Autumn’s color is red. Not tomato-red, but exquisite deep scarlet and crimson.
I love fall and have for as long as I can remember. Cooler days. Crackling fires. Pretty leaves. Beautiful clothes. With me — and many of us — of course it’s all about the clothes.
It’s in the DNA. My mother was a clotheshorse — every year, back-to-school shopping began the moment I stepped off the camp bus in August. She taught me the best things come in first — that’s changed a bit with the economy over the years — yet if you’ve been in the stores, you know they are overflowing with gorgeous merchandise.
The look is totally ’70s retro. Very bohemian luxe. A bit Victorian. Envision Ali MacGraw. Stevie Nicks. And ’70s Cher. Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary is in the mix also, “Victoriana” becomes a brand new buzzword.
If you buy one new thing, you must have something with fringe. An immediate wardrobe update, found everywhere at every price point. Jackets. Skirts. Pants. Shoes. Bags. One piece at a time, please.
The other must is movement. Nothing feels tight or super-structured. Blouses are soft in silk and chiffon, skirts long and languid, pants wider and flowy. No need to buy everything new; mix and match a new floaty skirt with a sweater you own, wide-leg pants with your cropped jacket. The silhouette is a “V” or inverted “V.” Wear wide-leg pants with cropped or “shrunken” tops; longer, looser tunics with straight-leg pants or jeans. Put on an outfit and walk down the hall. (Every hallway is a runway!) Does it move? If the answer is “yes,” you’ve got it right.
Autumn’s color is red. Not tomato-red, but exquisite deep scarlet and crimson. Doesn’t every woman love a good glass of wine? Fall’s hues include merlot, burgundy, Bordeaux. Flattering to all, another great way to give last year’s pieces an easy update.
Boots are huge — to the ankle, to the knee, over the knee. Pumps are back, thin-soled and pointy. Heels are chunky and — major note here — tights are back, opaque or patterned. Designers finally realized it is beyond ridiculous to wear bare legs in the Northeast and Midwest in winter; tights look sexy, new — and smart.
The opposite side of the boho coin is androgyny. Architectural jackets, pants, and coats. Military jackets. Pea coats. Plaids and tweeds and houndstooth. Lots of big buttons. This season, pair pantsuits in tweeds and plaids with ruffles and chiffon. Clean and classic, modern and cool, masculine and feminine. That’s exactly how you want to look.
Bucket and saddle bags remain huge, again, better with fringe; or try a square, structured handbag — also new — and a little less head-to-toe Stevie Nicks. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Heels are chunky and high, but not crazy-killer high. Kitten heels and loafers suddenly seem very “of the moment” and very ’70s.
Jewelry looks best big, bold, and layered. Nothing “fine.” If you are reading this and wearing one bracelet, stop and go put on another. Try a “statement necklace” or ropes of beads. The bare neck is so two years ago. Yes, wear big dangly earrings — with all of it. More is better.
Lastly, if you can go for one more splurge, buy something suede. Skirt, dress, jacket, bag, or boots. Found everywhere at every price, so 70’s/so of-the-moment.
What a wonderful season with something for everyone. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for fall fashion and all the gorgeous clothes this season. (Maybe a glass of good red wine, too!) Try something bohemian, something flowy, something in a shade of red. Here’s to a wonderful Fall 2015 for all!
Ellyn Golder Saft is the author of fashionat50ish.com.