With temperatures in the triple digits, thinking about sweater weather can prove difficult. But fall fashion trends are making appearances in boutiques and department stores, alike.
The bold colors and patterns of summer will carry over into the warmer months, but with a twist to create an entirely new look for fall.
In this multi-channel world of ours, fashion is formed more than ever through the eyes of many. Designers, social media mavens, fashion editors and celebs are just a few of today's tastemakers, said Belk's vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction Arlene Goldstein.
"For fall, one unifying thread is evident. It is the gaze back – the retrospective. Yes, designers are looking back to look forward – and so is Belk," she said.
"We are looking to the grown-up glamour of the '50s and the inspiring shapes of the '60s. We are paying homage to town and country classics and once again celebrating over-the-top compelling color. Linking it all is a sense of polish. We feel like 'polished' really speaks to fall fashion in a major way."
Belk touts itself as understanding "Modern. Southern. Style." like no one else. With a twist on tradition, the fashion store announced its style statements for Fall 2012. There's a look for everyone (men too!), and Goldstein encourages fashionable ladies to incorporate trends into their wardrobe, whether dressing head-to-toe in color or approaching a trend in a more modest fashion.
"The look is in the mix," she said.
My Fair Lady
Ultra fem and all grown up, this trend affirms that elegance is an attitude. It is both ladylike and luxurious. The details are divine: Peplums, pussycat bows and Peter Pan collars; waist definition and dressmaker touches like ruching and wrapping. Work the look in new, longer hemlines. This lady loves feminine dresses with a hint of nostalgia and the season's textiles take her in that very direction. Look for lush wools, silk, satin, lace, lamé and sequins for day. In fact, fashion is spotlighting anything that shimmers, giving that "glitz before six" feel. Why wait for nightfall to add a little pizzazz?
From python and paisley to Baroque prints and botanical inspirations, powerful patterns give frocks a wardrobe revival. Inject doses of bold color and you'll never get bored. Bound to get attention this season are the finishing touches that elevate any look. Go for elegant extras like statement pendants, grand earrings, long chains and bold cuffs. In fact, you will want to add a variety of interesting bracelets that will complement and personalize. Single-soled pumps (new lower heels), ankle boots, satchels, clutches, retro fedoras and anything fur will feel so right.
Town and Country
Bet on artfully twisted classics that raise the style quotient of weekend chic. In the details are topnotch craftsmanship, texture, quality and discreet luxury. Fresh fur accents, turtlenecks, quilting and utility touches like toggle closures and oversized pockets will emphasize and enhance traditional sportswear styling. This trend turns up the heat on textured textiles. Tantalizing tweeds, chunky knits, and novelty furs need no introduction. Dark and vintagewash denim, leather, silks and flannel offer a study in contrast as we juxtapose casual and dressy fabrics in the same look.
Hands down, patterns play the most important role in this trend – plaids, scarf prints, English florals, checks and cheetah to name a few. Mix them for a more edgy feel! New tartans paired with delicate flowers? Why not? Keep in mind it is easier on the eye if patterns have at least one color in common. Here are the "ones to watch" when it comes to Town and Country accessory options: British tan-colored boots and handbags in rich vintage leathers, felt fedoras and cloches, skinny belts, bold gold jewelry, charmingly chunky knit caps and mufflers, are all amazing add-ons. For fall, it's the little things that mean a lot.
Belk's next Style Statement gives clothes a top-to-toe modern retro spin, embracing 1960's shape shifts with sleek lines and sharp tailoring. Count on color blocking and banding, A-line shapes, sloping shoulders, shifts and slim pants – details that can quickly show off your more quirky side.
While structured knits, ponte, melton wools, leather and New Age synthetics are just a few of the fabrics that give garments an innovative twist. Try on sophisticated cuts and interesting materials. What a modern combination. A runway wonder, the pattern play in this trend is graphic, often computer generated. Checks, bold plaids, dots, snake, Mondrian-like blocks and bars encourage the thinking woman to do a little more risk taking.
At your service are the sleek and simple accessories that capture the look of the season. What's not to like? There are so many choices starting with items in intense, often daring color-combos that really work for winter. Then take a look at metal collars in a wide range of geometric shapes, linear earrings, dramatic cuffs in a medley of materials and finishes, envelope clutches, small chain bags, architecturally finessed boots and platform pumps. Sharp shapes say it all.
The final trend creates a chromatic crescendo of maximalist color that is sure to offer a high wattage wow to any wardrobe. Vivid is all about the magic of fall color. The most popular option is bold, rich hues mixed back to unexpected neutrals. Tomato red paired with elephant grey, cobalt with true navy, and bright fuchsia mixed with deep eggplant.
Go super glam using colors in ultra-cool ways such as color blocking and color banding, or explore head-to-toe courageous color. For the fashion fearless, there's color clashing. Yes, ruby red with purple, hot pink with emerald. Get ready to reinvent the use of jewel tones. So chic! Heart-pounding hues make this your most stylish season ever! High intensity tints can add the fizz and the fireworks to almost any fabric. Silks, melton wools, ponte knits and the newest synthetics get the show started.
Shiny finishes add a gloss and glimmer that will get you noticed (in a nice way) by adding that fresh modern dimension. Patterns in pronounced shades scream newness. Bold florals, statements stripes, snake prints and optics in the season's hottest hues are a must. Technicolor tones take accessories to the next level. Add lively trimmings like furs, bold jewelry, handbags, opaque hosiery, hats and warm weather knits. Vivid color is the tool and you make the rules.
Top off your fresh fall look with a spritz of Marc Jacobs "Dot" or Vera Wang "Love Struck Floral Rush" for a sweet, light fragrance to carry you through the day and night.
As the weather cools, be sure to protect your skin. Try Elizabeth Arden's Visible Difference Optimizing Skin Serum or Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R to moisturize and protect your face to maintain a youthful glow.
Fashion is about having fun – play up your figure and try out new trends. Some looks will work for you, while others won't. And that's OK. Figure out what looks good on you and be creative.