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Ajit Berg, Published November 10 2011

Fashion in Focus: Femininity, strength the themes for fall fashion

When I sat down to write this column about the best looks for fall, it dawned on me: Women have been blessed with some wonderful gifts.

I know what you’re thinking: Fashion can make you realize that? Yes, it can!

As I’ve said before, a true fashionista shines from the inside out, and there’s something amazing about a woman’s soul. Women have the innate ability to persevere through trials and adversity with their compassion, strength and determination.

This season in fashion reminds me that these qualities are truly a gift. I believe women are able to show grace and compassion through their femininity and show courage and fortitude through their strength.

Femininity and strength also happen to be the inspiration behind the looks trending for fall. This season is all about ultra feminine clothes with a masculine edge.

Lovely florals, romantic lace, and ethereal silks are paired with menswear suiting in tweeds, herringbones and houndstooth.

A beautiful lace top is worn underneath a structured men’s jacket or mixed with a tweed chunky cardigan or a men’s tailored jacket with accents of lace.

A silk top is effortless and timeless mixed with a men’s-style flowy pant – reminiscent of 1940s old Hollywood glamour.

There is a dichotomy of colors for fall, ranging from the softness of whites and nudes, to the boldness of vibrant red and jewel tone colors. The classic look of black and white mixed together can be found in dresses and suiting.

Here is my breakdown for some of fall’s hottest trends and how you can apply them to your own wardrobe here in Fargo-Moorhead:

RED – Spice up your life with the color of passion. Whether it’s a statement red dress or a red blouse or jacket or an accent piece in red – a clutch, shoes or scarf – don’t be afraid to add a splash of it to your life. Red is great for the holidays too.

LACE – Add some romance to your life with the ultra femininity of lace. Stick to lingerie colors in lace accents – black or nude. Think pretty more than sexy when choosing your items in lace and limit yourself to one piece of lace. Make sure you choose lined items or layer with a cami or slip and don’t show a lot of skin. Keep it classy.

SPARKLE – Bring some shine to your life. Add a sequin tank underneath a solid cardigan or pair with a jacket to tone down the bling factor and mix with jeans to make it less dressy. Stick to neutral colors – nudes, black or silver to keep your look elegant and chic. A sequin skirt or a sequin dress is great for the holidays. If you really want to make your outfit pop, add a sequin or crystal purse.

BLACK AND WHITE – Hot off the runways this fall was a lot of black and white. Lots of pop art prints and bold color blocking. Try a wool dress in black and white color blocking or a silk dress or top in a fun print. For another option mix white under a black suit.

FEMININE MENSWEAR – I love this look – from menswear prints to feminine silk blouses – tuck a flowy silk blouse into a skirt or pant and accessorize with a chunky necklace. Top with a classic pea coat, and it’s very “Parisian chic.”

CHUNKY KNITS – Mix with skinny jeans or a lighter weight skirt and boots.

PRINTS – Whether romantic floral, Aztec-Navajo inspired or animal print, don’t be afraid to spice up your look with a print in a blouse or dress and mix with a sexy lace-up ankle boot or to-the-knee stacked heel boot.

Ajit’s must-have accessories for fall:

Ajit’s fashion tip for the season:

“Simplicity is the key to sophistication.”

Keep it simple, stick to who you are and what looks best on you and you’ll never go wrong. Celebrate the gift of being a woman this season. And most of all, remember you will always look and most importantly feel your best when you let your soul shine.

Ajit Berg is a former personal shopper and stylist for Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. She now lives in Fargo with her husband and daughter. She can be reached at ajitfashionista@yahoo.com.