Feel inspired with an extra shot of confidence to give you a boost during a challenging business climate as the weather changes and autumn arrives. The new 2009 fall/winter wardrobe trends are all about a modern look – regardless of your age – but they also take stylish cues from classic retro fashion. Having worked in the fashion industry for many years, I can tell you that the coming trend places a much greater emphasis upon exploration and experimentation that is light on the wardrobe wallet but still strong in terms of giving your style and look a fabulous wake-up call.
As a senior level executive with Macy’s, I learned to hone my interpretations of trendy items and concepts in order to recognize what will be stylish not just in the upcoming season but for years to come. That’s the trick to designing a wardrobe that looks great all day, every day, Every businesswoman needs to know how to blend a few of these fantastic fresh items into her personal and professional wardrobe to look her best around the clock.
1). Have Fun with the Fall Color Spectrum
Are you in a color rut so that you tend to default back to wearing black every day because it’s easy? If so, immediately get to the store to buy yourself a pop of color that best reflects your fashion mood, flatters your natural beauty, and expresses your authentic style personality. This season include a burst of color to modernize your core essential neutral pieces and bring some creativity and fun into your look. In stores this season look for the following colorful trends to brighten you and your personal brand image up during a difficult time of worldwide change:
- Metallics: Bronze, copper gold, pewter and silver.
- Soft Pastels: Camel, charcoal grey, coffee, dark spinach green, dark taupe and coffee.
- Gem Tones: Purple, burgundy, amethyst, warm gold, sapphire blue, and emerald green.
- Bold Brights: Fuchsia, chartreuse, hot.
- Red: Shades of crimson, scarlet, ruby and rose dominate the season.
2). Give Your Texture a Twist
With the season getting cooler, it’s a great time to add another layer of interest to your ensemble by incorporating extra texture. Always remember this important tip: The fewer colors you wear in your clothing, the more crucial texture and good design becomes, so choose those that are exquisite and elegantly stylish. Look for ways to pull together textured items by doing things like adding an exotic skinned leather belt, a fur/faux fur trimmed jacket, or satin piping suit jacket trim. Shop for autumn suits with textured fabrics and prints – like tweeds, boucle, wool plaids, and checks – to keep your corporate edge crisp and sharp.
3). Make a Style Statement
Everyone has a personalized style statement to make, and it can be inspired by history, nature, or current events. Here are a few modern conceptual themes that let you add an item or two to give you some fashion flair and polish-up your professional presence:
Go Retro Glam:
This season you will find 1940s inspired suits from old Hollywood glamour like peplum or waist-cinched styles with larger shoulder pads, beautiful colorful gloves, and elegant wraps. Here the style statement is about exquisite fabrics, tailored curves, and uptown elegance.
From Mild to Wild:
The safari look uses large to small bold animal prints like leopard, cheetah, and jungle prints to add energy to scarves, shoes, booties, handbags, blouses, dresses, sweaters or a great winter coat. If animal prints feel a bit too bold for you, shop for the more muted prints or combine one small animal print item with several colors in it to a basic brown or black trouser. You will find unusual colors in animal print scarves this year – like black and purple – and they will look great when paired with a gorgeous black suit.
Become a Modern Classic:
The return of the timeless classics with a new twist dominates this season’s looks. We’re talking camel wool coats, menswear trousers, classic suits, and polka-dot print blouses.
Give Red a Green Light:
Red returns as the power color this year. You will find it in dresses, suits, coats, shoes, wraps, cardigans, and pretty silk blouses – plus nail color and lipstick that ranges from bright to muted and to rich darker shades of red.
Fall in Love with Romance:
The pretty ruffles on silk blouses, puffy sleeves, or a floral print will give your ensemble a more romantic feel. This trend allows you to emphasize your upper torso with the attention focused more upward toward your face.
4). Accent Yourself
Accessories give the style accent needed to complete your look with an interesting finishing touch. Think about what kinds of accessories you especially like to wear to communicate your accent style statement. If you love shoes, buy several pairs in different heel heights and various bold colors and textures like suede or animal prints. If belts are your favorite accessory you’ll love adding a few to your wardrobe – and they are great layering pieces to spice up a sheath dress, classic suit, or wear over a cardigan sweater. I love the current look for business casual environments that pairs a white shirt with a cardigan and leaves it open in the center about six inches. Belt the whole look. Wear it with a pencil skirt or a light plaid dress trouser and viola! You look casually polished. I also love the skinny leopard print belts or the wide leather croc ones to give all my outfits a little more pizzazz. Shop for belt styles that offer lots of personality, versatility, and originality.
Those who have a penchant for vintage jewelry can go through their mother’s jewelry drawer and look for long gold chains, strands of long pearls in different lengths, or a cache of angles to add to the 2009 fall jewelry collection. Remember that earrings and necklaces don’t always have to match as a set, but they do need to complement one another in a way that blends and looks intentional. Here are some of fall’s latest accessory and jewelry looks:
- Shoes: Colorful, with Prints and Textures – Bold Colors, Suede, Animal Prints
- Belts: Narrow to Wide
- Bracelets: Multi-Bangles in Mixed Metals or a Hammered Large Cuff
- Necklaces: Long Layers of Multi-Stand Pearl Necklaces – Very Chanel Looking
- Statement Handbags: Leopard, Textured Neutrals in Suede or Crocodile
- Scarves: Long or Short in Length in a Variety of Colors, Textures and Prints
5). Seven Must-Have’s for Versatile Women
Tailored Classic Suits or Jackets
Select one or two versatile suits or jackets this fall that go with everything in your closet. Look for waist-defined styles that are semi-fitted with a bolder shoulder. Yes, this season we’ll see the return of the slightly more molded shoulder line.
Find some great cardigans in different styles, lengths, and colors to layer up your look. Pair these great finds with pencil skirts, dress trousers, or dark trouser denim to look casually updated for work or play.
Shop for pretty blouses with a high level of sophistication like small ruffles or soft colored floral prints. Coordinate these great pieces with a wider-leg dress trouser or a long pencil skirt for a romantic office look.
This trend continues from spring ’09 but in an updated way. Shop for versatile styles you can wear to work with an updated cardigan or a modern jacket worn over the top for more coverage. Styles with small belts can help to define those with a tiny waist – so if you have one, show it off in this style of day dress. Wear your dress with a pair of stylish high heels to show off your great legs while appearing taller and slimmer.
This season the newest pencil skirts will be offered in updated prints like animal, herringbone, or tweed – versus the usual matte black. You will also find feminine details on pencil skirts that give them a new kick, like ruffled trim hemlines.
The Stylish White Blouse
Another returning item this season is the tailored white blouse. Look for a white blouse with a more modern edge – like one that wraps around the waist, is ruffled, has French cuffs, or comes in a fitted style. This is another one-purchase item that can take you directly from work to play with grace and ease. Don’t forget though that white blouses tend to look old quickly, so be sure to stock up with a few fresh ones this season.
These shoes are great to use as a neutral shoe in your wardrobe, but they can also dress up any look. Shop this fall for one or two pairs in a sling back, pump, platform, flat, bootie, or evening shoe. Look for the latest colors like anthracite, butter metal, dark bronze, copper, gunmetal, and pewter. Metallics give you an easy way to update your existing apparel because they are versatile – and I predict that the metallic trend will be with us for a while.
I hope I’ve inspired you to think about adding a splash of color and incorporating a few modern trend items into your wardrobe. The choices will be great in the department and specialty stores, but decide which ones are really for you and will give your existing wardrobe more varied looks this fall. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and explore a few items you would have never ventured to try on in the past, because that’s the 2009 autumn and winter trend. Those items also give you that extra boost for a more vibrant and breath-taking presence. Go with a few of these trends to look professionally modern and confident and make a positively stunning entrance into the fall and winter season.