Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 9/13/16. Lorean Mays models fall fashion outfits styled by Suzanne West, owner of Frankie & Julien's, located in North Chattanooga. Mays is wearing a Lilla P. black cropped cuffed pant, a Michael Stars ribbed knit top in winter white, 525 America Luxe real fur cropped vest in natural and a gold necklace with pendant from Frolick Jewelry.

Photo Gallery

Everything old is new again: Fashion backs itself up for the fall season


For the gals who jumped on the Uggs shearling boot fad many seasons ago, you’re in luck, says Suzanne West, owner of Frankie & Julian’s fashion boutique on Frazier Avenue.

“Uggs are a staple and have continued to be popular for the last 10 years,” she says. “They will probably continue to be popular because of comfort and warmth, plus the continued popularity of shearling.”

Personal favorite

Hottest on the hit parade for Brooke Jaffe, Bloomingdale’s fashion director of ready-to-wear? “The bomber jacket is my No. 1 pick for fall. It is the essential layering piece.”

Looking to update your wardrobe with the latest fashion trends for fall?

You may not have to look beyond your own closet — or attic — because this season's trends are a mix from past decades, says Sherry Gravitt, owner of Encore Consignment Boutique in Riverview.

"This year is a fun year for trends and they tend to have circled from the past 70 years and are all over the place. Just about anything goes," she says.

Among those everything-old-is-new-again vibe are fur vests, fringe, velvet and "mod" dresses from the 1960s, Gravitt notes. And styles from the '90s are also hot this season, she adds.

"But the '90s were inspired by trends, especially from the '60s, so fashion does recycle itself," she says. "Even the pinstripe business suit is making a comeback, but with a 1920s look.

"Although wide-leg slacks are back in style, our most popular trends continue to be skinny jeans and leggings, paired with tunics, long sweaters and/or long, flowing tops and booties," she says.

Up in the New York fashion world, while the fall season is "eclectic, it's not a hot-mess eclectic," Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, told Newsday.

Judging from NYC runways, textured fabrics should be part of your ensemble, too, he advises.

"This year it is a little more playful with unexpected fabric and texture combinations along with athleisure concepts like track pants in luxe fabrics," he says. To add a dollop of pretty to it all, find "a crop of dark fall flowers which are a little bit Goth."

Brooke Jaffe, Bloomingdale's fashion director of ready-to-wear, agrees that textured fabrics mixed with casual elements are a fall trend, "the perfect season to mix high and low.

"The fashion runways were all about mixing sporty and casual looks with dressy pieces."

But there is one fabric that most everyone agrees is a must-have: velvet.

"Velvet was one of the key fabrics to emerge this Fashion Week," Jaffe told Newsday.

And you can go back into the past to bring velvet up to date, Glassman says. The easiest ways to incorporate it, he advises, is by adding a shoe or a blazer.

"Everybody has a suede or leather shoe in their life, so velvet is new, and you can get three seasons out of a blazer," he says. " You can dress it up for the holidays, but it's also fantastic with a pair of skinny jeans."

Still, Gravitt warns that fashions you see on the New York and Paris runways aren't necessary going to surface in the South.

"Those gorgeous fur coats on the runway probably won't be in high demand in Chattanooga, due to the climate, but the fur vests are and we've already sold some," she says. "What we're seeing is a new take on many of the styles, dating back to the '50s, with the patent leather coats and leather biker jackets, leisurewear and jumpsuits of the '70's, just to name a few."

To be on top off what's hot in Chattanooga, add sweater dresses, lace-up tops, off-the-shoulder blouses and dresses, leather, turtlenecks and mock necks,

Women of all ages will be comfortable in most of the trends, West says, noting that "cold shoulder" tops are ideal for everyone. Cold shoulder — where the shoulder is cut out of a long- or short-sleeve shirt or dress — is a sexy look for all ages.

"Almost every woman is fine with showing her shoulder for this subtle sexy look," she says.

"Fall looks for women of all ages and sizes also include gold metallic anything, choker necklaces, pantsuits, dusty pink, tans, and yellows, plaid and shearling coats," West says.

Long, layered necklaces, with and without tassels, continue to be the most popular jewelry item at her store, Gravitt says, along with cross-body handbags and saddle bags, especially designer.

"But anything with fringe and leather is a must have, and leather is perfect in this climate."

Remember, though, West says, fashion, though dominated with trends, is a personal choice. Some trends, such as lace-up tops and off-the-shoulder pieces, may be too daring for some conservative women, West says.

"Personality is always a factor in fashion. I express myself through what I wear," she says. "Everyone expresses themselves differently. Not all people would be comfortable wearing what I love because everyone has their own style."

Gravitt agrees that "Chattanooga is unique in that it is a much more casual city than most, so it will be interesting to see which trends will resonate here."

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at