Predicting the unpredictable – How to find your fall fashion groove

Fall weather usually is so unpredictable. It can be breezy cool in the morning and Miami hot by afternoon. Or it can be freezing. You just never know. Accordingly, fall fashion often is a matter of mixing, matching and melding layers of varying styles that can be peeled off or added according to the sometimes–crazy fluctuating temperature.

So, as the weather takes on a chillier edge this fall, you’ll find today’s consumers expressing their unique styles, combining fashions that are old (think ’60s and ’70s) with the latest trends, nubby sweaters that are big, with knit pencil skirts that are little, plain comfortable sneakers with alpaca wool socks, worn denim jackets with flowing velvet dresses, overalls (yep, channel the farmer in you) with high–heels.

The key to dressing confidently in the fall is to combine your favorite elements from various styles and layer contrasting textures. For example, Western wear and cowboy boots are popular, but you don’t want to dress from head to toe in denim unless you’re actually going to a rodeo. Instead, pair a denim jacket with a pencil skirt and heels or a little ’60s print dress (think Mad Men) and hiking boots, yes, hiking boots. And don’t forget that ’70s ski lodge look – think Fair Isle sweaters and oversized cardigans for men and women.

“Hiking boots are going to be a thing,” predicts Lucky magazine style editor Laurel Pantin. “A solid leather pair of hiking boots is something I’m personally on the hunt for – solid leather, with a ’70s shape, rounded on the front. I like when the trend is something you can buy the authentic version of – when it’s snowy and nasty, and they’re built for that.”

How about those shoes

Comfortable footwear is a wardrobe staple for people on the move, and no–frills ballet flats and sneakers will be more popular than ever this fall. Zappos, the mega online shoe retailer, offers nearly 4,000 different styles of sneakers, ranging from $1,800 designer styles (wedges, slip–ons, high–tops, glitzy) to $20 plain–Janes.

The Converse Chuck Taylors still are the bestseller for men and women at $45. Not that long ago, ballet flats were worn primarily with tutus when practicing pirouettes, but it now seems that every woman has at least one pair. If you must have a pair (and you must), Zappos offers nearly 1,000 styles to choose from (ranging from $30 to $900).

The need for comfort is reflected in jeans sales as well. Sales of skinny jeans (a style that really seems to look best on emaciated teens) are down, while sales of the easy–to–wear boyfriend jeans are up. Choose a pair that has some wear (and perhaps a tear or two), roll up the cuffs and dress them up with heels or ankle boots, or dress down with ballet flats, sneakers or hiking boots.

For the ultimate in denim comfort, try on a pair of overalls. Trend setting magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle all spotlighted the denim duds formerly featured only on farmers. For fall, layer with a sporty jacket (not denim) or nubby sweater and scarf.

Now you see me…

What better way to add to your fall fashion ensemble than with a cool pair of shades. Today, eyewear is becoming a style accessory of choice – a compelling statement maker and fashion staple that helps express individuality.

The offerings this fall are vast. You’ll find eyewear all across the SPECtrum – from classic frames in warm fall colors such as tortoise, burnt orange and fiery red, to oversized geometric shapes in vibrant hues.

Similar to mainstream fashion, this fall’s eyewear trends borrow from the ’60s, fusing classic silhouettes with modern patterns, colorations, and details to create a sporty chic look and immediate panache.

If you need some guidance when shopping for your fall wardrobe, remember the advice of the iconic 1940s era movie star Joan Crawford:

  • Find your own style, and have the courage to stick to it.
  • Choose your clothes for your way of life.
  • Make your wardrobe as versatile as an actress. It should be able to play many roles.
  • Find your happiest colors – the ones that make you feel good.
  • Care for your clothes, like the good friends they are.


Robert Turcios, O.D.
Samira Qazi, O.D.
Timothy Miller, O.D.

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