Fall Forecast

As a kid, Laura Schara was obsessed with a pair of red jeans that featured a banana patch on the pocket. She always wore them with cowboy boots, just like Dad. Today, Schara’s tastes have grown up, but as Macy’s trend expert, she’s still particular about fashion. Here, the style-spotter sorts out the shades, shine, and not-so-skinny trends of the season. ­­


Gray is this season’s neutral. It’s going to be everywhere. Pair it with color or wear it monochromatically in a mix of textures—a knit sweater with tweed trousers, for example.

2. Metallic is the new black.

3. Shine is not just for evening and special occasions anymore; it can be worn during the day. Look for black patent leather and fabrics like satin and silk. Wear a gold brocade skirt to the office with a black or gray top.

4. Cobalt blue is back from summer, and purple is big. Pair anything in the hot pink to berry range with gray for something new.

5. There’s a menswear inspiration for women. I call it “man tailoring.” It’s pantsuits, slouchy trousers, and patterns like glen plaid and herringbone.

6. Denim is going from one extreme to the other, and the girls are cheering. The wide-leg jean has replaced the skinny jean. It’s relaxed all the way through the leg but should be fitted in the hip.

7. For those who are adventurous, there’s colored denim and the ultrahigh waist. Both are very fashion-forward.

8. The town shoe is in. It’s an ankle-skimming shoe that laces up the front—like the granny boot, but shorter. Wear it with dresses and tights.

9. For handbags, it’s all about the oversized clutch for daytime—which isn’t convenient if you have a lot of stuff, but it’s going to save our backs!

10. The mod trend continues for fall, but is less ’60s, more sci-fi. We’re seeing the classic sheath dress in bright, bold colors with big, black buttons. Pair it with black patent accessories for more of that shine.

11. For men, the line between tailored and sportswear is blurring. Pair a sport coat and tie with denim jeans.

12. The width of ties is still slim this season, but traditional sizes are back. There’s not just one trend anymore. A suit vest is something different for the office.

13. The athletic guy is going to love that pleats in pants are back. We’re not talking six pleats, but one on each side. They give more room in the leg than flat-front.