Barnard College freshman, Christina, caught my eye as she headed off for last week’s Fashion’s Night Out in New York City. Although this may appear to be an evening ensemble, she definitely inspired me to fearlessly dress like its New York Fashion Week more often than not. Here several moody, dramatic pieces are paired with simple accessories to embrace the romantic tendencies of the fall season.

As we saw this summer, the high-low dress and skirt demanded a 2012 staple status. In a neutral color like gray, the billowy piece can easily transition into the early fall, and even into later fall with a pair of killer tights. Such a skirt is simple enough to throw on in the morning when you hardly want to get out of bed, and as you’ll find throughout the day, is much more energizing than a pair of sweatpants. In my opinion, the dramatic and youthful shape, especially when paired with dependable black booties and a stack of bangles, will make you feel like a modern-day Wuthering Heights heroine. 

The structured military jacket, another must-have this season, bolsters the vaguely Victorian slant of this outfit. Last week, we saw the same trend coming into play with a tough backpack. However in this case, the fitted, navy jacket features understated gold detail. If you already have a simple military jacket hanging in your closet, but would like to infuse it with blazes of glamour, take a few hours next weekend for a DIY project. Read a tutorial here. Buy anywhere from 8-14 metal buttons and braided ribbon to sew (or glue) on either front panel for decoration that both personalizes and enlivens.

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