Hot Autumn Trends You Can Rock

If you want to take your fashion inspiration from the catwalks, then be ready to flaunt your femininity to the hilt, because the world of haute couture has decreed this season to be all about skirts, hourglass silhouettes, and some traditional English patterns thrown in for good measure. The key word here is “inspiration.” Instead of maxing out your credit card on a designer outfit, play up these three trends around your personality and existing wardrobe. After all, fashion should be fun.

Skirting the Issue

Raid your closet for knee-length and calf-swishing hemlines, then your mom’s for petticoats. Yes, it’s the 50s flashback, headlined by Rochas’ flouncy floral silk. Hit the town in retro glam by pairing a full skirt with a figure-hugging knit top, cinched with a slim belt, and finishing off with contemporary Mary Jane or ankle strap shoes.

Prada updates the vintage bella donnalook with a voluminous red skirt in leather and a black off-the-shoulder wool sweater (Katy Perry wore this for a Vogue shoot). Here’s an alternative: a belted crimson pencil skirt and a black turtleneck, jazzed up with a jaunty neckscarf –think Audrey Hepburn, and you’re just a Vespa ride away from la dolce vita.

Boxed pleats are also all the rage, with everyone from Calvin Klein to Sportmax and Chanel offering their demure takes by incorporating sheer panels, waffled fabrics, colorful threads, and peekaboo slits. Belstaff’s mini leather skirts, however, take the prize for urban chic. Thigh-high boots may be this season’s must-have–and a fail-safe match to those leather pleats–but why not add a youthful edge with dark stockings and workman boots ala Timerbland. Just sling on a satchel bag and tame those tresses with a newsboy cap or beret, and you’re off to conquer the world.

Checkmate

Plaids and tartans have returned with a vengeance, appearing on long coats, capes, jackets, and dresses. Michael Kors houndstooth mink wrap is a timeless statement piece, while Moschinos flamboyant collection is a salute to Britains checkered heritage. Since the prints are not exactly versatile in the coordination department, invest in one or two articles that can be worn a few ways with your other clothes. Go preppy with a plaid vest or skirt, or a pair of black argyle nylons. If youve got shapely gams and derriere, get the male pulses racing with an equestrienne-style getup: slip into leggings or stretchy cigarette pants, shrug on that sharply tailored blazer you reserve for important interviews, and tuck a checked scarf under the neckline for a Continental flair.

Femme Fatale

The lethal, seductive dames of film noir take a well-aimed stab at Guccis, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuittons fall lineups, with bodice-skimming dresses, tapered skirts, and elegant sheaths freshened up for the modern siren. Bottega Veneta shows how you can be supremely sexy and confident while covered up neck-to toe in somber colors, the severe look just softened up by Rita Hayworth curls.

To conjure the glamorous heroine/villainess of Old Hollywood, go for nipped waistlines (skinny belts again), smartly padded shoulders for that sartorial fit, low hemlines, deadly stilettos, and supple leather gloves (contrasting color adds an element of surprise to a monochrome attire). Complete the look with dark smokey eyes, crimson lips, and hair coiffed in sleek waves, and youll be turning heads wherever you go.