Harvest your inner chic this fall

It’s getting colder outside. That means it’s time for Marquette students to bundle up … with fall fashion. Think of the new season as a reason to strut layer upon layer of new fashion-forward pieces from head to toe.

Before we get into the details, remember the importance of pairing seasonal trends with fall staples. Try matching high-waisted cargo pants with a boxy blazer, or a mid-calf dress with a big, bold scarf. Dive into the season head first.

Audacious outerwear

Modern tribal prints, chunky knits and black blazers are three must-haves this season. Photo by Amanda Frank/amanda.frank@marquette.edu.

Jackets in general make a statement when cold weather sets in. So jump on the bandwagon with a hot one. Annie Ristow, store manager and buyer for Fred Boutique, 522 N. Water St., said essential styles of the season include the leather bomber and the classic black blazer, as both can complete almost any look.

Longer coats are generally intended for warmth, but their purpose doesn’t have to stop there. Choose a trendy knee-length trench or a duster coat, especially if it has a unique shape, color or stitchwork.

“I always love to have a statement coat,” Ristow said, “something that stands apart in a sea of coats.”

One example of a statement coat for this fall: the cape coat. Look for front pockets, fur trims or oversized hoods and collars.

Smart sweaters

If you let them, sweaters scream cozy-chic. Find a chunky, knitted one in a neutral color or a printed pattern with a big cowl or turtle neck. Pair with skinny jeans and leather riding boots, and you’ve got yourself a fresh fall look.

This autumn, sweaters get slouchier. While last season featured cocoon wrap styles and big drapey sleeves, Ristow said this season adds the poncho into the mix. Picture an earth-tone wool poncho with a big button detail and a pair of dark-wash, high-waisted, flared jeans and brown, wedged heels. Talk about a ’70s throwback!

Slacks, skirts, dresses

The hottest shapes for slacks this season are cropped, flared, tapered and high-waisted. Think less “pant” and more “trouser.” Boot cut and skinny denim are still fair game, but start branching out with a different color or print, and a more delicate fabric and cut.

Dresses and skirts for this fall look fuller with a feminine silhouette. Popular cuts include calf length and full length maxi. In graphic mixed prints, skinny pleats and fresh metallics, these ladylike pieces are an easy (and flattering) go-to item for every fashionista.

Patterns and pallettes

Bold colors like this red jacket add a pop of fun to any fall wardrobe. Photo by Amanda Frank/amanda.frank@marquette.edu.

Typical fall colors feature neutrals and beiges, and this fall is no exception. But “in” right along with these earth tones are a few bright ones that offer a change of pace: namely burnt orange and deep, rich sapphire blue. Pick a few vivid pieces to break up a monotonous fall color palette.

“Anything that has a vibrant hue, especially in this type of weather, is just a good pick-me-up,” Ristow said.  “People don’t want to be stuck in black or grey every day.”

Don’t go completely solid, though. Prints are huge this season, starting with plaids. Not cozy ’90s grunge, though. Think Scottish, preppy, graphic tartan-type prints. Other patterns hot on the racks include the modern tribal print and the snake skin.

Bold bangles, boots and bags

Feet need fashion too. Fall boots are a must-have, and in right now are wedge heels and rugged platform ankle booties. The biggest shoe trends include the menswear-inspired heeled loafer and oxford, the colorful and comfy suede flat and the classic-but-trendy stacked heel.

Polish up your looks by accessorizing them. This season, purses turn satchel. Find a boxy, leather shoulder bag with a top handle. Think mini-suitcase or bowling bag-esque.

“Structured bags have been going over really well so far,” Ristow said. “The cross-body feature is still huge right now – it’s convenient and hands free.”

Sheet-metal jewelry adds some glam to this fall’s trends, with pieces that appear inspired by Aladdin’s genie or Cleopatra’s arm bands. Find a brass or shiny gold cuff, a flat choker or a wrap-around ring.

Mr. Fads

Fashion isn’t all about women, of course. But men should prepare for a season where their fashions mimic the mainstream female trends: tribal and plaid prints, structured and collared knits, patterned slacks and leather coats. Find pieces that allow layers of different textures, like distressed denim long-sleeved shirts, thermals, soft v-neck sweaters and the black bomber jacket.

Brooke Andrew, a sales associate at White Star Mensgear, 524 N. Water St., said graphic T-shirts paired under classic cardigans offer a subdued, yet layered and classy look for all men this fall. For below the belt, try working some corduroy or fitted earth-tone cargos with the already popular rugged denim pants in your wardrobe.

And men too can add flare to any ensemble by accessorizing. The easiest way is to put a new twist on old trends. Choose high-top shoes and work boots instead of classic low-tops, bowties instead of long ties and suspenders instead of belts. Snap on a leather wristband or a large-faced watch to finish the look.

Fall may call for some bundling up, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cover ourselves head to toe in ravishing style.