Welcome to our first official “transition to fall” blog post of 2021. I remember anticipating the arrival of the August edition of Seventeen magazine as a teenager because I knew it would be filled with fall fashions. Soon after devouring the magazine, I’d convince my mom to take me to the mall so we could hunt for all the chunky sweaters, menswear inspired trousers and fall eye shadow shades I’d seen on the pages. Undoubtedly I was back at the pool the next day, eating an ice cream and working on my sun tan. But the highlight of August was always thumbing through that fall edition of Seventeen, over and over and over.
Well, we’re not teenagers anymore. Not by a long shot. And most of us won’t be returning to school later this month or next either. But we can still enjoy the buildup to fall fashion. So that’s what we’ll be doing here at Dressed for My Day during the month of August. Of course you’ll still get to see how I styled my summer outfits in my Friday posts, but otherwise we’ll be talking all things fall. And today we’re squaring our shoulders and talking frankly about how to try the fall fashion trends…with more success and fewer regrets. Because fashion, dear friend, should be fun.
Personally, I consider my style aesthetic to be classic with a modern vibe. So, while I prefer rather classic outfit combinations such as jeans and sweaters or blazers, I do like to incorporate some modern trends into those looks to keep them fresh and contemporary. Plus, I find that experimenting with some of the trends is a great way to keep my overall appearance more youthful.
While I introduce a lot of trends here at Dressed for My Day, I don’t really encourage you to wear all of them. I’m just doing my job and sharing them with you so that you can be aware of them and perhaps learn a bit about styling them.
Throughout this month I’ll be sharing several trends that I think are the easiest and most natural for women over 50 to incorporate into their outfits. And I’ll try to make you aware of others, too. If you’d like to participate in some of the trends, here’s what I recommend so that you can have fun and fewer regrets.
My Tips for Trying Fall Fashion Trends
Tip #1 – Remember this is supposed to be fun!
There may be some trends that really don’t resonate with us at all. That’s okay. Ignore those. But enjoy the opportunity to try something new with the trends that do strike you. And don’t let it frustrate you if something doesn’t work at first. Keep fashion fun!
Tip #2 – As you learn about the trends, make a mental or physical list of those that interest you somewhat, even if they seem a little extreme at first. I’m not suggesting you overthink this, but there’s a method to my madness!
Tip #3 – Distinguish between trends and fads. A trend is a movement; it’s a direction in which things are moving. So trends last long enough for you to invest in and wear several seasons usually. Fads are a flash in the pan, here today and gone before you know it. So I prefer not to invest too much in fads generally, even though they can be fun to participate in, too, occasionally.
By the way, a fad is not bad. It simply doesn’t stick around as long. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t participate in any fads. Remember tip #1!
I’d say, for instance, that wearing blazers with jeans is a trend. We’ve been seeing and doing that for several years now. But the more oversized or relaxed fit blazers may be more of a fad. In the same way, I’d classify straight leg jeans as a trend. But some of the gnarled or step or chewed hems are probably more of a fad.
Sometimes the difference between a trend and a fad is subtle. And sometimes what starts out feeling like a fad turns out to be a trend. But I do think it’s smart to think through the difference so you can strategize your participation.
One more distinction: Trends are usually new silhouettes or renditions of classic pieces. Think jean silhouettes, ways to wear animal print, iterations of classic pearls and blazer silhouettes. So if you invest in these classics worn in the trending way, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Whereas a fad is often something completely new…or new again.
The bottom line is to remember that a true trend is a direction, a movement. Sometimes if we don’t participate in any trends our wardrobe can begin to look outdated and old-fashioned. Know what I mean?
Tip #4 – Keep your personal style goals in mind. While fashion should indeed be fun, many of us want our clothing choices to accomplish something for us. We expect our way of dressing to set us apart in some way.
Perhaps you want your work outfits to make you look trustworthy, capable, approachable, intelligent or in control, depending on your job. Or maybe you want your day-to-day outfits to be very comfortable. And, if you travel a lot, you may need to create a wardrobe that is travel-friendly and very versatile.
Don’t sabotage those goals by adding trends that don’t work in the right direction.
Tip #5 – Establish or remember your own personal style essence. Have you defined your personal style aesthetic? I suggest you do that before you dip your toes in the water with any trends. Otherwise, your style will soon be all over the place.
Tip #6 – Think about how the trend will work with your body shape and proportions. Now don’t start ruling things out just yet. But do at least consider how a trend will work on your body…from the best you can tell without actually trying it.
Consider things like:
- what it will accentuate or draw attention to
- how much space it will take up on your frame
- how it will play in proportion to your size
- where it will hit on your body
- where the lines will cross your body
- how it may divide your proportions
- how it may define your shape
Tip #7 – But don’t rule something out that really intrigues you without trying it…several times. Even if you think it may not work on your frame, if you like something, you should try it.
When new silhouettes especially are introduced, it’s hard to know exactly what they will look like on us until we try them. Just because someone somewhere told you that petite women can’t wear kimonos, don’t let that keep you from trying one. Or just because you think a pair of cropped pants might make your legs look short, don’t hesitate to try them on.
Often these preconceptions can be changed simply with the right styling tips. Or maybe you just need to look for that trend in a different length or cut.
Tip #8 – Watch to see how your favorite brands interpret the trends. If you already shop a few brands that you enjoy and that generally fit you well, lean into those brands when you decide to try some of the trends. For instance, I know many of my readers love to wear clothing from Talbots. So check out their iterations of trends such as leopard print, modern pearls, joggers, blazers and, yes, even relaxed fit jeans.
Tip #9 – Choose one, two or three trends to try this fall. You can choose more if you’d like, but beware of incorporating too many trends into a single outfit. The point is “don’t bite off more than you can chew,” at least at a time.
Tip #10 – Consider how you can incorporate your chosen trends into your wardrobe and personal style essence. Once you’ve selected a trending garment or accessory to bring into your wardrobe, play around with how you can wear it so that your outfits still reflect your personal style. In other words, keep your outfits truly representative of you while including something new. That means you’ll probably want to just incorporate one trend at a time in some cases.
Tip #11 – Investigate how you’ll need to style the new trends. For instance, you may need to wear certain types of footwear with those new jeans. Or you may need some no-show socks with those fashion sneakers. And you may want a specific kind of bra with that top that has the cutouts.
Tip #12 – Try on several different variations of the new trend, if needed. You may not have this luxury if you’re shopping from home. But keep in mind that some stores, such as Nordstrom, do make this easier because they provide free shipping and free and easy returns.
The more you try something on, the more your eye will adjust to seeing it on you. And the more likely you are to find the right fit, proportions, color combination for your wardrobe and style.
Tip #13 – Invest in closet classics and wardrobe workhorses; spend less on trends you’re not sure about and even less on fads.
Tip #14 – Consider trying trends first in accessories, shoes or inexpensive tops, if applicable. For instance, it’s probably wiser to first try animal print in some inexpensive leopard print shoes or scarf rather than a coat. (Leopard print coats are trending this year, by the way.)
Tip #15 – Try on and style your chosen trends in multiple ways in the comfort of your home. Take photos on your phone so you can check out the looks with more objectivity. You might even send the photos to a forward thinking daughter or daughter-in-law or friend to help you assess the look. (Beware of sending these photos to the wrong people. Select people who are open, fashion forward and kind!)
Tip #16 – Be courageous and wear your trend with confidence and joy. Remember, this is meant to be fun. And you’ll never pull off a new trend without at least a modicum of confidence. Smile. Carry yourself with good posture. If someone says something unkind or questionable, toss it off and carry on!
You might want to check out my recent post, The One Characteristic Every Stylish Woman Has in Common.
Tip #17 – And then if you feel like you didn’t quite get it right the first time, try again. That was one day, one outing. Learn from it. None of us get it right every time. I certainly think I styled these Eileen Fisher lantern pants (sold out, but these are similar, not in wool) better below than I did above. And thousands of women saw me in the photo above. Ha! But that didn’t keep me from trying again.
What trends are you thinking about trying this fall? We’ll be looking at more trends in the coming weeks. But I’ll also be sharing an updated fall wardrobe essentials list and classic styles as well.
I hope you have a great day. Now, go do something very summery!
Don’t Miss a Post:
If you like what you’re seeing here at Dressed for My Day, I invite you to subscribe to my email list. You can receive an email each time I post (about 6 times weekly) or just on Saturdays. You choose! But you’ll also receive the password to open up all the subscriber freebies I offer.
Blessed for My Day
Did you know that Esther is the one book in the Bible in which God is never directly mentioned? But He’s there! In fact, that’s part of the significance of this historical book. Even though God is never mentioned by name in this account of the Jewish people living under a foreign king’s rule, God is at work on their behalf.
When you turn on the news tonight or read the paper and you see or hear no mention of God, do no fret. He is here. He is at work.
During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. ~ Esther 6:1-2