Fall Fashion 2009: What to Expect this Season

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The days are getting shorter and cooler and the kids are back at school — fall is in full swing. With each new fall comes an exciting array of new clothing styles and fashions that are ideal for crisp temperatures. Before you add to your autumn wardrobe, take a look at these fall fashion tips for 2009.

Two materials expected to be popular this fall are leather and velvet. Leather can be used for just about anything — jackets, pants, skirts, even dresses — although good quality leather can be expensive. And velvet, once considered rather prim and old-fashioned, is expected to be a popular choice this fall, especially in the form of short and eye-catching dresses. Velvet has been featured in the collections of many top designers on runways around the world.

Black and white designs are traditionally more popular during the warmer weather, but this fall should see an increase in the use of the two striking colors. If you are wearing black and white, remember to wear white over the parts of the body you want to show off and black over the parts that you want to de-emphasize.

And in striking contrast, colorful print styles are also making something of a comeback in fall 2009, particularly on slim pants, leggings and skirts. Two popular designers, Boutique Chic and Pamela McCoy both offer some reasonably priced print designs.

One of the most popular and daring trends this fall is the return of shoulder baring tops and dresses by many designers. Not only is this look bold, but it's also versatile and allows for several different looks. It can be worn just as effectively to the office or to a special occasion. Some of the blouses and tops that feature the bare shoulder look have a halter or a single strap, while some are just slightly off the shoulder. This style also looks particularly attractive when accompanied by a basic up sweep hairstyle.

If you are looking for a new pair of shoes to complement that new outfit, you may see fewer choices this fall. Most designers have also concentrated on practicality and simplicity, rather than elaborate and fancy designs. Darker colors will be in vogue, like black, dark blue, dark green and violet, and details will be kept minimal. Two significant trends for fall 2009 will be over the knee boots and ankle lacing boots. Inspired by the military, these boots can be worn discreetly under a long skirt or pants. Platforms are another hot footwear item this fall.

For some women, an outfit isn't complete without the right handbag. This fall there are plenty of exciting new styles and looks to choose from. Embellishments and details are in this year, like sequins, gemstones and studs, as are chain handles and straps. The new Guess collection of handbags features plenty of chains, whereas Gucci is safely concentrating on the classics with simple and stylish designs featuring various textures, materials and fabrics.

Fall fashion isn't just for the ladies. Men can enjoy some new styles and trends too. Fashion experts also predict that in general, men's clothing will be cut slightly shorter and trimmer this fall. Plaid and denim clothing and thickly knitted sweaters and cardigans are said to be very popular this year. Belted coats, long scarves and deep V-necked cardigans will all be fashionable, as well as wearing work clothes as casual wear, like chic jeans and heavy style work boots, for example.

A good suit is never out of fashion and fall 2009 sees the return of a style that was popular around 40 years ago — the classic three piece suit. If you are striving to be fashionable, choose a waistcoat that matches the other two pieces, rather than something mismatched. Double-breasted suits are also fashionable this fall, particularly those with a slim waist and longer lapels.

And if you are getting married during the next few months, there are several fall trends in wedding dresses that you'll want to take note of. There is truly something for every bride. Hemline gowns that are shorter in the back, rather than the front, and high neckline dresses with bold accents, particularly in green and blue, are anticipated to be tremendously fashionable. For the ultimate in wedding versatility and style this fall, several designers have introduced a wedding and party dress in one combination, so there's no need to change after the ceremony!

Fall is all about change. Take a cue from the changing leaves and beautiful landscape. This fall, why not embrace some stylish fashion forward trends and update your wardrobe for the cooler weather?

Sara Stewart is a freelance writer who writes about style, fashion and shopping, often offering tips and advice about how to shop.

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