This year's fall fashions are a study in extremes, from leather pants (they're making a comeback) to lace leggings, sequins to studs.
Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?
Tough girl or girly girl?
Motorcycle mama or "Gossip Girl"?
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These are the spectrums of the season, the yin and yang of fall 2009.
Are you ready to vacillate?
Fall offers lots of twists this year. Leggings of black lace. Studs on everything, from jackets to purses.
The season's freshest colors are neon - electric yellow, glowing chartreuse, powerful pink - reminding us that girls still just want to have fun.
Girly girls will love the sparkle. Autumn shines with sequins and crystals sprinkled on jumpsuits, skirts, minidresses, platform shoes and ballet flats. Even sequined leggings for the truly adventurous.
Tough girls can bring the bling, too, with edgy gold, silver and bronze embellishments on skirts and jackets, as well as shiny metallic headbands, shoes, purses and eye shadows. For a rocker vibe, try a metal-studded bracelet.
Leather works the extremes, from ladylike suede and velvet pumps to tough-gal leather stilettos and booties.
And trend alert: Though jeans are a staple from which we can't part, leather pants - like 'em or not - are making a comeback.
Grunge girls might get their feathers ruffled with all the ruffles this season, which have migrated south to bedeck pretty, feminine shoes.
But there's plenty of comely fringe, too - long, sexy and silky threads on blouses and tunics; suede and hippie-like tassels on purses and boots.
Whichever way your style wind blows, consider a statement necklace, big and bold, whether of giant gemstones or chunky pearls or peacock feathers fanned across your decolletage.
Monochromatic can be dramatic, too. Expect a blending of gray, ivory and beige to offset robust hues. Then watch for "iron" to pull it all together - neither a true gray nor brown but a cross between slate and gunmetal.
- Lisa Gutierrez,
FIVE EASY PIECES
Sweater coat: Sweaters are looong this fall. A tunic-length, chunky-knit sweater coat from Old Navy ($44.50) has a shawl collar and funky knitted lantern sleeves.
Over-the-knee boots: Round-toed Coconuts Bentley boots combine two hot trends - studded detail and height. ($99, piperlime.com)
Feathers: A set of feathered headbands and barrettes by Shop Intuition by Jaye Hersh will update your look with a trendy embellishment, without making you look like a chicken. ($29, qvc.com)
Leggings: Rock velvet leggings day or night, under a skirt or tunic, with boots or heels. ($39.50, Victoria's Secret)
Shooties: What's a shootie? It's a combination shoe and boot, like Kaylen peep-toe booties by Mossimo. Wear them with all the cool tights, stirrups and skinny jeans out there this season. ($29.99, Target)