The Dos & Don’ts of Fall 2012 Fashion Trends

The fall 2012 New York Fashion Week shows were jam-packed with trend after trend. Here are our tips on how to wear ‘em all without entering into the dangerous DON’T zone.

DO dress up your cozy knits.

At the J.Crew presentation, cozy sweaters were given a glam update when paired with dazzling skirts and silky printed pants.

DON’T be shy! Mix rustic sweaters with your most dance-floor-ready bottoms.

DO stick to similar colors to make the pieces feel more natural together.


J.Crew, fall 2012

J.Crew, fall 2012

DON’T skip the statement collar.

The bedazzled collar continues to thrive as a trend on and off the runways. We love it because it makes any outfit look polished!

To save a bit of money, DO find detachable collars on sites like Etsy or even DIY one!

DON’T worry about looking too trendy. Stick to plain tops and knits for a slightly more toned-down look.

Alberta Ferretti, fall 2012

Alberta Ferretti, fall 2012

DO rethink old-school quilted fabrics.

Crafty quilted fabrics have been thoroughly modernized by young, hip labels like Proenza Schouler and Jason Wu. Now it’s sleek, chic and ready for the city.

DO feel free to wear these pieces a bit loose, but DON’T get lost in them. Show off your legs, and add heels to maintain the It Girl factor.

Proenza Schouler, fall 2012

Proenza Schouler, fall 2012

DON’T save bright colors for spring.

Donna Karan reminded us of this age-old technique for making bright, cheery color work in cold weather: add black!

DON’T forget to update your stash of black tights at the beginning of the season. A shiny, no-pills pair makes an outfit look so much more expensive.

DO balance the ratio of black and bright color by experimenting with accessories, outerwear and shoes.

DKNY, fall 2012

DKNY, fall 2012

DO fall back in love with the navy-blue peacoat.

We heard “the peacoat is the new parka” whispered behind us during one of the shows—and that stylista was so right. Joseph Altuzarra was just one of many designers to rework this wardrobe staple for fall.

DO look for versions with big, exaggerated collars for extra oomph.

DON’T be afraid to invest in this trend. Even when the moment ends, the peacoat will never look out of style.

Altuzarra, fall 2012

Altuzarra, fall 2012

DON’T be afraid to do head-to-toe pattern.

Head-to-toe patterns, particularly florals, were a trend on the catwalks this season. Modern cuts and fabrics make it look way cute and not at all dated.

DON’T skip the shoes! When we said head-to-toe, we meant it!

DO break the look down and wear it with other print-free items in your wardrobe for maximum return on your trendy investment.

Derek Lam, fall 2012

Derek Lam, fall 2012

DO add wine colors to your fall wardrobe.

Dark red and purple shades were a big statement this season. The hero piece? Shiny burgundy coats likes these from Tommy Hilfiger.

DO find the shade that suits your skin tone. Brick reds look great on warm skin tones, for example, while bluish plums look great on cool ones.

DON’T forget to mix wine colors with autumnal brights in addition to neutrals. Mustard, cobalt and emerald green can be especially chic.

Tommy Hilfiger, fall 2012

Tommy Hilfiger, fall 2012

DON’T ditch the peplum trend just yet.

We called the peplum one of the most wearable trends of the spring 2012 season, so it’s a good thing it stayed strong for fall 2012.

DO let this cute detail take the place of accessories for a simple-yet-strong nighttime look.

DON’T limit yourself to dresses and skirts. Pants and tops look chic with a coordinating peplum too!

Peter Som, fall 2012

Peter Som, fall 2012

DO incorporate yummy textures into your outfit.

Fur (both real and faux) was big news on the fall runways, but angora, mohair and cashmere made a statement too. Find a luxe fabric to suit your personal style and budget and revel in the chic it brings to your cold-weather wardrobe.

DO let the luxe piece stand out in the look. DON’T go head to toe in one texture.

Lyn Devon, fall 2012

Lyn Devon, fall 2012

DON’T underestimate the power of pointy pumps.

Pointy pumps feel fresher than ever for fall, especially when rendered in shiny, slinky fabrics. Thakoon hit the right note with satin and metallic styles, while J.Crew cornered the print market with its Manolo Blahnik pairs.

DO wear these sexy shoes with cropped pants, but DON’T do them with wide-leg jeans. Sadly, these two fab pieces just never quite work together.

Thakoon, fall 2012

Thakoon, fall 2012

DO mix sporty and ladylike.

Baseball caps were just one of many sporty statements on the runways, styled with girly and ladylike pieces. Practical meets pretty? We like this trend.

DON’T wear too many sporty pieces at once or you’ll look like you’re on your way to the gym. DO add one sporty element—like a letterman jacket or perforated tank—to give a girly look a sporty twist.

Tracy Reese, fall 2012

Tracy Reese, fall 2012

DON’T play it safe with your handbag.

Handbags were large and in charge this season, mimicking outfits in color and pattern and mixing unlikely combinations of hardware and material.

DO follow Tory Burch’s lead and opt for a classic shape with a wild design. The bag will make a statement but never feel too trendy.

DON’T be limited by your budget. Grab your most glam clutch and wear it during the day for a free-and-easy way to try out this trend.

Tory Burch, fall 2012

Tory Burch, fall 2012


October 9, 2012. October.

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