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Fall fashion do's & don'ts

Julie Bielenberg is a Denver-based writer who served as managing editor for a regional home and lifestyle publication before starting Tweeter Communications, her editorial services boutique. With a BA in journalism from the University of...

Best looks for fall

This fall features a host of exciting fashion trends. Here are a few lessons from a fashion expert to help you look your best on-trend, fashion-forward self.

Fall fashion do's

Milena Joy, image consultant and owner of Milena Distinctive Image Consulting in Denver, Colorado, shares her expertise as a personal and editorial stylist, motivational speaker, host of What to Wear and co-author of Inspired Style. Here are some of her thoughtful tips for this autumn:

  • Dolman and kimono sleeves are hot hot hot this fall. Pair these tops with skinny jeans or leggings. "The contrast in sizes will add drama to the look while giving the figure some shape," says Joy.
  • Don't pair these tops with wide-leg jeans or baggy pants. These pants are on trend for fall, but if you pair them with an oversized top, the look can come off as frumpy.
  • Big, bold and chunky jewelry is very popular. "Go ahead and accessorize with big earrings or bold necklaces and bracelets to glam up your everyday wardrobe basics," she says.
  • ...But don't wear all the big, bold accessories together. Instead, Joy recommends wearing only a couple of the pieces at a time and allowing them to take the spotlight.
  • Do embrace color, especially colored jeans. Create a color-block look by pairing your colored jeans with equally bright and complementary colored tops," she says.
  • ... But don't be afraid of more neutral colors such as camel, beige and khaki. Joy says these neutral colors worn together can be a refreshing change from fall's basic browns and blacks.
  • Hold onto those skinny jeans. Even though fall styles include bell bottoms, wide-leg and flare jeans, skinnies are still en vogue. "It's a rarity that almost all jean styles are on trend, so take advantage. Switch it up and wear them all," advises Joy.
  • The television drama Mad Men has set some serious trends. "Embrace mod, retro patterns that echo the looks you see on Mad Men. These dress shapes can be a bit boxy, so be sure to keep everything else sleek," says Joy.
  • Animal prints continue to show up in everything from accessories to pants. "Don't overdue it on the leopard print," Joy warns. "A leopard shoe, belt or purse will make your outfit pop, but more than one of these will have you looking like you belong in a zoo."
  • Add texture with faux fur. Faux fur and even faux snakeskin are important this autumn. "A shearling vest that can double as both inner- and outerwear is an excellent choice," she says.
  • Ponchos are perfect fashion choices for fall. "Don't forget to pull out your poncho and pair it with leggings or skinny jeans. It's easy to throw on over a t-shirt for Sunday brunch and a great alternative to a jacket," says Joy.
  • Booties are here to stay this season. "Do rock the booties. This is your go-to boot for the season, and there are so many variations. Joy suggests trying a lace-up pair with a chunky sweater and leggings for some added funk.
  • While booties are hot, don't get pigeonholed into just one style of shoe this season. Joy says just about anything goes this fall: platforms, flats, over-the-knee boots, ankle boots, chunky heels, stilettos, bright hues, grays, patent leathers and suede. Embrace the opportunity to wear so many varieties of shoes. Rarely are so many styles on trend.

With so many strong, bold fashion choices this fall, have fun and wear the styles that express your unique fashion personality. Just don't wear all the trends at once.

More fall fashion ideas

Crushing on fall colors
Poncho looks
Tips for wearing kimono sleeves

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