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Fashion Trends for Fall & Winter 2010 / 2011

Here's my take on fashion trends for fall and winter 2010/2011. I've focussed on identifying shapes, lengths, colors, patterns and embellishments. I also touch on dominant fashion themes.

In spite of reports of a strong minimal trend this fall and winter there are plenty of luxurious fabrics, textures and standout detailing around as well.

You can use this information to review your wardrobe and plan what updates it needs to keep your look current. 

Fashion Trends for Fall & Winter: Main Style Elements


Dresses are still a major fashion item. Lengths are still around knee length: anywhere from an inch or so under the knee to mini. A minor trend is also the full length or ankle length maxi for smart casual day wear as well as formal evening wear.

The wide variety of dress shapes means there's one to suit every body shape.


Skirts are still mainly straight or tapered, pencil shapes. And just below knee length to mini. However, with the 50s look there are also a few longer (mid to top of calf) lengths and A-line shapes around as well. (Does this mark the return of low to high calf lengths? I'll keep you posted!).

There are also casual maxi skirts available -- floor length and ankle length. These are mainly softly flowing, not too full, in jersey-like fabrics.

Pants and Trousers

Straight and skinny or straight and wider. A few tapered styles. And cropped styles too. Cropped pants is a challenging length to wear for many people since it makes your legs look shorter and therefore heavier. Keep hosiery and shoes or boots in a similar color to your pants to keep your legs looking longer. Cropped pants are great if you're tall with long legs.

Boot cut pants are making their way back into some collections. This is good news for many as it's a very flattering cut and creates good balance for bigger hips and thighs.

Knits, Jackets and Coats

Main fashion trends for fall and winter include...

  • Sheepskin finishes on jackets and coats -- many fashion reports are referring to this as the 'shearling' look. The sheepskin is on the outside of the waistcoat, jacket or coat on collars and trims. It's also used as a cosy lining.
  • Jackets in aviator and biker styles in leather and sheepskin
  • Camel-hair coats -- or camel colored wool coats
  • Knits include longer length, texture or chunky knits. Knit coats, wraps and drapey sweaters


Look for neckline details, including tucks, ruffles, folds and pin tuck pleats (not all in the same top of course!).

To add width to your shoulders (for example to balance a triangle body shape or to turn a rectangle body shape into an inverted triangle) choose a top with ruching at the top of the sleeves.

There are also tops embellished with costume jewels, beads and sequins to add a bit of a sparkle for the festive season.

You'll need some plain tops too if you like the statement necklace trend.


  • Leggings -- great for layering. Notice I've included this item under the accessories category (rather than pants)!
  • Fall shoes and winter fashion boots. Heel heights really do seem to be coming down. There are still some moderately high heels and flats too, but more choice inbetween the two.
  • Necklaces -- statement pieces and long-line necklaces. The latter trend is more challenging to wear since it brings attention to our stomach, an area many of us wish to distract from rather than call out! If that sounds like you, try a shorter version that falls between your breasts or a bit higher.

Fashion Trends for Fall & Winter: Main Style Themes

Military Fashion Theme

This style has made its way into just about every clothing item: coats, jackets, cardigans, tops, skirts and casual pants. The styles and detailing are drawn anywhere from the middle ages to contemporary military looks. And include army, navy and air force. Look for gold or brass buttons, epaulets, double breasted coats and jackets.

50s Silhouettes

Feminine hourglass shapes created with cinched-in waists, fuller skirts and inverted triangle shaped tops. The more extreme version of this silhouette is best on those with an hourglass body shape and who are not carrying too much weight. However, other shapes can emulate the hourglass silhouette with careful choices of where additional bulk is added.

The look can be achieved with an hourglass shaped dress or with a flared or tapered skirt and a fitted top. Add a belt in a contrasting color if your waist is trim enough!

Man Styles

Especially in coats, jackets, pants and suits. Add a masculine looking blazer to a feminine dress to add an edge.


Created with fur, faux feathers, ruffles, brocade and knits. There are horizontal ruffles in layered skirts (including the skirt part of a dress) and ruffles used as neckline details.

It's good to use texture to add balance to your silhouette. And for those with summer and autumn coloring (in particular) to add interest to your outfit.

Fashion Trends for Fall & Winter: Main Fabrics


  • Wool -- sheepskin used as an embellishment on the outside of garments as well as for warm on the inside. It's on jackets, coats, boots, shoes and bags.
  • Leather -- in jackets, but also in skirts and pants. A leather jacket is the less risky option!
  • Fur -- both faux and real. In jackets, coats and vests/gilets. If the Eskimo or shaggy bear look is too bulky for you go for a fur collar or stole or a fur trim
  • Brocade -- rich fabrics woven with raised designs, often using gold thread (reminds me of flock wall paper)
  • Lace -- as a trim, a panel or a complete garment.

Fabric Prints

  • Animal -- leopard is still around and zebra too
  • Florals -- small to large, realistic and abstract
  • Curved fleurs-de-lil styles -- most often found in brocade fabrics
  • Spots
  • Graphic prints
  • Checks -- including tartan

Fashion Colors for Fall and Winter

  • Black -- as ever fashion trends for fall and winter include black
  • Grey -- a wide choice of greys. Try charcoal instead of black for a softer look
  • Gold -- in fabrics, especially with metallic-looking fabric finishes, buttons and within patterns

Then a whole range of great colors with shades ranging from light to dark, intensities from muted to clear and bright. Something to suit everyone...

  • Reds and oranges
  • Pinks and corals -- there's a shade suitable for any coloring, warm or cool, dark or light
  • Purples
  • Greens include lime, olive and khaki
  • Blues include cool and bright electric blue and pale denim and warm teal blues
  • Yellows -- both cool and warm, including camel
  • Browns and taupes

Have A Current Fashion Trend You'd Like to Share?

If you've noticed a trend that I haven't mentioned feel free to share it here.

Or, if you'd like to talk about a current fashion that you love or hate (regardless of whether it's mentioned on this page already) this is the place to do it.

Tell us what it is about the item or outfit that you love or hate. For example...

  • Do you love the way it flatters your body shape?

  • Do you hate the way it looks on you, but love it when you see someone else wear the style?

And if you have a photo to upload to illustrate your observation that would be great.

Fashion Trend Contributions From Other Visitors

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

catwalk vs real life Not rated yet
I have nothing against fashion shows. I find the different and unique designs on the catwalk interesting. However I think it is odd to say that what …

autumn coloring Not rated yet
It's good to use texture to add balance to your silhouette. And for those with summer and autumn coloring (in particular) to add interest to your outfit. …

Long necklace Not rated yet
I bought my beautiful niece, Katie, a long necklace from the UK (I think it was from Dorothy Perkins) on my recent holiday. There were a lot of styles …

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