Pillbox

Looking forward in fashion

Satchel bags will hold everything you need without being bulky like a larger purse. (credit: Courtesy of Creative Commons) Satchel bags will hold everything you need without being bulky like a larger purse. (credit: Courtesy of Creative Commons)

Cooler days, colored leaves, and the start of a new school year all mark the changing of the seasons, but nothing quite says “autumn” like the annual foot-thick September fashion issue.

This two-ton Bible of the fashion world comes out once a year, and whether you subscribe to Vogue, Marie Claire, or Harper’s Bazaar, five bucks will get you page after glossy page of style inspiration. However, because its hefty size can be a bit intimidating, here is your own personal field guide to fall fashion, created especially for those who want the low-down on the new season’s styles without the pain of one of those venerable tomes ripping a hole in your Rite Aid shopping bag.

Camel coats

This staple of 2010 fall fashion is not made from camel, nor does it make the wearer resemble one. However, its lovely warm beige color is so reminiscent of humped quadrupeds that the animal is rightfully its namesake. This item has been splashed over the centerfold of so many magazines that no self-respecting fashion publication lacks one or two of these tucked within its pages.

The camel coat is a good key piece for a look that takes full advantage of this season’s neutrals theme. Pair with khakis and olive greens for one of the most prominent combinations of this fall.

Satchels

As practical as they may be, the average Jansport resembles a hobo’s sack on a stick next to this season’s leather satchel. Whether small enough to serve as a purse or as a useful carry-all, the structured leather satchel helps create a polished fall look in a variety of colors.

Hiker boots

Remember your good ol’ Timberlands? Picture those, but with formidable three-inch heels, and there you have this year’s essential fall shoe. Rugged leather and laces together with a sharp heel and peep toe, this marriage of opposites has made its way onto multiple runways. Paired with thick woolen socks or colorful tights, you can rock these boots with dresses or jeans. I hear they work well on sheer cliffs too.

Purple

One of this season’s most defining colors is purple, appearing on eyelids, lips, and nails. The right shade, however, is key. Applying a color too warm to your eyes may cause you to resemble Rocky after fifteen rounds with Apollo. Too dark and the shade will look too brown. Aim for a cool lavender or dark mauve and you’ll knock ’em dead.

Army jacket

The only thing I remember about Freaks and Geeks apart from James Franco is Lindsay’s perfect army jacket. Years later, this emblem of freak status has now hit the runways as the perfect casual jacket for fall. Lightweight, but thick enough to stand the early autumn chill, this fall staple can pull together a whole outfit. Don’t be intimidated by its bulky appearance — those who are brave enough to rock this rugged look, I salute you.

Faux fur

One of the most memorable runway images this fall was undoubtedly Chanel’s fur-covered pieces. Shaggy faux fur is both chic and cozy, so be sure to snag a bit of the fuzzy goodness at the first opportunity. And since wool-lined aviators, faux fur vests, and shaggy jackets line pretty much every store window, rest assured that there will be many opportunities. However, it’s important to be able to distinguish the line between “couture faux fur” and “crazy mountain man covered in coons.” Know this line and respect it, please.

All of these pieces are key items for nailing the perfect fall look. There are of course many, many more, as countless September issues will tell you, and you should always feel confident in setting some new trends yourself. Use this guide to rock the main iconic images of fall 2010, whether in a Michael Kors camel coat or a pair of Aldo’s high-heeled hikers.