Embrace the Gray: Fall Fashion Preview 2014 (slideshow) – The Plain Dealer – cleveland.com (blog)

For our Fall Fashion Preview 2014, I visited stores all over town in search of the newest trends. Cleveland has wonderful shopping, and styles can be found in all price ranges. Have a look at the guide below. I’ve broken down the trends and I hope you get inspired to try something new this fall.

Gray skies, gray weather, gray mood…it’s fall in Cleveland.

Look on the bright side; fall is the best time of year for new trends to make an appearance. The fresh looks in fashion will carry us through the fall and winter and into the spring. Use the fall trends to boost your mood — and go ahead, embrace the gray.

There’s a long list of options, and with them comes the invitation to experiment. This season is the time to own your own style, layer things that you never thought went together and think outside the box.

Some of the biggest trends to hit the stores so far are sweaters in cozy textured knits, denim, leather, bold graphics, sleeveless faux fur vests, tailored menswear for women, all things that sparkle in sequins and metallic, and fringe, lace and plaid. Don’t worry about your wallet; the best trends are hitting every level of store in a variety of price points.

So get your wardrobe ready for the brisk days and cool nights with some of this fall’s must-haves.

Sweaters

Sweaters aren’t just for your top half anymore. Muted-color, chunky sweater fabrics in skirts, dresses and leggings are headed this way. There are capes, coats and wraps in all sizes. Don’t be afraid to layer them. Head-to-toe cozy is the goal.

Graphic prints

From trippy psychedelic prints reminiscent of the 70s, to bold text on fabric, to sharp lines and geometric blocks, prints are making a huge comeback. The modern thing to do is to mix them together. The mash-up is the key to this trend. Be fearless and have an open mind.

Beautiful color

Bold colors including cobalt blue and rich shades of purple are on the color wheel this fall. If embracing the gray isn’t your thing, then combat it with a powerful color. Mix color with a graphic print or with supple leather to create an eye-catching contrast.

On the other hand, if gray is your thing, you’ll feel right at home with the sophisticated muted hues of nature. Grays, brown, blues and greens — soft wisps of subtle color will elevate a fall look like never before.

Menswear…for women

Trousers, blazers and lapels tailored for a woman’s figure are on point. Whether you wear a white blouse and fitted blazer with boyfriend-style jeans or with wide business-style slacks, you’ll look just right. Variations on the suit are popping up all over. And don’t miss out on the varieties of trench coats and overcoats hitting the stores. A cool tailored coat will have a place in your wardrobe for a long time.

Leather

Leather in jackets, leggings and jeans and as details on sweaters is popping up everywhere. Moto styles are the most popular. Look for leather and vegan leather options in a jacket that makes you feel like you might have a Harley parked outside. The less literal Moto style jackets are in too. Lovely and loose unstructured lapels make a jacket a little less fussy. Leather boots and short booties are everywhere. They’re the footwear of the season and the stores are brimming with good options right now. 

Denim

Denim is all over the map this fall. There are slightly ripped skinny jeans, the roomier boyfriend-style, bell-bottoms from the 70s and denim shirts and jackets. You can dress it up or down, so get creative and shop. Good jeans can be found for $40 as well as into the $300 range. Try them on — you never know.

Accessories

It’s the little extras — or we can say the big, in-your-face sparkly extras — that make an outfit. This season big statements are the benchmark. Large, detailed necklaces and rings are must-haves. Stacks of bracelets are fun to create. Mix types of metals and leather wrap boho bracelets with bangles and anything that sparkles. It is whatever you want it to be. Collect, create and then add an oversized watch, just for good measure.

Scarves

Just like the sweater trend. Scarves in infinity styles and in more traditional long lengths are huge this season. With cashmere-silk blends or thick, nubby-textured knits, you can take an outfit to a new level. And, just like with necklaces, it’s kind of fun to layer your scarves. Wear two together that complement each other. The goal is to look cozy in beautiful knits. Create a soft hood out of your infinity scarf on a chilly night. Look for colors and patterns that are unique. A scarf can be a little piece of art that turns your gray or black sweater and jeans into a chic outfit.

Handbags

Bags are the icing on the cake this season. A smart bag will complete a well put-together look. A variety of styles will do the trick. The biggest trend is the clutch. They’re sleek and chic in leather, animal prints and metallic in silver, bronze or gold. They’re not just wristlets anymore; they’ve gotten bigger and bolder. You’ll find them in soft, floppy shapes and in hard box-like creations. The more detailed and unusual the clutch, the better statement it makes.

Also trending are satchels. Give your shoulders a break and carry a statement bag. Totes and shoulder bags are big, too. For those of us who carry our lives in our bags, there’s still hope in a vast variety of options. Bags are like shoes — it’s OK to change them to work with a specific outfit. Look for a couple of styles to wear to your different fall occasions. You don’t have to break the bank in this category either, because good styles are everywhere.

This year’s fall fashions were photographed in the Plain Dealer’s new photo studio at Skylight Office Tower by staff photographer Lisa DeJong. Our model Lou Hollis, of the Docherty Agency, amazed us once again with her chameleon-like ability to look different in every shot with the help of makeup artist/hair stylist Madeline Turkal of Studio Taylor in Cleveland Heights.

A very special “Thank you” to the stores and boutiques all over town that generously loaned us the beautiful clothes and accessories. Several times a year we call upon different boutiques for help and they never disappoint.  -Allison Carey

2104 Fall Fashion retail guide:

Geiger’s

14710 Detroit Ave.

Lakewood

216-521-1771

50 Shopping Plaza Drive

Chagrin Falls

440-247-4900

shopgeigers.com

Knuth’s

Landerwood Plaza

30619 Pinetree Road

Pepper Pike

216-831-1116

Jefferson Square

26141 Detroit Ave.

Westlake

440-871-7800

knuths.com

Evie Lou

2509 Professor Ave.

Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood

216-696-6675

evielou.com

Banyan Tree

2242 Professor Ave.

Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood

216-241-1209

shopbanyantree.com

Dillard’s

26500 Cedar Road

Beachwood

216-464-6000

25188 Country Club Blvd.

North Olmsted

440-777-0822

16996 South Park Center

Strongsville

440-846-8718

1280 East 260th Street

dillards.com

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