Beauty & Style

Make way for fall

Some fashion trends making a comeback this season

by Meg Wilkins Strader



Fall offers a wide range of opportunities to enjoy special occasions or outdoor activities. As we slip out of summer and head into fall, keep some of these updated trends in mind when sprucing up your wardrobe.


As always, color plays a major role this season. But the vibrant shades from the spring and summer palette are toned down, with jeweltones of amethyst, peacock teal, and maroon appearing in designers’ offerings. For added appeal, these colors and designs are frequently accented with sparkling sequins, hand-sewn leather pailletes, and other forms of leather trim.


Leather jackets are back, and the fashion industry has done a fabulous job of keeping them affordable, especially with new faux leather fabrications.


Skirts are always an important element, and this fall the tulip cut is a flattering option. It’s a sophisticated silhouette that can be complemented with a nice pair of patterned tights. This season’s tights range from dots and stripes to argyles and cable knits. Leggings are back as well, offering versatility in both denim and Ponte, a versatile fabric.


Ponte is great for its comfortable stretch that maintains its shape. It’s also ideal for travel because it packs and wears well, and you can dress it up or down. Corduroy has made quite a showing in fall offerings as well. Both corduroy and Ponte can be found in multiple colors.


Denim, of course, remains a timeless favorite and is available this season in boot, skinny, and straight legs. Be sure to look for denim that’s lacquered, a treatment process that gives it a sheen that’s perfect for a dressier look.


If you weren’t quite ready for the exposed zipper that found its way into many spring and summer designs, then you have another shot to embrace it this fall. It can be found all over and offers a simple statement of interest on classic styles.


Studs also can be found on a wide range of designs, from leggings, pants and jackets to shoes, handbags, and tops. Shoulder pads also have found their way back into tops this season, as well as a high-low hemline that offers more coverage over the hips. This is a sleek look that works well with a military-style jacket and skinny pants.


Cool weather always beckons us to make some much-needed wardrobe changes. Keep these trends in mind as you’re shopping this fall, and incorporate them into your own personal style.


Meg Wilkins Strader is owner of Simply Meg’s, a clothing boutique located at The Shops at Friendly Center in Greensboro. To learn more, call (336) 272-2555 or visit

The printed word

Custom invitations add elegance to events

by Cindy Hodnett



We text on our cell phones. We chat online. We post messages on Facebook. In the fast-paced society that is our 21st century lifestyle, electronic options for communication are almost endless. Yet despite the ease of talking via technology, many people are returning to a time-honored tradition when it comes to important occasions: printed invitations.


“Invitations show a degree of advanced planning for very special occasions,” says Valerie Sutton of Benjamin Craig Stationers Inc. in Greensboro.


“They say to the recipient, ‘You were important enough to me to plan a most memorable time for you,’ ” she adds. “The pendulum has swung so far to the impersonal side that many people are beginning to head back the other way.”


Gretchen Wright of Wright Choices in High Point agrees.


“Printed invitations are more personal than e-mail and are a keepsake for an event,” she says.


“While e-mail has changed the stationery environment, I think that people still like to receive a personalized invitation in the mail for special events, something that can be kept for years if they so desire.”


Something special

According to Sutton, the children of Baby Boomers are embracing several traditions when it comes to invitations but are adding their own contemporary twist.


“Graphics and wording are playful and colorful, whether it’s an engraved or imprinted invitation,” she says.


Ashleigh Marion of Ashleigh’s Fine Paper in Greensboro says bright colors and bold fonts are popular with clients. The addition of jewels and ribbons adds another layer of customization to both formal and casual invitations.


Ashleigh’s is one of three stationers in the state to offer C’est Papier.


“This line is about as custom as you can get,” Marion explains. “It takes a bit longer to receive the order, but it’s well worth it. Personally, it’s one of my favorites.”


At Ashleigh’s, customers can choose from among 3,000 fonts, and hundreds of patterns and prints.


“The selection gives you a chance to express your personality,” she says.


At Note Worthy — a family-owned fine paper and gift boutique that recently moved into larger space at Thruway Shopping Center in Winston-Salem — customers can choose their invitations among several brands, including Crane, Envelopments, Stacy Claire Boyd, Sweet Pea, Vera Wang and William Arthur.


“We’re seeing a lot of letter-pressed, pocketed and layered invitations,” says owner Jennifer Stern.


Unique works of art

For many, the first venture into the world of printed invitations occurs in conjunction with a wedding. However, even the most traditional bride and groom often will opt to design their own invitations with unexpected embellishments.


“A lot of our brides are choosing to incorporate their wedding colors into their invitations with textured and colored papers,” Stern says, adding that she’s also seeing the use of two lettering styles in a single invitation.


“Everything is possible with an invitation,” says Robyn Goslen of Invitations Only in Winston-Salem.


“Some people incorporate photographs, while others include original artwork.”


All area shops offer on-site printing, cutting down on turnaround time.


“Many invitations can be customized, so if you like a pattern but would like different colors we can do that,” Wright says.


According to Sutton, many of Benjamin Craig’s clients see the process of creating custom invitations as an integral part of the overall event.


“Our customers tell us that they come here whenever they need to feel good, and that’s our goal,” she says.


“We want you to feel special when you come through the door.”


Cindy Hodnett is a freelance writer based in Clemmons.