Fall Fashions in Flux

It's that weird weather time of year, when some night's dip down into the 40's but it can warm up to the 80's by mid-afternoon.  So, what's a stylish young woman to do? The best advice is always to layer, layer, layer on pieces that are easily removed. But I always get a kick out of women here in Washington, DC this time of year.  One commuter will head out in ear muffs and a heavy winter coat, while the next person you see will be stomping towards the metro in flip-flops.  I always get a chuckle out of the stark contrast of pre-Winter wears that walk the streets this time of year. The February collections in New York City suggested that the Fall Fashion Trends would be items such as floral, leather, lace, tweeds, chic sportswear and military inspired looks with a hint of fur accents sprinkled throughout.  Colors this Fall include: emerald-green, platinum grey, espresso brown, deep orange, burgundy and the "rule breaking" white in winter, along with the color combination of navy and black, all of which have a Fall undertone and warmer feel, indicative of the cooler weather.  Leatric Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute says “By playing to consumers' practical side with versatile neutrals, and boosting their confidence with bold, spirited hues, this skillfully balanced palette has something for everyone.”

So, the question is: what to wear now, when it's technically Fall but feels more like Spring?

  1. This time of year, dresses and skirts are great sans stockings or tights.  Worn with heels, the look is Fall themed while taking into consideration the changing temperatures. Go for a burgundy or emerald color to really tie in the Fall colors.
  2. Blazers and shawls: My personal favorite for year round dressing, but also perfect for this time of year, when you can commit to wearing something draped over your shoulders, but not donning a full length Winter coat.
  3. No flip-flops.  Unless you're coming from a pedicure appointment, flip-flops should be stored for the season.  If your commute involves walking, there are a plethora of adorable and stylish flat options from which to choose.
  4. Which leads me to Smoking Slippers! Every store from Aldo to Neiman Marcus are offering these fabulous shoes. Now is a great time to break them out, while the sun is out and the snow has yet to fall.
  5. Leather dresses: Worn with a blazer and heels, the look is perfect for the current weather.  When the temperature starts to drop, a fitted button down or turtleneck underneath the dress with tights and boots on the legs is perfect.
  6. Suits, short style: The look of a suit, with shorts rather than a skirt, is rockin'! Make sure it's appropriate for your office before breaking it out during the work week and also that it's in a Fall season appropriate fabric (tweed is great; no sheer or light fabric here. Save that for Spring when the shorts suit will resurface) but this is a perfect look for the weather because the fabric is indicative of the season. Leather shorts would also be a great option, but save them for the weekend, not the work place (unless you work in a creative field or the fashion industry where they would be acceptable). If you're interested in this look, but scared of fully committing, H&M (here) has a great selection that are reasonably priced. Another benefit? You can break these pieces up into separates and wear the blazer with jeans or the shorts with a different color complementary blazer.
  7. Vests! Whether military inspired or leather, these are a great layering piece to wear immediately. Worn with a button down blouse or long-sleeved shirt, it's the perfect amount of coverage for this warmer Fall weather.

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There are many options to break out of the closet now, but the key to transitional dressing is the fabric... many items such as shorts and vests can be worn season to season, but the one thing that makes them relevant and "of the moment" is their fabric.  Tweed shouldn't be worn in summer and flowy fabric has no business in Fall.