Look outside your window and you will see that fall is undeniably here; step outside and you will feel it in your bones. The crisp cool air — the rain — the foliage — but weather isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Your wardrobe is too. Everyone is busting out the sweaters, pants and jackets in (occasionally vain) attempts to keep warm, and the fall fashion police have made their rounds to Gap, J. Crew, and Urban Outfitters, just to name a few. Many of these stores take cues from the latest trends on the runway, which designers showcase as early as March. This fall, women, take a hint from high fashion and think: tight, mini, color and vintage.
In fashion, “everything old is new again.” It’s a cyclical progression of what’s in, what’s out, what’s hot, what’s not. This fall sees a revival of the 1960s “school girl” look. Pleated skirts, preppy plaids and boyish blazers were all the rage on major runways from DKNY to Chanel to Anne Klein. This appears to be an international trend as well, and it has hit Japan full-force. School uniforms, back in the days when Japanese girls were required to wear them, were anathemas. Now, however, released from the restrictions of a mandatory dress code, the fashion world has transformed the school uniform into a very potent symbol of flirtatious sexuality. Hemlines have been conspicuously shortened, and blouses strategically buttoned and cut to show curves and skin. Moreover, the girls in Japan take pride in obtaining a more or less unique version of this look, and are often even willing to spend a lot of money purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces. In some ways, then, the school uniform has become an artistic venue for creativity as well as sexuality.
If you find yourself more the “naughty detention” type rather than the disciplined “sweet school girl,” this fall season will offer you ample opportunity for expression. What better way to rebel than in some jaw-dropping mini? American designer Michael Kors paired micromini skirts with the highest heels. And if you’re going to show some leg anyway, you might as well go the full mile and pair it with the newest look in boots: over the knee. Speaking of shoes, square-toed is now passZ
Color is the name of the game, and that is particularly true this fall. Dark is out as silver and satin gain popularity along with bright-colored pieces, like yellow, orange, red and purple, which all pair nicely with neutral tones like khaki. In other words, don’t be afraid to be as colorful as the foliage, even when it comes to outerwear. In fact, one of the hottest items on the market right now is a banana-yellow trench coat from — surprise! — Banana Republic. Head-to-toe white is also a very stylish look for fall, so forget the age-old rule that bans white after Labor Day. The cashmere sweaters at J. Crew will add a spectacular splash of color to any wardrobe, not to mention high-quality material supplied by a high-end Italian textiles company.
One of the newest trends in autumn outerwear is the faux fur trimmed parka, which is not only fashionable but also extremely practical: It will keep you dry, warm and chic all at once. For those interested, look no further than Urban Outfitters, which offers an adorable version in black and hot pink. Don’t be surprised either to see an influx of structured shrunken coats with very small shoulders. Fitted and sleek is decidedly the favored look, especially for leather. And for the feet — boots, boots, boots! Need I say more?
Whatever your own personal taste and style is, this fall’s fashion will hopefully prove to be a treasure chest of — if not inspiration — at least amusement and fun. And of course, take all fashion advice with a grain of salt. Beware of the perennial fashion faux pas. Context is everything. Campus isn’t a catwalk, so flaunting that oh-so-short skirt in section might just be oh-so-risque.
Ting Ting admits to having an obsession with high-heeled boots.