Fall 2011 fashion must haves

September 17, 2011 — Fashion designers get their inspiration from a variety of muses, from what’s trending in the performance arts to photography, architecture, fine art, music and more. For fall 2011 that the inspiration for many designers came from a popular television show.

If you’re looking to add a few pieces to spice up your wardrobe this season, think retro.

Better yet, think Mad Men.

Last month, a retro style clothing line hit Banana Republic stores inspired by the hit television series to match the trend perfectly. Created by the same Emmy Award-winning costume designer who dresses Don and Betty Draper and the rest of the talented cast, Janie Bryant’s collection includes sheath dresses, classic trenches and high-waisted A-line skirts.

These styles may be inspired by the 1960s, but you don’t have to be Twiggy to wear them. They were designed for the real women’s body, and not just the runway model. The curvy actress Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan, the secretary that every man fantasizes about on Mad Men, looks smashing in her size 12/14 dresses and skirts, even on television where the camera can appear to add pounds.

The fashion magazines and runways are boasting retro style clothing and accessories in a big way for the season. From bell-bottoms to lace up boots and maxi dresses for casual nights on the town, to well tailored suits with pointed kitten heel pumps and an elegant oversized clutch for the office, the 1960s and 70s are trending.

Fall 2011 colors include everything from modern brights to richer warmer tones, so the sky is the limit, but deep teals, bronze and olive tones, and deep purples are making a big statement this season. Fabric trends include lots of faux fur, velvet, lace, butter-soft leather and shearling.

Color block accessories are also big and retro in style, and can be found on shoes, boots, purses and more. They’re great to add a splash of color and pop to darker clothing, coats and business suits.

So, if your budget will only allow you to add one piece to your wardrobe, consider a well-tailored tweed power suit from Banana Republic’s Mad Men collection. It’s undeniably the season’s best buy at under $300, and it’s a classic that will never go out of style.

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