8 Trends To Update Your Wardrobe This Season

Derick Chetty | October 20th, 2016

The late great designer, Yves Saint Laurent, once said, “I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.”

And those words still ring true today. Never underestimate the power of clothes.

Yes, women have made tremendous strides based on intelligence and a strong will to succeed. But ask any powerful woman and she might attest to the fact that a great outfit can also be the last bit of armor she puts on as she gets ready to do battle in the world.

As one of the last historic glass ceilings is about to be shattered – hopefully – next month if Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to take the presidency of one of the most powerful nations, even she has attested – and gave thanks – to her wardrobe of pantsuits that have taken her all the way within reach of the Oval Office.

So what does that have to do with your wardrobe? You might not be running to rule the free world but sometimes a woman needs just a single stylish item to help update her wardrobe, make her look modern and give her confidence to go about her everyday life.

Scroll through our slide show for a selection of items to update your wardrobe this season.

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Florals have been blooming for several seasons now and designers show no signs of ending the love affair with this feminine print. So strong is the allure of flower power, it’s seems to be blossoming not just for warm weather months but also for winter. They are darker, perhaps the print is digitized, but none the less romantic and modern. They make for great day and evening wear in winter. Pair with dark tights to keep help keep the look winterized. And what better way to combat the most dismal and grey of winter days in January than with the sunny disposition this lemon tulip print dress from Canadian designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan?

Floral print dress, $445, pinktartan.com

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One of the more curious trends to emerge this year is the slipper – for outdoors and for fall. It all started last spring when Gucci proposed fur lined slippers which quickly became an instant hit. Boldly marching into fall, the outdoor slipper has become popular as women pair them with jeans for errands around town on those mild days. You can finally give those ubiquitous ballet flats a break.

MICHAEL Michael Kors slipper, $178, michaelkors.com

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Women have been wearing leopard coats since the 1920s. Since then, fashion has always heeded the call for this wild pattern which can give a woman a sultry and provocative allure yet at other times be quite lady-like, depending on the garment. If you ever invest in a leopard print coat – it’s a keeper.  No longer just a trend, you can classify it a classic.

J.Crew Odie Coat, Leopard haircalf, $2160, J.Crew and jcrew.com

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While today’s youth have embraced the bohemian trend with unbridled enthusiasm – as evidenced by their attire at music festivals world-wide – older women, who might have sported such looks back in the 70s, shouldn’t fear revisiting this hippie look.  This printed boho dress with bow tie neckline, simple ruffle hem and long sleeves, surprisingly works for the office, especially if you throw a blazer over it. But pair it with Western style boots and you could kick up your heels in a bar or at a weekend festival.

Printed dress, $39, Joe Fresh. 

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The leather moto cycle jacket never goes out of style. (Ask any guy. Since Marlon Brandon roared onto the silver screen wearing a biker jacket in the 1953 film, The Wild Onemen have been channelling that hyper-masculine bad-boy vibe to this day.) Of course, few women would ever choose a moto leather jacket to give off a bad-girl image.  They recognize the chic practicality of this wardrobe workhorse. Pair it with jeans or throw it over a dress, or roll it up into a ball and pack for trips, the black biker jacket has come a long way from biker culture. Someone should tell the men.

Leather moto jacket, $498, Gap and gap.com

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The backpack recently made a comeback, giving your shoulder some relief from lugging around hefty handbags. And today’s backpack doesn’t have to look like you’re about to head off for hiking in the hills. Sure, you can find them in sporty nylon but they’re also now available embellished with glittering stones or rocked out with grommets and studs or luxe looking in plush velvet. While not quite ready for prime time – it has not replaced the elegance of an evening purse – but you sure can swing one to the office.

Velvet knapsack, $59.90, Zara and zara.com

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The sumptuous touch of velvet has always suggested decadence and luxury. But advances in fabric technology today has allowed this aristocratic-looking material to be available not only at the high-end of the market but be done really well in the lower priced bracket as well. And the plush material is big this fall from the traditional (dresses and blazers) to the not so traditional (thigh high boots and backpacks). While you might already have a velvet dress or blazer in your wardrobe, consider getting something done unexpectedly in velvet – like this hooded jacket. It’s sporty yet dressy at the same time. You might want to throw it on for weekend jaunts but the oversized pockets, suggest it’s more than a hoodie and can be a dressier top when paired with tailored trousers or worn over a dress. It’s a great alternative to the velvet blazer.

Velvet hooded jacket, $49.90, Zara and zara.com

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This fall, cat-eye frames are once again all the rage. They are feminine and lady-like but also suggests a seductive and playful nature. Which is why you should never underestimate the power of a great pair of sunglasses. It’s like an exclamation point to your outfit. Sometimes, sunglasses are all you need for an instant upgrade to your look.

Stella McCartney oversized cat-eye sunglasses, $400, Holt Renfrew.