THE BLOG
11/07/2013 03:42 pm ET

What Fall Trends Should I Spend My Money On?

The question I get asked the most is, "What should I spend my money on?"

A lot of us are on a budget. We have mortgages, bills and student loans to pay, and making a silly purchase (insert neon dress I spent $600 last summer!?) is infuriating at best. It's also quite overwhelming, especially at the start of a new season not knowing what trends to follow, and quite honestly even where to start.

The best way to do this is to break it down and assess each one in a practical way. If the key pieces are too much for you, try an accessory or use makeup to incorporate the trend into your look. The next trick is taking it from the runway and fitting it into real life. After all, fun as it is to see a stick thin, six-foot model chasséing down the runway in clear plastic armor wearing a feather headdress, I'm not sure that's the best way to secure that big promotion!

Key trends this fall are:

PUNK:
This can be a little polarizing, but it is definitely less scary and way more wearable than it sounds! There is no need for multiple body piercings and a bad attitude to embody this trend!
Key pieces: Motorcycle jacket, tartan pants, leather pants, plaid skirt
Accessories: A studded clutch, mid-finger ring, "safety pin" earrings
Beauty: Bold brows, burgundy lips, highlighted cheek bones
Designers: Rick Owens, Balmain, Vivienne Westwood, Junya Watanabe
Style Icons: Cara Delavigne, Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora

ACADEMICALLY INSPIRED:
There are two sides to this trend. The sporty version and the more tailored preppy one so you can really custom this to your individual tastes.
Key pieces: Varsity Jacket, knit cardigan, collared blouse, elasticated leather pants argyle prints
Accessories: Stacked heeled loafers, cross body satchels, retro sneakers, baseball caps
Beauty: Pastel lip, thick lashes, bangs, high pony tails
Designers: Marc Jacobs, Marni, Moschino, Mui Mui
Style Icons: Alexa Chung, Zooey Deschanel, Leandra Medine

BORROWED FROM THE BOYS:
There is nothing sexier than a gorgeous woman in menswear. This trend always reminds me of Coco Chanel in the '20s wearing her homemade tweed pants, throwing the rule book out of the window!
Key Pieces: High waisted wide leg pants, tweed jackets (or any oversized jackets worn on the shoulders)
Accessories: Oversized watch, signet ring, wide-brimmed hat, brogues
Beauty: Strong ponytails or neat sleek hair, matte skin.
Designers: Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Maison Martin Margiela, J Brand, Saint Laurent
Style Icons: Coco Chanel, Zoe Saldana, Charlize Theron

BLACK & WHITE:
This is the easiest one to master. Most likely you have way more of this in your wardrobe than you even realize. Be as creative as you like by mixing graphic prints or opt for a sleek minimalist vibe with a monochromatic palette.
Key pieces: Houndstooth overcoat, striped tee, sleek black suit, white boyfriend blazer
Accessories: Black and white clutch, statement necklace, pointy-toed black pump
Beauty: Black liquid eyeliner, red lipstick
Designers: Vanessa Bruno, Jason Wu, Theory, Calvin Klein
Style Icons: Rooney Mara, Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow.

When figuring out the trends that are going to work for you. There are a few things to take into consideration:

Be honest about your body type. Lets work on accentuating your assets and hiding the parts that you are less than thrilled about. For example, my sworn archenemy, the crop top. This seemingly innocent midriff -- baring slip of fabric that was all the rage this summer? Non-starter. Neither I, or anyone else should be put through that visual. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the trend but it doesn't suit my body type and before any trend. THIS is the number one consideration you should be taking into account.

I also cannot stress this enough: If a trend doesn't feel like "you" then don't push it. That's what gives us each our own individual style and voice. As Yves Saint Laurent put it, "Fashion fades, style is eternal."

Pick and choose carefully. Just because it's a trend doesn't mean it's right... remember jelly shoes that went all misty when your feet started sweating? Well, some of my rather smug friends opted out of that one... the rest? Well, we now live with the regret.

Spend your money on classic, timeless pieces. These are your investment pieces. I still wear a simple black Armani suit my mother bought me when I started my first job! The metallic mini skirt with the lace up sides... well these are the items you may want to look for in a "less couture" version. That way when you want to burn every existing picture of yourself wearing said skirt and are considering deleting your Facebook account because of it you can take some solace in the fact that you didn't break the bank buying it.