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The fall runways had a mix of chunky knits, lace, tweed, and structured handbags. It’s not Golden Girls, and it’s a little darker than my sweet granny’s closet, but there is some definite old lady inspiration coming from fall 2012 lines. Here’s what to adopt to look like a fashionista without looking geriatric.
Tweed is usually reserved for Chanel jackets and college professors’ closets, but it was popping up all over runways during fall shows. Tory Birch and L’Wren Scott paired tweed pants with another granny trend, embroidered tops. Actually, Tory Birch used tweed on just about everything. While tweed would be expected in a brown or tan color on a blazer, it’s actually much more popular on bright pants these days.
If there’s one thing old ladies love, it’s embellishment. Have you seen grandmother-of-the-bride outfits? Beads upon sequins upon lace. Don’t go that far when dressing for day, but also don’t be afraid to sparkle in the daylight. A sprinkle of sequins goes a long way on tank tops and cardigans for any time of day.
Embroidery isn’t just for throw cushions and wall hangings. It’s all over some of the red carpet’s hottest dresses. L’Wren Scott has an embroidered cardigan that I died over (in the Rachel Zoe sense of the word; I did not actually drop dead). Look for simple tops with intricate embroidery; these are your usual peasant shirts.
If you grandma is like mine, she always told you to go a size up in your coats, sweaters, shirts, everything, as if you would suddenly have a growth spurt and double in size. Now it’s trendy to look like you borrowed a jacket from a geriatric giant. I’m not quite sure why designers want us to wear clothing three sizes too big and get lost in the extra fabric, but it’s somehow in style. Make sure not to wear wide-leg pants with this, or you’ll look more like a bag lady than a foxy grandma.
Brocade may be all over your great-grandmother’s couch, but now it’s all over the runway, too. This ornate pattern is popular in metallic for fall. It’s a little heavy to wear all-over like on the runway, but will dazzle in a pencil skirt at the office or in a cocktail dress for special occasions.
Thank Mad Men for bringing back 1950s jewelry. Nothing looks more classic than a bejeweled brooch on a cardigan, and I’ve been trying to gather up the courage to wear a bold brooch for longer than I’d like to admit. Brooches were all over coats and cardigans, especially at Oscar de la Renta. If you’re still not up to wearing a sparkly number on your chest, you can always opt for a similar dazzle in a shoe clip.
Every old lady needs a large, structured handbag to store her hard candies in. This season’s huge purses can hold plenty of Werther’s Originals and everything else you could possibly need throughout the day. The classic shapes will look even better on your arm than they did on your grandmother back in the day.
So will you raid your granny’s closet this season, or stick to some of the other trends showing up? As an old soul with the fashion taste to match, I couldn’t be happier about this trend. It’s time for me to finally stick some brooches on my large collection of cardigans, dust off my loafers, refill my large purse with peppermints, and wrap myself in a chunky shawl. Thank you, Fall 2012!