By LAURI GROSS
Fall temperatures have arrived bringing a chill to the air, so shop for some stylish, new, go-to fashion pieces for your fall/winter wardrobe, as suggested by area fashion experts below.
Jackets, blazers, coats
These staples are a must for the warm and well-dressed woman’s wardrobe in Northeast Ohio. Rory Lenahan, women’s buyer and style advisor at Kilgore Trout in Eton Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere observes that tailored jackets and blazers are popular, either with exaggerated shoulders and nipped waists or at the other extreme – completely unconstructed and tastefully oversized blazers and coats. Rory adds, “The most exciting thing is there are no rules here.” He also mentions watching for the cocoon coat, a “perfectly oversized and easy to throw on over quite literally whatever you are wearing” style creation.
Lisa Moran, owner of Lisa Moran, Ltd., in Eton Chagrin Blvd. says that fabric coats have made a return this season. “Puffers are great,” she says, “but as people get further away from really casual clothes that they got used to wearing during Covid, people are starting to dress up again and we are seeing more elegant styles.”
Sherri Knuth Bryan, who owns Knuth’s in Pepper Pike with her husband, John, agrees that jackets and blazers are important wardrobe pieces for fall/winter wardrobes. “It looks right again to wear suiting,” she adds, with women’s suits tending to include more trousers than skirts this season. “Faux fur coats are still going strong,” she adds.
Rory notes that leather tops and bottoms are stylish this season, “but done in an unexpected way,” he says. “Many women have a tailored leather blazer and/or a skinny leather pant, but we are seeing leather in new colors, fits, and stretch fabrications. “Lisa agrees that leather is popular this season, especially in pants “whether vegan or real leather,” she adds.
Kathleen Renner, store manager at Ino’s Fashions in Akron says her store offers plenty of faux leather. “We have a lot of cute bomber jackets and little biker jackets in faux leather,” she says, as she adds, “Some are reversible. They are shiny on the outside and lined with faux fur on the inside.”
Anything in shades of brown
OR pink – think Barbie
Rory suggests that women get comfortable with brown this year. “We’re seeing almost every shade and many textures and prints; so, pick your favorite and if it makes you uncomfortable, pair it with black! Instantly chic.” Sherri agrees, adding “There are a lot of browns and neutrals in the marketplace.” She likes the look of mixing bold, bright colors with something in a neutral shade of brown. Sherri adds that Barbie-inspired shades of pink are very popular. As for how to wear it, she suggests, “pink and teal and red and purple look pretty with brown and camel. Brown trousers with a magenta sweater will look great.”Lisa feels that clothing with color is always on trend. “We love to see pops of color in fall and winter. It’s an instant pick-me-up in Cleveland’s grey winters,” she adds.
Kathleen likes the look of tobacco brown paired with bright colors, especially in sweaters from Scotland and Denmark that she is carrying this fall. “These beautiful sweaters have big cowl necks. Some are striped or have a block print in tobacco and sky blue,” she says.
Sparkle and shine
Sweaters with a drop of glitter, Lurex or bling are also on trend, notes Lisa. Lurex is made from metallic fibers that give shine to fabric. Sherri agrees that a lot of the newest fabrics feature shine, sparkle and sequins, “and not necessarily for dressy or holiday-wear,” she says as she describes satin cargo pants, shirts and joggers. “A satin shirt in a mocha color with a pair of jeans would be sharp,” she says. “Also, some tweeds and textures like sweater knits also have some sparkle and shine.” Sherri also mentions that silver is quite popular and is contributing to the sparkle and shine this fall. Silver, she says, “is not just making a comeback in jewelry but also in accessories, such as silver loafers.”
“Sweater vests and vests in general with trousers or under a blazer are popular now,” Sherri offers. For incorporating a favorite vest into a whole look, Sherri suggests wearing a vest over a collared shirt with jeans, loafers and a cardigan.
Focus on the silhouette
of your pants
Depending on the silhouette and the vibe of a pair of pants, Sherri says to be on the lookout for cargo pockets. Sherri sees them on trousers, jeans and even sweatpants. In general, Sherri says, “Pants are either straight or flared or wide leg. If you like a skinny jean, it’s not wrong but it’s not trending, so to make it trendy,wear it with a riding boot or blazer.” Rory says, “If skinny jeans work for you, keep wearing them, but let’s get a couple good bootcut options in your wardrobe as well.” Rory explains that the bootcut jean style tends to even out proportions. And, he adds, “They work with all types of tailoring, look great with a heel for the office, and pair great with the oversized cocoon coat.
Kathleen suggests pants from Lisette of Canada. “These come in prints or lovely plaids, in a wide leg or straight leg,” she explains.
Try some heavy lug-soled boots with a bias-cut longer skirt, says Sherri, who also points out that longer denim skirts are big this season. “Adding a casual white sneaker or bootie to a more finished piece like a dress or skirt dresses it down but elevates the fashion part of it.”
Kathleen agrees that longer skirts are popular this fall and she mentions that Ino’s carries some with pretty pleats.
Look for classic profiles like loafers, oxfords, Mary Janes, ballet flats and sneakers this season. “Loafers with chunky soles are the trend, as are Mary Janes with s strap across the foot. They’re old-fashioned but hip. Watch too for ballet flats and sneakers in white or light colors. There’s no reason to stop wearing white leather sneakers in winter. Sneakers in general are great for updating a look. Classic trousers with hip new sneakers is a casual and on trend look, according to Sherri.
Martha Vucsko, owner of Cipok Shoe Co. in Chagrin Falls agrees that loafers and Mary Janes are popular this fall, as are platform styles and those with kitten heels or block heels. She also sees plenty of boots, including cowboy boots and combat boots, especially done in denim or shearling. Some of the season’s best footwear comes in everything from “bright, bold colors to earthy hues,” Martha says, as she describes styles in shades of black or brown as well as some in silver, lavender or cobalt blue. Tuck your skinny or pegged jeans into a pair of boots, or wear bootleg styles over them. Martha says boots also look great with a short or long denim skirt, or a long flowing dress. Loafers, she says, can be worn with any type of pants from jeans to tailored suits, or even skirts and dresses.