry – is again an important fashion accessory this season.    Scale is the most important principle to observe.  The jewelry should not be overpowering or too insignificant for your presence – your bone structure and your personality.    It should also work with what you are wearing.  If you have a higher neckline, your necklace should either rest above the neckline or drop appropriately below.   Also, note how bracelets work with the sleeves.  Jewelry is intended to enhance your total look and not give an “almost worked” impression.

Since a number of these featured looks are similar to previous seasons, I am sure you can find several things already residing in your closet.   Of course you will not want every one of these ten as you will find some that won’t work or that you simply choose not to participate in wearing.  Good for you!  You know what is best for you.  Choose only those new items that will augment what you presently have while looking very “Fall 2009”.  And most of all,  have fun!

Top Ten for Fall

 

As promised, here are latest fall trends that Neiman Marcus has chosen as “must haves”.  Since there are ten of them, we will cover five this week and five next week.

RED – Past seasons have featured light pink, hot pink, berry and various renditions of red but this fall we are seeing true red tones.  Various shades of red can be found everywhere ranging from coats to suits, day and evening dresses and accessories.  Red is a wonderful color to have in your wardrobe that everyone can wear in some shade.   If your coloring is cool, you can wear the cooler tones and warm colored people can wear the warmer tones.  Burgundy is an excellent choice for business-wear.  It is red with black added which makes the red a shaded tone.  The black gives much more “weight” to the color and thus, adds a strong business presence.  Brown added to red makes a rust tone and creates the same effect for warm-toned people.  These shades are an excellent choice for more conservative business settings such as banking, law offices and accounting firms.  Of course, if you love a bright red, there are lots of options for evening, casual or office if you have more latitude in what you can wear.

MOTORCYCLE JACKETS – These jackets are not our typical stereotype of a motorcycle jacket  with “Hells Angels” blazoned across the back.  The name comes only from the similarity of style – usually leather, fitted and zippered and ending just below the waist.   And, as always, there are other variations. They are usually best worn with a slim bottom, either slacks or skirt.  If you choose a skirt, be sure to check the proportion.  You want a 1/3 to 2/3 or 2/5 to 3/5 visual division and not a half and half.  In other words, if you choose a skirt, be sure it is not the same length as the length of the jacket or add length to the skirt by adding tights in the skirt color with matching shoes.

LEOPARD –  This is just a slight change from last season which featured animal prints.  These leopard prints are shown in colors as well as natural.  As for last season, be sure you can wear this print.  It can overpower so give it the “blink” test.   Stand a few feet away from the mirror, close your eyes and when you open note the first thing you see.  If it is the print, it is too dominate so that others will see the print before they see you.   If leopard print just makes your heart sing, you should have something in the print.  If an entire garment is too much, try a scarf, handbag or shoes.

ACCESSORIES WITH HARDWARE – Only a slight variation from last season, designers are still featuring hardware trim on handbags and shoes.  Hardware such as rivets, buckles and zippers give a much more casual air to shoes or handbag so it is good to keep this in mind when making a new purchase.  They are perfect for casual wear but if you wear a suit to the office or dress up for church or going out, it will be best to have less casual accessories.  I have seen women out for dinner wearing a charming dress with snappy shoes carrying an oversized handbag covered with hardware.  The handbag looked so out of place and detracted from the attractive way in which the wearer had otherwise presented herself.  It just takes a minute to change handbags.   Otherwise, if you only have one handbag, I would recommend choosing something that will work for both casual and more formal situations.

LEGGINGS – This trend is bigger this season than last and extends to skinny jeans and other pants that are skin-tight.  Leggings are a great compliment to a very  short skirt or winter shorts.   They make logic of wearing something very short in the winter by giving logic to the look adding warmth and modesty.   These looks are best left to the very young who are trim and have great legs.   The same goes for the skinny jeans and trousers.  They are a fun look for the trim person with long legs.  If you are a triangle (hips wider than your shoulders) these skinny pants will only accentuate your hip area.

We will complete the last five trends next week.  Remember, you can look fashionable by only adopting a few of these new looks.  Choose those that you love and work well for you to give that up-dated look!

 

Top Ten Looks for Fall

As promised, here are latest fall trends that Neiman Marcus has chosen as “must haves”.  Since there are ten of them, we will cover five this week and five next week.

RED – Past seasons have featured light pink, hot pink, berry and various renditions of red but this fall we are seeing true red tones.  Various shades of red can be found everywhere ranging from coats to suits, day and evening dresses and accessories.  Red is a wonderful color to have in your wardrobe that everyone can wear in some shade.   The cooler tones of red will compliment cool skin tones and those with warm skin tones can wear the warmer tones.  Burgundy is an excellent choice for business-wear.  It is red with black added which makes the red a shaded tone.  The black gives much more “weight” to the color and thus, adds a strong business presence.  Brown added to red makes a rust tone and creates the same effect for warm-toned people.  These shades are an excellent choice for more conservative business settings such as banking, law offices and accounting firms.  Of course, if you love a bright red, there are lots of options for evening and casual or office wear if you have more latitude in what you can wear.

MOTORCYCLE JACKETS – These jackets are not our typical stereotype of a motorcycle jacket  with “Hells Angels” blazoned across the back.  The name comes only from the similarity of style – usually leather, fitted and zippered and ending just below the waist.   And, as always, there are other variations. They are usually best worn with a slim bottom, either slacks or skirt.  If you choose a skirt, be sure to check the proportion.  You want a 1/3 to 2/3 or 2/5 to 3/5 visual division and not a half and half.  In other words, if you choose a skirt, be sure it is not the same length as the length of the jacket or add length to the skirt by adding tights in the skirt color with matching shoes.

LEOPARD –  This is just a slight change from last season which featured animal prints.  These leopard prints are shown in colors as well as natural.  As for last season, be sure you can wear this print.  It can overpower so give it the “blink” test.   Stand a few feet away from the mirror, close your eyes and when you open, note the first thing you see.  If it is the print, it is too dominate so that others will see the print before they see you.   If leopard print just makes your heart sing, you should have something in the print.  If an entire garment is too much, try a scarf, handbag or shoes.  

ACCESSORIES WITH HARDWARE – Only a slight variation from last season, designers are still featuring hardware trim on handbags and shoes.  Hardware such as rivets, buckles and zippers give a much more casual air to shoes or handbag so it is good to keep this in mind when making a new purchase.  They are perfect for casual wear but if you wear a suit to the office or dress up for church or going out, it will be best to have less casual accessories.  I have seen women out for dinner wearing a charming dress with snappy shoes carrying an oversized handbag covered with hardware.  The handbag looked so out of place and detracted from the attractive way in which the wearer had otherwise presented herself.  It just takes a minute to change handbags.   Otherwise, if you only have one handbag, I would recommend choosing something that will work for both casual and more formal situations.

LEGGINGS – This trend is bigger this season than last and extends to skinny jeans and other pants that are skin-tight.  Leggings are a great compliment to a very  short skirt or winter shorts.   They make logic of wearing something very short in the winter by adding warmth and modesty.   These looks are best left to the very young who are trim and have great legs.   The same goes for the skinny jeans and trousers.  They are a fun look for the trim person with long legs.  If you are a triangle (hips wider than your shoulders) these skinny pants will only accentuate your hip area.  

We will complete the last five trends next week.  Remember, you can look fashionable by only adopting a few of these new looks.  Choose those that you love and work well for you to give that up-dated look!

 

Men’s Hats in the News

After years of seeing men wearing the ubiquitous baseball cap – usually worn backwards, it is refreshing to observe some celebrities such as Brad Pitt, embracing the stingy-brim trilbies.   The straw trilbies with a 1-½ inch as opposed to the 2-½ inch brim have breathed new life into men’s hat manufacturers.  Many hatters could not sustain the long drought but those who survived, have enjoyed strong sales of straw trilbies this spring and summer.  Fashion houses like Marc Jacobs and J. Crew have picked up the slack, offering their own versions of brimmed hats.  

In 1787 the first beaver-fur hat was introduced by British haberdasher, John Hetherington.    Because of its extreme height, his creation reportedly got him arrested for disturbing the peace.  After his release, the top hat became all the rage.  In the nineteenth century, new styles were introduced.  The straw Panama hat took prominence, gaining its name from the newly established Panama Canal (even though the hats were manufactured in Ecuador).  The Panama was adopted by the U.S. Army for the troops during the Spanish-American war and the Gold Rush prospectors used the hats to protect them from the sun.

In 1850, a prominent landowner commissioned a London hat shop to design a hat for his gamekeepers to wear to protect their heads from low tree branches.  The result was the bowler, which was quickly adopted by men from all socio-economic backgrounds.  The fedora was introduced in 1889 and remained popular through the 40’s and 50’s.  From that time forward, hats for men lost popularity.  Some have attributed to “Hatless Jack” (John F. Kennedy) the demise of men wearing hats.  Whatever the reason, men have generally gone hatless since the 60’s.  

Today, top designers are adding hats to their collections and models are sporting hats on the runways.  Rock stars and celebrities have picked up the trend as well.  Although trilbies are designed to be worn down on the forehead, just above the eyebrows, runway models and celebrities may feature the hat back on the head with some hair showing or on the forehead and tipped at a jaunty angle.  Whatever the angle, I find this more formal look most appealing.  The hat, itself, calls for a more dressed up look.  How refreshing after years of baggy “T” shirts and cargo shorts!  Let’s hope this trend continues.

 

Source:  Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2009

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