By PARIS WOLFE
Make room in your closet for the “shacket.” The shirt/jacket is everywhere.
“Every brand has a shacket,’ says Sherri Knuth Bryan, co-owner of Knuth’s in Pepper Pike and Westlake. “It’s the shape of a shirt, but actually a jacket. You can wear it as a coat, cardigan or indoor jacket.”
Most she says are heavier weight and may be lined with flannel or fleece to make them warm and cozy. Some have a wool feel or texture. They’re not limited to heavy fabrics. Vegan and real leather shackets are available as well. “Shackets are easy to wear and good for all ages,” she says. “Everyone should have a few.”
Speaking of vegan leather or “pleather,” it’s everywhere says Bryan. Vegan leathers and suedes are being used as trim on every kind of clothing. There are “leather” dresses and bottoms everywhere, at all price points.
While the pandemic comfort trend is holding on, people are dressing up again, Bryan observes. “No one is giving up sweats or joggers, but there’s a desire to dress up again, to wear trousers, skirts and dresses or cute new jeans.”
And the newest jeans won’t likely be skinny jeans. “Straight or wide legs are more the news,” she notes. “Leggings are still strong, especially leather or leather-look leggings, but they’re elevated with a cool boot or bootie and a great sporty
jacket with an athletic vibe. Or with a cozy, sweater tunic.”
When it comes to colors, she’s seeing lots of earthy tones and even Cleveland Browns’ colors in jackets, turtlenecks, and shoes. “This year it’s easy to wear our Cleveland Browns colors. You can even find a brown, orange, white and black plaid jacket this fall or a leather bomber that’s a pretty shade of orange.”
A trendy image is also all over the marketplace “We’re seeing the classic smiley face everywhere,” she says, “on sweatshirts, hats, handbags, jewelry. It’s the accent piece of the time. It’s fun. It’s happy. The world wants to smile.”
When you’re rocking these new styles, Amy Bradford, owner of Amy’s Shoes & Apparel in Woodmere, reminds women, “You’ll want to feel comfortable and confident. Not every color works on every woman, not every silhouette works. At the end of the day be sure what are you going to put on makes you feel good. We have enough to stress about. Fashion should be fun and not stressful.”
With that caveat, Bradford says, the crop top is trending… for some people. Sweater vests remain relevant for Cleveland because they’re part of the layering look that plays nicely with cool weather shifts.
Meanwhile, on the bottom, pants are evolving to wider, more relaxed leg styles. Printed and patterned bottoms will also be at retail, she says.
Those who like brights will welcome fall colors like cobalt, leprechaun and fuchsia. And those who want neutrals can choose from army green, taupe and grey.
Regardless of style Bradford stresses balance when combining tops and bottoms. “You can have a skinny top or bottom, but not both. You can have a baggy top or bottom, not both. If you have a wider leg trouser have a more fitted or shorter top,” she
advises. And current styles offer enough choices to create this balance.
Pat Gibson, a Northeast Ohio image consultant and owner of Artistry of Style, also sees fuchsia and other strong colors for fall. But, she says, “There’s something for everyone. She adds in colors like warm brown, warm red and olive, even pale pink and light ocean blue. Strong colors, she says, means the opportunity to create dramatic monochrome outfits. For example, a matching top and bottoms or a dress, hosiery and footwear.
Bell sleeves and tunics are going cold, but leather and faux leather are still hot. She seconds the observation that boot legs and bell bottoms are more available. Chain-link embellishments are found on everything from clothing to accessories and footwear.
Gibson says she’s not seeing as many seasonal changes as in the past. “The whole clothing cycle has slowed down. We’re not seeing as many fall things as usual because the pandemic has caused so many manufacturing slowdowns. We may not see a full fall selection until mid-September or later.”