Currency Trading – Parsing the Trends

Pic from, here

Une femme could never be accused of being on the cutting edge of Fashion. It often takes my eye a few months (or occasionally a few years!) to adjust to seismic shifts in the sartorial zeitgeist. That’s probably not altogether a negative; at a certain age, chasing every trend can be an express train to Ridiculousville.

But, a stubborn refusal to update our look periodically can land us in a visual time warp. A piece here or there that nods to current fashion trends can help convey that while we know our own style and are no one’s Fashion Victim, we aren’t totally disconnected from the world at large either. Incorporating a newish silhouette or a particular trend isn’t about making ourselves look younger necessarily, but rather, current. (For those in the workplace or job hunting, this is more important than ever.) And a trendy piece or two can be a way to have some fun, bringing a fresh perspective to daily wardrobe planning.

We all know the drill by now, right?  Don’t spend at the high end of your budget for a trendy piece, wear trends sparingly, stick to pieces that work with and freshen items you already own, and when all else fails, go with updated accessories to give your classic look a nudge into the present. And don’t hesitate to pass up a trend  if the silhouette doesn’t work for your body type, or the aesthetic doesn’t speak to you. (Like those drape-neck, dolman-sleeve, slim-hipped tops that are everywhere right now? Pas pour moi.)

Here are some current trends that have ageless appeal and some particular pieces I’ve been considering:


Color blocking and neon brights (trends that are getting a lot of fashion press right now), are a bit overwhelming for me but I’m starting to see more options for adding some color in subtler but rich shades and in very wearable styles.

These ankle cords from Talbot’s in “Vixen” are a gorgeous shade of rich rust or russet (and less red than they appear in the picture) that will bring a bit of vibrance to neutrals and earth tones. This dusty pink “Cosmopolitan” color is also tempting:

Cardigans are a great way to add some color. (Wear open over a monochromatic ensemble to create the flattering column of color.)  Stick with simple styling, and let the color speak.

J.Crew cashmere, $168. More colors in online and in stores.
Whether you’re more comfortable with color in small doses or love to boldly mix colors between your clothing and accessories, Longchamp Le Pliage totes are always a great option. Available in new hues each season, the durable nylon fabric and simple style will last for years.

Love this color, and the Loden (green)


This is another of those trends that could easily go wrong (either too twee or too boudoir) but I do like the look of this Lucky Brand lace top for more casual days,

or this Ann Taylor lace yoke tee, which is subtle and sophisticated enough for the office. (Would look great under a jacket!)

Faux Fur. Yes, really.

Faux fur has come a long way from those stiff, Muppet-costume fibers of yore. I’ve seen (and tried on) some pieces lately that are soft, beautifully dyed, and with a luxurious look and feel. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it…

“I’m with the band,” Vince Camuto faux fur vest, $175

Ok, so maybe not for me, and perhaps a bit spendy for a “fun” piece. But if you like the look, shop around; I’ve noticed similar pieces in varying price points (quality TBD).

If that’s just a bit much for you, how about a sweater with a faux fur collar?  Again, look for good quality Faux. Removable is a good idea too.

Trina Turk ‘Deville’ Cardigan, $298

Karen recently shared her take on how to work the loafer trend (and will be back soon with more). And we’ve already reviewed Kitten Heels

Zara, H&M, Forever 21 can be good sources for fun trendy pieces that are made to last one season and are priced accordingly. Some of you talented thrifters are already scoring pieces from the 70’s and 80’s that look fresh again. While not meant as a steady sartorial diet, the occasional trendy item can be like the maraschino cherry on top of the sundae: bright and festive.

Are there any trends for Fall that have caught your eye? Any that are tempting you to move outside of your usual comfort zone?

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  1. I’ve already snatched a gorgeous cream lace shell (it’s lined and fitted), and have a pair of anthracite fur removable cuffs waiting for their debut. I saw the cuffs at the Paris RTW Show last year and just had to have them…I think they’ll be fun with both coats and sweaters.

  2. I can vouch for the Talbot’s slacks in “cosmopolitan’ as I purchased a summer pair in cotton. They were surprisingly versatile and the shade is more subtle than one would think.

    On a personal note, I am off to Paris today for the first time ever. Your blog, and those of the women on your blog network have been such an inspiration to me to make this trip I would be remiss if I did not thank you heartily for that.

    Laurie Robinson

  3. I’m feeling well caught up and have been finding that my challenge is to wear what I already have — I’m concentrating on sitting pretty while I see what I really need/want (altho’ I did buy a new piece or three, boots included . . . )

  4. I’m with you when it comes to color blocking — it’s overwhelming. But I love your color choices.

  5. Yes great minds think alike. I will look out for Le Pilage in an unusual colour, probably at the airport shop on my way to France in a couple of weeks. Wish we had more J Crew knitwear over here.

  6. I’m also wearing what I already have this coming autumn as I just don’t need more in my closet.

    I stopped into Talbots today (Northpark, Dallas) after receiving their catalog, and, as usual, was underwhelmed with the quality of their fabrics. Always a disappointment.

    I DID see (and try on ) a fabulous pair of Stuart Weitzman lace up boots, but was disappointed in the comfort level (very funky around the heel area).

    I ended up with a long (knee length almost) black/white jacket from Chicos (of all places) during a 50% off promotion.

    I’m not at all enthused about the fake fur trend.

    I DO like color, but haven’t seen anything that has grabbed me.

    And this is sad, I was even a bit disappointed at the quality of the Eileen Fisher pieces I perused.

  7. Very sage advice to atleast keep abreast of the trends, but not to become a victim. And its easier for us to become victims, I’m afraid!
    Of course, I love the color blocking and am looking for some red…

  8. Bourbon & Pearls – I love the look of those booties too. More on those tomorrow.

    LPC – I think that mix would look *fantastic* on you.

    Anonymous – ooh, haven’t seen that one but will definitely check it out.

    Patti – thank you. I used to be able to wear some neon colors when I was younger, but now they really wear me. I’m still on the fence about lace, but may have a look at both of those close up.

    hostess – a mustard yellow cardigan is on my list as well. Think I may have found one, more soon.

    The Style Crone – don’t you love the name? I realized later it’s appropriate as the color is reminiscent of a red fox.

    ParisGrrl – yes, that’s the type of lace item I’m looking for. Your cuffs sound fabulous!

  9. Susan Tiner – Thanks, one thing I learned from Imogen was that as we age, our natural pigmentation tends to fade a bit, so those bright colors we could wear when younger now are too much. I love colors found in nature the most.

    Laurie – oh, that’s great to hear! I’ve ordered them and had hoped they’d be a good choice. PARIS!!! I’m so excited for you!!! I hope you have a wonderful time.

    Chicatanyage – I’ve had good luck with the Pliage bags. I have a large one that I use as a carry on, and it is *durable!* Have a wonderful time in France. I’ve seen more J.Crew pieces on Net-a-porter lately, but they really do need to open a London store!

    materfamilias – oh, we wants to see the boots, we does. I’d have been set too, if it weren’t for this sudden hunger for more color…

  10. Tiffany – I love red and camel/khaki. Regarding lace, I’ve had that reaction too to many pieces.

    Susan – that’s a good place to be! I agree with you about the disappointing quality in so many of Talbot’s and other retailers. The cords aren’t bad though, and the fit is good. I’m also sorry to hear you were disappointed in the quality of the EF pieces. I’ve rarely had problems with their quality, and have some pieces I’ve been wearing now for years.

    fashionoverfifty – thank you! You shouldn’t have trouble finding red this season. I’m seeing it *everywhere!*

    Pam – Hope you’ll show us the loafers! 101, yikes! We’re just about to head into our warmest season (Sept/Oct) so I know I’ll soon be frustrated that I can’t wear fall clothes.

  11. I succumbed and bought red jeans – I wear them with camel and khaki rather than other loud colours and they work for me like that … Somehow lace always makes me look ‘old lady’, so I avoid it.

  12. Faux fur?These are the kind of pieces you can imagine wearing huddling beside a fire! There’s something about the lush look of the fur draped around a woman’s outfit that keeps you looking haute!

  13. I just cannot see me wearing the colored pants…but I did buy some cute loafers yesterday! I think I am ready for autumn…I just need the cooler weather!! It was 101 today!

  14. I don´t want to step out from my comfort zone ;)! And I have bought about all I need for autumn already = not much, as I tend to wear same clothes all year, adding only tights, warm underwear, boots and a warm coat.
    So far, no interesting bags in sight either.

  15. Deja, I’m talking about the new fall seasons of EF things. I looked at them yesterday in a local dept. store (Dillards). I’m hoping my impression was affected by the way they were crammed unceremoniously into racks. When the EF store opens in September, I’ll go back for another look.

    It just seemed to me that the yarns/fabrics were not quite as nice as in earlier collections. When you take a look, let me know what you think.

  16. metscan – you have really distilled your own style, no need to change! YSL has some interesting Fall bags.

    banner printing – yes, even the nicer faux pieces can look quite luxurious.

    Susan – here’s the thing…go check out the EF store when it opens. I’ve found that some of the pieces they make specifically for the department stores like Nordstrom and Dillards *aren’t* quite the same quality (and the prices are usually a little lower too). Some of the more “on trend” pieces I’ve looked at don’t seem to be quite as substantial. I’ve always had great luck with the ponte knits, the silk jersey pieces, and wool crepe cardigans. (In fact, they just brought back my FAVORITE long cardigan on the website, available in Black and Mussel.)

  17. I’m pretty well set for fall, only needing a couple of pieces here and there. I think I am most interested in combining colors in either related shades or similar tones. I love the outright color play that is going on right now in fashion, but much of it is too much for me and my style/life. But it is a perfect opportunity to try a few new combinations more in keeping with my own style. The lace I’m not so sure about, until I see the perfect piece that is.