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Women's Fall Fashion

Fall is the time of the year that we get to start over and wipe the slate clean. Most of us don’t get to start a whole new school year like we did when we were kids, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get that “new school clothes” feeling once again. It’s time to ditch those worn out flip-flops of summer and give your wardrobe a breath of fresh autumn air.

We’ve spoken to some of the experts in women’s fashion to give you a sneak peek of what’s going to be in for the fall of 2011.  Meet Dr. Melissa Manuel, the head of the Fashion and Retail Management Department at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Kate Foley, of Style Made Simple also filled us in on some of this fall’s biggest hits.

Harder Lace

This isn’t your grandma’s lace. “Lace usually comes across in our minds as delicate and feminine. But this fall it is appearing less ladylike and with a stronger attitude. It’s powerful presence this season is making for some very modern head-to-toe outfits,” says Foley

Some of Style Made Simple’s favorite designers who are pulling off edgier lace are Chanel and Lanvin.

Wide Legs

Your skinny jeans aren’t the only option anymore.  According to Dr. Manuel, flared and wide leg pants are on their way back, and not just for jeans.  “Stay on the look out for flared and wide-legs to make a move to business wear. Sleek and functional—no polyester please!”

Shout Out to the 60’s

The 60’s are back in a big way. “Mod appeared all over the runway with looks that highlighted minimal yet strong horizontal and vertical lines. The Peter Pan-esque collars and boxy silhouettes are making the transition into cooler weather a whole lot easier,” says Foley.

Check out Alberta Ferretti and Prada for looks from our new favorite decade.


“The one color that will draw everyone’s attention during a dull and drab chilly season. The look-at-me color was all over the runway and needs to be in your closet this fall,” says Foley. Let red warm up the fall chill, with designers like Michael Kors and Jil Sander.

Red isn’t the only color that we’ve been seeing on the runways.  “A must have color for the fall: a touch of mustard. You can get it on everything!” says Dr. Manuel.

The Row gets mustard right with brilliant velvet blazers.

Everyday Leather

“Leather skirts are popping up everywhere this fall. Whether it is pleated or a pencil skirt, designers are pairing with casual cool sweaters and button-ups to make it less rocker and more glam,” says Foley.

Get your leather fix from the likes of Rachel Comey and Marc Jacobs.

New Lengths

Don’t pack away your summer maxi dresses just yet.  This trend will be going strong thorough the fall. “Add an oversized chunky sweater and you’re ready for the weekend. Boho chic!” says Dr. Manuel.

Foley adds, “Long sweeping skirts and dresses with trains or high slits are major for this fall.”

Look for gorgeous floor-sweeping styles from designers like Erdem and LAMB.

Military Chic

“Military influences will be seen, especially in outerwear.  Look for softer edges and feminine flare,” says Dr. Manuel. Designers like Victoria Beckham are even introducing camouflage-inspired pieces.

For more boot camp style, check out Versace, who has perfected the military coat.


Forget about drab muted tones this season. We’re seeing lots of sparkle and metallics on the runway just in time for the holidays.  “This fall, there is plenty of shine to go around,” says Foley.

Some favorite designers who are pulling off this glitzy look are Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein.

Bold Mixed Prints

“We’ve seen a mix of patterns this season on the runway. The flurry of these shapes and colors all put together makes you want to pair all your outfits with these kind of statement pieces,” says Foley.

Check out the latest designs from Preen and Proenza Schouler for stunning bold prints.

Polka Dots

Mixed patterns aren’t the only prints getting attention this fall.  Be on the look out for polka dots popping up everywhere.  Avoid the clown look by pairing your spots with the right pieces.  “Look for interesting contrasts with a sleek, classy edge to add a little playfulness to your wardrobe,” advises Dr. Manuel.

Look at some of Marc Jacob’s and Diane von Furstenberg’s fall pieces to see how polka dots are done.

Tuxedo Dressing

Tuxedos aren’t just for the guys anymore.  “Look out for the white shirt, black bottom, and black neckpiece coming down the runway. It gives the ultra sleek and sophisticated look for any type of occasion, whether black-tie or street-style,” says Foley.

Check out Prabal Gurung and Yigal Arouel, who are effortlessly pulling off the tuxedo look.

Textured Blouses

Keep it light this fall with sheer textured blouses, which were all over the runways. “Pair with a great peplum jacket and you’re set,” says Dr. Manuel.

Designers like Christian Dior and Alexander Wang are pulling off the sheer look on the runways.


What’s one of the most exciting things about fall? All the new styles of coats, of course! You will have no problem keeping warm this fall. “There were so many different styles to choose. From chic ponchos, duster coats, and furs, sported in every single color imaginable,” says Foley.

Check out The Row and Nina Ricci to see some of fall’s most covetable coats.


- Kate Foley of Style Made Simple

- Dr. Melissa Manuel, the head of the Fashion and Retail Management Department at the Art Institute of Atlanta.