Fall Trends for Women: Fresh from the Runway

By Kathy Reilly, founder and CEO of Lifestyle Advisory

Fall is my favorite season for clothes. Having grown up and gone to school exclusively in the Northeast, the change of season always signals the start of fall activities and the clothes to go along with them. Leaf peeping, cozy weekends away, football games, glittering fall galas—all excuses to get some new things to supplement my tried and true wardrobe workhorses. Cashmere, corduroy, suede, plaid—these have been in rotation since my college days!

While the weather outside may say “Indian summer”, I am already pulling out the sweaters and going through my closets to see what to pull from the archives and bring to the front of the class.

To ensure that I will be right on trend, I have been online scouring runway shows, Pinterest, Instagram and fashion blogs looking for inspiration on what to wear for fall. Here is what will be on my list!

Saturated and statement-making, red was all over the FW17 runways. Power suits, oversized coats and yummy cashmere are already in stores. A bold neutral, it can be paired with khaki, black, charcoal or, my favorite, winter white.

Vintage-inspired Furs
Faux or real, depending on your preference and budget, fur continues to sashay down the runway. In a vest, a cropped swing jacket or full-on floor length, fur is incorporated into many looks this season. Plus, there is no denying its warmth.

Formal Velvet
Velvet in bright colors is having a moment. While black velvet always feels a little “holiday” to me, these velvets are cooler and more versatile. Think yellow, cobalt, burgund. For my money, a little goes a long way so I will eschew a head-to-toe look and just go for a pop somewhere—a shrunken blazer or a wide leg trouser. (Think Gwyneth Paltrow, not Austin Powers.)

Victorian Collars
The new blouse silhouette gives us a swing back to a more demure feel with stand-out collars and elaborate cuffs. It can be worn with distressed jeans and a velvet bootie for a more casual look or paired with a silk floor length skirt for a formal event. Keep accessories simple and ladylike and let the collar be the star.

Mid-length Skirts
Following along with a more demure approach to dressing, ballet or tea length skirts are making another appearance this fall. Floating and flouncy, I like to pair it with a fitted cashmere sweater and cropped leather jacket to keep the emphasis on the skirt. A jeweled strappy sandal is a nice finishing touch.

Fishnets in a ladylike vein are back this season (the elegant, wear-with-a-skirt kind, not the ripped grunge variety). Some very elegant women I know never stopped wearing them! This is a welcome addition to the fall trend lineup; it transforms even the most basic LBD into something special.

Chocolate Brown
While black will always be my first love (I tend to live in it from January on), to keep me from piling on too early in the season, a rich chocolatey brown is equally as versatile. Think rich leather jackets, silky slip dresses, sumptuous cashmere ponchos. No other color says fall like chocolate brown.

Nylon Coats
Easy, trans-seasonal and a breeze to pack to prepare you for any sort of weather your trip may throw at you, nylon coats in all colors will be available. I tend to like the classics in a khaki, navy or black for the most versatility and polish.

Leather Jackets
While the moto trend in leather has been big for a while, now you can find virtually any cut and any embellishment in leather. Trench, blazer, cropped, military style with shearling, studs, and other touches to make it special. For me, this is one of the hardest working items in my wardrobe. Paired with simple pants or draped over your shoulders over a sheath dress, it always helps me to finish my look.

Bucket Hats
The fedora is out and a shapely bucket hat done in fur or mohair is a practical and stylish option. Yes, hat hair is a thing, but I can sacrifice a good hair day to be both chic and warm!

Belted Coats
My favorite way to wear a coat is oversized and slouchy but I run the risk of looking like I am wearing my dad’s old coat. An easy fix is to get a wide belt to cinch it up and, for extra cool points, tuck the end of the belt back into the waist of the belt—very “fashion editor”.

I am excited to dig into my closets and see what I can repurpose for this season (otherwise known as “shopping your closet”). Three decades of serious collecting mean that I can usually pull some great pieces from years back that put me right in vogue with the trend. I am now off to go through my closets to see what vintage treasures I can bring to the front of the closet.

Those pieces that just won’t make the cut will be donated to a great charity (Housing Works is one of my favorites), and I will head to the stores or online to fill in the gaps.

For an updated take on men’s fashions, check out our newest partner, Zegna. With exquisite tailoring, classic silhouettes with a contemporary take and sumptuous Italian fabrics, Zegna is your destination for the finest apparel, shoes and accessories for men.

© 2017 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.


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