Fall fashions show a "feminized masculinity" with bold colors and fresh mixes.
Even though we're still wearing shorts and flip-flops, fall fashions are showing up in stores. This is a year to embrace your femininity and expect the unexpected.
"It's going to be kind of women and femininity meet a little masculine edge. The style is all about feminized masculinity," says Lauren Rapisand, media relations manager for Macy's.
Gregg Andrews, a fashion director for Nordstrom stores, agrees. "It's taking traditional items and making things look new," he said.
For example, lace isn't just for evening anymore. It's become workwear.
Leather is still hot, especially in trim on blazers, sweaters and jackets. But the newest leathers are lightweight and light-colored. Pinks and peachy tones are great for transitional pieces, Andrews says. "Leather isn't that tough biker babe thing anymore," he adds. "It's luxury. It's sophisticated."
Menswear pieces are being claimed by women, but in fanciful, exaggerated plaids and colorful tweeds. And oversized menswear-inspired watches -- especially in metallic tones -- are big, too.
Red is the newest neutral, according to Andrews. If you have your heart set on red shoes, try an opulent oxblood or burgundy.
In autumn, you'll never go wrong with knits, whether it's in the form of a long cardigan or a chunky cable pullover.
The secret to looking slimmer next season is the peplum.
"It emphasizes the hips just a little bit," says Andrew. "Anytime you emphasize the hips, you make the waist look smaller. It's giving you that very womanly silhouette without adding extra bulk."
Look for dress styles that have seams, such as princess seams, and contours that make your waist look slimmer, giving you more of a va-va-voom figure.
You'll also see fewer clunky platform shoes and more narrow heels.
"We really are returning back to the idea of pretty shoes. Shoes are starting to move back to looking less aggressive," Andrews says.
What should top your list?
Andrews suggests going hell-bent for leather.