By: Sharon Mosley
Girls, it’s time to man up. This fall, fashion designers have made it easy to wear the pants and the jackets and the suits. These are not uptight boardroom basics, either. Instead, think feminine sophistication with an elegant retro twist. Tailoring is back with a modern message. Cocktail dresses move over. Let go of all the beads and baubles. It’s time to get serious and get back to work.
Here are some ways to tailor your wardrobe with redefined power looks this fall:
— Start with a matching pantsuit. Yes, that’s right. The “matching” suits are back. And what a relief! It doesn’t take the fun out of dressing; it just makes it easier. The silhouettes of the newest pantsuits are sleek and chic — cut with precision. Big and baggy is not the look you want. Choose a sharp, architecturally inspired head-to-toe look.
— Add a classic blazer. You don’t have to do the matchy-matchy pantsuit thing if you like a little more casual approach to tailoring. Just add a well-cut blazer to your wardrobe and team it with your favorite skirts or trousers. Cropped styles abound this year, but there are plenty of longer, belted styles that make the most of showing off your waistline.
— Do it in tweed. We’re not talking mumsy Miss Marple here. Tweed has emerged from the mothballs and become a new fashion staple reinvented in colorful jackets, soft sweaters and chic cardigans.
— Soften up with a blouse. A silky bow blouse may be one of your best investments this fall. In a neutral solid, it’s a no-brainer, but in a funky geometric print, it can really liven up a suited look and give it tons of personality.
— Stick to classics. The white shirt always provides the perfect complement to menswear tailoring. Whether you choose a traditional shirt style to wear under blazers and suit jackets or a tunic length to wear under vests, this is one fashion basic no closet should be without. “Stretch” fabrics are your best bet.
— Go for full-legged trousers. There’s something very modern about wearing wide-legged trousers a la Katharine Hepburn with structured jackets and soft blouses. The high-waist pants are making a comeback cinched in with skinny belts. Just make sure you wear them with a form-fitting top or jacket.
— The pencil skirt. Another tailored basic that gives jackets a classic edge. The pinstriped version is an all-time favorite. Leave the fuller skirts behind when you go to work.
— Get vested. One of the best layering pieces you can own, the vest instantly gives you a polished finish when worn under jackets or over tunics, dresses and sweaters. This menswear-inspired outfit also looks great this season in longer lengths worn over leggings or skinny jeans.
— Invest in power accessories. Tailored looks demand structured accessories. We’re talking pointy-toe pumps, lace-up oxford shoes, boxy top-handle handbags or horn-rimmed glasses. For a modern edge to your menswear look, pair over-the-knee boots with your pencil skirts.
— Keep it minimal. Less is more when it comes to this season’s tailored looks.
Pare down to a streamlined silhouette and don’t let “fussy” jewelry get in your way. Fit is the key to the newest tailored separates and suits. Get the proportion right: volume on top, slim on the bottom, or vice-versa.
— Use color wisely. There are lots of stylish neutrals around this fall — camel, gray, black — but if you want to wear color with your tailored classics, do it in small touches. One bright pop of red, orange or purple is all you need.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM