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Chic or Eek? Stretch Your Style

Mom: I have so much in my closet — a lot from last year I have not even worn yet! Can you help me sort out this season’s trends? How can I maximize my fall spending and put my previous purchases to good use?

Nancy: You are in luck. This is one of the easiest seasons to look current without breaking the bank. First, revisit that standard staple of every girl’s closet: your black trousers and skirts. If you are in need of either of these items, check out Banana Republic for year round cool wool and crepe (great fit and fabric at an enviable price). To update your black classics, purchase a sweater, blouse, jacket or long-sleeve novelty t-shirt in a bright color. Rich, primary hues are very strong and will even take you into spring. Think cobalt blue, canary yellow or purple wine. You can even wear black on black and put color on your legs. Colored tights are a big fall trend. They look especially current when paired with a bright shoe. Here’s a hint: One of the best hosiery departments in town? Nordstrom.

Take an inventory of your current sweaters and cardigans. If you own an oversized chunky knit, you are ahead of the curve. This season, if your figure can handle it, pair your sweater back to a full legged trouser. Otherwise, balance the proportion and keep your lower half fitted and narrow with a pencil skirt or your skinny jeans from spring.

Another way to quickly update a fitted pullover or cardigan: Add a skinny belt over the sweater at your waist (Try Harold’s for one of the best belt selections and prices). Picture this: Fitted pullover, skinny belt, black wide leg trouser or pencil skirt, colored opaque tights and a platform pump or lace-up shoe. Add a metallic handbag and you are all that and more! Tres chic. Check out Nordstrom for your shoes: BCBGirls has a great red crinkle patent bootie or try a Circa Joan & David suede platform lace-up.

And, finally, my favorite updating trick: Shop vintage or raid your (grand) mothers’ closet. Sweaters or jackets with elbow length sleeves layered over a long sleeve white t-shirt or paired back to gloves is a look seen on almost every designer runway this season. Pair this combo back to your tried and true black pants, add the opaque hose and you are set.

Nancy Klompus, owner of Buy Request, www.nkbuyrequest.com, is a 25-year vet of luxury retail and a D-FW wardrobe stylist who specializes in ramping up what you’ve already got. Do you have a burning fashion question? Shoot Nancy an e-mail: editorial@dallaschild.com.