In this new shopping age, where women are buying singular pieces and not outfits, the most common question asked of me is always the same. Whether on an individual consult or when speaking to a group, everyone wants to know, "What is that special piece/pieces that will make the outfits in our closet have a taste of the new season?"
The following are my individual selections of some of the must have items for fall that will add the touch that you are looking for:
Cape or Poncho
A cape or poncho adds drama and sophistication to any outfit. You can't go wrong with classics in neutrals, a la camel, black or charcoal gray. (I'm crazy for gray this season!)
However, for a burst of color, try a pop of red, green, cobalt blue or mustard. Now that's an entrance maker that can take you from any client meeting, luncheon or a night out on the town. Add some fur, and it's the perfect evening wrap.
Did I mention that this is Houston, the non-coat town, which makes this coat-alternative a great add-on for your dress, suit, pantsuit or if partnered with a great boot, adds some kick to your jeans.
Fashion insiders are predicting a great skirt season this fall and the addition of leather as a fabric choice makes it complete. My personal favorite is the longer knee-grazing pencil skirt.
But if over-the-knee and bright colored tights are more your thing, make your style choice a shorter, flirty skirt as a newer way to wear leather that's probably not in your closet. This item that can be worn with a great feminine white shirt/blouse or a light weight knit that makes for great early fall transition wear.
Snake or Python
From the runway to the street, snake or python is the rage this season. Prada started it all with python boots and bags that are works of art. The plus to this trend, other than it goes with everything, is that if you shop smart (and we know you've learned to do that very well), you can find skins at every price point.
Quality adjustment considered, snake skin can be yours from Gucci to Jessica Simpson. Also, don't be afraid to wear some skin beyond accessories...a great snake skirt or jacket with a touch of cashmere makes for a tasty Fall look. Just beware, a little snake/python goes a long way!
I guarantee you've had them in the past and given them away long ago but they're back!
Assuming you have plenty of pumps in your closet, this new stacked heel version gives you a touch of classics with a twist and can become the go-to-shoe in your closet that works with just about everything from dresses, skirts, pants or jeans.
Styling tip: Don't just stick to the basics here, step out and make them look newest by choosing color in suede or patent. Or try a fave trend of this season, color-blocking to give your outfit some pop.
Structure, top-handled handbag
Lastly, the slouchy bag has run its course and clutches are still a great look. However the newest bag of the season is the structured, top-handle handbag.
Ladylike dressing calls for lady-like bags. The new boxy shapes in warm, textured, autumn hues are my faves and work for business suitings to casual denim. If color is your thing (a big trend for Fall, BTW, but who needs to tell Houston women about color?!), a pop here can brighten up any neutral outfit or compliment the most colorful of ones.
Happy shopping! I just finished making the rounds for Fashion's Night Out and the stores are loaded with lots of great new looks, just waiting for your first picks of the season.
Read about Roz Pactors's approach to her favorite season from a fashion point-of-view on her blog, TheChicSheet.com