As the weather becomes crisp and the idea of layering and cozying up in sweaters becomes appealing, it’s time to take stock of your wardrobe to shift into fall. While retailers would like you to purchase a whole new fall wardrobe, there are likely many items you already own that can be paired in new ways to create outfits that feel new and contemporary.
Adding “on trend” accessories, shoes, and colors can help outfits feel fresh in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. And many accessories or statement pieces can be found new-to-you.
Fashion designer Caroline Herrera’s statement, “Fashion has always been a repetition of ideas, but what makes it new is the way you put it together,” is one of my favorites (here and here). I keep coming back to it because it is so. very. true.
what goes around comes around
When you follow fashion trends, you see things come around again and again. Style tweaks or different pairings make them contemporary for the time. Take jumpsuits: very on trend right now, as they were in the 70s and again in the 90s.
The contemporary jumpsuit on the right is full body denim on denim, a trend that is still going strong. I love the trend, but the jumpsuit gives me pause. Perhaps it’s because I rocked both the 70s (good times grade-school fashion) and the 90s versions (remember, Amy?? I know you do), and three times around is just one too many. But that’s just me – if you love the jumpsuit look, go for it! And if you have one from the 70s hanging around in your closet, you’re golden – the contemporary versions are channeling that vintage look.
The same goes for culottes and flared jeans: both big in the 70s, flares again in the 2000s, and both big again now. Denim flared culottes are the ultimate mash-up. Wear culottes with a heeled ankle boot, ankle-strap pump, or loafer and flares with wedges or heels to highlight the cut.
Burnt orange, oxblood (a very dark burgundy), olive and navy paired together, and neutrals are hot colors this fall. A scarf, handbag or shoes in one of these rich, saturated colors can bring an updated look to a classic outfit, or a single statement piece highlights the trend.
Tassels on necklaces, handbags, and shoes. Rope belts (with tassels too). Blanket scarves, silk scarves, and bandanas. Surprisingly, brooches. All are hot accessories this season. Again, many of these are retro – pull out your mother’s vintage silk scarf or brooch to change up the look of an outfit. Tie a scarf or bandana in a classic knot around the neck or wrist or wear a large silk scarf rolled and draped from the neck loose and long. And the stylish Panama hat of summer has morphed into the wide-brimmed fedora for cooler weather.
Ankle-strap pumps, sandals, and flats, ankle boots with a slightly taller shaft, and classic loafers and brogues (aka oxfords) are all over the style blogs right now. Ankle straps that buckle or tie (tassels show up here as well) add a lovely embellishment to classic styles. Ankle boots with a slightly taller shaft and chunkier low or mid-heels appear in classic colors and in fashion-forward prints. Loafers and lace-up brogues in non-traditional colors riff on menswear for a sleek, sophisticated look.
There is a lot of room for expressing your own personal style with this season’s trends. You can go for a classic, clean-lined tailored look, a retro look – both mod-60s or retro-70s, or a softer look with neutrals combined with black or white. And don’t be afraid to mix it up a little and try a color or pairing you haven’t before or even embrace a trend full-on – vintage and new-to-you finds are the perfect way to be bold with styles you’ve never tried or want to wear a second (or third) time around. Maybe I will too.