Layering fabrics and outerwear is the “it” look for fall

As the dog days fade into cooler nights, the new season’s trends are calling. And you want to know, “What should I wear?”

Fall has always been my favorite season, but I especially love how designers are combining different luxe fabrics and textures this year. I’m also excited about the unique shapes in coats and the heavier sweaters I’m seeing.

Céline is doing the heavier sweaters really well. They are thick but shaped to the body, so they don’t look too bulky and they give you the ability to layer on accessories. When it comes to blending different fabrics, Brunello Cucinelli does it beautifully with cashmeres and silks. Givenchy also has some great fabric combinations with unexpected shapes. One of my favorites this year is their brown tweed blazer with red sleeves. It’s trim with small shoulders and fitted to the body in the front, but then it has a surprising, unstructured swing back. And the look is good for all body types—anyone can mix and match different fabrics, especially if you stick with a variety of neutral tones. Grays and browns, for example, look great together.

Combining fabrics and textures is not necessarily a new trend (neither are big sweaters) but each season gives us a unique twist on old favorites. While fashion is always changing, it is also always referencing itself. Platform shoes were around in the late 1960s, but that doesn’t mean we are running to our mother’s closet to pull them out. They have a modern and luxe twist this season, as seen on the Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu runways. Likewise, this fall’s big sweaters are more refined than the oversized sweaters of the 1980s. Plus, they feel fresh because we are pairing them with different fabrics and styles, like leather leggings.

When it comes to fall, I always have a varied selection of outerwear, ranging from a great fur vest to a heavy tweed blazer and beyond. I love wearing leggings or skinny jeans with a full sweater or top to cover all the sins I like to hide. It’s part of my favorite fashion rule to break—I wear tunics without a belt all the time. With a pair of great heels, it works. Which is why, although I may change my style often, I keep to a signature style when it comes to shoes: The higher the better!

Layering different materials will definitely transition into resort and spring. Wear a long silky tank topped with a lightweight cashmere sweater, roll up the sleeves and pair it with jeans. Or take a blazer that you wore over a turtleneck this fall and wear it as a spring jacket over an embellished t-shirt once the weather warms. I always gravitate toward pieces like these that will have multiple uses for my clients.

If you’re looking ahead, watch for bright colors and unstructured dresses for the 2012-2013 resort season. To accessorize this hot style, throw on a long beaded necklace (or two) and a killer pair of sunglasses, and you’re good to go.

Whether it’s a unique store or a massive shopping complex, Long Island has no shortage of retail establishments. But the greatest shopping experience is having someone do it for you. Personal shoppers are a luxury worth trying, and they’re more accessible than people think. Independent personal shoppers often work on an hourly wage, but a number of these experts work on commission or earn a salary to help you at their particular shopping venue. They’ll join you on your hunt or bring the finds to your home or office, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

danielle merollo

Danielle Merollo is Director of Personal Shopping at Americana Manhasset, with access to all of Americana’s luxury and contemporary brands. She has been a personal shopper and stylist for 22 years, and a part of Americana Manhasset’s Concierge team for almost 10 years. For all your luxury shopping needs, contact her at (800) 818-6767,