The Lovelies -
Absolutely! This is a great way to defrump a modest wardrobe but can easily wander into costume territory if not done right. So make sure you do it right. Here are a couple good options for you.
Option 1 - Tone-on-Tone. I love this silver metallic dress with the gray coat. If this were all black it would be perfect for a fancy night out but the light colors are appropriate for day.
Teeter-totter the metallic item with neutral, muted pieces to do the look right.
- Looking to invest? Buy the best quality you can afford. A poorly constructed metallic garment will show it's flaws loudly and won't last long.
Contrary to the opinion of one of this season's Project Runway designers, I like ruffles. They're feminine and sweet and can enhance or conceal depending on the design.
- Have something? Ruffled items pair equally well with menswear inspired trousers and a sexy pencil skirt.
- Looking to invest? Avoid ruffles on chunky knits. It'll add way too much bulk.
So often fall gets bogged down in the burgundies, forest greens, grays, and blacks but pulling out a nice sunny color will brighten those shorter days. AND, lighter cuts like this dress work year round!
- Already have this color? Make it work in winter months with opaque tights or knee high boots and accessories in neutral colors that don't compete for attention.
- Looking to invest? Think sunny lime and avoid neon.
This seems like a no-brainer since layering to keep warm in fall and winter happens anyway but I wanted to include it because the look that's cropping up is specifically monochromatic chic.
- Already have something? Make sure to incorporate both black and grays. We're going for a balanced look, not head to toe in one color. I think this also looks fabulous with various shades of white/cream and tan/brown. Keep the ensemble sleek and watch the makeup! Against this pallet, your normal “berry kiss” lipstick could look clown-like.
- Looking to invest? You probably don't need much. Shop your closet and you'll probably find all the pieces you need. If not, get the best quality you can afford. These colors never go out of style.
The Maybies -
I apologize for the harsh picture. It was the best I could find showing this trend and how we're talking only exposed shoulders. The top still needs to have actual sleeves. I include this trend only because I saw it layered over a brightly colored piece making it appropriate for modest dressers.
- Have one? Do NOT layer it over a flesh-colored item. You want deliberate contrast.
- Looking to invest? Don't bother. It's a problematic trend and assuredly a tiny flash in the pan. If you really love the look it would be very easy to DIY with one of your existing tops you don't mind altering.
It's so rare to see leggings done right. Every year I find myself questioning what I think about them. They're much more feminine than sweatpants for around the house but once you go out?? This year, like almost every fall, they're popping up under mini-skirts and long tunic tops. You truly have to have a trim figure to pull off leggings in any sort of flattering way. They show every lump and bump. No, they are not slimming and for many people the fact that leggings are skin-tight goes against their definition of modesty.
- Have some? Layer them under your shorter, summery skirts and dresses that you want to keep wearing. If you have the figure, you can show more legging compared to top, but keep the crotch and buns covered, otherwise we'll have to start calling you Lindsey Lohan (the reigning queen of leggings). And that's not a fashion compliment.
- Looking to invest? You don't need to spend big bucks on a pair of leggings. Just make sure they fit snugly and don't sag. Oy, that's brings a scary picture to mind!
The Nevers -
Oh what a shapeless mess. As with any item of clothing, from size 8 to 18, concealing your shape under a bulky mass is NOT flattering. Even where outerwear is concerned. Bulky shapes like this don't mean more warmth. It's all just a little too "Snuggie walking down the street."
- Have one? Donate it or relegate it to your emergency kit. Maybe the material will be good to deconstruct for a DIY project.
- Looking to invest? Don't. If you're in need of a new coat look for a nicely tailored wool topper you'll look good wearing for years upon years to come.
This wasn't a good look in the 80's and it will never be a good look. What do we call this? Glitzy Linebacker? What woman worth her femininity wants to look like a linebacker? This look goes beyond simply shoulder-pads to massive poufy shoulders.
- Have something? Yes, strongly tailored shoulders slim hips, but this isn't it. Put it in the dress-up box for when your daughters need to channel the 80's.
- Looking to invest? Avoid anything Dynasty-esque. Look for TAILORED shoulders. Tailored just enough so they’re not slouchy.