Real Life
Designer Style

Big hair, bold makeup and crazy fashions make each September's Fashion Week -- especially the shows in New York -- quite the spectacle. It's the biggest week in fashion. Here's how to adapt designer styles from the NYFW runways to real life.

Fall runway fashion

1Pieces make the whole.

Many of the fashions from the runway can be parts of your everyday wardrobe. You'll probably never buy and wear the full outfit that rolled down the runway, but you can pare down the drama by picking out a few of its easy-to-wear pieces that would work with your existing wardrobe.

2Buy wardrobe staples to work with the latest looks.

Invest in staples such as jeans, a great white shirt and an amazing black dress, and strategically supplement them with the trends for the season. Look for skirts, blouses and jackets that can be mixed and matched into a number of different looks. Scarves, bags, belts and shoes pick up the trends well, too. Instead of wearing head-to-toe print, for example, look for accessories in the prints, colors or textures of the season to highlight the trend and give your staple pieces that fashion-forward edge.

3Think inspiration, not imitation.

"Don't take the runway look too literally," advises celebrity stylist Colin Megaro. Instead of copying the runway look piece for piece, try to mirror the same silhouette in an understated way. If the look features huge strong shoulders and skinny pants, try a fitted blazer with a pair of leggings. If florals are all the rage, look for similar prints in small portions. Remember: A lot of chain stores take their inspiration from the runways, so look for pieces in the same colors or with the same accents as on the runway, only in a more versatile style or cut.

4Go a little lower.

Ever notice those runway stilettos? "Look for similar shoes in a lower heel. Almost everything on the runway is paired with sky-high heels, which isn't always practical," says Megaro. Pair your trend-inspired look with ballet flats or wedges for more comfort. This also can help tone down the drama of the outfit.

5Eye of the beholder

Hair and makeup are important parts of any look, of course, but those on the runway also tend toward exaggeration. Tame down the hair and makeup, but stick to the same color palette and mood.

More fashion tips & tricks

Fashion expert Judy Goss shows how we can look our best without spending a fortune.

More ways to get runway style:

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