Organizing Theory & Artistry

Ruly Ruth on Fall 2011 Women’s Fashion Trends

All this month, we have been trying to identify the items in our closets that never seem to go out of style or that we simply enjoy wearing year after year.  While the clothes may not be that exciting they probably form the bulk of what is in most people’s closets.  But what if you want to look fresh and trendy?  What could you add in to your wardrobe from this year’s fashion collections?

For this fall’s guide, we look to Vogue first, who says that some of the major trends for fall include “winter lace,” “the long green dress,” “graphic prints,” bright color block designs and even a “utility” trend which includes “refined, smartly tailored updates on the sweatsuit.”

But, the real question is what does Ruly Ruth think about these trends?  Read on for her analysis.

Winter Lace

BCBGMAXAZRIA Women's Fae Boat Neck Lace Top at
Lace for winter? Vogue says yes. You might need to wear a jacket over these chilly pieces but they certainly add a lot of unexpected style and glamour to a cold winter day. 

Ruly Ruth says:

I LOVE THIS TOP! Needs a camisole under it for sure—looks great!! Can be worn everywhere–from casual day at work to playgroups to night out. I’m such an all- or mostly cotton gal I want to know if this is “itchy” on though!!

Graphic prints

Missoni for Target Sweater Skirt at
The sell-out trend this fall has been the Missoni for Target collection. 

Ruly Ruth says: I totally get this zig-zag print is hot! I hate the skirt–too casual and not a place to accent for most people with a bright pattern—could use the hoodie as a one-off piece and not worn too often–same with the shoes. They’re definitely memorable–but not for every day! They would get tiresome quickly.

Missoni for Target Tunic Hoodie at

Women's Missoni for Target® Zig-Zag Ballet Shoe Flats at

Shimmer fabrics

bebe Dolman Sleeve Lurex Sweater Dress at
Glimmers of silver and gold are hot for fall. One particularly striking trend is a variation of this summer’s head-to-toe nude look where you wear a khaki or beige pant with a gold shimmery top. 

Ruly Ruth says: I used to wear almost this exact dress in the late ’80s! Glad it’s back–the skinnier you are the beter it looks–back then I was 112 pounds and 5’8″–it popped! For skinny people…sorry to say! (which is NOT me right now) I don’t think even regular-sized people should wear a shimmer dress or fabrics….for models only.     If it were a wrap–like I like a touch of shimmer in regular fabrics–that would be more wearable for everyone!

Bright Colorblock Combinations

Vivace Crystal Chain Removable White Bib Racer Back Top Aqua at

Fila Women's Pleated Supplex Jacket at
The bright look, echoing the 1980’s, is still a trending look–layering on colors of hot pink, bright blue, etc. 

Ruly Ruth says: I love the concept–not really thrilled about any of these specific offerings. I think with black bottoms it would be easier to translate for all body types.A longer hoodie in a bright color over a cute basic white or black t-shirt or tank top would be an easier way to rock this!

Utility Jacket

Vince Camuto Women's Utility Jacket at
The utility jacket, which appears to be a jacket with cargo pockets on the outside, is a trend for fall. 

Ruly Ruth says: We should all buy this! I’d like mine in a darker tan or even black—but I love this jacket concept–it’s asymetrical–chunky–love it!! Everyone could wear this.

Chic Sweatsuits

Diesel Women's Fohpa Snap Front Sweatshirt at
The most surprising trend this fall is the tailored sweatsuit look where humble sweatpants and sweatshirts take a designer turn. 

Ruly Ruth says: This is part of the trend I go with the pajama jeans—UGH!! I think the bad economy is making us use inexpensive fabrics in very fashionable ways. I’m sure they’re soft and comfy and have great cuts—but I prefer my sweat materials to be in super cute sweat-type exercise styles…not high-fashion. Done with this–wouldn’t buy any of it!! And by the way–the black jacket in sweat material will most likely not wash and dry and wear well for long! Those snaps will eat it up!!

David Lerner Women's Cassie Cardigan Sweatshirt at

David Lerner Women's Rollup Cargo Sweatpants at

Long green dress

PacificPlex Strapless Taffeta Beaded Formal Gown at
For formal occasions, the trend for winter is a long, dress billowing in green silk or taffeta fabric. 

Ruly Ruth says: THIS IS GORGEOUS! And it would look so great on so many body types—LOVE IT!!!  Great find!! And the price is so right–hoping this will be for some proms this year—esp. with a beautiful bolero wrap!

The 1970’s

Another trend that Vogue did not focus too heavily on but that we are hearing a lot about in the general media is the 1970’s trend. Specifically, high-waisted bell-bottom pants with skinny belts, tie blouses, maxi dresses, middle parts, big disco hair and braids. (The most beautiful braids I have seen recently have been at the blog of designer Gina Michele who also gives excellent instructions.)

HALSTON HERITAGE Women's Removable Tie Blouse at

Ruly Ruth says: High waisted pants are only good on women with flat or skinny stomachs. Their wearability is very limited in that way. When you do have the body type for that–they look amazing and polished and elegant. The tie blouse is a classic–it reminds me of the late 50s and 60s but this pattern of polkadots reminds me of the 70s. I think it’s gorgeous and it’s gorgeous on everyone!!

Ruly Ruth’s Fall Fashion Picks

What does Ruly Ruth want in her closet?

2b by bebe 2b Faux Fur Collar Cardigan at
I would love this!! I think it’s a staple piece, it’s casual–but classy enough to be worn to a casual office–I love it!
BB Dakota BB Dakota The Garrett Faux Fur Vest in Light Camel Beige at
LOVE this too! Vests are hot and perfect for those in-between temps–esp. with gorgeous turtlenecks underneath.
Coral Bay Misses Coral Bay Solid Long Sleeve Turtleneck Top at
I think this is a stealing price for an all-cotton turtleneck! (I love black!)
Columbia Women Greenway T IV Turtleneck at
or this one in gray.
Things2Die4 Camouflage Studded Rhinestone Buckle Purse at
Camo’s HOT right now–just look at the Camo-print diapers Huggies now has! This bag is fabulous–love the blinged-out camo print!
Calvin Klein Women's Knit Maxi Skirt at
Maxi skirts are STILL haute….already own one–should probably wear it more–but it is fabulous!!

Overall, I have to say, the fall collection is extremely wearable. There are very few pieces that aren’t wearable right off the runway–and that is extremely unusual in my book!

Happy Fall everyone!

-Ruly Ruth

P.S. on 2010 Trends

In the spirit of streamlining your closet . . . reflecting back on last fall’s fashion trends, which ones have held up over time?

The leopard print booties, the feathered items, and the Halloween colored makeup may look a little dated this year. The boot cut pants are right on trend and the other items aren’t really in or out. Some, like the capes and simple, streamlined pieces, might be tucked away for future when these trends inevitably come back around.

What do you think of Fall 2011 fashion trends? Which ones will you be wearing this year? Please share in the comments.