As the temperatures fall and the leaves begin to change, it’s fun to pull out your cool weather clothes to face those chilly mornings. Fortunately, you’ve got some great, classic looks to choose from this season. Unfortunately, there are also some duds. Choosing between the two is actually pretty simple.
Because the key to dressing well is NOT automatically following every trend; it’s wearing clothes that suit YOU. Your body, your budget, your lifestyle. Once you know what’s right for you, it’s easy to see what’s wrong for you – namely, clothes that call attention to themselves instead of calling attention to you.
Let nature dictate your color palette this time of year. Browns, rust, and oranges are great for warm skin tones; gray, green, and cranberry work well for cool skin tones. If you keep colors and textures in line with the season, you’ll be able to enjoy all fall has to offer.
With that in mind, here are my best picks for Fall Fashion, 2014:
Nothing screams cool weather like knits. They keep you warm on the coldest of days and help you brave the elements. But they can also add excess bulk if you’re not careful, so be mindful of your silhouette.
Turtlenecks were all over the fall runways, many with exaggerated features to make them fun and interesting. But I’m going to give it to you straight: turtlenecks are not for everyone. If you have a short neck or big bust, they will emphasize both. Opt for a V-neck instead to keep the focus on your face.
Vests fall in and out of fashion, and right now, they’re extremely popular. Whether you want something tailored for work or casual for play, you’re bound to find something that suits your needs. If you’re heavy, opt for a style that hangs open in the front to create a long, vertical line on your torso. It draws the eye up and down and will make you look slimmer.
There’s a strong 60’s vibe running through the fall collections, including color blocking, A-line dresses, and three quarter length sleeve jackets. While most of these are easy to wear, be careful with the color blocking – you want color where it flatters, not anywhere it doesn’t.
Dress with Pants
Dress with pants – am I crazy? No! This is another trend that has gone in and out of fashion over the years, and it’s a great way to wear a dress on a cold day. Just match the mood of the trousers with the mood of the dress – dress pants with a business dress, jeans with a corduroy dress, for example – and add appropriate accessories. You’ll be delighted by how wearable it is.
A midi length – or tea length – hem hits mid-shin, and that little extra fabric is a great way to add a little extra warmth in cool weather. But that much fabric on the lower half of the body can overwhelm petite bodies and throw off the proportion, so opt for lengths just below the knee if you’re petite.
I LOVE capes! They’re dramatic, top evening and day wear equally well, and easily accommodate pregnancy and weight gain. I bought my first one 30 years ago and still wear it regularly. Just make sure the color works with most of your wardrobe and the proportion doesn’t overwhelm you.
Wrap coats are another cool weather favorite because they tend to span a variety of formalities including work, weekends, and evenings. Translation? You can wear them with everything. Again, just make sure the length and proportion work with your body.
For years, ankle boots were only worn with pants. These days, you can also wear them with skirts. Just be sure to wear them with tights or hosiery to pull the look together.
You knew it was bound to happen. When the fashion industry declared hosiery “dead” a few years ago, they clearly did it on a warm, sunny day. Because they soon discovered that snow and bare legs don’t work well together, and hosiery was probably appropriate after all. Except they didn’t go back to flesh-toned hosiery; they opted for dark tights instead. Which is perfectly acceptable, especially on cold, snowy days.
So, those are my top picks of the season. Nothing too crazy, because I want you to get the most for your money. Invest in classics, go cheap on trends. It’s the only way to justify the expense.
Happy Fall Fashion!
Diana Pemberton-Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic. Ready to get the attention, respect, and income you deserve? Wardrobe Magic shows you how.