In the October edition of our fashion advice column “Ask Megan,” Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa tackles readers’ questions about fall trends, updating your wardrobe and much more!

Megan LaRussa

Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa

I want to wear my team colors without going over the top. Do you have any recommendations on how to wear game-day style tastefully?

As a style coach who lives in the Southeast and enjoys watching college football, this is one of my favorite topics. It can be easy to support your team in style, while also being comfortable (an important factor if you’re attending the game and planning on doing a lot of walking). But you have to have the right items in your closet to make getting dressed for game day a breeze.

First and foremost, work with what you’ve got. If you are an Auburn fan, try wearing a navy or orange work-day top from your closet, and instead of wearing it with a pencil skirt or trousers, like you might for work, wear it with white or dark-wash jeans and a casual shoe. Repurposing items makes for a more versatile wardrobe, thus making getting dressed easier while also saving you money.

Megan LaRussa

Sport your team’s colors through solid pieces, like this ruffle-sleeved sweater and a cute loafer (note the on-trend frayed-hem jean). Image: Tuckernuck

Megan LaRussa

This versatile wrap includes the colors for a number of football teams, perfect for someone in a family rooting for multiple teams! Image: Gal Meets Glam

If you don’t own any tops, sweaters or dresses in your team’s hues, then look for accessories in your color of choice. For example if you’re an Alabama fan and you have a lot of black in your wardrobe, buy a beautiful crimson scarf or a pair of crimson booties for a tasteful touch of game-day spirit. This does not mean sporting logo-centric accessories that can be viewed as less-than-chic, but instead sticking to colorful accessories to support your favorite team.

Megan LaRussa

This crimson leather jacket is très chic and in keeping with game-day spirit. Image: The Viva Luxury

Megan LaRussa

These crimson booties have enough pop to garner a nod for team spirit, and the overall look is still laid-back and stylish. Image: Styled by Kasey

I compiled my favorite and oh-so-stylish game-day items in this handy game-day style guide.

I’ve heard that mules have come back in style, but I am not sure what kind of mules they mean. Could you elaborate on this?

You are spot-on — mules are back in style! They took a little hiatus, but have come back in a modern way. The most popular and easy-to-wear style is a flat slip-on mule that can be worn casually or dressy-casually. We’re seeing great suede sandal styles that are perfect for transition weather. And we’re also seeing pointed-toe and closed-toe styles that are the new ballet flat for the season. Mules are an easy way to update your fall outfits from last season.

Megan LaRussa

This pointed, closed-toe mule exudes a sleek modernity. Image: Jess Ann Kirby

RELATED: 3 Simple Ways to Streamline Your Style & Fall Back in Love with Your Closet

Megan LaRussa

An animal print mule can double as a fun neutral shoe. Image: Everyday Pursuits

Megan LaRussa

These bow-adorned mules from Prada offer a look that harkens back to the French aristocracy of Versailles, a fashion that has stood the test of time in all its iterations. Prada gives the familiar French look a fresh, modern spin. Image: Sincerely Jules

The other mule that is in style right now is the stacked, or block-heel, mule. The easiest and, in my opinion, the most chic version of this would be an open-toe style. Pick the heel height based on your comfort level, whether that’s a 1- to 2-inch heel for daily ease and comfort, or a 3-inch heel for an evening shoe option. These stacked-heel mules are fabulous when done in suede or velvet in gorgeous fall hues. I’ve also seen them in metallic and animal print, which can serve as a fun neutral in your fall outfits.

Megan LaRussa

Minimalist and sharp, these black stacked-heel mules lend elegance to this rocker ensemble. Image: The Cab Look

Megan LaRussa

Red + suede + mule = three hot trends in one fabulous shoe! Image: Top Shop

Megan LaRussa

Velvet is another super-trendy fabric, and it lends a textured depth to this shoe that is simply sumptuous. Image: Endource

What are the must-have items that I should purchase for fall and winter?

I love nothing more than a good must-have list! But for each season, there should be two must-have lists: One list of great basics for the season and one list of more trend-driven items. To help you get started with your fall/winter shopping, I’ll share a few of the items from each list. First, we’ll focus on the foundational fall pieces, as those are the items that create the backbone of your wardrobe and help you make a wide variety of polished outfits:

Dark-wash jeans

Choose the cut that is most flattering to your figure, whether that’s a skinny jean, boot-cut or straight leg.

Megan LaRussa

The days of one particular cut being the trend are a thing of the past. Choose the cut that is most flattering to your unique figure, whether that’s a skinny jean, boot-cut or straight leg. And as long as it’s a dark-wash denim, consider yourself on-trend! Images: Pinterest | Luv to Look

Suede or leather ankle booties

Select a heel height that is most comfortable for you and your lifestyle.

Megan LaRussa

Choose a higher or lower heel depending on what is most comfortable. Images: Lulus | Livvy Land

Lightweight third pieces

You want third pieces like a leather jacket, blazer, cardigan, vest or denim jacket — items that pair nicely with a basic tee, silk blouse or tissue turtleneck.

Megan LaRussa

Add complexity to foundational basics by layering in a leather jacket, cardigan, vest, blazer or bomber jacket. Images: Tommy Ton | LA Cool & Chic

RELATED: Age-Appropriate Style, Chic Travel Bags & Jewelry Box Basics: Ask Megan

Next, let’s talk about more trendy pieces that can add some “runway relevance” and modernity to your basics:

Velvet

Velvet is the texture of the season, and it looks gorgeous in a wide array of items. Try an ankle bootie, a pair of jeans, a blouse or even a bomber jacket — whichever item best suits your style and silhouette.

Megan LaRussa

Velvet adds eye-catching texture to any look. Images: Pinterest | Memorandum

Frayed-hem distressed jeans

These jeans are the “in” denim style right now. From two-tone denim to distressed hems to embellishments all over, fun-loving denim is the pant that will elevate your casual look to “dressy-casual” this fall.

Megan LaRussa

Denim packs some major personality this season, with cuts, colors and hemlines in a wildly creative spectrum. Images: asos | Who What Wear | Who What Wear

Megan LaRussa

The frayed hem is a particularly prominent style, and it can be dressed down or gussied up. Image: Atelier Doré

Fall florals

Florals look gorgeous this season with deep dark backgrounds and rich red flowers. Try this pattern du jour in a dress, jean or blouse for a modern take on a classic print.

Megan LaRussa

Florals in deep reds and rich fall hues are the pattern of the season! Images: Take Aim | Ivory Lane

Decide which trends and basics are right for you, then have some fun and hit the stores for a little fall shopping!

I recently did a closet clean-out myself! How do I know if I have removed all of the outdated items? What is even considered outdated?

A good general rule of thumb is if the garment or accessory has been in your closet for more than five years, it’s probably dated or just worn out. There are exceptions, especially if you’ve invested in designer clothing (and I’m talking Chanel-level designer). As you’re cleaning, ask yourself how long you’ve had it in your closet AND have you been drawn to wear it — be honest with yourself.

Another way to know what’s dated is to educate yourself on the current styles. See what’s in high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue every season. Even if you are not shopping in these stores, their inventory will show you what’s modern, as these stores will not stock out-of-date items. Also, pick up a magazine like InStyle, and compare the silhouettes, fabrics, prints, necklines and jewelry styles with what’s in your closet to see if what you have is dated. This of course doesn’t always apply to those basic and classic items, but it will help you streamline your wardrobe and keep you looking current.

Megan LaRussa

“Cleaning out your closet can be a daunting task but one that’s well worth the effort. I hear from clients that post-cleanse, they feel lighter and as though they have more options because they’ve removed the clutter,” says Megan, who advises closet cleaners to get familiar with what’s current in order to know which closet items are dated. Image: What Would V Wear

If you need some visual inspiration, check out my recent blog post on five outdated items that are lingering in your closet.

What is the color of the season?

Drum roll please … the color of the season is: RED! And not just basic red, but all gorgeous, sumptuous shades of red from burgundy to crimson to burnt orange to ruby and everything in between. And yes, there are other important fall/winter 2017 colors, but if I have to pick just one, it would be one of these beautiful shades of red.

If you are a neutral-loving girl, then I’d encourage you to add a dash of red into your wardrobe and treat it like a neutral. Whether it be a red mule, a red scarf or a great pair of red statement earrings, whatever suits your style works.

Megan LaRussa

This sweater could have been a neutral shade, but notice how this striking red really makes the outfit pop. Image: Pinterest

Megan LaRussa

A head-turning loafer-style heel in red and a punch of red in the scarf take this basic look from “blah” to beguiling. Image: EJ Style

If you are a color-loving girl, then go all out! Wear red in a tonal way for a super chic and flattering look. Select a burgundy pair of jeans, and pair them with a scarlet sweater, and top it all off with a fuchsia scarf. It creates a truly interesting and on-trend look.

Megan LaRussa

Layer reds in different textures and patterns for a gorgeous fall look. Image: Beautifully Seaside

Megan LaRussa

A wine-colored red is the theme to this comfy-looking ensemble. Image: Luv to Look

Megan LaRussa

Different shades of red intermingle for a wholly fabulous look. Image: LA Cool & Chic

Cheers to rocking red your own way!

Have fashion questions? Ask Megan! Submit your own fashion-related questions for possible inclusion in this monthly column by emailing [email protected]

To learn more about Megan LaRussa, or to view style-coaching options, book an appointment or sign up for the Style Yourself Chic Society, visit meganlarussa.com.

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