Campus chic

Jiwon Hur sports a chunky scarf that is warm and stylish. (credit: Eddie Wong) Jiwon Hur sports a chunky scarf that is warm and stylish. (credit: Eddie Wong) Karen Branick’s poppy red coat adds a flash of color to her outfit. (credit: Eddie Wong) Karen Branick’s poppy red coat adds a flash of color to her outfit. (credit: Eddie Wong)

Autumn is finally here: The leaves are slowly turning red, and you can feel a crisp wind when you step outside. Pittsburgh has a lot of rainy days, but this new, cool weather is a nice break from the city’s hot and humid summers, and as the temperature drops, people are beginning to bring their sweaters and coats out of their closets, and everyone can’t help but wonder about this fall’s fashion trends. The economic recession has affected the fashion industry greatly, but many designers are trying to work with this downturn, and from this arises the more tamed fashion trend of this fall — simplicity is the way to go.

Neon colors
According to Elle magazine, the New York fashion week for fall/winter 2009–2010 featured plenty of neon colors, and it was a similar case in the Milan and Paris fashion weeks as well. With plenty of colorful options for this fall — ranging from reds, oranges, and violets, to indigo blues — there is a color for everyone. To really give an accent to your wardrobe, you can get a vibrantly colored coat in indigo blue or violet; or if you are feeling a little less daring, you can spice up your outfit with a pair of neon-colored shoes or a bright bag.

Chunky sweaters
While this fall’s hot color seems to be vibrant neon, what about texture? Texture is often missing from the palette of fashion trends in the colder months, but this year is different: Texture, in the form of chunky knits, is a prevalent feature this fall. You can try to wear a chunky knit scarf or hat, or you can explore more with a knitted sweater or even a coat. Chunky sweaters are good investments because they can be a great fashion statement and keep you warm at the same time, especially during Pittsburgh’s snowy winter.

White shirts
With the recession, there is an increased emphasis on the basics of fashion. Vogue stylist Stephanie LaCava chooses white shirts as one of the fall wardrobe’s staples in Vogue’s October issue. While white shirts sound trivial, the varieties are endless: cotton with stretch, fitted silhouettes, cuff to sleeve details, collar variations; but they work with every outfit, from under cardigans and jackets to over wide leg trousers or skinny jeans. LaCava picks Thomas Pink’s Rose-Marie shirt priced at $150 and available online at Thomaspink.com. If you want a more affordable variety of white shirts, try American Apparel — their oxford long-sleeved button-up shirts are $54.

It’s no great secret that a simple leather jacket has become a widespread wardrobe staple over the last few winters, and this year is no exception. In fact, leather has been taken to a new level this year, and the New York, Milan, and Paris fashion weeks featured everything in leather: pants, skirts, shorts, coats, capes, vests, and even leggings. If you are brave enough to try the leather leggings, wear them under a large sweater with some suede booties. Biker leather jackets are also in this fall. If the biker jacket is too plain, try wearing a shorter, bolero-style leather jacket instead. According to Style.com, wearing a simple outfit with an emphasis on the bolero jacket works well for this season. If you want some edgy and trendy jackets, check out www.topshop.com, where famous British model Kate Moss has her line on sale.

Camel coats
If you are planning on buying a winter coat this year, get a camel or neutral-colored coat. These coats are timeless fashion pieces and they go with almost everything in your wardrobe. The neutral coat, especially in a camel color, is a lasting fall classic because it has so many possibilities. It looks good with any bottoms, from your everyday jeans to fancy skirts. You can also accentuate your coat with vibrant scarves and neon accessories.