Fall 2011 fashion report: retro trends

Fall is upon us, and along with it, the familiar wardrobe staples of sweaters, scarves and boots. In addition to the classics, this season also boasts an array of wearable and unique trends, channeling themes of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

This fall, polka dots are everywhere, from airy, chiffon blouses to polka-dot-print dresses.  The polka dots are bigger than what has been popular in the past and can be seen on more structured, sophisticated pieces, like blazers or chic evening dresses. This gives them a more modern feel and prevents them from looking dated.

While polka-dot prints are usually relatively tame in color, other key pieces for this season make statements with striking colors. Tops and outerwear in a burnt color scheme are everywhere. Mustard yellow and rusty, burnt-orange hues make for beautiful pea coats and scarves, and jade green dresses are a vibrant alternative to the little black dress this fall.

For an even more daring look, pair a long jade dress with the plunging-neckline trend seen on tops before cold winter weather makes it a little too impractical.

Jeans are also taking on bright colors this fall, with lots of purple, turquoise, red, yellow and green being seen in stores.

Following suit with the medley of stylish colors this season are lipsticks. Rich burgundy-, fiery red- and berry-colored lips are taking the place of summer nudes and pinks. It may be a bolder look than you’re used to, but when paired with subtle eye makeup, it looks very polished and sophisticated.

For a cheap drugstore lipstick to try this trend out, I recommend Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balm in peony, around $7.

Bold red and berry lips lend themselves to the ‘70s glamour theme, especially when worn with another trend we haven’t seen in a while: faux fur.

The re-emergence of fur is evident in any clothing store you enter at the moment, mainly in the form of fur vests and jackets.

Not only will these fur tops keep you warm as it gets cooler outside, but they’re easy to accessorize with a belt around the waist and a simple, neutral top underneath.  Look for fur accents to be popular, as well, especially at the neckline or on jacket hoods.

A new silhouette is in for fall; bell-bottom jeans and wide-leg trousers are making  comebacks. Skinny jeans have been the go-to denim staple for several seasons now, but this summer, bell-bottoms started slowly reappearing. They’re making their mark on this season’s fashion in fall runway shows, high-waisted and often paired with heels to emphasize and elongate the flared shape.

This is particularly good for shorter ladies, as skinny jeans can cut the legs off at the ankle, making those who wear them appear even shorter. Flared jeans and trousers give the illusion of height when they are the appropriate length, giving the legs long, lean lines. Combining flared jeans with the extra height of heels is the perfect solution for shorter women who want to look taller.

Everyone can benefit from this trend, tall or short, as the shape of flared jeans is more universally flattering than that of skinny jeans. The wider bottoms balance the width of the hips, making the lower half of the body look better proportioned than the narrow, hip-accentuating skinny jeans.

The keys to this fall’s trends, as with those of  any season, are to go for the looks that you love and feel comfortable in and leave the rest; confidence is always the best fashion accessory.

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