The fall shopping season is just getting under way, but there are fashion trends you'll see in stores. Should they make the leap to your closet? Here are six to consider.
If you're looking for just one trend to update last year's fall and winter wardrobe, the must-have fashion is leggings, said Ricky Hutcheson, sales manager at Dillard's at Hamilton Place.
"They will sell off the shelf," Hutcheson said. "We've got fall fashions arriving daily, but it's leggings that many women are going to want the most."
This year's styles have morphed. You'll find them in denim-like colors, animal prints and bold hues, including bright purple, orange, red, green, blue and gold.
The best-sellers, Hutcheson said, are jeggings, denim leggings that resemble tight-fitting jeans. They're popular because "they look good on 90 percent of the women who wear them," he said.
They can be worn by all ages — "teens to the older generation," Hutcheson said, "and you don't have to be tall and skinny." The secret is knowing "how to pair them with appropriate tops depending on your shape and height."
Leather leggings are also big for fall, reported fashion.about.com. Not everyone, though, can pull of this look.
"Although they look great on slim-legged gals, girls with curves and thick thighs should steer clear of leather leggings — they make you look larger," said the website.
Another popular piece for fall is the poncho, but those now in stores are not the heavy, outerwear styles of the 1970s.
"Today's are lightweight, colorful and can be worn as a top," Hutcheson said.
One of his favorite looks is leggings paired with a long-sleeved shirt topped with a lightweight poncho with a bright scarf at the neck.
The look is easily adaptable, he said. Wear with ballet flats or boots for a casual look, or dress it up with a pair of heels.
Hutcheson suggested topping off a look with a crushable, colorful wool felt hat. The hat can take on any shape, allowing the wearer to configure a look that's best for her.
"Hats are a specific fashion, meaning that everyone isn't comfortable in one," he said.
Hutcheson said scarves are "always a big deal, especially in the fall." He recommends a fringed, bandana-style scarf as the perfect accessory.
"It's easy to style from a square scarf," he said. "Make a triangle shape, and tie two ends behind your neck. Tuck the ends under the part that hangs in the front. You won't need to wear a necklace."
When choosing jewelry to accessorize an outfit, choose something "chunky," Hutcheson suggested.
"The hottest trend in jewelry for us right now is the stacked bracelets, particularly BCBG Affirmation bracelets," he said. "You can wear different styles of bracelets together with as few as two and as many as 10."
Hutcheson said every woman needs a colorful handbag.
The Coach Legacy leather handbag, its newest line, is available in an array of hues ranging from teal to hot pink.
If you're looking for a more neutral handbag, Hutcheson said the Michael Kors signature tote continues to be the store's No. 1 seller.
"It's the style of bag that goes with most everything," he said. "Women love it."
Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...