The skinny on fall fashion

This season you can finally freely express your love for skinny jeans

Keeping up with the latest styles isn’t a problem in downtown Kingston, with stores like American Apparel featuring bright eighties colours and bold shapes.
Keeping up with the latest styles isn’t a problem in downtown Kingston, with stores like American Apparel featuring bright eighties colours and bold shapes.

Returning to school has always been one of my favourite times of the year. Some students enjoy getting back into a routine, being reunited with friends, or being faced with new academic challenges, but I have to say that one of the highlights for me is watching the fascinating spectacle that is fall fashion, as Queen’s students walk around campus with style.

After perusing the streets of Kingston and the pages of several fashion magazines, I have assembled a short-list of trends that should soon be gracing the streets of University and Union.

The ’80s

A couple of years ago when flared jeans and flat-ironed hair were in style, I was holding my breath awaiting the return of the big-haired, tapered-jeaned, technicoloured decade of the ’80s. This season I can finally freely express my love for skinny jeans and long tunics. Skinny jeans are back with a vengeance and every body type can wear them, with right fit and a little bit of confidence.

Accompanying the skinny jean trend is layering long tunics—the more layers the better, in any shape or colour. Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that neon is back with the ’80s invasion, bright colours will definitely be on display. Inject some colour into your wardrobe—give mustard yellow, deep purple and royal blue a try.

Style inspiration: Pat Benatar, The Breakfast Club, Jessica Simpson’s “Public Affair” video.

Where to find the ’80s: Agent 99, American Apparel, Phase Two, your mom’s closet.

Do it yourself: If you’ve still got some flared jeans lying around and are feeling creative, cut them to the knee and you’ve got yourself a pair of cut-offs you can wear with bright tights and ankle boots into the fall season.

’60s Mod

Luckily, if big, curly hair and skinny jeans aren’t your bag, ’60s mod will also be influencing fashion this fall in a big way. Anything black, white or red goes, including but not limited to: chunky belts, plastic accessories, ankle boots and big collared coats. Mod is all about geometric patterns like polka dots, stripes or shapes of all kinds. Blocks of colour and big accessories are the key to Brit-mod style—though thigh high boots are optional.

Style Inspiration: Twiggy, Mischa Barton, go-go dancers.

Where to find mod: What’ll I Wear, Heel Boy, Gap, your grandparents’ basement.

Do it yourself: The great thing about mod accessories is that they can be mixed and matched—the bigger, the better! Any scarf or tie can double as a thick headband, and large sunglasses from the summer can be worn well into the fall to make any outfit look a little more mod.

Men’s Wear

Men’s wear, like pinstripes, vests, tailored pants, skinny ties and suspenders is another hot style that can be found anywhere from high-end boutiques, to vintage clothing stores, to your parents’ closets.

Dressing like a man may sound a little strange, but as long as everything is fitted, the juxtaposition of traditionally masculine styles on a woman’s body is both feminine and sexy.

Style inspiration: Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, Sienna Miller, men.

Where to find feminine men’s wear: Agent 99, Value Village, your dad’s tie collection.

Do it yourself: While it’s difficult to make your own fitted vest unless you are a capable sewer, cropping the sleeves off an old sweater of your mom’s or dad’s can leave you with a snazzy sweater vest. Bonus points if it’s old school Lacoste or Polo. Rifle through your dad’s tie rack for a retro pattern on a skinny tie to wear under a fitted vest.

Men’s Fashion

Granted, I’ve never been an authority on men’s fashion. Fortunately, many of the women’s fashion trends this season are also applicable when it comes to the boys on campus.

Slimmer-cut jeans, skinny ties, and big-collared mod jackets will bring out the mod Brit in every hipster’s style this season. For less adventurous males, retro polo shirts in bright colours are a less edgy, but still stylish, option. And for those guys who really want to be classy, French-cuff shirts and cardigans are also coming on to the scene.

Style inspiration: Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, David Beckham.

Where to find men’s fashion: American Apparel, Gap, Value Village.

Do it yourself: Pair a thrift store jacket with an old t-shirt for a vintage vibe. When buying used blazers and jackets, be sure to check heavy-wear areas like elbows and shoulder seams.

In a season where bright colours are everywhere, and the name of the game is mixing and matching different eras, patterns and proportions, try something different. Not only will it set you apart, it will make you feel a little more adventurous too.

—With files from Joanna Nicholson

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