Categorized | Fashion, Living, Shopping

What a Girl Wants, What a Girl Needs…

By Elizabeth H. Ayerle
AML contributor, Main Line Fashion Expert

Photos Courtesy of Kevin E. McPherson

Top Women’s Fall 2008 Fashion Trends According to Fresh Ayer Owner Liz Ayerle

A Breath of Fresh Air<br>Fresh Ayer, Wayne, PA

A Breath of Fresh Air
Fresh Ayer, Wayne, PA

Fashion has always been about expressing yourself, but for the past decade or so designers have really been celebrating the individual spirit. Ladies of all shapes and sizes can appreciate the variety of choices and customize their wardrobe to their individual taste. Thankfully, we no longer have to be slaves to the hem and color of the moment! The new mantra on the runways from the world’s most respected designers–wear what works for you! So here you go, ten of the top Fall 2008 seasons’ trends to choose from and make your own Main Line fashion statement.

1) Plaid: Maybe you thought you’d seen the last of plaid at a Nirvana concert in 1992, but no…plaid is making a comeback in a big way. At Ralph Lauren (Ralph Lauren at the Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street Philadelphia) you’ll find plaid on coats in a chunky red and black version, short or long and definitely belted. Lauren showcased a breathtaking capped sleeve, turtleneck (in bright Kelly green and black plaid) ball gown in his Fall 2008 collection. Carolina Herrera showed it in more subtle tones, layered as tailored vests, capes and pants. Marc Jacobs put it to use in his Marc by Marc Jacobs line on funky minis that feel graphic and ‘pop-arty.’

2) Lace: Everywhere you look on the runways this season they are showing lace, but Prada’s use of this feminine material has made it a must have for the season. At this year’s Emmys, some key celebrities stepped out in lace including Sandra Oh who made many a best-dressed list in a black lace dress from Oscar de la Renta. Marcia Cross also echoed the return to romance with a beige lace-topped dress over tulle from Elie Saab. For the Main Line woman, this trend can easily be transformed into your daywear as lace can be worn with nude lining, black on black or in color. This translates well for women of all ages and is very flattering for all figures. To spice things up, I suggest adding an unexpected splash of color to the look if you choose nude or black.

3) Chunky Scarves: Lacoste, Hermes & Marc Jacobs are just three of the designers to top off their runway looks with oversized neck scarves. These eye-catching accessories are the perfect way to change up the look of a tired winter jacket or to have handy for those chilly fall evenings. Not only do these pieces add some fun color, but in their newest form they can be pinned, looped and layered into hundreds of different looks.

4) Lean Layers: Layers can be a girl’s best friend and are one of the major trends to surface on the Fall runways. Halston and Phillip Lim are two designers who placed particular emphasis on long layers for the season. Skirts, pants & dresses all seemed to be swathed with vests, sweaters, & swing coats brushing the models’ knees. The good news for those of us with more curves than your average runway model is that long layers do just what they should — elongate your figure. Layers also help to disguise any unwanted bumps and lumps. For a little extra help, make your first layer a good modern shaper like Spanx (, available regularly at Fresh Ayer, local department stores and in a larger selection with over 30 varieties on QVC (

5) Girlie Ruffles & Bows: Remember your favorite dress from childhood, the one with the big pink bow and ruffle hem? It may not have been exactly ‘work appropriate’ but this season you can bring some of that fairytale elegance into your adult wardrobe. Designers such as Cynthia Rowley and Diane Von Furstenberg keep the party dress alive through soft, feminine details such as bows and ruffles. “Secretary” blouses are a great way to make this trend work with your best power suit.

6) Dramatic Necklines: If you’ve seen the movie Elizabeth, you know the impact a dramatic neckline can have on a powerful woman, & so do this year’s designers. The collars can be popped, folded or asymmetrical but they have to catch your eye. The bonus for curvy girls is that any dramatic neckline draws attention up to your face. Don’t be shy about making a statement with your neckline to add some affordable updates to some wardrobe staples.

7) Leggings & Special Tights: Yet another trend that you thought you’d seen the last of is coming ’round again, leggings and tights. The bonus is that leggings are both comfortable and now very stylish so just this once I am going to encourage you to follow in Lindsay Lohan’s footsteps. On the runway they were showing tights and leggings not only in solids, but also in metallics (Badgly Mischka) and daring prints (Betsy Johnson and Chloè). Chloe paired a blue sequin jersey legging under a silk satin dress in a similar hue and the monochromatic look was modern sophistication at its tbest. Those same leggings can be transformed with a t-shirt and jean jacket for a completely different ‘rocker chic’ statement. This is more appropriate for the Main Line coed who can be more daring with her Fall choices.

8) Leopard: Grrrr! Leopard is in, especially at Ralph Lauren where they were showing it in both clothing and accessories. If you aren’t interested in making a bold statement, this trend may not be for you but you can always include a little leopard in your accessories. Think scarf, purse, shoes, or even the lining of a great coat.

9) Lantern Sleeves & Other Details: A lantern sleeve is a sleeve that has a gathered ‘puff’ that happens after a ruffle in the garment. This same gather detail is being used in skirts, jackets and dresses. You can see it in Isaac Mizrahi’s show as a great element of a 1950’s full skirt look with belts and fitted tops. Or head to toe in Armand Basi’s collection, as part of every garment imaginable. I recommend keeping this particular detail in your hems and sleeves of your tops because it can add a lot of bulk through your hips and upper body if done improperly.

10) Belt Everything: It’s nothing new but is still HOT! Belting your favorite look is so popular that I can’t even pin-point one designer who is doing it — they all are emphasizing the waist in different, modern accessories. The belts can be fabric, chunky leather or skinny. But remember when choosing your belt it is very important to think about your body type and the correct proportion. Thin belts can make you look larger and conversely over-sized belts can make your torso look short, so pick a belt that works for your particular body type. If you are short-waisted, wearing a belt in the same fabric/ color can give you the belted look while helping to maintain a long lean line.

Elizabeth H. Ayerle is the owner and founder of Wayne’s Fresh Ayer, a fashion forward boutique for the stylish plus-size woman specializing in sizes 10 and up with accessories for all women. One of the Main Line’s up and coming female entrepreneurs, Ayerle is a 2004 graduate of Bucknell University with a B.A. in art history and minor in studio art. In addition, Ayerle earned an associates degree in fashion design from the Parson’s School of Design. After school, Liz worked in New York City as a freelance fashion designer for Sketchers girls clothing before opening Fresh Ayer in the heart of the Main Line, downtown Wayne. Fresh Ayer was recognized this summer by Philadelphia Magazine as Best of Philly 2008: Plus-Size Boutique.

Fresh Ayer is located at 100 East Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, PA and is open Monday-Saturdays 10-7pm, Sundays 10-5pm. Check out or call 610-688-4933. Email:

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