Two consecutive springs of yellow fever and Technicolor patent leather accessories have drifted into a new fall palette of somber greens, purples and sprinkles of blue. Black and gray serve as the perennial anchors of the season, but texture and shine will add new life to fall and subsequent winter ensembles. Clothing remains ladylike, but edgy. Fabric will crinkle on traditionally smooth items and a contemporary sheen will appear on classics. The tweeds are bold and graphic, the plaids are infused with shimmer and the shoe of the season is a traditional lace-up shoe boot with a bit of rock star influence — the toes are cut out and the structure may have peek-a-boo highlights. These are going to be great with black and rich colored tights. Now let's take a look at some other trends of the season.
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PLAIDS AND TWEEDS
Look for updated versions of these classic pieces for your fall shopping list. This slightly off-kilter version of the pencil skirt pops with deep plums and purple and has a slight metallic sheen. It looks great paired with the season's favorite knit silhouette. You'll find that loose-fitting cardigans with wide, abbreviated sleeves and a few feminine frills, such as knitted ruffles and rosettes abound.
Cropped cardigan with full sleeve and floral detail ($118) and Yoana Baraschi giant plaid pencil skirt ($188) both from Anthropologie; Lafayette 148 beet-colored tank ($168) at Saks Fifth Avenue; Carolee earrings ($55) Dillard's.
BLACK AND WHITE
The timeless play of light and dark remains, but who says that you can't play with subtler hues like blue and gray for a softer tonal variation. As an added bonus you can mix in different grades of grays and blues. Black and white is striking, but less forgiving if you don't buy them from the same color lots.
BCBG double vest ($278), Akris-Punto trousers ($395), Vince blue mock turtleneck ($75), Vince gray crew long sleeve top ($78), all from Saks Fifth Avenue; hat from Urban Outfitters (no longer available).
If you're looking for a statement-making item, look to at least one vibrant jewel-toned piece such as this Lafayette 148 coat. The sleeves are abbreviated, but the puffy insulation adds texture and volume. It's an investment, but also a serious contender for the cold season ahead.
Royal blue puffy coat with shawl collar from Lafayette 148 New York designed by Edward Wilkerson ($1,298) at Neiman Marcus; Lafayette 148 black turtleneck ($198) at Saks Fifth Avenue; and Anne Klein New York slacks ($250) at Dillard's.
THE VEST AND WIDE LEG PANTS
This little combo continues to thrive this fall because the silhouette is so flattering. Who doesn't want something that nips you in at the waist and makes your legs appear longer. Rebecca Taylor offers an atypical vest version cut to make most of the buttons down the front purely decorative and added a great brooch (an object that's so ready to make a comeback).
Rebecca Taylor vest with pin detail ($230) at Rebecca Taylor, www.rebeccataylor.com and Neiman Marcus; BCBG Max Azria's Mariam skinny cotton pants ($168) at Dillard's; ladies Robert Graham shirt with contrast print cuffs and embroidered details ($198) at Woody's Men's Store, Frontenac, Mo.
Neutrals are best when jazzed up with a bit of shine like this faux wrap dress with a subtle hint of metallic thread. The same effect can be made with a simple fabric paired with patent or metallic accessories.
Cream and metallic thread Metropolis wrap dress, Antonio Melani ($169), Dillard's.
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PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): fallfashion AMX-2008-08-22T09:37:00-04:00