Author: Judie Schwartz - October 19, 2012 - Updated: October 19, 2012

For many women, this time of year brings on a bad case of fashion angst. Summer clothing is worn out; last year’s fall wardrobe doesn’t look nearly as great as memory serves. It’s time to pump up the closet with some trendy new duds. But which ones? What should we invest in, what will become clothing malfunctions?

This year is particularly thorny as there are so many loud colors and crazy swirling patterns to negotiate. Keep your shades on in Macy’s or JC Penney lest you be blinded by their racks teeming with so many bright hues it feels like you just landed in Oz. Can you really see yourself in a pair of magenta jeans paired with a chartreuse top? For Style Matters, not gonna happen.

Here are some timely tips to create a wardrobe that is current yet tasteful.

Basics you should definitely have in your closet right now:

Leggings, Jeggings and Skinnys, Oh My! Skinny jeans, black leggings and knee high boots. For some of my stylish readers, this will be greeted by a great big sloppy “Duh!” For others, it will be a surprised, “Really?” I’m not interested in which one you are; I just want you to fix it.

The stocking departments of every major department store, plus DSW, carry a wide range of leggings in different patterns, colors and detailing. Snap up a few. Leggings go a long way in updating outfits. Jeggings (a combo of jeans and leggings) are still hot and look great with “shooties” (a combo of shoes and boots).

Jeans in Living Color: Color and pattern are the two most exciting trends to happen to jeans since James Dean slipped on a pair. Check out yummy colors such as turquoise, royal blue and rosy red. Denise Snyder, the chic doyenne of newly located Mariel (Filmore and Third in Cherry Creek), makes sure her customers pick shades that compliment their skin tones. Most popular shade at her place of biz: brick orange. Snyder is staying away from jeans with large, loud floral patterns. “I and my clients are not about to walk around town with large flowers covering our butts,” she said. Point taken.

Boots with Everything: Never have knee-high boots become more popular. Young women wear them all summer long with dresses and skirts. Expand your boot repertoire with motorcycle styles and shooties. These work well with jeans as well as dresses and skirts. Check out the new line of Uggs at Dillard’s. The Australian company has moved well beyond sheepskin to cool leather styles. For the truly fashion forward? I dare you to wear the women’s version of men’s wingtips. Love the look with slim leg jeans. If not now, when?

For a professional look, Molly wears a black straight leg suit by Lafayette 148 ($700). With a bow to the current trend of color, she pairs the suit with a hot pink tank top by Wolford ($155). Almost never without her Majorica pearls, Broeren has added a silver pin by Zina.

Photos by Marie Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

Say Buh-by to the Boyfriend Jacket: When you get style experts from Pine Creek to Neiman Marcus raving about jackets, you know that a trend is emerging. Both Lisa Figlino of Pine Creek and Neiman’s Nancy Sagar are singing the joys of the newly fitted jacket. Figlino claims that one great jacket can change a whole outfit, and Style Matters would have to agree. Look for jackets in plaids and tweeds in more tailored and constructed styles.

Accessories: It’s the Big Thing That Counts. Women lug around more and more from our iPads to cell phones, sunglasses and makeup. Why not cheer up your junk by placing it in a brand new “statement” handbag. Sagar says it’s the investment of the season and recommends women come in and see statement bags by Rebecca Minkoff starting at about $200. One bag, one love, we get to carry each other (with apologies to U2.)

Every season I get to say ‘They’re ba-a-ck’ about one trend (With apologies to Poltergeist.) This season its brooches. Pins are popping up all over and are being worn on shoulders, necks, lapels and col-lars, sometimes all at once Dust yours off.

Molly turns a workday outfit into a weekend ensemble, by trading the suit jacket in for a long purple sweater by Optimum ($375), a ballet neckline tank by Wolford ($235) and adds a long circle pendant by Lafayette 148 ($165). Her stacked bracelets and flat ballet shoes complete the “presto chango.”

Photos by Marie Dennis/The Colorado Statesman

What the well-dressed woman professional will be wearing this season

In business for 32 years, Molly’s of Denver (1660 Stout) caters to some of the most powerful and influential women in Denver. These women want to look current, but not too trendy; chic but not faddish. They have an image to maintain. Owner Molly Broeren, dresses customers from all walks of life, from lawyers, to community leaders to elected officials; Congresswoman Diana DeGette obtains her wardrobe almost exclusively at Molly’s.

So what’s her secret formula for outfitting these professionals? Monochromatic dressing. Molly starts with a well-fitting pair of black slacks and jacket, always a slimming look. From there, she ads a little bit of a seasonal trend, whether it be a colorful tank top, handbag or jewelry. Yes, her prices are not always the lowest, but her outfits can go day to night, workday to weekend, and the quality is such that these pieces will last practically forever.

Judie Schwartz is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at:
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Judie Schwartz

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