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Fall and Winter Fashion Trends
2009 / 2010
Northern Hemisphere

Here's my summary of the main fall and winter fashion fashion trends, along with some tips for which styles suit which body shape and personal coloring best.

To create a budget-wise seasonal wardrobe don't forget to review your current wardrobe and plan the items you need to update and refresh your wardrobe for this season. >> Read more about how to create a working wardrobe.

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends: Main Style Elements

Some of the main fall and winter fashion trends include dresses, coats and jackets.

This season continues the emphasis on dresses. The lengths are knee length or above or full length. Around knee length suits many people. And you can always wear leggings, opaque tights or even trousers if you want more warmth or to cover your legs. There's still a large variety of dress styles available so you should be able to find one that suits your silhouette. Remember to pay attention to the design lines and patterns to ensure the most flattering look.

This year is a great one to invest in a new coat. There are so many styles and colors to choose from. Key themes are camel colored coats and military themes (look for double rows of buttons and epaulets). Trench coats are still plentiful, both as jackets and full length. There are also some capes around.

The leather (real or fake) jacket is also a major trend this season. In particular look for biker style jackets and bomber jackets. Take care when choosing the length, especially if you have long legs and a shorter body or if you have a balanced vertical body shape. In both cases make sure the jacket is long enough, so that your body doesn't look too short in comparison to your legs.

Strong sculptural design elements are present again, especially in tops and shoulders. Look for exaggerated or strong shoulders (and shoulder pads) and 1-shoulder dresses and tops -- this is particularly good if you have a triangle, rectangle, oval or diamond body shape. There are also many tops and dresses with neckline embellishments such as ruffles, and bows. Other embellishments include sequins, beads and studs

Knitwear is longer length (low hip and longer) and either fine (there are some lovely fine merino knits around) or chunky in both sweaters and cardigans and also sweater dresses. The sleeveless or drop-sleeved chunky knits are also still available.

Skirt shapes are mainly pencil and straight. Lengths are around knee length or higher. There are also ruffle, a-line skirts -- these are particularly good for an inverted triangle body shape.

Pants are still straight or tapered. Straight pants are anywhere from skinny to wide, so pick the widths that balance and flatter your shape. Some of the tapered pants have pleats, darts or gathers around the waist. And some styles are cropped (aka peg-leg) -- this style won't suit many people, mainly tall inverted triangle types.

A fun trend is the gilet or waistcoat, especially in shaggy (real or fake) sheepskin  or fur (I'm pleased to see this trend again this winter -- I bought this one last year and have already had a lot of wear out of it).

Shoes trends include...

  • Ballet flat
  • Sky high heels --stilleto or tapered stack
  • Pointy toes
  • Peep toes
  • Platforms -- these include 'hidden' platforms
  • Wedges
  • Gladiator-styles
  • Shoe boots -- unless you're tall and have a balanced body or long legs these are best worn covered by pant or skirt or dress hemlines
  • Knee high boots -- especially riding-style boots
  • Over-the-knee boots -- as high as you like. This trend is not for the shy or retiring type! What fun!
Other accessory trends include...
  • Belts -- from thin to thick. A belt can be used to make a dress look edgier and more contemporary and to update a coat or jacket. 
  • Statement necklaces -- great for bringing attention up to your face.
  • Bags are big and slouchy for day and small clutch bags for evening

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends: Main Style Themes

There's so much variety in styles that you can put together whatever looks suit your style personality. Here are some of the main themes that I've noticed for this season...

  • Military -- look for military styling elements such as brass-looking buttons, buckles, epaulettes and double-breasted jackets and coats

  • Man-style -- pant suits with crisp white shirts, or more 'dandified' with a ruffled blouse; boyfriend-style jeans, blazers and sweaters; leather biker jackets

  • 40s-inspired -- hourglass shaped suits
  • Country -- tweeds and velvets; earthy colors and checks; riding-style details in boots and bags; twin set knits; waistcoats

  • Bohemian/hippy -- shaggy waist coats (what fun, I've got mine already!); floaty tops; rich colors opulent fabrics

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends: Main Fabrics


All the usual warmer fall and winter fashion trends in fabrics including...
  • Velvet

  • Brocade

  • Tweeds

  • Draping fabrics such as soft wools and jerseys

  • Furs -- especially used as embellishments such as collars

Fabric Prints

  • Animal prints -- especially leopard (this works particularly well for those with Autumn coloring and for some Springs). I love leopard ;) There are also some zebra (works well for Winters) and zebra-inspired prints around.

  • Tartan and checks for shirts, skirts, dresses and coats -- Checks include houndstooth (particulary good for those with Winter coloring) determine if the overall color works for your coloring and whether the level of contrast within the check and against your skin works for your flow seasonal color. 

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends: Colors

Key fashion colors for fall and winter this season include...

  • Black -- this is really only good if your primary season is winter.  If this is not your primary season and you insist on wearing black keep it away from your face or dilute the effect by adding other colours in your flow season.  This can be achieved with a scarf or necklace or other colours in your top or a jacket in your colour range over a lower, black top.

  • Grey -- there are many shades of grey to choose from, so you should find one in your colour range

  • Oranges and Reds -- orange is best if your primary season is warm

  • Fuschia Pink -- best if your primary season is winter

  • Purples  -- hues range from cool to neutral and values from light to medium. Intensities range from bright to muted. This colour is everywhere! And with the variety around you should find one in your colour range

  • Blues -- electric blues are best if your primary color season is winter, choose a slightly more subdued hue such as marine navy if you are a summer and a warmer, greener blue such as teal if you are a spring or autumn

  • Greens -- emerald green, best if your primary season is winter; acid lime greens are best if your primary season is spring; blue-greens (see blues above)

  • White, stone and camel -- and other light to medium-light neutrals

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.



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