Translating runway trends to your fall wardrobe

    Flirty pencil skirts bring a scholarly look to your afternoon classes. Photo by and Nancy says on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    You may have just started to dig into your pile of jeans and hoodies, but for those in the fashion realm, the fall season is already passé. New York’s Spring 2009 Fashion Week just ended and a whole new set of trends has sprung, so to speak. Here is a breakdown of the styles strutted on the runways in New York, with tips to help you incorporate these latest trends into your current wardrobe.

    Heaven on Earth: Floaty, airy fabrics ruled spring runways as silk, organza, jersey and gazar replaced the heavy knits of fall. While these light fabrics showcased the best of the growing transparency trend, they aren’t the most practical for Evanston’s frigid winters. Plus, showing off your latest Victoria’s Secret purchase might not be the best way to impress your new prof. Save the sheer top for the Keg and try pairing a long-sleeved ruffled blouse with jeans for daytime.

    The Body: The volume seen in seasons past has given way to a more body-conscious silhouette, with Cynthia Rowley, Luca Luca, Thakoon and others favoring a long, lean look. Try on a pencil skirt to create a demure interview outfit, or go the sexy secretary route and wear a body-hugging sheath or tube dress for your next girl’s night out.

    Jumping In: Most of us haven’t donned a jumpsuit since the Care Bears were cool, but everyone from Michael Kors to Alexandre Herchcovitch featured this look last week. Styles ranged from long to short, but these onesies all used the pajama-type fabrics seen in other spring ensembles. Embrace your inner Hugh Hefner and pair one of these silk numbers with a belt and heels for a more figure-flattering look.

    Muted colors stand out against jewel tones. Photo by smittenkittenorig on Flickr, licensed under the Creative Commons.

    A Leg Up: Two styles of pants dominated spring runways: the skinny and the harem. This season’s skinnies were literally skin-tight, while the harem, a baggier style gathered at the waist and ankles, presented a more comfortable option. Europeans have rocked the billowy pants for some time, but only time will tell if the American crowd will embrace it. For a more wearable version, don a pair of baggy boyfriend jeans rolled up at the bottom, a la Katie Holmes.

    Seeing the Light: When Marc Jacobs debuted his Fall ‘08 collection, the refined shapes and pastel palette had the fashion set perplexed. To love or not to love? Judging by the Spring ‘09 shows, Jacobs’ muted colors were still on the minds of many. White, cream, light gray, blue and pink were the colors of choice for many designers, including Erin Fetherston, Brian Reyes and Project Runway alum Christian Siriano. Try a powder blue coat or scarf for contrast against fall’s deep purples and reds.

    Black is Back: The explosion of flower power that dominated last spring and fall has finally fizzled. Designers like Narciso Rodriguez and Proenza Schouler ditched the girly prints, showcasing hard-edged black-and-white graphic styles. Their grittiness added to a bondage trend, with zippers and leather galore. You can bring the dominatrix out of the bedroom with a leather jacket or a zip-front dress (no whip required).


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