Fall Flair: Dressing for that most fickle of seasons

By Bonnie Bing | October 2, 2023

Plaid reversible jacket of polyester flannel, $162, worn over camel stretch twill pants, $76, and matching polyester blend mock turtleneck sweater, $76. All by Charlie B. Mixed metal earrings by John Michael Richardson, $42. All from Frou Frou. Wool hat from Wichita Hat Works styled by Hatman Jack, $36.

We are in that season where some days it’s tough to know what season we’re in. Cool in the morning, very warm in the afternoon, brisk in the evening and even cooler at night.

There’s also the problem of some people not knowing when to turn the air conditioning off until next year. But on the other hand, others rush winter and have the heat on.

The obvious answer to this dilemma: Layering. But that doesn’t mean piling on summer fabrics and adding a jacket.

The solution is choosing medium-weight fabrics in rich fall colors that will easily transition into fall.  

Here’s a look at the trending colors for the new season: rust; all brown tones from chocolate to camel; green shades, especially olive and emerald; wine and burgundy; mustard and harvest gold. 

But if brights and vibrant prints are your choice, you won’t be left out. Especially if you love hot pink. We can blame that on Barbie. 

Other colors such as bright orange, marigold yellow, vivid raspberry and cobalt blue will brighten even the grayest days.

When it comes to fabric, beloved all-American denim is trending not only in every shape of jeans you can think of but in dresses, skirts and vests. Yes, get that denim skirt out of storage.

And speaking of vests, they are a great addition for the transition season. This year the selection seems bigger than ever. Some are hooded, others are cropped, some have drawstring waists and some are long, slightly fitted and hemmed at mid thigh. Those are great for sitting on cold bleachers while watching your young family members compete in sports. 

Cardigan sweaters in stripes, solids and fun patterns also work well in the fall when you don’t need a jacket or heavy coat. The variety of cardigans range far from the classic little button- down-the-front model. A popular style is fit and flair that easily slides over for warmth and to add color and texture to an outfit.

Two more classics — the pantsuit and the belted shirtdress — are garments that are definitely showing up for fall. One thing that makes the shirtdress popular is it has sleeves, something many women want in a dress. To update the traditional pantsuit, some designers are using a more structured shoulder treatment. Don’t worry, it’s not the giant shoulders of the ’80, but some padding has been added for a sharper shape.

It’s going to be a colorful fall, so add some traditional and trendy pieces to your wardrobe in your favorite colors. Mix and match, layer them and enjoy the weather — whatever it is.

Reach Bonnie Bing at bingbylines@gmail.com