Grunge Vs. Glamour

By Sharon Mosley

August 5, 2013 4 min read

There are a lot of mood swings out there this fall -- but don't sweat the style stuff. Instead, embrace your own sense of unique taste, and get inspired by two very different trends hitting the fashion runways this season. It's a real study in contrasts.

"Grunge in the early '90s, shifting to glitz and glamour as the economy improved," muses Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and a trend-watcher extraordinaire. "So much change and creativity."

Now the two sides of the fashion coin have merged in a new century to create a trend where opposites attract. So which style personality do you prefer? Here are some clues to help you decide. Maybe you're a little bit of both.

*The Grunge Factor

Free-spirited? This is a big indication of which style category you feel most comfortable in. You probably have a wardrobe that has plenty of "unexpected" pieces that you love to mix and match with the basics. You've got that urban edge that's distinctively creative.

This fall, you'll seek out boyish flannel shirts; graphic print cropped trousers; menswear lace-up brogues; mixed-media jackets; long, flared coats; and slouchy leather trousers. And you will just love the new track pants popping up in designer collections, not to mention the bold camo-print designs and punk-inspired combat ankle boots.

Let's face it. You are not a traditional fashionista. You shop at a variety of stores, scoping out those unusual items that will set you apart from the crowd but yet tell the world that you really couldn't care less about fashion (even though it's a constant passion).

Vintage stores are one of your favorite haunts. These bastions of the past really do offer you the chance to find one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories that make your wardrobe unique.

*The Glamour Factor

Yes, you may grunge it up a little on the weekend, but you don't dare step out the door during the week unless you're dressed to impress. You may not always sparkle in sequins and wear your grandmother's pearls every day, but you're likely to be a little more dramatic than the grunge girls.

The shift dress is one of your favorite workday go-tos, and you love to wear it all year long, teaming it with knit cashmere cardigans in the fall or one of the new oversize swingy coats. One-of-a-kind statement jewelry and accessories are the ways you amp up the glamour factor of these everyday uniforms. And there are no combat boots for you. A pointy-toe shoe bootie is your choice for stepping out this season.

This fall, you'll also gravitate toward the '30s- and '40s-inspired designs of wide-leg trousers, swingy tulip skirts, stacked velvet heels, squishy fur handbags and oversized cocoon coats. Rich fabrics are at the core of your wardrobe. Brocades, metallics, satins, silks -- yes, even feathers -- are your choice of glamorous luxury.

You're the one who shows up at the museum gala in a head-to-toe white tuxedo with white calf-hair pumps. And of course, your little black dress is always hanging in your closet, ready and waiting for that impromptu cocktail party. Beaded clutches? You've got a dozen.

And of course, grunge and glamour may meet in unexpected ways. That's the fun of fashion -- putting your own spin on your own wardrobe, mixing and matching until your own personal style comes out on top. Who says you always have to be predictable? Enjoy the new season.

Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at

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