This season's romantic trend is high on drama. There are chin-grazing collars, floor-grazing skirts and voluminous sleeves. All which are perfect for everything from holiday affairs to ladylike lunches. Miraculously, designers managed to keep it fresh and fabulous by adding modern touches such as prim polka dots to some Edwardian ensembles. While most of us contend with the daily hassles of crowded calendars and too little time, it's nice to add a little romance back into our lives. But as the saying goes, "less is more," and one or two pieces are really all you need to make a statement. Here's how to mix the romantic with the rest of your wardrobe:
Ruffled tops and dresses wed drama and elegance, but this season's crop maintains a flirty side. The tops can be your essential element for an impossibly chic outfit, whether the form is basic or billowing. While at first glance dresses appear fussy, there is an undercurrent of sexiness that exists with sheer fabrics that play hide and seek with your body. Here's how to carry the trend without looking like you stepped out of a Harlequin romance novel:
- If you want the focus to be on the blouse, pair tops with streamlined skirts.
- Tuck voluminous sleeve versions into slim fitting pants or jeans.
- For chilly days, wear tops with fitted cardigans or 3/4-length-sleeve jackets.
- Wear cameo or layered necklaces with a half-open top or dress for Edwardian perfection.
- Wear sexy shoes that tie around the ankle.
This season's best extras come in the form of bows. Whether it's a sexy stiletto embellished with a bow on the back, a tie-front blouse or a sequined bow belt, these sweet details lighten up fall's otherwise somber mood. For once, it's a good thing to be fit to be tied. Here's how to pull off this ladylike look:
- Wear a slim, bow-front belt over a cardigan or fitted jacket.
- Tie a satin ribbon under your bust to give tops and dresses an instant empire style.
- Pair a tie front blouse with a full cinched waist skirt for a look that's prim in proportion.
- Add punch to a black outfit by putting a crimson bow in your ponytail or looping it through your jacket or coat buttonhole.
Roses are red... and brown, and black, and green and purple this season. These sweet flowers are emblazoned on just about everything, from blouses to boots to bracelets. Appropriate for day, evening or day into evening, pick your favorite styles and wear them with flourish. After all, life is just a bed of roses. Here's how not to look like one:
- Shop vintage stores for antique-rosette-embellished handbags and tops
- Mix it up... a bit. You can wear a rosette belt with a ruffle-front skirt. But don't over-rose it by pairing a rosette dress with rosette boots.
- Make small statements with floral decorated hair accessories and jewelry.
- Tailored suits need softening. Wear a romantic rosette blouse with them.
It's time to summon up your softer side this season by donning the latest lace trend. Gauzy lace pieces can be richly romantic, but they can also be subtly sexy. The translucency of this fabric gives a hint of what is hidden beneath your dainty dresses or tops without being obvious. Basic black- and vanilla-colored lace pieces are aplenty, but keep an eye out for deep plums and lavish golds as well. Here's how to wear it:
- Be a Victorian vixen and wear a pretty lace bra under a sheer lace top.
- Look for lace trim bags and shoes.
- Wear a lace pencil skirt with a chiffon elastic waist top.
- Spice up your lovely lace look with modern metallic shoes and accessories.