Ok, so the Fall 2010 clothing lines are beginning to show up in stores now, and it’s a pretty interesting mix of trends coming to the front. Personally, the words that come to mind as I look at the runways are ‘gorgeous’, ‘classic’, and ‘warm’. For whatever reason, luxurious elegance and classic chic appeared far more often during this season’s shows than the bright, trashy glamour of the last few seasons.

In no particular order of importance, here are the trends that seem to be dominating Fall 2010, and that you might want to think about as you do your winter shopping:

1. Camel Camel Camel – everywhere you look in the Fall 2010 shows, there are shades of camel and khaki and brown. Even though black is always a part of any Fall season, this year there is more of an emphasis on earth-toned shades and very few lines were without some kind of camel/brown/earth tone scheme included.

This image is one that I’ve seen on practically every fashion blog/site I’ve visited, and it’s one of the lasting ones from this year’s Fall 2010 ready-to-wear collections. So many things are going on here – the coat, the long skirt, the way a touch of color is brought in at the waist, the pale makeup and slightly disheveled ponytail.

*Something else to notice in this photo – not only is this a camel-colored coat, she’s got it draped over her shoulders. This is reminiscent of a kind of Hollywood classic glamour, but one of the major style choices happening this season seems to be the idea of wearing a cape – or a coat as a cape. It looks classy and breezy at the same time – sort of a relaxed elegance.

2. The 50’s – although miniskirts and some long, flowing or lean skirts did grace the runways this season, there was also a push toward a kind of modified New Look – if you’re not familiar with that term, it’s the fashion bombshell Dior dropped in the post-World War II days when skirts went from the conservative and somewhat skimpy days of the war to the giant, can’t-fit-through-the doorway look.

This was the classic New Look vibe:

And here is the modified, 2010 version:

* The key points of this look – the cinched-in waist, usually created using some kind of wrap/cardigan/jacket, the wide skirt supported by either crinolines or layers of fabric, and the longer length – these skirts are decidedly below the knee. Anything higher takes you into a totally different look and can be too cocktail for daytime.

3. Fur – Although with PETA and all kinds of other groups around fur has been unpopular for a while, faux fur AND real fur showed up all over the place this year in the Fall 2010 shows. Faux furs are better quality and better looking now than they used to be, and it’s pretty much a given that you’ll see them everywhere this season. Personally I have trouble coming around to the idea of wearing fur because it adds so much volume, but I do like it when it looks like this:

Again with the natural colors. Take note, ladies!!!!!

4. Muted Rainbow – There is a whole new section of the color wheel dominating Fall 2010. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more interesting set of colors. Everything from ice-blue, steely grey and a gorgeous blushing peach color to deep and vibrant rusty reds and royal blues – but not the same shades we’ve seen before – was found on the runways. There’s really no way to describe colors, so here are just a few examples (keep in mind these are NOT the only color trends – there are literally dozens of shades, often in combinations that technically ‘clash’ but this season are completely acceptable):

5. Menswear-inspired silhouettes and looks – Not only is the New Look coming back in modified form this season, but there is also a push toward incorporating masculine shapes and concepts into womenswear. Some looks trended more toward the power suits of the 80’s with crazy sharp shoulders, but generally what most of them seem to refer back to is the kind of masculinity that Katharine Hepburn was able to carry off.

Katharine Hepburn’s famous menswear look:

The Fall 2010 modification:

* Take note of the wide-leg trousers on this suit and the wide lapel of the jacket. Also, although the model in the current photo isn’t wearing them, loafers are definitely trending in this season.

6. Gold accents – Although this applies to jewelry, too, the primary place gold seemed to be popping up in this year’s Fall 2010 shows was plastered all over the clothes! Gold applique, beading, brocade – pretty much anything that could possibly include gold, did. Be careful when incorporating this and make sure to balance it with a lot of other textures and colors, or you’ll end up looking either like an Oscar figurine or a Napoleonic soldier!!

*Notice that in both cases red and gold are paired – and yet neither model looks like she is wearing a Christmas tree. It’s all about the balance, and about combining the colors with textures and accents that move you away from the Christmas-ornament problem.

7. Layering + Flowing skirts – I’m putting these together because they showed up together so often on the runway shows. This is a really difficult look to pull off if you are a “normal” woman, because it adds a huge amount of volume to your shape. It’s not impossible, though, if done well. However, it might be better to use giant scarves or cardigans and really go over the top with it, rather than just wearing one extra thing. This is one look that is served well by excess.

Accessory trends – I’ll make these short and to the point:

1. Animal prints/skin – this trend has shown up along with the fur found on clothing, and it’s covering bags, shoes and all other manner of accessories for Fall

2. Square/Boxy purses – those adorable little square or square-ish bags with the top clips that Grace Kelly and other Hollywood icons carried are back in force for Fall, particularly in the aforementioned animal prints or in classic tones like camel/grey

3. Crazy amounts of embellishment – accessories this season are generally not minimalist. In fact a lot of stuff seems to look like a group of little girls attacked it with glue guns and Bedazzling machines. So if you have a love for all things fancy, go for it – more is more, in this case!

And that’s my summary of Fall 2010.

Now my advice:

If you are wanting to look like you are in style but you don’t want to buy pieces that will go out in two months, try thinking about these things:

1. The natural colors of this Fall season are very classic – so if you want to be on-trend but don’t want to spend too much on something that won’t be in after six months, buy a camel-colored trench coat. It won’t go out of style even after this season, and at the moment you’ll look fabulously trendy!

2. If you buy a suit with a New Look-style skirt – long and full – then keep in mind that if hemlines rise in a few months you can always have it hemmed. The nice thing about longer lengths being in fashion is that if they go out, we can just run to a seamstress and have them taken up a few inches! The shapes of suits for women this season are going to be really nice, and elegant, so it is a good time to invest in something that fits you well, even if you need to have it tailored slightly later on.

3. Layering is genius, and can be made to last even into Spring 2011. If you buy scarves and sweaters now that can be layered fabulously for Fall, they can also be used as single pieces later on when the weather starts to warm up a little. Buy in neutral, lighter tones like greys and browns if you’re going to buy cardigans or sweaters, and then when the color schemes change simply change the accents you put with them. You’ll remain in style without having to buy a whole new wardrobe.

That’s it for my take…feel free to comment, ask questions, or add your own thoughts to this!