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From runway to sidewalk — without being a fashion victim

Yes, we are still in the midst of glorious, sunny summer – enjoy it while you can. Meanwhile, stores are stocking up on fall fashions, and if you are like many women, you find it hard to resist the lure of your autumnal favorites. Perhaps it is simply ingrained in us from childhood back-to-school shopping. Perhaps we will just take any excuse to shop!

Before you get too crazy, let’s break down what’s hot, what’s not, and how to avoid going overboard on too many trends. Translating from runway to sidewalk is not as complicated as it seems. Remember, runway looks are rarely meant to be worn as-is in the real world, and real women are rarely 6-foot-tall, 115-pound models. Here’s how to wear this fall’s fashions without looking like you were run over by Jean-Paul Gaultier’s closet full of Halloween costumes. 

Trend: Color 

The Pantone Fashion Color Report — the color Bible of the fashion world — for Fall 2008 highlights cool hues with bright undertones like Aurora red, Twilight blue and Shady Glade (a beautiful jade green), paired with traditional fall and winter colors like charcoal gray and chocolate brown. Plums and violets also figure heavily in the season’s collections. How to wear it:
A charcoal sweater dress with a bright swing coat belted over it.
A rich plum gown with a dark chocolate, charcoal or navy wrap.
A tailored red pantsuit with a black cashmere textured turtleneck underneath.
A short tulip-skirted sleeveless dress with black opaque tights and plum ankle boots.
A Twilight blue cocktail dress with charcoal tights and same color suede shoes.
Reverse the expected. Wear bright pants and skirts and neutral tops, instead of the usual other way around. Neutral tights make bright short dresses more age-appropriate.

Trend: Shag

Super-fluffy pieces reminiscent of a Muppet monster were all over the runways.How to wear it:
Don’t, unless you want to look like a Yeti. Truly the only way a real woman could wear this look without being a total fashion victim is a small accent piece, like a thin evening wrap.

Trend: Equestrian Chic

A beautifully fitted blazer. Brown, flat, knee-high boots to-die-for. Stretchy fitted pants. Gorgeous leather saddlebag-like handbags. What’s not to like? How to wear it:
Not all at once, lest people think you’re off to the fox hunt.
Skinny jeans and riding boots. A never-wrong combo.
If you are not comfortable with skinny jeans, go for the boots with a skirt.
The fitted blazer with wide-legged pants with buckle-detailed flats.

Trend: Metallics

Lurex fabrics, silver rhinestones and lots of glitz will be back to brighten up gray autumn days.How to wear it:
Singly. Wear one great metallic piece per outfit – more than that and you’ll look like the Tin Man. A metallic bag is a great way to brighten up a drab outfit. For night, a sparkly, draped top paired with a neutral bottom – even a great pair of jeans – is a surefire way to be on trend without going over-the-top.The lesson? Everything in moderation. Works for your diet, and it works for wearing trends, too!

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