Although temperatures remain sizzling outside, it's that time of year when fall fashions hit stores as Houstonians who have been escaping the heat return home and back-to-school activities gear up.
To check in on the hottest fashions for the season, CultureMap caught up with People StyleWatch fashion expert Lauren-Ashley Spencer, who will be at the Tanger Outlets this weekened to host the People StyleWatch Magazine Studio tour.
Spencer gave us the rundown on her favorite fall trends and how to style them, as well as dishing on the best dressed celebrities and how to get the most out of your wardrobe on a budget.
CultureMap: What are your three favorite fall trends and how would you recommend styling them?
Lauren-Ashley Spencer: The three top trends we're really seeing at StyleWatch this season are bohemian, mod and minimalism.
It's about floral detailing, shape mixtures and texture with an ethereal, wanderlust feel. Texture is really key here so there's a lot of fringe detailing on the clothes. To get the look, I suggest boyfriend jeans and peasant tops, embellished coats and corduroys, flowing tunics, and for shoes I really like chunky mules, fringed boots and leather sandals while the weather is still permitting.
The three top trends we're really seeing at StyleWatch this season are bohemian, mod and minimalism.
There's a lot of black and white color schemes and graphic prints, like polka dots and stripes. What I'm suggesting to wear for this trend is A-line miniskirts with turtlenecks, a fitted shift and wide leg jeans. With detailing there's a lot of patent leather, and for shoes, I recommend chunky mules and platforms.
The third trend I love is minimalism. There's more of a neutral color palette here and a focus on strong silhouettes and modernity.
The focus on clean and structured lines is seen at Jil Sander, Céline and DKNY. For this trend, I would try a structured top with cutout details, a pair of culottes or a leather pencil skirt. A turtleneck and wide-leg pants is a great look for the office, and for shoes, flatforms, pointed T-strap heels and high-heeled boots are great. For accessories, you want to keep it simple, lots of gold metals in choker form, stackable rings and chandelier earrings are what we saw with it.
CM: Which celebrities do you think have the best style?
LS: When I think of great celebrity style I automatically think of Cate Blanchett. I feel she's classic but always with a twist. I've never really seen her choose poorly on the red carpet.
When I think of great celebrity style I automatically think of Cate Blanchett. I feel she's classic but always with a twist.
StyleWatch has really turned me on to Gigi Hadid and Olivia Palermo. Gigi is kind of the model-of-the-moment and she really has casual glam down to a science. Olivia almost needs no explanation. She's trendy, polished and always put together and she knows how to dress her shape really well. She always provides a lot of style inspiration in the StyleWatch office.
When it comes to the boys, I'm a huge fan of David Beckham. He really knows how to pick a great suit, he knows how to dress casually really well — I always love his sweater-trouser combos.
I also really like Jared Leto, who is kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum. He loves to take risks and he's a little edgier with his wardrobe and I really admire him for that.
CM: What are the best ways to stay on trend while shopping on a budget?
LS: When shopping on a budget, I find it's important to remember to splurge on classic items you feel like you'll wear forever, like a black blazer or a really nice sheath dress.
When it comes to trends, keep it simple and go to the fast fashion shops. I tend to recommend stores like Forever 21, H&M, Zara and American Eagle for trendier pieces that aren't outrageously expensive. That way, if I know I'm not going to wear something again for another year or so, I don't feel like I made a major investment without a lot of benefit.
Another thing that I suggest is to buy jewelry and accessories at these stores, too, so that you have more ways to keep your wardrobe and accessories fresh.
Lauren-Ashley Spencer will host the People StyleWatch Magazine Studio tour from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday at Tanger Outlets. Shoppers will have the opportunity to meet with Spencer to receive style advice, trend updates and shopping tips.