In just a few short weeks, September magazines will be hitting newsstands and dropping with a thud on doorsteps nationwide. Always the fattest issues of the year, the fall fashion glossies are often too heavy to cart anywhere (so much for airplane reading) and too thick to fit inside of a mailbox. (During the first week of August, my apartment building assigns a whole table in the lobby to stacks of magazines.)
Fashion followers from Ft. Lauderdale to Fresno eagerly await Vogue, Bazaar, W, and Elle as if their pages hold the season's recipes for chic. Yet let's face it: Cover lines reading "Fall's 10 Must-Have Trends" are to style watchers what "A No-Fail Plan for Losing 10 Pounds in 10 Days" is to dieters -- compelling headlines with content that doesn't quite measure up. Whether you're shopping for X or Y, After reading multiple magazines, you're still not sure what to put on your shopping list.
If you've been around fashion (or just around) long enough, you'll start to notice that the same trends get recycled over and over again. In fact, all over the style space, it seems like so-called "experts" (and isn't everyone one these days?) who don't really know what to say, just pull from the same "safe bets" list. It includes the following. Drumroll please...:
Color is huge this season. But by the way, so is black and white. And neutrals...always a modern classic.
2. Specific Colors
(This one is my favorite.) I recently wrote a magazine article for which I asked about a dozen high fashion boutiques for their favorite seasonal trends. Here are some examples of that I got back: "a rich emerald color;" "dark autumnal colors;" "blue and orange;" "gorgeous cobalt blue;" "vivid color;" "rich jewel tones like deep purple, emerald green, ruby red;" "pink is a combination of rose and burgundy;" "pink and grey."
3. Pick and Era (Any Era)
When I was an editor at a popular fashion magazine, we would circulate a list (at least 20 pages long) of the season's trends. Without fail, the list would read something like this: 1920s (flapper), 1930s, 1940s, 1950s (prim), 1960s (mod), 1970s (hippie), 1980s (neon), 1990s (grunge).
Boho chic, 70s boho, rich boho, bejeweled boho, boho grand
Specifically? Well, a friend a different magazine shared her "shoe list" with me--over three pages including "ankle boots," "fringe boots," "flat boots," "riding boots," "cone heels," "diagonal heels," "strappy," "wedges," "stilettos." Pretty much the only thing I didn't see was "square toes." Oh, wait...there it is.
8. Statement Jewelry
9. Aviator Sunglasses
10. Menswear for Women
Somehow, by looking at enough store windows, absorbing street fashion, reading the celeb weeklies to see what Jen (pick your favorite Jen!) is wearing now, and even taking cues from what fast fashion outlets like H&M and Forever 21 are churning out, we all end up with a decent takeaway of what is truly on-trend. The good news? By that time, it's already on sale.
And if you just can't wait 'til then, here's a insider fashion secret to tide you over: It's all about deconstructed draping with a classic American-French twist.