Posted in Fashion, Fashion Design, Fashion Journalism, Style

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Planning: Design inspiration and a few trends

It happens every season: fashion pundits cobble together the trends, tips and colours of the season so that the rest of us might fall into line and get behind those trends. Personally, I do enjoy seeing the new trends and figuring out which of them (if any) might actually work in a real life in general, and in my real life in particular. Add on to that a serious consideration of whether or not I really NEED any new pieces of clothing, and you find me mulling over my fantasy fall/winter 2019-20 design inspiration. It’s partly fantasy because I don’t really need many new pieces and because I prefer style classics, but it’s also partly reality since I will, indeed, use it to figure out what I will design, make and buy for the season.

When I say that I don’t really need any new pieces, I really mean that. Since it’s the beginning of October and the fall chill is beginning to put the run to summer weight wardrobe pieces and bare ankles (so sad to see them go, but I do have two new pairs of boots that I look forward to wearing), I took advantage of some time over this past weekend to begin the changeover from summer to winter clothing. Of course, there’s a bit of crossover at this point in the the year. One day last week hit 27 degrees Celsius (something like 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the centigrade-challenged), so those cashmere sweaters just don’t cut it.

Anyway, during the great-closet-turnover of the fall season, I discovered that I have plenty of clothes. In fact, if I went on one of those year-long clothing-buying boycotts, I’d be okay. I wouldn’t have to leave the house unclothed. But I would really enjoy a few new pieces. I just have to be judicious about what I buy. For example, I’d love to have three new coats, but I cannot justify this on several levels.

First, I’d need more closet space – not going to happen. Second, I’d need to look beyond black, other wise what’s the point? This isn’t going to happen either because I live in Toronto and black is de rigeur for the winter. Just take a walk down Bloor Street past D & G, Holt Renfrew, Louis Vuitton and the like and you will see a sea of black. Even down on Bay Street among the financial towers. Black. Yup, everyone is in black. Oh, wait. Do I see a rust-coloured parka? Well, yes, I do. Rust is fine these days, but still an oddity.

Anyway, this is where I begin my rumination about this year’s wardrobe.

My second stop before beginning my own process is to take a look at those fashion pundits and their narrative about what we will all be wearing this year. I love to start at the colours.

As usual, Pantone (the paint people of all things) seems to lead the way on this front. Or so they’d like to think. Evidently, this season’s colours include the following…

…as well as a few more that are grossly orangey and/or the colour of guacamole. They are too putrid to even consider on me.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, we should all save our black ensembles for next year in favour of…

Yes, pistachio, shades of purple, bright orange, shocking pink (fuchsia to me) and neon. First, I have to say that in my view only one of these colours could actually be worn from one season to the next. There is only one that wouldn’t cause me to feel slightly nauseated every time I passed a mirror. That colour is fuchsia. It’s a cosmetically-flattering colour and I think it can be worn by lots of people, especially those of us who have embraced our natural silver and platinum locks. So, I think that could be a keeper. My palette this year, then, reflects only a few of the so-called on-trend colours…

… and I’m planning to use a hearty dose of black and grey to ground the collection. Because that’s who I am. And it has to be said that Chanel presented a lot of black and white this season. Love it!

So, I considered the style trends as well. According to Elle magazine, the 90s are back as are the 70s and 80s. Dear god, do those of us who lived through this the first time have to be subjected to another dose of Dynasty shoulders and bell-bottomed pants? In a word, NO! There is an old saying that if you lived through a fashion trend once and it comes back again, just step away. It’s not for you. I don’t’ know who said that, but I’m sticking with it. There will be no bell-bottoms entering my closet. I think that older women are so much more sophisticated than that.

An what about that “lavender trend” that they talk about? Think about older women, then think about lavender. What does it conjure up in your mind? Arsenic and old lace? Lavender-scented, dark, musty rooms? Hankies? Not happening here in my household.

And what about capes?

The prom cape! Oh, and all that hair!

(I actually think the model on the right is wearing a blanket from her grandmother’s sofa, but I digress.)

The last time I wore a cape was to accompany my prom dress when I graduated from high school. I was sixteen, made both the dress and the matching (*gag*) cape, thought I was something else, and will never wear a cape again. It’s just not me.

I do, however, like that suiting is back. I love tailored jackets and suits. It’s just that my lifestyle doesn’t’ really require much in the line of suits these days. I suppose I could wear one when we go out for dinner.  

As usual, I’m inspired by Audrey Hepburn and the 1960s style but interpreted in a more modern, grown-up way. So, here is my design board for this season. I’m working on pattern design at this stage and will be using a combination of commercial and personally-designed patterns as I move toward figuring gout what to do with the three or four pieces of fabric I’ve that have inspired me this season. Net time: the fabrics and shapes of the designs.

What are you wearing this winter?

Photo sources:


...a Toronto woman of a ‘certain’ age who writes women’s fiction and business books...deeply interested in fashion, but mostly style, which as anyone knows is not the same thing...designs patterns, sews, reads style books...Gloria Glamont is my pseudonym.

4 thoughts on “Fall/Winter Wardrobe Planning: Design inspiration and a few trends

  1. I’ve come to the realisation that one reason why I drag my feet and can’t seem to sew anything for myself is that I don’t really need anything. I have a lot of clothes, even though it’s not that much. I mean, everything is there, all season wear available all year. I do need jeans though, but I’ve not been in the mood to properly fit a pattern yet. I need a fitting buddy, but none of my local friends sew…
    Colour wise I’m all for black and white and some splashes of colour. Do you read Threads magazine? They have an article about choosing flattering prints that I can see has some valid points, but is far from what I choose and feel well in. I prefer big, bold, striking. Contrasts, baby! 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know that feeling of not really needing anything. Having said that, I do like a small refresh every season. After the closet turn-over this weekend, I dropped two bags of clothing off to the charity bin. That always feels good! I’m not a Marie Kondo devotee per se, but I do tend toward her perspective. Does it bring joy?? If not, let it go — especially if it hasn’t been worn all season! I did read that article in Threads this month. The print selection for each of the models was very interesting – a bit reminiscent of “getting your colours done” back in the 80s and 90s, don’t you think? I must say that I do, in general, confine my prints to scarves. If I wear anything other than a small geometric print, I loo klike a piece of upholstered furniture! Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, you cannot go wrong with neutrals -black, white, grey, a nice shade of beige or ivory, navy…with a splash of red or fuschia!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Denise Linn has a saying I really like, from her space clearing days, «love it, use it, or get rid of it» that I apply to anything. I guess that’s what Marie Kondois saying too. 😊
        Yes, that article was very much like getting your colours done. It’s «always» been a struggle, I couldn’t figure out why something worked and others didn’t. Wanting to wear black, because it feels really good, and being told «oh no, black is too hard, people really shouldn’t wear black» by salespeople really didn’t help any at all. And then I figured I had to do something, I couldn’t find the advice I needed and bought Carol Tuttle’s «dress right for your type» program some years ago, where your energy type/personality is as important as your colouring, and suddenly it just landed. Maybe what I needed was just to be told that my gut feeling was right and to go with it and not be swayed by other people’s opinions and the whims of fashion? And guess what, as a type 4, black is one of my colours. It really is not too hard for me at all. Hah! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that the phrase should be “love it AND use it” or get rid of it. As I get older, I am increasingly impatient with the idea of having things “for good.” Of course with the exception of pieces more appropriate for cocktail parties and formal occasions! We do need to have dress-up things that aren’t use often. I think this refers to many things in our lives. Crystal and china come immediately to mind. I say, use your good stuff! BTW I love black, as you probably have figure out!


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