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October 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

How to wear fall’s must-have trends


By Jennifer Barger / The Washington Post

Oversize coats, gray hues, cobalt accents, chunky sweaters and leather everything defined the runways of the fall/winter 2013 ready-to-wear shows.

As the weather cools, Jennifer Barger, editor of Fashion Washington; Paige Speyer, of Wink boutique in Washington; and Lauren Rothman, author of “Style Bible,” give their advice for wearing fall’s must-have items.

Monochromatic neutrals, especially in shades of gray, were a frequent sight on runways in New York. Barger suggests pairing multiple shades. “The key to doing gray without looking dour is to layer in different tones . . . inky, steely, pale,” Barger says. And a pop of color, such as yellow or purple, can spark things up, she says.

Rothman says gray hues, such as those seen at Jason Wu’s fall 2013 show, are an extension of the menswear for women trend.

“The new suit is the coordinated skirt set, the skirt with the matching sweater or jacket,” she says. “It’s not necessarily a suit, but head to toe it’s in a monochromatic color.”

The sweater and skirt “new suit” trend was also seen at Marc Jacobs, as was as another big trend for fall: shades of emerald.

If a houndstooth coat, like the one in Michael Kors’ fall 2013 collection, seems too overwhelming, Rothman suggests a houndstooth accessory such as a purse or large scarf.

Oversize coats were a big trend at runway shows, including J. Mendel. But not everyone can wear such a large garment, Rothman says. “That oversized coat that was very cocoonlike doesn’t play so well in everyday life,” she says. “I’d really rather go with a statement coat that will turn heads, whether that has a really big collar, it’s belted, or maybe you choose to go loud with a great pattern — maybe a plaid color blocking or leather details.”

Leather is everywhere, Barger says. “But what I am loving is hybrids . . . a coat with leather sleeves, a skirt with leather panels,” she says. “It tends to be [less expensive] and a bit less biker chick.”

Band of Outsiders showed a lot of leather items during its fall 2013 show. “We’re getting a lot of leather, a lot of coated denim, leather-ette,” Speyer says. “Leather tops, leather accents, in details on sweaters, skirts, leather trim on dresses — it’s everywhere.”

Speyer says she has also been stocking a lot of chunky sweaters. Barger recommends pairing a big cardigan or pullover over breezy dresses or straight pants.

“Chunky knits look fresh layered with lighter florals,” Barger says.

Cobalt is another fresh color for fall, Rothman says, like the shade seen on dresses from J. Mendel. Rothman says she often urges clients to incorporate trends with accessories instead of entire outfits, such as the cobalt shoes and bags seen at Rag & Bone.

Photos: Wollen Wraparound Coat, $159 at; Wyatt Orr lesCharlie Dress, $667 at Les Amis, Fremont; H&M Knit Turtleneck Sweater, $20; 525 America Leather Collar Pullover, $148 at Anthropologie; Banana Republic Blue Bow Skirt, $89.50; Topshop Green Lux Satin Wrap Skirt, $84; Forever 21 Houndstooth Tights, $8








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