Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall is Here! My Picks for Fall/Winter 2017-2018 Fashion Trends

Fall/Winter styles run the gamut from classic checks to futuristic metallics...

As a Los Angeles resident, I am always surprised when Fall weather shows up.  Fall often feels more like extended summer -- which is not so great when you are tired of sundresses and looking forward to fall boots and jeans.  This year, however, the thermometer has already begun to inch lower, and the evenings have already begun to feel cooler.  Although another heatwave is probably just around the corner, I'm inspired to look at what designers have come up with for a new season...
Time for fall boots!

Turns out, there are enough varying trends to make this style contrairista's head spin.  Proving once again that fashion is morphing from a single set of hard and fast rules into a broad palette of suggestions, this season's designer goodies have something for everyone.

I don't like thinking in terms of being "in style" when I swoon over a new season's trends. (Don't even get me started on how stupid I find the term "on point.")  Making sure you are in style means following someone else's rules, and frankly, life has enough rules already.

Since discovering the concept of slow fashion, I approach clothing rom the perspective of a collector rather than a consumer.  What new, beautiful piece will enhance my wardrobe? What will I truly love not only this year but for many more to come?  

Check out the video above for a great catwalk through the hottest looks of Fall/Winter 2017-2018 -- and then check out the links below for a few of my favorite deals on current styles:

We Like Shiny Things...
(Metallics are everywhere!)

Yes, you now have permission to wear those silver joggers.  (Not that you need permission, by the way.)  I noticed hints of the metallic trend last spring, and I'm delighted that it is here in all its flashy, splashy glory for fall.  Here are a few ways I'm feeling the silver vibe:

Still loving my favorite metallic block heels from Spring! (Buy here.)

Okay, so I wish a fairy godmother would deliver the original one, but in the meantime I found an incredible substitute.  Warning: do not wear this unless you want people to stop you and ask you where you got it.

I bought these silver pumps last year, but now they really fit in. Bonus: the block heels are super easy to run around in.  (This is helpful when you have a rambunctious dog like my Rocky.)

I found these for under $20.  There are several other colors, too.  Given how well they've held up, I'm tempted to grab a pair in basic black.  Block heels are so comfortable!
Confession: I've worn this Sally Hansen nail polish for almost 10 years.  I can't tell you how many people have asked me about it.  While I'm delighted to be suddenly trendy, I'll still be wearing this when matte nudes come back in style.  I've tried many shades and brands of silver nail polish, but this one is the best.  It's long-wearing, doesn't leave my nails feeling brittle and has a slightly muted quality that makes it feel less like a disco-ball and more like something Audrey Hepburn might have worn to a party.  It's also really cheap and available at Rite Aid.  Win! (Get it here if you don't feel like a trip to Rite Aid.)

My mirrored silver aviators are still available at Zenni 
What's the ultimate metallic?  Mirrored shades!  My husband says these classic aviators make me look like a sexy cop from a 1970 show.  Hmmmm...

I really love the fact that I found them at Zenni and managed to get a progressive lens prescription for under $35 shipped.  (The frames alone are only $6.95!)

We Like Cosplaying Sherlock Holmes!
A new twist on a classic print:

You can even get the hat.
I have always loved a houndstooth print, haven't you?  I'm in love with these basic trench coats because they look like they could have been fashionable 50 years ago, and will probably be fashionable 50 years from now.  I think they are irresistible at under $45 each.  Plus, they're made of a wool blend.

I also love the use of houndstooth print in this darling dress by Calvin Klein:

Find it at Macys

We Love Faux Fur!
(More colors than the Teletubbies...)

Rocky can wear real fur.  Faux for me.

Dig out your early 2000s colored faux fur jackets, or invest in a new one. They're here in every price range.  (I'm kind of obsessed with the inexpensive emerald green one below...)

Serious splurge
Ridiculously Affordable
Somewhere in between
We Want Shearling!
(No longer just normcore...)

Yes, those soft, cozy shearling coats -- like the one my dad wore to go out back and chop firewood -- have shown up on the runways.  This is a great time to find a version of this lumberjack classic, or just rock the one you normally only wear when you go camping.  You can spend a fortune for this or this, or check out some of my favorites below.  (They're all under $100.)

Make sure to watch the video at the top of this post for even more Fall/Winter 2017-2018 trends.  Stay tuned for more of my favorite fall picks.  Next up? My favorite styles from sustainable fashion brands.

Want to leave a comment?  Head over to the Chic Contraire Community Forum to start a conversation!

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Video by the superchic A Fashion.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That Effortless French Style

Paris street style is always chic.

Pearls and my 20-year old chenille jacket...
"A girl must be two things: classy and fabulous"
--Coco Chanel

Trends come and go, but there is something so enduringly cool about the fashion sense of French women.  Watch French films from the 1940s to present day and take notice of how French style choices are so timelessly nonchalant: a crisp white shirt partially tucked into a pair of faded jeans, black patent heels with a black mini skirt, a classic quilted handbag, tousled hair that makes a woman appear as if she just beautifully tumbled out of bed ... after passionately kissing goodbye someone who looks exactly like Jean Paul Belmondo circa 1966.

How do those French women make it all look so easy?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fashion for Transformation and Healing

The Transformative Power of Clothes

I recently read an article at Glamourtunist about the healing power of fashion.  It really resonated with me.

"Given all of the research and benefits of art therapy in the healing process," Dominique Michelle Davis writes in the piece, "there stands to be a lot of advancement in promoting the therapeutic benefits in the world of fashion.  In a culture shaped upon promoting unrealistic standards of beauty, there lies an opportunity to use creative expression in the healing process, but we are starting to hear more about the conversation of how fashion can be healing."

Wait, what?  Fashion can be healing?  Things as superficial as clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry can help us with our deepest issues?  Actually, yes.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Love Letter to the Little Black Dress

A quick history of the glorious, ever-versatile LBD

Oh Little Black Dress, where would I be without you?  You always know exactly who I need to be.  I've worn you to professional meetings, cocktail parties, corporate functions, and family dinners.  You always make me look like I belong.  You don't even clash with the many accessories I've made you coordinate with over the years -- the leather jacket for all those concerts, pearls for that banquet with my ex-boyfriend's snobby country club parents, faux fur for Vegas, a chenille blazer for a dinner meeting with ad execs -- you, Little Black Dress, are the ultimate team player.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ethical Fashion Part 4: Knit Your Own Style Statement with Girly Knits!

Check out the adorable socks you can make with patterns by the fabulous Lauren Riker of Girly Knits!

It's finally getting cold enough for winter clothes here in Los Angeles, and I can think of nothing better to wear than things that are soft and cozy.  One of the cooler trends of Winter 2016 -- or, maybe I should say one of the warmer trends -- is knitted clothing.  These fashion pieces take knitwear out of Grandma's sewing basket and put it right on the runway.  (Slay, Grandma!)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Metallic Shoes and Other Sparkly Fashions: More than Trendy

The Fall 2016/Winter 2016 metallic trend is awesome...

I love shiny things.  Getting to actually WEAR shiny things?  I don't call it a trend, I call it a wardrobe necessity.  Lucky for people like me, Fall/Winter 2016 has been all about the metallics -- and that means that there are lots of cool, sparkly goodies the choose from.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ethical Fashion Part 3: Fall in Love with Preloved

Julia Grieve, founder of Preloved, discusses her upcycled designs.

One of my favorite sustainable fashion brands is the fabulous Toronto-based Preloved.  Specializing in new designs made entirely from vintage sweaters, second-hand clothing, deadstock fabric and other reclaimed materials, Preloved creates sophisticated, unique clothing while embodying the sustainable slow fashion ethos.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Marilyn Monroe's Iconic JFK Birthday Dress is on the Auction Block

Watch a promo of the largest Marilyn Monroe auction ever to take place. 

When I think of famous dresses, I immediately see the sparkly, backless, flesh-colored, figure-hugging Jean Louis gown Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to JFK.  Decades before Kim Kardashian's bare-all style, Britney Spears' nude bodysuits or the recent red carpet see-through dress trend, Marilyn's practically-nude-but-dipped-in-rhinestones dress made the crowd at Madison Square Garden swoon.   When she stepped out under the lights, she shimmered like a goddess who had descended from the stars.  It's such an iconic fashion moment:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Remembering Sonia Rykiel

The extraordinary life of Sonia Rykiel

When the legendary designer Sonia Rykiel passed away this past August, I was surprised.  Although she was 86, and had suffered from complications of Parkinsons and osteoporosis, she was so full of exuberance, rebellion and whimsey it seemed impossible for her to leave this earth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ethical Fashion Part 2: Learning More with The True Cost Documentary

Who pays the price for our cheap clothing?
Watch the trailer for The True Cost, an eye-opening documentary on Fast Fashion
Watch the entire film in the post below:

Somewhere in the early 1990s, I noticed that clothes were getting cheaper.  It wasn't just the usual items found in affordable, somewhat utilitarian lines at JC Penney, Sears, and Payless Shoes ... it was everywhere.  You could still shop the expensive designers, but right alongside them were inexpensive versions of high fashion styles.  And they were cute!