Top 20 Trends for Fall & Winter – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Updated)
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
I already know which fashion trends I like for fall and winter, but I thought I’d check out the “latest and greatest” clothing styles recommended by the “experts” on the internet. And, one of the articles that popped up was from nymag.com, however the site only had photos… with no commentary. So, I’m going to critique their top trends and tell you what I think about their faves for women over 40, 50, or 60.
(Note: This article was written for last fall and winter, but I have updated it for this year.)
You Don’t Have to Agree With Me
As always, my comments reflect what I like to wear and what I think looks good on most women. You may be one of those chicks who’s able to wear anything and still look fabulous… and I don’t care if you want to paint yourself green and roll in day-glo glitter… as long as doing that makes you happy and it doesn't scare the cows so much that they stop giving milk.
However, my articles are all about translating pop culture into something that resonates with the average baby boomer woman. Hey, my articles are not for lah-dee-dah fashionistas who are out getting wrinkles in Cannes. My articles are more for All-American chickadees who live in the suburbs. And, they're only in the suburbs because they can’t afford the rent in London or Manhattan. I mean... do normal women really care what Kim Kardashian wears? Do REAL women really follow fashion week in Paris?
I don't know. Maybe they do. But, I think they only watch that TV BS crap because there's nothing better to watch on those 999 other channels. I could be wrong... but I'm not. (Line borrowed from an old Eagle's song.)
Top 20 Trends According to NYmag.com
All of the following trends are from a single “article” at NYmag.com. And, after you finish reading this, you’ll find the link in my Resource section. So, if you want to skip ahead and look at the photos ahead of time, feel free… but you won’t get nearly as much info from their site as you will from this article. It's not that their article is bad, it's just that their captions are so witty that they're a little confusing.
So, onward to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
1. Ostrich Feathers – Bad and Good: Okay, just because I say a trend is bad does not mean you should avoid it altogether. A “bad” rating usually means that you should use taste and judgment when incorporating one of my “bad” trends into your wardrobe.
Let me translate that into American English: Wearing a bit of ostrich feathers here and there is fine… and it’s wickedly Gatsby-esque… however, if you overdo ostrich feathers, you’re going to look like a prom or drag queen gone wrong. So, if you want to play around with ostrich feathers, my recommendation is that you start out with small doses. Try a feathered purse, an ostrich fascinator, or a dress with some trendy feathers at the bottom of its skirt. Anything more than that and you risk being the butt of all Big Bird jokes.
* 2015 Update on Ostrich: I don't have any ostrich feathers. They may be cute, but I wouldn't know how to clean a garment with feathers. The only thing I might buy with ostrich feathers would be a hat or a flapper headband.
2. Capes – Good: Well, capes can be good or bad, depending on several variables. A good cape is fabulous. I have a magenta cape and I love it. However, my cape is made of magnificent cashmere fabric with great drape. And, when I wear my cape with my gorgeous scarf from Venice, people come up to me and ask me where I shop… it’s that good. But, this cloak was a gift from my shopaholic Beverly Hills daughter, so this is the prima donna of capes.
What to Know About Capes:
- Height: If you’re short, a cape will sometimes make you look like a Hobbit. I wear heels with my cape so that I "grow" to 5’8”. Also, you must make sure your ensemble looks sleek not bulky.
- Fabric: A good cape must be made of great wool, cashmere, or a fabulous blend. Flimsy fabric will make you look like a vampire in a B movie. Stiff fabric will make you look like Sherlock Holmes. Drape is everything.
* 2015 Update on Capes: Capes are still big, but ponchos are starting to take over. What's the difference? Capes are more structured. Ponchos are like blankets (or knits) that drape over the body. Well, in reality, there's not a whole lot of difference between capes and ponchos. One is more like Cape of Good Hope. The other is more like Poncho Villa. (Joke.) Actually, I can tell the difference when I see them, but they are both loose-fitting garments (usually outerwear) that drape over the shoulders. However, there are all kinds of variations.
And, that makes it tricky to get the answer right on a T or F test.
Here's the real difference between a cape and a poncho: If your style is Victorian steampunk or Emo, you would wear a cape. If your style is boho hippie or casually confused, you would wear a poncho. Well, that's not always true because I wore a cape when I was a hippie. Anyway, I wear my magenta cape all the time, but I also have a burgundy poncho from Johnny Was from last season and I wear that all the time, too. And, I plan on wearing all of my capes and ponchos until they have holes in them, because capes and ponchos are gorgeous.
Do you really think that I ... moi? ... would care one rat's ass if my favorite things were in style or not?
3. Thigh High Boots – Bad: If you’re over 40 and you wear thigh-high boots, you’ll look like an old hooker. If you’re under 20 and you wear thigh-high boots, you’ll look like an underage hooker... unless the boots are flat. If you’re somewhere in between those two ages and you’re in a club, you might be able to pull it off. Generally, I think that thigh-high boots look best when you wear them over skinny jeans… or when you’re on a stage playing Joan of Arc.
* 2015 Update on Over-the-Knee Boots – Good: I see that all you hipsters have read my articles (again) to find something to rebel against. Aha!
Well kids, I've gotten used to the look and I'm okay with sky-high Puss-in-Boots boots in certain situations. Okay, I am over 60, so I am not going to wear over-the-knee boots unless I've lost my mind and I've decided to go trout fishing in Montana, however women under 50 with a lot of sass might be able to pull off this trend. (In truth, I love you hipsters and faux-hipsters and wannabe-hipsters, but if you're on the cutting edge, you'll have to come up with a new way to wear those boots. Minor Seattle joke. Unfunny at best. If I were in my 20s I would have been the hippest hipster on the Coast. I used to be fearless with fashion and my lifestyle was... shall we say... uniquely structured to be fun and genuine and anti-Madison Avenue.)
Back to clothing and trends and thigh-high boots...
If you're a fairly fashion-forward woman, and you're no longer in high school, the best look for you would be flat over-the-knee boots worn over jeans (or jeggings). I wouldn't shell out a lot of money right away. I would try playing dress-up with some cheapo boots from a discount store. You shouldn't spend a fortune on over-the-knee designer boots until you practice wearing the look (with some el-cheapo footwear that has a price tag similar to two Venti Frappuccinos).
If you are very young and have a good eye for proportion, I'm okay with the hipster ensembles. For those of you who don't know the look, I'm talking about shorts (or mini dresses) worn with over-the-knee socks and over-the-knee boots or knee boots. If you are old enough to be a grandmother, you should not wear this type of hipster, festival style. Well, you might be able to pull it off if you hung out with Andy Warhol back in the day... or your face graces the pages of Advanced Style... however, most of you suburbanoids might feel discomfort as younger hipsters snap your pic to post on instagram. Wait... instagram is too mainstream for hipsters. Well, you get the idea.
Top Trends for Fall & Winter (updated)
4. Midi Skirts – Good: I love midi skirts, but NYmag.com shows straight, pencil skirts, not the type of gypsy skirts I love to wear. However, almost any woman can wear a straight, mid-calf-length midi skirt and look super. The key is in the length. A bit too short and you will look kind of dowdy. A bit too long and you will look really short in stature. Play with the proportions until you get this right.
* 2015 Update on Midi Skirt Trend: I still like 'em. I like pencil skirts of mid-calf length and I like full skirts of mid-calf length. See photo above for examples of proportions that might work for you.
5. Round Shoulders – Ugly: I was born with very large shoulders so I SHOULD tell you to wear coats and dresses with round shoulders. Hey, if all women started wearing huge round shoulder pads, it would make my natural shape seem fashionable. I just don’t happen to like the look. Sue me.
* 2015 Update on Round Shoulders: They still suck.
6. Riot Girls – Good and Bad: I think the NYmag.com website is referring to the Punk look when they use the caption "Riot Girls". In the UK, tartans are part of punk fashion. And, I actually love punkwear, but if you’re over 40, you should only apply this trend in small, cheeky, subtle ways. No safety pins. No ripped T-shirts. No bras covered in studs. However, you can wear something a little offbeat like the cute plaid tights in the photo below.
* 2015 Update on Punk Trend: Punk still rocks. I was a bit punk in the late 70s - early 80s. Nothing wrong with punk. HOWEVER, if you're old enough to tell time from an analog watch without having to visually translate it to a digital watch face in your head, you must continue to keep your punky details to a minimum. A solid gold safety pin on a gold chain, a Sex Pistols T-shirt under a very proper blazer, a new and trendy pair of copper patent leather Doc Martens... or some other type of boot (sent from London) that's just a bit different than what all your pals wear... but... just go easy on the punk overall.
7. Boudoir – Good: The boudoir look is perfectly appropriate for all you babes over 50... as long as you do this trend Old-Hollywood style. You’ll look glam in slithering, slinky satins. You’ll look stunning in flattering corset tops that push you up and hold you in. Just make sure that you’re street legal.
* 2015 Update on Boudoir Trend: No update. Same as it ever was.
8. Huge Coats – Ugly: I just don’t “get it”. I know I should encourage all skinny women to wear big coats because my coats are big. However, my coats are big because women's bodies change as they get older. If you like the look of huge coats, be my guest… and stand next to me to make me look smaller.
* 2015 Huge Coats Update: Francisco Franco is still dead. It's from an old Saturday Night Live skit... back when SNL was still funny... before they went to a laugh track. The Franco phrase means "There's no change" for those of you in Topeka.
9. Shoulder Slits – Good: I love this look. Anyone of any age can wear cut-outs at their shoulders. Even if you’re 90, this is one place you can afford to show a little skin.
* 2015 Update on Shoulder Slit Trend: I still like shoulder slits, but they never caught on.
10. 2015 Ice Blue and Black – Good: Pairing ice blue (see top photo) with black is elegant. You can even throw in a little Kate Middleton (cobalt) blue to give your look an edge. Hey, I don’t know what has happened to me… I was hypnotized by my Bauhaus Blue hobo bag. Normally I find blue to be boring as hell, but this fall I’m digging blue blue blue blue blue - along with all my usual colors.
* Update on Ice Blue and Black: There's nothing wrong with ice blue and black, just add a little chartreuse for a color update. In reality, I'm seeing a fair bit more green than blue, although cobalt blue is still good. I must confess... I don't really like ice blue. It reminds me of the stuff my sister wore in the 70s. If you love ice blue with a passion... then it's still in style... for you. If you bought an ice blue coat, play with other color combinations. Or... ignore everything I say. As we ease into spring, the colors of the season are going to include Pantone Classic Blue, which is less intense than cobalt... but wear whatever blue looks good next to your face.
Top Trends for Fall & Winter (updated)
This is page three. If you came here by mistake, you must find your way back to the beginning of this article on your own. It's a Mensa test.
11. Training Pants – Not sure about this trend: Okay, I just want you to know that the NYmag.com website is not talking about wearing Depends. It took me a few tries to understand what their “Training Pants” caption meant. So, here it is in English: They want you to wear pants that have a train (or skirt) in the back. I’m just not sure what I think of this yet. I might like this trend… but I’d have to see one of these outfits in real life… on a real woman who’s under 7 feet tall.
* 2015 Update on Training Pants: Stupid. Still stupid. It never caught on. I might like this trend better if NY Mag would give the trend a sobriquet that doesn't make us wince.
12. One Slit Thigh – Good: Hey, you can Mata Hari the sh*t out of this sexy trend. Just don’t go too high with your slit. We don’t want to see you flash your undies as you’re getting out of your Prius.
* 2015 Update on One Slit Thigh Skirts: I still like slits. Slits make it possible for a woman to run away from the zombies while still looking fresh and feminine in her slinky skirt.
13. Single Color Outfits – Good: We’ve been doing this for years with head-to-toe black, so it’s time for all of us to take this to the next level. Try head-to-toe burgundy or royal blue or emerald. Wow. I’m salivating over the visuals in my head. And, we all know that wearing the same color from hat to boot makes us look taller and thinner. Single color outfits are the best optical illusion known to woman.
* 2015 Update on Single Color Outfits: I still like them. They will always be in style. Wearing a single color from head to toe (that really goes together with all the components usually from the same brand) means you're from a class that doesn't shop at K*mart. ... Or it means that you have a good eye and you can fake it.
14. Cruella Fur – Good: No, don’t spam me. I’m not telling you to buy fur. But, you can get the same look with black and white jackets, coats, sweaters, and fake furs. I’m too pale and blonde to look good in monochromatic black and white, but I like it on other chicks.
* 2015 Update on Cruella Fur: I've changed my mind. I can't wear monochrome so I don't care if it's trendy or not.
15. Extreme Embellishment – Good: More is more. Baroque is golden this year… and this century. And, we older women like nothing better than wearing stuff that keeps people’s attention away from our wrinkles. Of course, sequins and blingy thingies are not only for evening this fall and winter. You will find sequins on cute daywear too.
* 2015 Update on Extreme Embellishment: It's still trendy. Wear as much as you can stand. Then take one thing off. I think I'm paraphrasing a quote by Coco Chanel.
16. Cool Bride – Good: They are talking about white dresses. I like white. It’s such a cheerful antidote to the usual all-black all-winter trend.
* 2015 Update on Cool Bride Trend: There's nothing untrendy about wearing white in winter. However, the trend never caught on... well... maybe in Miami.
17. Big Cats – Good: I love leopard. It reeks of old Hollywood glam. It’s the one thing that looks better on older women than on younger chicks. You can wear leopard as a solid neutral and pair it with prints. You can wear different leopards as print on print.
* 2015 Update on Big Cats Trend: Leopard is timeless.
18. Non Trad Plaid – Good: I love the new overgrown plaids on steroids. I love monster checks. They’re fun. They’re interesting. And, if irradiated plaids are too weird for you, look for new, creative ways to wear your regular plaids.
* 2015 Update on Non Trad Plaid: It's still trendy. You can still wear your coat from last year without the younguns laughing and pointing their cell phones at you.
19. Royal Velvet – Good: Velvet has always been gorgeous for evening, but you should also wear it in the daytime, when everyone can see the richness of the colors. How can any chick not love the creamy feel of velvet? And, they’re even showing velvet suits for men… memories of Carnaby Street.
* 2015 Update on Royal Velvet Trend: Velvet is still hot for fall and winter. Everyone loves velvet.
20. Radical Florals – Good: Some writers think florals are grannyish, but it all depends on how you wear them. This fall you’ll find florals in unexpected places, like on coats and jackets and jeans and trousers and handbags and whatever. Also, if you’re creative, you can wear your florals print on print. Talk about fun.
* 2015 Update on Radical Florals: Still trendy. Wear your flowered Doc Martens with pride. Throw caution to the wind and wear flowered trousers in winter with your folk-inspired sweaters. Wear flowered undies. Just don't flash us. Have a little fun this fall and winter.
Well, you may or may not agree with my assessment of these top fall fashion trends. I don’t care. Wear what you like. It’s your life. But, please don’t be afraid to try new things. I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as the fashion police… as far as I know… but if I’m wrong, call me and I’ll come and bail you out of jail.
* Update on last paragraph: I probably won't bail you out of jail. Interest rates are paying zero percent, so I'm a little short this month with all the Christmas bills coming in. You're on your own, kiddo. I still want you to experiment with new trends so you don't become your mother... old and dowdy. But, if you live in Kansas, just don't let the fashion police catch you.
More Fashion Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com and Nordstrom.
- Main Photo: Leopard coat might be Debenham 2013.
- Single Color Outfit (Pink): La Redoute 2013.
- Ostrich Dress: Phase Eight 2013.
- Plus Size Cape & Poncho: La Redoute 2013, Simply Be Poncho.
- Blue Coat: Dunnes 2013.
- Midi Skirt Trend: Dorthy Perkins.
- Tartan Tights: Next 2013.
- Cruella Black & White Fur: Dunnes 2013.
- Blue Midi Skirt: M&S 2013.
- You'll Find Every Color of Blue This Year: M and Co, Marisota.
- Phillip Lim Oversized Checks Autumn 2014: The dress is from 3.1 Pillip Lim and the pattern is called grid.
What do you think of this article? Leave a message at the bottom of the page or call me to bail you out of the fashion police jail. * Update: Don't call.