There’s something about the fall – maybe the cool crispness in the air, the blaze of color in the treetops or just the mindset of a new season – that makes a woman want to throw caution to the wind and try something new. Feeling daring? We’ve got five fall trends you’ve got to try.
Textured and cropped sweaters
Nix the thought of the boring crewneck sweater right now. Deeply textured and patterned sweaters are in this season. Nordic patters dominate in 2011 and cropped sweaters and bolero jackets are back sans the bare midriff look that came with them in the 1990s. Worn with high-waisted pants and skirts or layered over long tops in contrasting colors, today's boxy cropped sweaters and boleros can help make a small frame look more voluminous up top and give the appearance of a smaller waist. Try this sophisticated bolero jacket in deep grey metallic wool by Erin Healy Designs.
Updated pencil skirts
Thank Mad Men for this one. The sultry-yet-sophisticated styles of the 1960s are back and the updated pencil skirt tops this TV drama-driven fashion frenzy. A pencil in a material with a little stretch and a straight down from the hip cut can make a heavier bottom look seductively curvy. If you're missing those envious curves, opt for a pencil with a tapered hem. With the right material and cut, the classic pencil looks gorgeous on most any shape and size. Longer pencils dominate this year, but we also love Amber Sakai's just-above-the-knee tweed pencil skirt with gold zipper detail for a bit of added attitude.
Arms too thin? Or not thin enough? Either way, you'll welcome this season's dolman sleeve trend. The dramatic, sweeping lines of the dolman sleeves were the look of choice for post-Great Depression women who wanted to feel moneyed and glamorous during the 1940s and 1950s. The look made a comeback in the 1980s and is back for another round of popularity. This time around, dolman tops in filmy fabrics look gorgeous layered over camisoles and worn with skinny jeans. Try this deep V-top dolman with beading detail by Savannah Rae.
Animal lovers increasingly are shunning authentic furs, opting instead for a more respectful and compassionate approach to fashion. But the luxe look continues with faux fur adorning jackets, boots, purses and hats this season. This collarless, sleeveless faux fur cropped vest by Urban Behavior adds a bit of drama to a maxi dress during fall and will add warmth over a crew or cowl neck sweater come winter. Add a pair of faux fur-lined boots for a coordinated look that you'll love and all the fur-covered critters in the wild will love you for.
The predictably boring handbag has gone the way of the 8-track cassette. This season's most popular purses and handbags are statement makers that can be considered sheer works of art. Unexpected color combinations and material mixes mean head-turning handbags. Try this trendy bag with gallery-worthy looks by LaLucca.
More Fall trends to try
Top 10 shoe trends for fall
How to swank up your favorite sweater
Five sassy ways to wear neon