ELEMENTS OF STYLE
Do you find yourself admiring the fashion look of someone who dresses completely differently from you? Are stores usually out of what you're looking for? Do you find it difficult to whip up something elegant and appropriate to wear for a business meeting or a last- minute engagement? Do you have a full closet and yet usually wind up wearing the same ``boring'' two or three outfits? If your answer is ``yes'' to most of these questions, be of good cheer. You may not need to rush out and acquire a whole new wardrobe. Maybe all you need is to pick up a few elements of style. The fall season offers a fruitful field to pick from.
The new jacket, with real personality and versatility, is a good place to start. It's not too masculine, but it doesn't look dainty, either. It comes in slightly longer length than last year's and fits just right over short or long skirts, and makes you look finished whether you wear it over a skirt or slim, sleek trousers. One or two new jackets, one muted, one bright, can start you off on a whole new look.
The daytime dress is another hit this season. It has a small torso and long, narrow sleeves. It's longer than a suit skirt. It stands out for its soft cashmere or jersey fabric, for its soft grays or muted tones, and for that ever-present wide belt at the waist. It looks great with a jacket over it, or a good-quality cardigan, or a short coat.
The singular sweater with a signature all its own, the business suit and the pant suit, all bring new possibilities this season. Jewelry that fits your taste, and scarves, quality handbags, and shoes all play an important role in designing your new personal style. Polo coats, moccasins, winter whites, cashmere shawls and knit turtlenecks are the fall classics that have been reinterpreted by our most brilliant American designers.
Although some women of style prefer to wear clothes by one or two particular designers whom they feel cut and create exactly for their taste and proportion, it's usually easier to select each outfit individually and build your new wardrobe one piece at a time. Whenever possible, it's good to stay away from mere ``uniform dressing,'' such as a Chanel or Adolfo suit for every business occasion, or a strictly ``preppy alligator'' look for weekend dressing. Such pre-fab styles are the enemies of personal style, since they make the wearer fit into a social mold rather than express a personal voice.
Ultimately, personal style should be as uniquely you as your signature on a credit card -- no one should be able to copy it successfully, and it should be readily identifiable. What you top off your wardrobe with says as much as any other element of style; so make your hat the crowning touch. Leave them breathless with long classic lines a la Hepburn. This Fall, that look can be strapless, down to a cinched waist, wrapped in taffeta and silk. Sleek dresses that delineate the body give a perfect backdrop for brilliant accessories like sequins, pearls, lace collars, and bows at the waist.