Schoolbook-thick editions of popular fashion magazines fill newsstands come late August. While the offerings look chic and exciting, the lingering summer swelter prevents us Southern style mavens from getting too excited about trends that include embellished velvet and jewel-toned fur. So how to take runway to reality? Here are some guidelines of which trends to start wearing now to be season appropriate, trend right and climate comfortable until fall is more convincingly in the air.
One of the easiest ways to transition your wardrobe into fall is to update your color palette. Put away pastels for the hot hues of the season, which include rich, vibrant jewel tones. Color trendsetter Pantone’s 2013 hue of the year, Emerald, merges into fall by deepening its shade and spawning variations including mossy and olive greens. Last year’s oxblood is this year’s merlot, and purple plays a prominent role. Other offerings include super-saturated versions of red, hot pink and blue.
While these hues will look smashing on overcoats and turtlenecks later in the season, in warmer weather enjoy wearing these colors in lightweight tops (with tailored shorts now, jeans later), sleeveless dresses (over which you can layer an on-trend moto jacket when cold) and even your nail color (leave summer’s sheer pink and beachy coral behind).
If jewels aren’t your thing and you’re more of a neutral girl, a monochromatic winter white ensemble makes an elegant impact (and YES, you can wear those true white jeans after Labor Day). Either way, pull out your grey wardrobe staples, as these will ground fall’s bolder shades from now throughout the season.
Designers deliver a menagerie of wild prints this fall, including leopard, ocelot, zebra and snakeskin. After hitting the runways year after year, animal print has long since been considered fashion forward, and is in fact now more of a classic (traditional retailer Talbots featured an all-leopard trench coat two years ago, need I say more?) Therefore, the key is to wear the print in a fresh way. On this fall’s runways, the print was usually shown worn head-to-toe, but in silhouettes they are more buttoned up. You don’t want to look like a cougar, so avoid anything extra tight or revealing. Animal prints have an inherent sexiness all on their own.
Try your hand at mixing these prints, whether it be 2 animal prints or an animal print with a fall floral, for example. Yes, it can be done! Try a big print with a small print and make sure you have at least one common color thread in each print. (See Diane von Furstenberg dress photo above.)
Even before that fall snap in the air, you can rule the fashion kingdom by combining this pattern with other fall trends you can wear now, like tapered trousers and ladylike dresses.
Pointy Toe Pumps
While I’m not into fashion “rules,” per se, I just don’t believe in wearing boots until warm weather has officially left us. Don’t get me wrong, boots are one of my favorite parts of fall style, but I reserve them for crisper days. That said, by the time Labor Day rolls around, I’m ready to give my strappy sandals a rest. Enter the pump. While peep toes will be forever classic, and this petite stylist favors the platform variety, one look at the early fall delivery in shoe departments reveals that the pump is making a pointed change this season (excuse the pun). Usually flattering, rarely comfortable, the pointy toe pump, whether in leather, suede or mixed media, adds a feminine feel to any outfit. I am a fan of those with a bonus feature, like a cap toe or textural interest.
Our southern climate is perfect for layering, so as the weather gradually guides us into autumn, start with lighter versions of the season’s trends, adding a jacket here or sweater there as the temperature allows. Remember that part of being stylish is dressing appropriately for every occasion.