What’s not to love about fall? The sky seems bluer, the air is crisper, and the stores are packed with new fashions and products just clamoring for attention.
It can be far too tempting to scoop up the latest items without thinking about how these purchases might play out later in the season, if not in years to come.
Before you splurge, take stock of your closet. Are there any staple items you break out year after year? Have you noticed any current color, fabric or styling trends you’d like to incorporate into your wardrobe?
Make a list of the items you have on heavy rotation and the key pieces that need replacing. Try not to be dazzled by sale prices or quirky color combinations and instead stick to what works best for you.
And if you do succumb to a fad, try to make it a lower priced item or accessory.
While you’re at it, incorporate at least one of these style elements into your autumn. They’re not all about what you wear, but also about the latest gear:
An affordable way to incorporate trend and color elements into your personal style is by combining them.
For example, if you’re mad about platforms, animal print, or shocking jewel tones, try a pair of platform shoes combining print and bold color. That way, you’ll have invested in one trend piece instead of three.
Feeling less brazen? Try a solid color, like black, taupe, or brown, with a metallic accent for a subtle but fashion-forward fall look.
Every autumn seems to bring a slew of equestrian-inspired styles. The key to pulling off this look is to avoid any kind of head-to-toe theme overload.
Instead, choose one (or two, at most) accessories that highlight your love of a certain look.
For example, Ariat is known best for their Western and riding boots, but they also offer accessories with just a hint of equestrian without going overboard.
If you want to experiment with this look, add a leather jacket, bold belt or pair of tall boots to your autumn favorites for a stylish update.
With a peplum, ruffle or pronounced hip detailing, sometimes the best way to camouflage a less-than-perfect feature is by enhancing another one.
From giant hoop skirts and crinolines, to softer ruffling and peplums, women throughout the ages have used this trick to highlight their best physical features.
A word of caution: adding detail to the hips can make your waist look more defined, but is best avoided if you have a thicker waist, since it might backfire and make you look bulky instead of bodacious.
If you’ve always dreamt about being the long-lost daughter on Downton Abbey, now’s your moment to shine.
Brocade fabrics are usually made with heavily woven silk and interspersed with metallic or tone on tone shades.
While it can be tempting to drape yourself in the sumptuous silks, they’re best left for special occasions, otherwise you risk looking dowdy.
A perfect example of someone who knows how to pull this trend off is Michelle Obama. She recently wore a brightly toned brocade frock that combined a modern cut and color with a traditionally old-fashioned fabric.
Fur is making a big comeback this fall. But instead of a full-length authentic fur coat, the trend is to sport the man-made version as an accent instead of an entire garment.
Faux fur touches are showing up on vests, sleeves, and even trim on jackets and skirts. Fur (even the fake kind) is a very potent accent though, so be sure to wear sparingly.
Hugrz boot wraps offers boot accessories that look like fur leg warmers. You simply slip them on over your boots for a completely updated fall look.
Other instant wardrobe updates from the company include faux fur and synthetic pony details for $50 or less.
Not every occasion calls for a jacket or sport coat.
Jason Smith, men’s fashion expert & V.P. of Product for Trunk Club, a high-end personalized shopping service for men, recommends substituting fashion sweaters for a jacket or coat.
Popular styles range from cable knit, to roll-neck, to shawl collars, to Fair Isle sweaters.
“The idea behind fashion sweaters is to get guys to move beyond their comfort zone as it relates to their trusty, old merino V-neck, and get them to look at the sweater as a strong fashion item.”
Smith also believes that corduroy will be big this season with an expanded range of colors available.
Ultra Cool Tech
While tablet makers duke it out over the next big touch screen tablet, there’s been a quiet movement toward all things “ultra.”
UltraBooks are the name given by Intel to lightweight, smaller, high-speed notebook computers.
I recently tried out the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 (a great deal at under $700.00) and loved the almost instantaneous start-up time and the way it fit into my tote without weighing everything down.
Best of all, was the fact that when inspiration struck, I didn’t have to wait for my old machine to power up.
While I have a tablet, I’ve never found it especially efficient at meetings; by the time I hook up the Bluetooth keyboard and external mouse, I’ve usually missed a few key points and scramble to catch up.
An Ultra Book is a practical and generally affordable way to update your tech this season.
Be True to Your School
At the risk of sounding like something of a cliché, while I am not a fan of televised sports, my guy salivates over anything involving a bunch of grown up men chasing after a ball or puck.
To that end, I can sometimes feel neglected during baseball/basketball/football/hockey season.
If you’re a fan of college football, and plan on attending a college football-related party (or if you intend to neglect your significant other during college football season), you might want to treat your host (or loved one) to the new FTD College Rose Collection bouquet.
There are currently 39 color combinations offering roses with dyed petals matching school colors. And, of course, the bouquet is presented in a vase donning the university’s logo.
FTD is currently offering the College Rose Collection at $15 off each order but the discount expires at the end of September 2012.
This is a really nice way to let your significant other know that while you love your sports, you love them, too!
Rachel Weingarten can’t wait to break out her boots this season. She’s a style expert, marketing strategist & personal branding consultant for CEOs, politicians and celebrities and the creator of MintStyle. She is the award-winning author of Career and Corporate Cool and Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ‘40s-‘60s. Visit her online at http://racheletc.com or on Twitter @rachelcw Write to her with your burning style questions at firstname.lastname@example.org