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Tales of the Unicorn Queen

Fall 2009 Style Tips

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Img: Vogue Girl Korea

Can’t find anything you like in stores this fall? Story of my life! If you like color, cold weather can put a damper on your style. It’s especially frustrating now that the recession is forcing store buyers to be ultra-conservative, resulting in less than exciting stock on the shelves. Walking into a store, I almost feel like even if I did have money to spend, everything looks so predictable & safe that I just don’t feel like buying anything!

It always pays to think outside the box to look good, but this fall it’s a necessity. Read on to find out how to keep you GLEE on this fall – regardless of the meteorological or economic climate.

Spring palette, fall palette

Does it really matter? Seasonal colors are arbitrary anyway and designed to distinguish fall stock from spring. Who says you can’t wear turquoise, pink & yellows in November?! I’m tired of seeing dark green and burgundy everywhere, so this fall I’m wearing brights! Not playing by the rules will help you save money too: buy stuff on end-of-season sale and keep it in your closet until it gets cold again!

Coat from, $79.99

Go retro

Retro is never out of style and the best part, it allows you to make a statement on the cheap. I love vintage and thrift-shopping for the thrill: everything is one-of-a-kind and you never know what you’ll find!

Tip: to get all the best sartorial gems, find out when your local thrift store gets new shipments in and swoop in the next day!

Img via Flickr

Get crafty

Now is the time to go all-out DIY. Customization is a cheap and fun way to spruce up a boring piece. Things as simple as changing buttons & adjusting length can transform a less-than-spectacular article of clothing into something you love. If you’re not afraid of experimenting, you can even custom-dye your own clothes. Remember that boring white top? Pick up some dye from the craft store and say hello to turquoise (or pink! or yellow!)!

Tip: this girl shows you how to customize your tights with beads to replicate a runway look. Love it!

Lime green Doc Martens


Whether it’s contrast tights, belt or a pair of boots, don’t be afraid to add a splash of color to your outfit with a statement accessory. Amongst rows and rows of boring shoes, I randomly came across these got lime-green patent Doc Martens – I can’t wait to rock them with bright pink tights!

Brighten up your face… & your day!

Makeup is one of the most affordable ways to liven up even the dullest outfit. A touch of bright lipstick or eyeshadow will lift up not only your mood, but put a smile on the face of a stranger, too – tested and confirmed! :D Fuchsias, turquoises and purples look especially good against those autumn skies.

Deerlings: Do you feel your style slipping during the colder months? How do you keep the GLEE alive?

85 Responses to
“Fall 2009 Style Tips”

  • Shea Wheatley says:

    I feel like my style grows in the winter months, actually! Maybe it’s because I’m from Minnesota where it’s always so gorram cold, or there is always a party to go to, but I tend to accessorize more and take more care in what I’m wearing.
    I also love things like scarves and gloves, so any excuse is a good excuse!

  • kary says:

    And to add to your splurge article, Wal-mart has these really neat Doc Martens copy cats being sold! I was like wow! I haven’t seen these in forever!


  • Sofia Aristea says:

    I usually wear dark clothes all year round with colourful make-up and accessories, I really think some more colour is in order!
    Also… I really need to stop buying things from your make-up range, I will be bankrupt soon! x

  • Elina says:

    My philosophy exactly!
    (I have those green docs, they’re the love of my life!)

  • Maria says:

    I love winter clothes, they make me look like a porcelain doll! ^.^

  • Rosie says:

    Bright red clothing. Like fire truck red. I can’t live without it.

  • Brinna says:

    I love fall and winter fashion! My look is usually fun boots, tights colorful jacket, and scarves! For some reason I feel its harder to dress for summer!

  • Midnight Cowgirl says:

    I love the purple coat!

    Alison Reply:

    Agreed. I want a purple or fuchsia jacket SO bad.

    Lindsay Reply:

    That trench is soo rad! I just happened to see some nice ones in a bunch of colors at Old Navy, for a steal!

  • PaintHead (jessie) says:

    YES, i feel like the FASHIONworld thinks color is only allowed in the warm weather. I do love fall because i can layer colors and patterns, texture, but i still need my colors. I’m still wearing neon

    But yes it is hard to find something funky and bright for the holidays, i mean why is everything red, black , white and silver??

    Where’s the purple’s, fuschia’s, oranges, aweeeeeeeeeeeee….oxoxox

  • Alison says:

    I hate cold weather. I’m from Houston, Texas and going to school in Connecticut, so it’s a HUGE change. This is going to be my 4th winter here and that’s 4 too many. I’m used to wearing flip flops year-round. Also, there is a distinctive lack of palm trees in New England. :(

    Ok, enough complaining about winter. I love to wear jackets, but unfortunately the really cute ones are never lined so they aren’t really worth buying. Although, I did find an adorable super bright red-orange double breasted jacket over the summer, so I snatched that up for this fall. I need orange lipstick to go with it. Not sure where I would ever find something like that. ;)

    I typically just wear all of my normal summer/spring tops in the fall and winter. I just put on a heavy coat and complain about being cold. I’m a dancer so I have 500 pairs of tights to layer under things when I’m not being too lazy to layer (or if I want to wear a skirt). I also tend to pull out some of my dance warm ups and wear those. I have some cute knit shrugs.

    My classic pick-me-up regardless of the weather is red lipstick. I wear lipstick more often when it’s cold because I hate the texture of chap stick, so my lips are often red in the winter. Of course, I’m sure I’ll expand to incorporate other lip colors now that I have some good ones.

    Melinda Reply:

    HAHA! I”m from Houston too! and I went to school in Ypsilanti, MICHIGAN…I think we Texans are gluttons for snow, we sneak it out and find out that we really don’t like it. Back in good ole H’Town now but I miss the thought of wearing snuggy winter pea-coats!

    Little advice too, I shopped at a sex store one winter in Michigan, and found Leg Avenue Thigh High Knit Sock! I kid you not! I bought 4 pairs and kept them. I used to wear them underneath my pants, and it was just so snuggly and warm, when it gets cold down here, I wear those with nifty boots, and its great! ^_^

    Much luck in the wintery non Texas world! ^_^

    Gemma Reply:

    Yay, Houstonians! Me too! It’s 80 degrees outside right now, so I’m still wearing my summer wardrobe. How does that lovely adage go?…Something like, “We only have two seasons here ; summer and hell.” During “hell”, I just don’t go outside, so I guess that means I really only have one wardrobe!

    Alison Reply:

    I am so jealous. I want it to be 80 here!

    Alison Reply:

    There are so many things that annoy me about the Northeast, especially their sad excuse for rain. I never thought I would miss Texas, but I do. I have thigh-high leg warmers and I wear those sometimes. The socks sound like a great idea though.

  • Rachael says:

    Fall/Winter is the toughest months to shop for clothes that aren’t dark or downright dull shades. I was surprised to find BRIGHT winter wear at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago ~ I snagged a sherbet pink sweater and a bright turquoise ribbed turtleneck.

  • Suzanne C. says:

    Glee!? My parents are screasming and my dad is trying to throw away me and my brothers shit an the comment i wrote got deleted cuz my brand new computer is useless and they got me so upset i forgot to constantly copy my blatherings on fashin! wheres the glee i don’t seee any

  • Nikki Dee! says:

    thirteenth comment aaaghh hahaha

    i love fall weather and i love putting together outfits for fall, there’s so many more choices because you can layer, wear tights and boots, etc! compared to the summer when it is so hot i just don’t want o wear anything :p
    in the coldcoldcold winter months when i am tired and freezing and lazy i do’nt want to put effort in and sometimes end up wearing jeans, boots and my brothers sweaters everyday! but i like to force myself to get up, drink some coffee, blast some tunes and liven up my look! :]
    hehe i was actually gonna post about this too

  • Nikki Dee! says:

    thirteenth comment aaaghh hahaha

    i love fall weather and i love putting together outfits for fall, there’s so many more choices because you can layer, wear tights and boots, etc! compared to the summer when it is so hot i just don’t want o wear anything :p
    in the coldcoldcold winter months when i am tired and freezing and lazy i do’nt want to put effort in and sometimes end up wearing jeans, boots and my brothers sweaters everyday! but i like to force myself to get up, drink some coffee, blast some tunes and liven up my look! :]
    hehe i was actually gonna post about this too

  • Ginger&Roxy says:

    ginger & roxy

  • Ginger&Roxy says:

    We def on board when it comes to fall colours spreading into the rest of the seasons!!! accesories are the best investment, they can turn around a standard one dress and heels into fashion forward!!! We love tights/fishnets for completing looks as well.

    ginger & roxy

  • Caitlin says:

    Besides the fact that I can’t dress up super adorable because I’m a college student (in Wisconsin) and if I want to make it to class and back alive I have to bundle up I love fall colors. I like bright colors alot but I’m really into fall colors they compliment my very pale skin and I LOVE IT! So Fall is actually my favorite season for buying clothes.

  • elrodien says:

    winter really takes its toll on my mood and my outfits every time…
    And because i feel “darker” than i do in the summer i find myself wrapped around dull colors.

    Or, i used to, because last year i started taking advantage of my “winter blues”.
    My style gets a little “rock-ier”, the clothes are a tad darker,elegant and feminine (as in the summer) but with metallic bangles and belts and all stars completing the picture i have my own unique winter-blues style! ;)

  • Sniper says:

    My formula for this cold season is:

    - hot pink peacoat
    - bright opaque tights

    Everything else doesn’t matter because that’s more than enough brightness.

    That’s a good observation about the economy leading to boring things to buy in mall stores. I thought it was just me.

  • Nefabit says:

    Actually, I find that Autumn is a perfect time to find wonderful accessories! I love rich colors – not necessarily bright, but really deep colors like jewel tones mixed with earth tones.
    And there are all kinds of things like textured tights, Victorian style boots, cute hats, and neck ruffles. :D Natural source of glee for me!

  • Lara says:

    great tips! I have a lot of fun in the Fall just rediscovering my cold weather wardrobe after switching around my closet but when it starts getting frigid, I just want to be warm! I get really boring in jeans, hoodies and boots.

    I’m also disliking everything I see in the stores and am one to wear neutrals and black most of the time. Nothing has any real personality. I’m going to try to rework the things I already have and love with some bright layers from my summer wardrobe peaking through, fun tights and scarves!

  • Kelsey says:

    What about some tips for those of us who like burgundy and plum on mixing them with brighter colors?
    My favourite part of fall is pulling out my scarves and newsboy hats, for example.

    elrodien Reply:

    burgundy and plum! i love these colors too! I usually mix them with something strong and bright like indian yellow, red or turquoise.

    i forgot to mention, in my comment, that shoes are a great way to add color to any outfit…even if i’m all about grey and black on a day, i’ll wear my red patent leather pumps and feel all colourful again! :D

  • Jenn says:

    A big problem about fall style that bothers me is that most of the major stores in South Florida don’t realize that we don’t wear flannel and coats and long sleeves. It’s impossible to find cute dresses or tops that aren’t long sleeved. It’s 90 degrees!

  • Shayne says:

    I LOVE those Docs! I wish they still made vegan boots. :(

    I tend to get lazy when it comes to clothing in the winter. I am very intolorant to cold so I hardly wear dresses and skirts in the winter because tights don’t keep my legs warm enough. I do love sweaters though and I have a bunch in many different colors. Often times I hate the clothing I see in stores. When I do find something I like it’s usually out of my price range or it doesn’t fit. I do love shopping in vintage stores but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of awesome ones near me.

    I used to buy the majority of my clothing online but it keeps getting harder to buy stuff online because our American sizing keeps getting bigger. I never used to have an issue with xsmall tops being too big on me (I’m petite but not THAT petite). And I never know what size pants to buy anymore because it seems like designers are increasing size without changing number size. I have 3 pair of pants and they all fit exactly the same but they are three different sizes. American sizing is insane and it has started to limit the amount of clothing I can buy online because I don’t want to pay for returns. It makes shopping stressful and it shouldn’t be. It should be fun.

  • Melody says:

    Living in Spain, I have to really take advantage of the colder weather (it was 18C when it was dark today – it FELT very chilly!) so I tend to wear better clothes because frankly in the summer I’m more worried about melting than how great I look.

    I can’t wait to put opaque tights together with whatever I can pull out of my wardrobe, and to pick a snazzy, bright colour to put in my hair for the winter!

    I also like doing rainbow eyeshadow with a monochrome outfit, and wearing my chullo hat (which my nan was lovely enough to knit for me!)
    I’m not really sure what other hats to wear for the cold weather that still look good, most others dont seem to do the job.

  • Melinda says:

    When I lived in Michigan, I used to wear my Camel Colored Peacoat from Delias, and paired it with a dusty rose colored Newsie Hat, Scarf and Gloves! Then it was jeans and fun thigh high knit socks I got from an adult novelty store.

    Now that I’m back to my homeland of Houston, and I’m teaching now, I’ve been forced back to the dull grays blacks and creams. But I’ve been expirimenting with my style, trying to get away with as much color as I can. See I look like a teenager and I teach High School Students. So I can’t really do the bright eyeshadow (though I do get away with treasure chest, diva mixed with dragon scales, and Cleopatra alone, or mixed with circus girl).

    Lately I’ve been buying lots of sweaters, and I’ve also been buying brightly colored camisoles. From there, and with creative accessorizing I bring color to my classroom and my life, all I need now, is a great coat to go along with my style and I should be great!

  • robyn says:

    great tips lady! ive been eying some bright docs!

  • Erica says:

    I like to actually keep my wardrobe more muted – greys, rose pinks, dark blue, purples, oranges, and black during these months. But then I add in tons of sparkly jewelry and pops of neon to brighten it up! And, of course, bold and bright candy lipstick. :)

  • Rhia says:

    I have never wanted a pair of shoes so much in my entire life :-(
    oh and that first picture with the horse is so beautiful

    For winter, well I get bored of clothes SO easily and end up getting rid of them, so I decided to save money and be helpful and only shop at charity shops from now on. But this has inspired me to look for super colourful stuff :-)and I WILL get those shoes

  • Priscillia says:

    I’m struggling with my style, always. I’m kinda lazy is why, lol. Most of my wardrobe is rock-chick, but I’m looking into making it more colourful. I’m trying to get inspired by you and another blogger called Shannon, who has a fabulous style too! So yeah, more colours and crazy stuff is the plan ^^ (I just bought a dress with a flying unicorn on it <333)

  • Nataly R. says:

    When the weather is bad I usually have not enough energy and not so good mood so unfortunately my style also becomes worse. I also need more colors for my fall/winter wardrobe so I buy a lot of colorful vintage from Etsy. My latest find-very bright sky-blue sweater-warm and beautiful:) love your Doc’s by the way!

  • Amanda says:

    I absolutely do NOT conform to “seasonal color” rules. I wear crazy, bright colors all year round! I’m a huge fan of bright colors and accessories, and I don’t see why fall and winter have to turn anybody into style Scrooges.

    Also, awesome DIY tights project! I plan on doing that to some of my own tights!


    Team Candyfuture member and Color Enthusiast

  • Miss Kitty says:

    lime shoes and pink tights = i greatly approve. that’s my favourite colour combo! :]

    and omg, i live for the colder months actually. it’s heading into spring/summer right now in aus and i have nothing to wear haha!
    i live for coloured tights. i have too many pairs apparently hahaha! i like layering them so when your knees bend you get some sort of duochrome effect. like makeup, but in legwear form :] and it keeps legs warmer.

    and i gotta admit i do stick to black and white a fair bit but nooooo grey over here.
    ok, one grey jacket but i jazz that up with a bright belt. and bright tights. and bright shoes. and bright nailpolish.
    and bright makeup…always always always!

    hell it always looks like a rainbow just tackled me lol

  • Lucie says:

    thanks for the great article! those beaded tights mademy day, I’m deffinitely gonna try!

    Well, during cold months I do feel my style go a bit gray, unfortunately. I hate big jackets and wool and anything that hides too much skin. Morover, most winter clothes available are too dark and I get to look like a boring chick without a taste of fashion. The result: winter-fashion-depression!

    But this year, and thanks to the discovery of your wonderful blog, I’m deffinitely going to fight that and do what it takes to enjoy winter as much as I do spring!

    kagitsune Reply:

    Try vintage stores… I have this wonderful racer-red, full-length coat I bought from a friend! :3 It’s one of the only things I like about winter… xD

  • Porcelaine says:

    you probably should buy from australia since it’s summer there

  • Falco says:

    My only problem with fall/winter is that I have to wear a coat over everything… and coats are expensive so I just have a couple of generic black ones.
    But! Since it’s cold I once again have an excuse to wear hats, which I love. I buy some and make others. And I can still basically wear any shoes/boots I want. So even if I’m stuck in my boring black coat all day, it’s still fun to play with accessories.

  • Rickey says:

    My friend Emma Dahling just bought some lime green Doc Martens! GLEE!

    I wore My Beautiful Rocket today and got SO MANY COMPLIMENTS! I also wore Barry M orange kohl pencil on the upper lash line and twiggy lash mascara, and looked super cute. To top the day off (as if wearing my new bright orange lipstick wasn’t enough!), I just told this guy who’s been blatantly flirting with me that I like him, and he didn’t run away screaming! (Actually we may be going out Sunday night, yay!)

    I actually love the colder weather, because I love outerwear– some of my favorite pieces of clothing are for colder weather: I’ve picked up a lovely ’80s lime green wool coat, an orange and blue luella for target blazer, and a fab fiorucci for target pepto bismol pink collage print coat, which are difficult to wear in Southern California most of the year (so, okay, I typically give in to my desire and wear them anyway!), so having the cold weather is nice, I think.

  • Bronwyn says:

    I live through about seven to eight months of winter a year, and I agree that things can get a little drab. Especially when it’s minus forty. Then, I’m more concerned about frostbite then looking cute. But I try every year to buy winter accessories in a really unique color. If I’m wearing them for half the year, I do want them to look cute! My savings grace, just like most people here, seems to be colored and knitted tights. Without those my wardrobe would fall apart. I love skirts too much to give them up! Though I don’t wear tons of color, I depend on my fuchsia lipstick to keep my happy through the winter months!

  • Nicole says:

    Makeup can be such a problem in the winter, though– it rains so much here!

  • Mary says:

    i’m kind of sad because i work in a cloth store and all we have is grey, brown, christmas red and purple! (okay, i LOVE grey and purple, but where is the teal? the bright yellow? the pink?) we have some special piece (there is this teal blouse who looks just awesome!) but it’s a bit sad, so i brighten up my day with make up. I just mix my Duchess eyeshadow (which i do not use a lot because i look like a clown with it :( ) in some base nail polish that where left in a bottle and i added some Lime Criminal and put it on my nail and i have the perfect teal nail polish to brighten up my day :) looks like a mermaid! now i want to make handmade nail polish more…tee hee!

    kagitsune Reply:

    WOAH!! You can add LC pigments to Nail Polish?? *O* That’s incredible. You and Doe should collaborate on a nail color line or something.

    Irish Reply:

    Yeah… I’ve never tried LC with nail polish, but I have always used MAC in clear nail poish…same difference. It’s a nice way to get some new colors on hand with stuff you already have around the house!!!

  • Irish says:

    I usually just wear black, but with bright colored makeup and accessories. I’m pretty heavily tattooed and with my chest piece I sometimes feel that I clash with some colors or there is just way too much going on. Though for the past year or so I have been trying to add more color to my closet. We’ll see… I’m working on it! ;)

    Devi Reply:

    I wear mostly black myself! Sometimes just some bright tights/socks, a scarf or a hat is enough color for me. Start with little things!

    Irish Reply:

    Exactly!! I have been on a kick of buying bright colored shoes the past few times I’ve shoe shopped.

  • Ruth says:

    I usaully stock up on items when spring sales are on. Winter where i live is black, grey or ewww BROWN! You could get lucky and find some navy. I usaully wear some bright shoes a scarf or hats.

  • Sinead says:

    I rarely wear pants. Ever. So in the winter I layer a lot more than usual, wearing maybe three or four pairs of tights [the bottom layer being thick and comfy]. I’m probably warmer than everyone else wearing jeans, haha. But I hate Winter because I hate the cold. So I have to one up my style even more during these months to keep myself going. Layering really is key.

  • lillieful says:

    I tend to find that my style improves during winter. I adore stockings, cardigans and stoles but I find it uncomfortable to wear that stuff on a blazing hot summer day. However, I still do it anyway ;)

    I liked your advice about the end of winter sales. It is heading toward Summer where I am from, and during the winter that has just been I purchused an adorable lace cardigan for $50. When winter was coming to a close I noticed it marked down to $15. I was kicking myself for not waiting.

  • Cait says:

    I live in Ontario Canada and the winters here do get really cold. In order to keep my style from slipping in the winter months I wear fun colours and outfits indoors, bright cherry lipsticks. I also have this really cute hat, it is an owl, I have matching mittens.

    SBCrystal Reply:

    Oh good gravy yes! I used to live in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada, and the cold, plus the wind, plus the dryness would wreak havok on my skin! But what I adore about winter is that I can wear my very cute rat mittens that I adore, and I think Canadian girls, all wrapped up in their cute mittens, hats, scarves…I think they’re quite stylish!

  • Becky says:

    With this coat:

    Best purchase ever :)

    Samantha Reply:

    I’ve been looking for a cute warm winter coat and can’t seem to find much. That’s great though. I like the long ones because they can keep more of me warm than normal length <3

  • I just got the strong urge to paint my horse, haha… although I doubt she’d appreciate it…

    Rickey Reply:

    (also, YAY THE URLS ARE BACK!!)

  • kagitsune says:

    Wow, so many comments! *o* Personally, I don’t like winter at all. The only solace I get from the cold is that I get to wear my awesome racer red vintage wool coat! :D

    Also, layering. Layering is good. And if you *do* have a lot of black/gray/navy in your autumn wardrobe, pair it up with an awesome necklace, scarf, or earrings! :D

  • Narcissique says:

    I’m also bored, I don’t find anything in stores. Designers are horrible! When it’s spring: flowers. When it’s winter: dark colours. They don’t have imagination! When I’m bored I get dressed in my favourite Emily Temple Cute dress, full of colours and with a cake print!

  • Variety says:

    How to stay bright in the winter (and on the cheap)? Two words: Old Navy! They ALWAYS have ridiculously bright colors and the clearance is killer. Already pretty cheap clothes and if you have an Old Navy (or Gap or Banana Republic) card you get 10% off. Actually right now it’s 30% for some days, so hook up!!

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