The next three months will showcase the bulk of Fall and Winter 2014 retail. After that, collections are usually picked over and sizes are scarce. If you’re lucky, you might score during end of season sales in December and January. But for the most part, I believe that the best merchandise is available at the start and the peak of a retail season.
Without further ado, here is my list of suggested must haves for Fall and Winter. The items cut across all body types, lifestyles, budgets, style personas, and age groups. It’s a question of finding the right version of the item that works best for you.
Fluid and Oversized Fits
This is the most important way in which fashion has changed over the last few years. Wear your clothes a little or a lot looser all over, and move away from head to toe body con silhouettes. Fluid fits are brilliant because they’re roomier than tailored fits, but not as baggy as oversized cuts. Tailored clothing that skims the contour of your body is always in style, but wearing items a little looser than that is definitely more fashionable. Add just enough structure to outfits with fluid and oversized fits so that you don’t feel like your clothing is wearing you.
Jeans with Movement
If you like to wear jeans, make sure you have an assortment of styles that move as you stride. In other words, add roomier jeans silhouettes to your capsule of skinny and straight leg denim. So think baggy boyfriend jeans, or relaxed skinnies for a slimmer boyfriend jeans look. Or wear flares, culottes and trouser jeans. Harem jeans, roomy denim jumpsuits, and jeans with crossover front flap details are another way to go. And don’t be afraid to wear white jeans year round.
Booties go down as the most versatile and seasonless footwear style of all time. They can truly be paired with any bottom and any look right now. The best aspects of the bootie are its high comfort level, longevity factor, and weatherproof integrity. So make sure you have a current assortment across a range of styles, patterns and colours. Think heels AND flats. Think of shorter and taller shaft lengths. Refined and chunky soles. Pointy and round toes. Dressy and casual vibes. Hard edge and Softness. Think beyond black footwear and throw in an assortment of neutrals from dark to light.
If booties are too warm for your climate, wear flat oxfords, loafers, peep-toe booties, slipper flats, d’Orsay flats, flat forms, ankle strap pumps and pointy toe ballet flats. These styles work as well in mild Autumn weather.
Knitwear is still THE top to wear with any bottom, and the massive trend is in its third year. Think knitwear in all sorts of knitting styles, yarn types, yarn gauges, and colours. If you’re a neutral gal, think dark and light neutrals. Chunky knits are as fashionable as fine gauge knits. Make sure you have an assortment in tailored, fluid and oversized fits. Wear fluid and oversized styles with waist welts and high-low hemlines for structure. If you’re more adventurous, add cropped boxy knitwear to your capsule. Or stick to the preppy classic of wearing a sleeveless pullover over a shirt.
It’s important to wear the right fit of outerwear over roomy knitwear because a highly tailored coat won’t work over a chunky knit or oversized style. Think coats with straighter cuts on the waist like man coats, peacoats, and military coats. Or wear voluminous styles like cocoon coats, swing coats, trapeze styles, and capes. Coats that tie at the waist tend to work best when you wear clothing that defines the waistline. They also look best when they are tied in front, which can be impractical. Make sure your coats are roomy enough to comfortably wear over all Winter layers, which for people like me, means wearing knitwear AND a jacket under a coat.
Toppers like modern one buttoned blazers tend to work better over fine gauge tailored and fluid knitwear, or shirts, tees, and knitted tops. Moto jackets with a fluid fit are best because you can fit a larger variety of knitwear styles underneath them. Tuxedo jackets, either tailored or fluid, are best over much thinner layers.
Take advantage of the unstoppable Sporty Luxe Trend by adding bomber jackets, track pants, upscale sweatshirts, haute baseball caps, upscale track pants, utility anoraks, rugby stripes, drawstring details, neoprene, perforated textures, sneakers, and backpacks to your style. Wear these pieces with a dressy companion for a little extra Luxe.
Think brown footwear, belts, handbags and leather jackets, because the earthy neutral looks fresh after seasons of grey and black. Personally, I love a dark, rich shade of cognac with an orange glow. But choose any shade of brown to wear as “your black”, just to change things up. Brown is great worn WITH black, grey, ink and shades of white. So don’t think that you have to change the rest of your wardrobe to accommodate the “new” neutral. Wear brown just as you would wear black, and don’t worry too much about matching your neutrals.
Whites, Pastels and Brights
Dark neutrals, earth tones, and colours like dark red, forest green and eggplant are typical for cold weather dressing. I vote that you add atypical colours to your Autumn and Fall wardrobe, like summer brights, spring pastels, and light neutrals. As long as the items are cold weather appropriate and in the correct style and fabrication, sport any colour that tickles your fancy.
Texture, Pattern and Shine
Cold weather clothing is all about gorgeous texture. Think mixed media pieces, tweeds, chunky knitwear, embossed fabrics, waxed denim, faux fur, cracked leather, and sueded fabrications. I’m also throwing in the need for shine to brighten and smarten up a cold grey day. Think patent leather, metallic footwear, belts and knitwear, lurex thread, and sequined trim. And last, cold weather dressing is incomplete without some sort of checked pattern. Think plaid anything: from tartan skirts, jackets, coats, pants and scarves, to flannel shirts, houndstooth toppers, and glen plaid trousers.
A Wild Card
Add an item to your wardrobe that’s atypical for your style persona and speaks to you in some way. Just for fun. It might be a new silhouette of top or a colour you’ve never worn before. A wool or leather midi skirt in the dead of Winter. It might be a style of shoe or bag you previously disliked but unexpectedly tickles your fancy. Or dye your hair a completely new colour.
Create interesting outfit juxtapositions. Remix hard edge with a soft touch, or wear a soft look from head to toe. Add a good dose of Modern to a Classic look. And above all, have fun with fashion.