For this fall, shopping is “all about versatility and getting the most wear out of a piece you can,” says Hallie Bram, marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beachwood.
One of her store’s fall campaigns is the “season of the dress,” because so many women like the convenience of putting on a dress in the morning. Bram says burgundy and black are both popular colors in this season’s fashion lineup.
A black sheath dress like one with a detachable knitted cowl neck Saks carries from Akris Punto can be worn with a white button-down or turtleneck shirt underneath it or a jacket over it and black tights during the day. At night, Bram suggests wearing it “with a pair of great pumps.”
“Leather is a huge trend for fall,” says Bram, which is reflected by the patent-leather piping on the dress’s armholes.
If you think jackets are boring, think again. Modern takes on the typical pea coat include another key trend for the season: a peplum bottom, which flares from above the waist. Bram highlighted a burgundy jacket by Burberry London with a leather accent on the back. “This would look fantastic with leggings and boots, and turtleneck,” she says. “It’s versatile because it can be outerwear or as inside wear on a cold day.”
Updated blazers are another option. Bram recommends one by Theory. “This one is fantastic because it could be worn by a stylish businesswoman or for night,” she says. “It has leather sleeves and zipper details to it, so it’s kind of edgy.” It could be worn with pants and a button-down shirt or with a dress for night.
For jeans, Bram recommends the fall palette offered by J Brand jeans. It’s a “staple” skinny jean you can wear with boots, heels, or flats, dress up with an evening top, or wear to a casual workplace.
“One of the most fun things we’re selling is a ruched pant,” says Bonnie Chernikoff, owner of Bonnie’s Goubaud in Woodmere. You don’t have to hem it, and it pulls into the length you want.”
Chernikoff said this season’s pants are “slim and trim” unless they’re really wide, dressy pants in a flowing fabric. Those can be worn with dressy tops. Some of her favorites have open shoulders and Swarovski crystals. Overall, she is seeing “a lot of jewel tones this fall, purples and royals,” and “cashmere sweaters are always popular.”
Update your outerwear
Chernikoff describes the latest winter coats as “fashion-forward” in waist to hip lengths or even longer with bell sleeves and a closer fit.
“More sleeves are belled, rollup, ruched,” she says, noting they “don’t look like what was in your closet.”
Clothing manufacturers are appealing to customers who like variety with reversible designs.
“Reversible is hot,” says Chernikoff. “You get two for the price of one.”
To go with those coats, she is seeing hats, earmuffs and other winter necessities in microfiber, shearling and fur.
The black and burgundy color scheme carries over to fall’s must-have accessories. The Saffiano Lux by Prada in bordeaux is the “classic Prada-stamped calfskin in a deep burgundy color that will look red in some lights and blacker in others. It’s perfect for day but small enough for evening, a go-everywhere bag,” says Bram.
For formal events or just going out to for a nice dinner, Bram says this YSL clutch in black patent leather is an evening staple.
To keep your toes on trend, Bram suggests a black-and-gray leopard print pair of YSL shoes. “Smoking slippers are a hot flat trend,” she says, “and Prada makes one with a nice deconstructed bow on it.”
Chernikoff highlighted shoes by BeautiFeel. “They’re the most comfortable and stunning shoes,” she says, “and they’re made in Israel.”
For jewelry, Chernikoff says “big hunky, chunky necklaces are in,” and she sees many on TV. On the smaller side, coin pearls, often-dyed flat pearls smaller than a dime, are popular.
“Leather-wrap bracelets with or without stones also give you a real wow factor,” she says.
— Sarah Reymond —