If you want to get a jump on shopping for your fall wardrobe, there are plenty of ways to get a lot of bang for your buck this year. The classics are back in a big way. Think camel, menswear suits, skinny pants and 1940s glamour. Just concentrate on updating your closet with one or two great items and you'll be set to star in your own Hollywood fashion show.
Here's how the experts at Stylesight, a fashion forecasting service, see the coming season:
"Designers reinvented classics and introduced innovative items for the fall and winter 2010 season. Dior's "New Look" inspired shapely jackets and full skirts, and the timeless turtleneck looked new in fine-gauge jerseys. Suiting fabrics took on feminine shapes for wear-to-work dresses, while easy jersey dresses had an elegant yet relaxed feel. Leather and fur went beyond jackets and coats -- now used for all kinds of luxe separates. Designers also introduced fresh essentials for dresses and denim, moving in a decidedly feminine direction."
So what do you put on your shopping list? Let's get down to specifics. Here are Stylesight's "must-have" trends for this season -- the essential items that can update any "tired" fall wardrobe:
--The turtleneck. But not just any turtleneck. The new variations on this old basic are refreshing. You'll find dolman sleeves, cropped hems and interesting fabrics in the newest versions, which still, of course, go with anything in your wardrobe, from jeans to skirts.
--The femme blouse. Take your wardrobe to a new level with just this one item. Embellished with embroidery, lace, ruffles or other delicate details, the new blouses can stand alone; no jackets required here.
--The cropped jean. Think you've got this one down? Think again. The shorter pants are teaming up for the fall with fancy blouses and debonair jackets. The perfect pant to show off your new ankle boots.
--The work shirt. Denim does dressed up this fall. The utilitarian work shirt in blue chambray goes glam when worn with embroidered velvet jackets.
--The Fair Isle sweater. Another classic in fashion history but updated with new colors and a new blend of funkiness when paired with full checked skirts or leather trousers.
--The sweatshirt top. Comfort at its best, the sweatshirt is reinvented this fall to bring back a basic that has been relegated in the past few years to the sofa of the fashion couch potato. Look for updated silhouettes that still have the knitted comfort factor but are not your mother's old baggy favorites.
--The full skirt. A throwback to the days of Dior and the hourglass shape of the "New Look" in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the full skirt is making a comeback -- the perfect complement to the shapely tops and jackets found in many designers' fall collections.
--The winter short. Only the coldhearted fashion followers can survive this one -- in leather and fun knits -- but one word to the wise: Tights are a must!
--The drop-waist dress. Got a little '20s thing going on here with the dress reminiscent of the flapper era, when everybody just let it all hang out. These dresses are great when worn with heels, but make them more fun by dressing them down with tights and boots.
--Something leather. Leather goes ballistic this fall in everything but the fashion basics. How about a pair of wide-leg leather trousers? Or a flippy flower petal skirt? Or sleek leather leggings? Mix them all with chunky knits. Black is your best bet here.
--Something in fur. Whether you like to fake it or you like the real thing, the fur is flying this fall in everything from coats to vests to purses to boots -- even skirts. Take your pick. The fluffier the better.
--Camel and gray. This fall, the newest neutrals are far from beige and boring. Think classic and elegant camels and grays. Pop them with ruby reds or army greens. Black is also back in a big way. (Did it ever go away?) Animal prints are great complements to the new neutrals, too.
Sharon Mosley writes a weekly fashion column for creators.com.