Breaking Down Fall Fashion Trends

Master autumn’s most popular trends with help from Edina’s top women’s boutiques
Helmut Lang Leather pant, $990, Bumbershute; Alice + Olivia white-crop jacket, $396, Bumbershute; A.L.C. white tank with black trim, $143, Bumbershute; gold-and-ivory chain necklace, $20, Fringe; Schutz black-suede pump, &148, Ladyslipper; Cleobella mustard clutch, $208, Bumbershute. Hair and makeup by Jen Rotty.

As Minnesotans, we all know the drill when it comes to fall: Summer is over and cold weather could set in at any moment. But just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean your fashion style has to follow suit.

Luckily for us, Edina is home to a myriad of boutiques stocked with only the latest and greatest fall fashions. Walking into any of these shops is like entering a state of pure bliss; beautiful garments fill the racks, shoes are delicately arranged like pieces of art, and knowledgeable sales staff are ready to answer your most pressing questions.

While finding places to shop may be easy, navigating the tricky trends of the season is not. How many times have you found yourself scratching your head at some quirky trend? That’s why we’ve taken the guesswork out of dressing by calling on our trusted panel of style experts (also known as local boutique owners) to show you how to make this season’s top trends—leather, printed denim, faux fur, color blocking and knit details on sweaters—work for you at any age.


Trend: Leather

Prepare to take a walk on the wild side of style, courtesy of the leather trend sweeping the local shopping scene. From jackets to pants to trimming on sweaters and leggings, there’s no shortage of this rock ’n’ roll staple. And if the thought of wearing leather pants to the grocery store causes a pang of anxiety, our tastemakers say there’s no need to be scared. “If done right, leather can be universal,” says Kathryn Paulsrud, owner of Bumbershute.

In your 20s: For those who are younger, embrace the edginess often associated with leather and experiment with more unusual choices. Leather pants in a pop of color, such as a jewel tone, are perfect for a night on the town, especially paired with sky-high heels, a crisp blazer and statement jewelry.

In your 30s-50s: According to Kristina Klockars of Hot Mama, women of all ages can—and should—embrace coated denim pants. “It’s actually a very sophisticated look,” says Klockars. To begin, look for pants with a mid-rise length (Sacha Martin of Bluebird Boutique recommends the bestselling J Brand 811 style) in buttery-soft leather with a little stretch, which will be more forgiving and comfortable to wear. The coated effect is also a subtler look, making them easy to integrate with pieces already hanging in your closet.

Over 50: Classic shapes in luxurious fabrics might cost you a pretty penny, but a leather jacket will last years and is a guaranteed staple in your wardrobe. “It’s worth it to invest in something that is real leather,” Martin says. If you’d rather take it slow, Katie Egan of Il Vostro Boutique advises you to look for pieces with leather trim, like a cashmere sweater with hints of leather at the sleeves and collar. “It’s sophisticated and classic with a twist,” says Egan.


Trend: Faux fur

A fur coat may seem like an impossibly glamorous item (old photographs featuring perfectly coiffed women come to mind), but thanks to new styles, shapes and colors, fur is turning a decidedly casual corner. A faux-fur piece is versatile enough to throw over nearly any outfit, with the added bonus of warding off the chill in the air. And if you happen to be the owner of a vintage fur passed down from relatives, now is the perfect time to give it a second life.

In your 20s: Borrowing inspiration from the 1960s and the bohemian songstresses who populated the decade, a faux-fur vest in this season’s popular burgundy is the perfect companion to wide-leg jeans. Play with a colored or printed top underneath, and create the illusion of mile-long legs with chunky-heeled ankle boots.

In your 30s-50s: Whether you throw a vest over a tunic dress for a night on the town or add it to leggings and boots for running errands, the versatility of a faux-fur piece lends itself particularly well to the everyday lifestyle of on-the-go moms. Martin—who proudly proclaims “I’ve been wearing fur since I was born”—swears by the Vince fur she carries at Bluebird in black or brown tones.

Over 50: Body type is the most important factor to consider when shopping for faux fur. “It’s important not to add bulk,” says Klockars. “So keep in mind your body type, the length of the vest and make sure it’s proportional to your body.” A tailored cut with shorter-nap fur will look less full and avoid adding bulk to unwanted areas. Look for a fur with texture and a natural blend of similar shades of color, which will make the fur (real or otherwise) look richer.

Elizabeth & James multicolored knit fur jacket, $1,195, Bluebird; J. Brand skinny jean, $189, Bluebird; Elizabeth & James ivory crepe blouse, $264, Bluebird; Vita Fede oversize plum stone ring, $187, Ladyslipper.


Trend: Printed denim

The quest for the perfect pair of jeans is a hunt most women can relate to. Usually this search ends in discouragement, represented by the dozens of pairs of ill-fitting jeans littering the dressing room floor. But this season, the variety of great offerings might pose a different problem: deciding which ones to take home!

In your 20s: Printed denim offers the perfect opportunity to try another tricky trend: mixing prints. To mix successfully, start with two prints that are distinctly different but within the same color scheme. Try a pair of polka dot printed skinny jeans topped with a subtly plaid blouse, or Bumbershute’s dip-dyed Rag & Bone jeans with a floral print sweater.

In your 30s-50s: With printed denim, “it’s all about drawing the eye up so it’s not focused on your lower half,” says Klockars. With that in mind, she recommends pairing a printed bottom with a denim shirt, colored cardigan and statement necklace. Feeling a little uneasy? Many sales associates at local boutiques also double as denim experts. “We’re all schooled in denim,” says Kara Nesvig of Len Druskin. “Everyone is going to be good about taking a trend and interpreting it” for the individual customer.

This look: Kasil Jean denim and white stripe, $165, Bluebird; Sanctuary snake-skin print, $148, Hot Mama; J. Brand noir-red skinny jean, $189, Bluebird; Joe's Jeans grey-and-black tie-dye, $198, Bumbershute; Joe's Jeans, black lace, $187, Bumbershute.

Over 50: To make printed denim work for any age, the goal is to create a more streamlined silhouette. Keep the look simple by pairing a muted printed denim with an easy top like an angora tunic. For a toned-down look, coated denim (denim that is treated to look like leather) in black or gray can be a more comfortable alternative to balance those “scary trends with something that’s a little bit more basic,” as Nesvig says.


Trend: Colorblocking

When it comes to fall dressing, we often reach for a one-color wardrobe. Maybe it’s a parallel to the old adage about not wearing white after Labor Day. This time around, the rulebook is being thrown out the window, at least when it comes to multiple colors. “The colorblocking trend started this spring and they really embraced it for fall,” says Paulsrud. Luckily, this season’s popular burgundy, navy, forest green and off-white are all perfectly suited for mixing and matching.

This look: Helmut Lang black-and-white dress, $520, Bumbershute; black embellished leather cuff, $36, Fringe; Gold earrings, $15, Fringe; Schutz black-suede pump, $148, Ladyslipper; Cleobella black leather clutch with gold pendant, $295, Bumbershute.

In your 20s: As it turns out, not all vestiges from summer must be forgotten. White jeans can easily transition into the cooler months by adding a charcoal-gray sweater and black boots. If you’re feeling adventurous, take on multiple trends by pairing merlot-colored skinny jeans with a snake-print white leather jacket from J Brand at Bluebird.

In your 30s-50s: If mixing and matching a rainbow of colors sounds difficult to master, take color out of the equation and go back to the basics: black and white. “The black and white trend is in every collection this season,” says Paulsrud. Furthermore, designers are making it even easier by colorblocking the individual pieces themselves. Whether trying a Phillip Lim cream silk blouse with tan sleeves or an architectural Helmut Lang black and white asymmetrical dress, there won’t be any guesswork when it comes to pairing colors.

Over 50: Wearing head-to-toe color is not exactly a subtle statement, but accessories offer another way to sneak colorblocking into your outfit. “The trend is a cross between mod and ladylike,” says Fringe owner Andrea Rovner about this season’s accessories. Rovner recommends investing in a color-blocked handbag with up to three different tones on the bag, which will jazz up a simple jeans-and-sweater combo.


Trend: Unique sweater details

The ever-reliable sweater is making a comeback, bringing with it a spectrum of colors, details and knits that will ensure ugly sweater parties are a thing of the past. Traditional sweater knits like cables and waffling have been turned up a notch, making the sweater the focal point of the outfit.

In your 20s: Prints have made their way onto every item of clothing this season, and sweaters are no exception to this rule. “We’re going to see a continuation of the Aztec and tribal prints,” says Klockars. “We’re even going to delicately touch on the Nordic print trend.” Team a statement-making printed sweater with merlot-colored jeans and fall’s popular bootie shoe for a tough look, or remain put-together by belting the sweater and adding a blouse underneath.

In your 30s-50s: For those days when you’d rather stay home cuddled under a blanket, a chunky knit sweater is the next best thing. Look for cardigans with unusual details, like oversized waffling or ribbing, but in a luxe fabric like angora or wool. Klockars recommends Wooden Ships (carried at Hot Mama) for sweaters with great texture and details, like lace side-seams and ombre effects.

Over 50: Sweater dresses in one of fall’s popular hues are a warm yet stylish way to update the sweater trend. I love the variety of sweaters offered,” says Egan. “It’s not always easy to find color in knits.” A Missoni-inspired BB Dakota sweater dress in a zig-zag print easily combines colors into one hypnotic pattern, while a simple hunter green 525 sweater dress is the ideal backdrop for a nubby tweed jacket.

This look: J Brand noir-red skinny jean, $189, Bluebird; Free People, Galloon lace halter in ivory, $38, Hot Mama; Levi's Annie western midwashed denim shirt, $58, Hot Mama; Jack Morris canyon-striped open cardigan in dark heather grey, $78, Hot Mama; Harriet + Isles long knot necklace, $48; Hot Mama


For more fall fashion, make a trip to these local Edina shops:

Bluebird, 3909 W. 50th St., 952.746.8675

Bumbershute, 5014 France Ave. S., 952.475.2684

Fringe, 3906 W. 50th St., 952.746-4922

Hot Mama, 3914 W. 50th St., 952.746.8255

Il Vostro Boutique, 5045 France Ave. S., 612.920.3167

Len Druskin, 3140 Galleria, 952.927.7923