When it comes to fall fashion, the month of September is akin to standing close-up to an impressionist painting. As the weather slowly turns, we begin to see the emergence of new trends and must-have pieces like the burst of red of Monet's poppies or the pink wisps of Degas' tulle. The more we pile on the paint¬--so to speak¬--with these emerging essentials, the more we can envision the whole canvas. Yet, sometimes it's a challenge to deftly incorporate these new directional pieces into your existing wardrobe. Luckily, we always have a fresh crop of MySpace Muses* to hold our master styling class. Take a cue from these ladies as they demonstrate different ways to wear a strong shoulder, one of fall's most fashion-forward looks. Or, through their portraits, discover how to master the art of a statement necklace, or integrate one of the season's most prevalent pieces, a studded moto jacket, into your everyday wear. As you begin to step back and take it all in, don't forget to admire the artistry of a full autumnal wardrobe come to life.
Autumnal shorts are a cool choice, especially with a statement blazer.
Our first muse, June, 20 from Seoul, proves that even if we lose the long days of summer, one can still keep shorts in their daily rotation. Switching from denim to cloth √† la Proenzer Schouler's Fall 09 runway show and pairing them with opaque tights marks them transitional as opposed to beach wear. Adding a bold blazer with fall's coveted eighties-inspired shoulder also offers a new twist on the standard suit, making this outfit perfect for a fashion-forward day at work. Recreate June's savvy pairing by slipping on Helmut Lang's
Shaped Blazer ($635) with Heritage 1981's HB1 Linen Blend Cuffed Short ($17). Or try Arden B.'s Charm Cuff Button Shorts ($38), which are a chic style that we could easily see fashionable ladies like Lauren Conrad or Olivia Palermo wearing.
Studs give the classic moto jacket a seasonal update.
Studs are making a splash this September and Danielle, 17, from Toronto, shows us that a sprinkling of metalwork is enough to update a classic piece. Her leather moto jacket looks fresh, echoes the edginess of grommet-happy designers like Alexander Wang, and adds a tough-girl sensibility to a sunny yellow dress. Take a cue from Danielle and invest in one of fall's new staples with William Rast's Studded Leather Jacket ($648), which has the added intricacy of zippered cuffs. Or, for a more evening-wear appropriate approach to this trend, try Topshop's Stud Leather Jacket ($320). The splayed lapel is a little flashier and the gray leather is a sleek alternative to black.
Lace-up booties and an intricate necklace elevate neutral pieces.
Accessories can go a long way to elevate an outfit, and Michelle, 18, from Germany, has a knack for statement details that take her look to the next level. We love the laid-back combination of her peter pan blouse and cropped trousers, but she shows us that just by adding a bold necklace and some killer boots, her ensemble can go from casual to chic. Try the Marni Beaded Necklace ($30) for some eye-catching ethnic-inspired interest, or Flutter by Jill Golden's Rennes Necklace ($180) for a more everyday piece that incorporates the fringe trend. This necklace is also a particularly lovely choice in case you decide to layer on the hardware in the spirit of Lanvin and Dolce & Gabbana's fall shows. And don't forget a pair of autumnal booties like Steve Madden's Towwer Open Toe Lace Up Ankle Boots ($150) to add that final bit of polish!
Boyfriend jackets with cuffed and rolled sleeves are a fall essential.
Kart, 21, from Estonia, makes a powerful impression in her boyfriend blazer and bustier combo. While others might not feel quite as confident embracing the underwear-as-outerwear trend, one can always stock up on a must-have blazer to carry them through the transitional weather. A long and boxy shape is still in line with fall's rampant eighties-inspired ensembles, while the color-contrasting cuffs make it look modern and fresh. Since this essential outerwear can go over anything from a cocktail frock to a t-shirt and jeans, we recommend snagging a few favorites to last you all the way to spring. Silence & Noise's Open Front Blazer ($78) is a particularly sleek choice thanks to its pinstripe lining, while Smythe's Linen Boyfriend Blazer ($530) is a lovely investment piece that is sure to add a polished finish to any outfit.
A strong-shouldered top makes any outfit directional.
As avid fans of fall's bold shoulder (it makes one look confident and narrows your waist), we were immediately drawn to the directional ensemble displayed by Nancy, 25, from Berlin. Her cropped silk trousers are a sleek staple, but it's her long-sleeved top's Balmain-inspired shape that really makes her outfit soar. Try a bold shoulder like Nancy's with Torn by Ronny Kobo's Jayne Long Sleeve T-Shirt with Shoulder Pads
($143), or for a more subtle iteration, slip on Topshop's Shoulder Knitted Top ($55) and watch your fall wardrobe take off! Either way your fashion forward silhouette is sure to peak (pun intended) the interest of any fashion-savvy passerby.
Black basics are the perfect backdrop for feminine tops.
We love the romance of feminine ruffles, but a little frill does go a long way. Luckily, Cristina, 22, from Barcelona, shows us how to temper a girly top by incorporating it with solid black items, like a tie-front blouse and dark mini-skirt. Get Christina's layered look by starting with the sophisticated Tory Burch Bow Blouse ($250), and then add Free People's
Flutter Fly Away Top
($78) to add some bohemian sensibility to the working woman's blouse. Ground your ensemble in a solid foundation with BDG's Knit Mini Skirt ($38)¬-a great wear-anywhere skirt¬--or try Kimchi Blue's Solid Cupcake Skirt ($38) for a little more movement that echoes the ethereal quality of the fluttery lace.¬--Liza Kaplan
*Today's MySpace Muses is brought to you by Vans!
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As always, our search for new muses is ongoing, so don't hesitate to recommend yourself or a friend. Just email us (email@example.com) your name, age, email address, and the best full-length shots that convey your personal style! (Photos must be full-length and will not be considered if blurry or poorly lit.) Thank you!