By Kathryn “Kate” Conway
As you may have noticed, the WBAI has started a regular fashion column that will be published in both our newsletter and on our blog. Conveniently, the WBAI newsletters are issued quarterly and coincide with the changing of the seasons. So, for the third installment of FASHION, ESQ., we wanted to cover seasonal fashion trends and ways you can in corporate them into your professional wardrobe. Here are our top 5 fashion trends for fall, translated for the professional female:
1. Dusty Pink
We loved last year’s focus on oxblood, but this fall is all about soft, mauve-y pinks. Think of this color as fall’s version of winter white. Dusty pink is neutral, and should coordinate well with many pieces in your existing wardrobe. Wear it to work in your accessories–bags, watches and belts, especially–paired with a charcoal or heather gray dress, or go for an all-over soft rose look with a shift dress or a monochrome pant suit (keep reading for more on pant suits). Finish your monochromatic ensemble with gray or neutral shoes, or a daring oxblood pump. For those who do not want to invest in an entirely new ensemble, a simple shell in this hue under one of your go-to black, navy or gray suits will be equally on-trend.
Capes are still going strong this fall, and this preppy take on a jacket is the perfect way to bring a hint of the runway in to your everyday wardrobe. Consider a caped trench as outerwear, or a caped jacket to compliment your favorite black pencil skirt. Or, new this season, consider a capelet (a cropped cape) in place of a cardigan. We especially love capes with sheath dresses or tailored skirts, but they work with cropped pants, too. European retailers like Zara and Asos have a lot of great options.
3. Gold Metallics
Gold metallics were all over the runway this season. The best way to incorporate metallics into work wear is through accessories like watches, stacked bracelets, earrings, layered necklaces, belts and bags. Be careful not to overdo your metals, such that your attire is more distracting than it is professional. But, keep in mind that adding a few additional layers of gold at the end of the work day allows for a seamless transition from day to night.
4. Bohemian Florals
Soft floral patterns are popping up everywhere this season, and while this pattern tends to lend itself best to flow-y, casual dresses, designers are making beautiful and delicate blouses that look lovely under a suit. Consider a blouse that will look equally good with black or blue jeans for a two-for-one work and weekend piece.
Designers have been showcasing a lot of mixed-and-matched, 90s-inspired plaid. To take this trend from runway to office wear, look for bold yet subtle patterns for your sheath dresses, cropped pants, and pantsuits. By “bold yet subtle” we mean a bold, large-format plaid in straightforward colors like black and white or red and navy, or another combination that balances a bold pattern/subtle coloring or simple coloring/large pattern in order to maintain a professional appeal. If you want to try the mix-and-match plaid look, consider combining a plaid pattern with a more straightforward windowpane blouse or skirt.
Bonus: Pant Suits
We can thank Hillary Clinton for reviving the pantsuit trend, even outside of the office setting. Of course pantsuits lend themselves perfectly to the legal profession. To take this trend to the next level, though, look for coordinating pantsuits in unique colors and patterns, such as dusty rose, plaid, pinstripe, red, royal blue, and burgundy.
What are your favorite trends this fall? Share with us on social media at www.facebook.com/wbaillinois. Similarly, we welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions for future columns. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make topic suggestions or to submit an article you have written on a professional fashion topic.