Haute Mess: Fall into Georgetown fashion

This year’s fall collections showcased everything from quintessentially British garb to traditional American heritage looks. Although some high fashion is a little too avant-garde for school, there are some looks that will keep you looking fit for the runway, and for class.

Top designers including Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta gave a whole new meaning to granny chic. Oversized coats and knits were layered with tweeds and shawls, finished with knee-high black boots and making for ladylike perfection.

Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein dressed their women in strong black leathers, while Derek Lam and Peter Som sent snow queens down the runway. Designers have embraced the natural, monochromatic look for fall, and dared to use shades of both ebony and ivory.

To protect us from the foreboding brisk weather, we thankfully have some good old plaids and wools to fall back on. Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren have preserved these classic American styles with earthy hues and comfy fabrics, creating timeless, cozy wilderness looks.

To bring these trends to the Hilltop sans the designer price tags, let’s keep things collegiate and recycle what we’ve got. Create an easy and sophisticated ensemble by layering old or vintage knits, mixing textures and prints, and pairing them with dark slacks or even jeans. Tie it all together with a pair of sexy knee-high boots in classic black, and don’t be afraid to swap premium leather for something more eco-friendly, such as faux suede.

Monochromatic looks are perfect for those lazy fall days, and can be pulled together in a hurry if you’re running late to class. Simply assemble a couple of basic black pieces and again, don’t be afraid to mix and match textures.

Lastly, keep the prep school character alive with American plaids and cables, typical of Hoya style. This year, choose earthy shades such as deep red and burnt orange, and pair them with military greens and navies for a rich autumn flair.

Guys, don’t shy away from these feminine rules–there are some pieces that Hoya men can easily assimilate into their closets. For men’s fall fashion, the three essential accessories that will allow you to pop, lock, and work it are the leather messenger bag, the knit tie, and the knotted scarf.

This fall, leather will dominate the fashion arena for both men and women, so don’t shy away from embracing one of the most popular runway trends. If you are debating the look, remember this cardinal rule: in cold weather, turn to leather.

If you are looking to make a statement, try experimenting with the leather messenger bag, an all-purpose accessory for any college student. Gone are the days of old when bags were used chiefly by women; as any true fashionisto knows, bags are iconic pieces of style and chic for both sexes. The messenger’s laid-back look will provide a hint of casual flair with a nice touch of Georgetown sophistication. Take a trip down on M Street to Diesel or J. Crew if you are looking for a quality messenger bag that will add the style and grace of a runway look.

In line with the shades of British fall fashion trends, the knit tie is possibly the most versatile accessory any man could have in his wardrobe. Invest in a knit tie; it means you have places to go, things to do, and people to see. Try pairing it with an oxford button down to dress up the look à la Ralph Lauren or with a pinstripe suit for a more casual, yet fabulous Jack Wills look.

Finally, add some pizzazz to your day with a knotted scarf, the key accessory that will bring attention to your handsome face. Feel free to break away from the basic black, grey, and brown colors and mix in a deep purple or Olympian blue to show your edgy side. Try a Hèrmes-inspired silk or cotton patterned scarf through Columbus Day, a Dolce & Gabbana cashmere scarf for Thanksgiving, and a Louis Vuitton chunky knit scarf as soon as you see snow. For the more collegiate look, try your preppy university scarf with a casual over the shoulder throw.

While there is no shortage of inspiration to draw from the fall runway shows, Lauren Hutton summed it up best at the Calvin Klein Spring 2007 show: “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”


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