Fall fashion gets real

With the weather turning just a bit chilly, it’s time to break out the fall fashion, whether we’re ready or not. Wait, you haven’t hit the stores yet? Relax. While most of us will never be able to afford the couture looks that sashay down the runways, an array of accessible fall trends are in stores now, so you can rock the latest and greatest without breaking your budget.

Blue and white

  • Two colors to try this season: cobalt blue and winter white. We all know that wearing white after Labor Day is (or once was) a taboo, but this fall winter white (a slightly creamier hue) is making its presence felt, showing up on jackets as well as pants. A statement piece — like the white peplum jacket by Pure Sugar, $108 at Nordstrom — is perfect for the office or drinks after work and a welcome change from that yawn-inducing black blazer every professional woman has in rotation. (If all-white feels too risky, the jacket also comes in black with white accents on the arms, bodice, and shoulders.)

  • Cobalt blue has made its way into stores this season, as well as the red carpet. (At the Emmys last Sunday, “Girls” star Allison Williams stunned in a colbalt Ralph Lauren gown.) It’s bold, eye-catching, and everywhere: from Jessica Simpson’s “Shirley” pump (right), available at and for about $79, to Forever 21’s Street Chic Moto Jacket for a mere $24.80.



  • Prints and plaids are big this fall, too. Animal prints especially are filling the racks, showing up on scarves, shoes, and jackets, even trousers. At Saks Fifth Avenue, black and white leopard print makes a splash on 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans, for $198, while Calvin Klein has rolled out a skinny snakeskin-print pant, $79.50 at Macy’s (right). How daring can you get?

  • And don’t forget about floral. This fall, it’s the fairest of them all, feminine and romantic, the perfect counterpoint to some of the season’s edgier styles. H&M is featuring Superstretch Treggings (that’s a trouser-ish legging, for the uninitiated) in a white and blue floral print for just $17.95, as well as a rose-covered jersey legging for $12.95.



  • Maybe it’s the ongoing fascination with “50 Shades of Grey,” but leather clothing (often of the vegan variety) has become a fashion staple over the past couple of seasons — and this fall is no different. In addition to leather jackets and leather-look leggings, the material is showing up on shirts at a variety of retailers. Express has an audacious (Minus the) Leather and Lace scoop-back tee for $39.90 (we also like their moto jacket, $118.00, above), while Club Monaco is out with a long sleeve silk scoop neck with leather accents on the sleeves for $159.90. So autumnal! Pair it with jeans, flats, and a New York & Company Ponte-Sleeve jacket for $74.95 (the zippers on the pockets make it fresh), and you’re on your way.



  • When it comes to outerwear, dump the frump and get a jacket or coat that works for your body this fall. A military-inspired trench coat might be the way to go. Long or short, a belted trench hugs the body in all the right places. And happily, the price is right. Check out the tweed panel peplum trench coat by Steve Madden (far left) at Nordstrom for $138.



  • Finally, footwear. This fall, that means boots. The riskier of the silhouettes is the thigh-high boot. They elongate the legs and look fabulous with a pair of skinny jeans or jeggings. Clearly, they’re not going to fit perfectly into every work setting, but for evenings and weekends, they’re chic and sexy. Macy’s is carrying G by GUESS Trinna Over-the-Knee Platform Dress Boots for $119. Perhaps more versatile is the short bootie (inset), which is not only stylish but will work no matter where your day takes you. Lots of retailers have reasonably priced booties, including Payless, which has an abundance of them priced from $34.99 to $59.95.

Vanessa Fernandes can be reached at
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