Fashion is a complex melting pot of sartorial choices, where almost anything goes as long as you add an intentionally on-trend component to the outfit. Individualism is the most important trend of all, and it’s extremely liberating. Now more than ever, we’re celebrating style diversity and the many, many ways to look stylish. Take the PERSONAL in personal style to heart because you have the power to pick and choose from the trend buffet, and sport it your way.
After a well-received trend report, here are my suggested must-haves for the cold-weather season. They cut across all body types, ages, price points and lifestyles.
1. Rock Earth Tones
Rock them heavy or rock them lite. Think colours like all shades of tan, cream and chocolate brown, toffee, cinnamon, olive, burnt orange, cognac, harissa, mustard, camel, sage, forest green, taupe and a very brown shade of burgundy. Wear earth tones across any clothing item, pair of shoes or accessory. Stick to brown leather or wear earth tones in a pattern if that’s more your thing. And feel free to wear earth tones with your favourite colours.
2. Enjoy Animal Print
There’s an animal print for everyone. There’s classic leopard and cheetah that goes the distance, but don’t forget giraffe, pony, cow and snakeskin. Think animal print in neutrals AND non-neutrals. Any colour of animal print is fab, and in any wardrobe item. Wear it as a statement clothing item, or stick to accessories and footwear.
3. Bring Back Full-Length Bootcuts
Bootcuts that are NOT cropped are back with a vengeance. Wear them with a higher rise and showcase the rise with a tucked, semi-tucked, or shorter top. Sport them with sneakers, flats, or very low heels for an updated look.
4. Nod to Western Wear
Think Western boots in any way at all. Cowboy boots are having their fashion moment, although they’re an iconic classic. Think belts with western buckles, tiered skirts, ruffled shirts, prairie dresses, fringed jackets, suede, and cowboy shirts.
5. Release Red
A true Christmas red is THE red of the season, but feel free to sport any shade of red across any wardrobe item. It’s a versatile colour that works with just about any neutral and non-neutral to my eye. And if you dare, sport it with shocking pink.
6. Create a Maximal Effect
It’s about wearing “it all” together to create a harmonized whole. That means remixing patterns, textures, colours, layers and silhouettes, because the only limit to the aesthetic is your own tolerance for the combination. Sport multiple accessories, combine a range of colours and patterns, dress in multiple visual layers, and don’t forget dramatic nail polish, rainbow hair, and make-up. Feel free to interpret maximalism as fully as you see on the catwalks, or tone things down considerably.
7. Add Structure to Your Outfit
Structure is about accentuating the actual shape of your body, like defining the waist and hips, the shape of your arms and legs, or the shape of your shoulders. So think TAILORING. Sport beautifully tailored jackets, dresses, trousers and skirts. Sport form-fitting tops. Add a waist-defining belt to outfits. Wear jackets and coats with waist ties. Tuck and semi-tuck tops into bottoms to showcase waistlines and high rises.
Remember that a structured outfit needn’t be structured or body-con from head to toe. A fit-and-flare dress is structured up top, but voluminous from the waist down, creating a balance of tailored movement.
8. Lengthen the Blazers
It’s a jacket and cardigan season, and not a pullover season. That means that knitwear is simple and basic so that it can be layered under a jacket like a blazer. Remind yourself of the beauty of the blazer, and sport one. A longer length ‘90s inspired blazer looks the most trendy, although short blazers look awfully good with flared dresses and skirts. Blazers don’t need to be stiff, corporate and conservative. They can be fun, festive, and a nod to the Structure trend. Blazers can also be layered under coats so that you can wear them through Winter.
9. Add the Flair of a Fashion Era
Individualism means that it’s thoroughly modern to be Modern Retro. The most universally stylish, and probably your favourite silhouettes date back to fashion eras gone by, which we can remix today with a good dose of Current. Pick an era(s) and weave its sensibilities into your style. The ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are particularly popular at the moment but if you’re a ‘60s gal, or love the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s — go for it. I’m hopelessly devoted to the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
10. Wear Midi Skirts & Dresses
Longer length skirts and dresses are the most on trend. Choose heavier weight dresses with sleeves, add fun hosiery, jacket/gilet, any length of boot, a scarf and statement coat. Or combine Winter skirts with knitwear, hosiery, boots, oxfords or pumps. Throw a blazer, jacket and/or coat over the top.
IMPORTANT: You do NOT need to be tall to wear midi lengths. Wear the lengths in proportion to your height and you’re good to go. My 4ft 9 friend rocks midi skirts with flats with the best of them. Enough said.
11. Lengthen the Rise
It’s all about showcasing a high or very high rise in all sorts of pants and jeans, which means tucking or semi-tucking tops. You can also wear a shorter roomier top to showcase more of the rise if you’re not a tucker. Go for a mid rise if you’re short in the waist.
Showcasing the high rise of jeans and pants is part of the Structure trend, but you don’t need to wear tight bottoms or a form-fitting top. You can indicate the rise and waist by semi-tucking a fluid top and wearing bottoms that are a relaxed fit on the thighs.
12. Tick off Tartans & Checks
Think any type of check, tartan or plaid in any neutral or non-neutral, and in any wardrobe item. Pattern mix the checks with animal print, if you dare. If a plaid scarf is the only way you sport checks, that’s fab too.
13. Play with Puffers
I can’t think of a more practical and popular coat than some sort of puffy topper. Short, long, neutral, non-neutral, tailored, classic, cropped, sleeveless, avant-garde, thin, thick, sporty, equestrian, sleek, voluminous – there’s a puffy topper for every climate and fashion persona. These days you can wear a puffer over a ball gown with sneakers and look fashionable.
14. Wear Flats & Low Heels
Gone are the days that you were at a stylish disadvantage if you couldn’t wear high heels. In many cases flats and low heels look more current paired with outfits, and are more practical and authentic too. The very low heel in particular – between an inch and an inch and a half – is having its fashion moment across ALL heel and toe box shapes. Sneakers can be worn with just about anything these days too. May this trend last forever.
15. Flirt with Florals
We think of floral and botanical patterns as a Spring and Summer vibe, which is a dated way of looking at the pattern. Wear florals in Autumn and Winter and have fun pattern mixing with them. Wearing florals with dark backgrounds, in moody colours, or in earth tones might help break the seasonal stereotype.
16. Add a Wild Card
A wild card is an item that is atypical for your style persona, but that speaks to you in some way. Adding a wild card to your wardrobe is an excellent way to evolve your style, making it feel extra refreshed for the season. They can be a way to solve a style and fit challenge, or to temper your poison eye for a look. Wild cards can be new colours, vibes or silhouettes. Or a new way that you wear your hair, your make-up, or put together your outfits. Wild cards always make my must-haves list because nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Remember that these items have to mesh with the factors that affect your style. Pander to your style descriptor, whether that’s rocker, avant-garde, boho, preppy, arty, corporate, casual, urban, dressy, trendy, folksy, sporty, girly, rough-around-the-edges, moody, elegant, polished, sophisticated, classic or hard-edged. Find the renditions that best express you and your style.
Personally, I’m all over ALL sixteen must-haves, and apart from long blazers have all of them represented in my wardrobe. I will continue to refresh along these lines and enjoy the small and larger shifts in my style. I’m grateful that trends are diverse, that size ranges are extending, and that individualism reigns supreme.
Which trends are featuring in your Fall and Winter wardrobe refresh this season? Are there any surprises?