While Fall 2012 hasn't really gotten underway here in New York City (and it's still the dead of summer in the South), this city is already buzzing with designers, buyers and reporters who are all clamoring for the first glimpse of the Spring 2013 collections. Why should that matter to you? Even if you don't exactly follow the trends (let alone make wardrobe decisions based on them), fashion does affect you: Whatever's showing on the NYC runways today will eventually make its way into the stores nearest you—and potentially into your closet.
To help you make sense of things like layering, pastel pants and cargo jackets, we sent MF Style reporter Maggie Parker in to the trenches (or in this case, to the rows of folding chairs at New York's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to scout what's happening on the runways...and what that means for you.
The first show I checked out this week was Gilded Age.
Designer Stefan Miljanic is known for his painstaking attention to detail, and it showed in this collection.
We know it is just so mindless and easy to throw on a basic black t-shirt and jeans, but mixing in a little color here and there will go a long way toward helping you look less, well...generic.
The colors shown at Gilded Age aren't exactly subtle. In fact, they're on the bright side. Don't let that scare you. Take it from a woman: Real men CAN, in fact, rock brightly colored pants. The key, as Miljanic shows us, is to pair a single bright item with solid, basic colors.
We advise going a step further, throwing on a casual tee shirt, even a graphic one like Gilded Age's recycled factory t-shirts, to tone down the lightness of the pants. Layering also goes a long way toward making you look like you wore these pants on purpose—not like you accidentally pulled on your girlfriend's pair in the dark. Adding a solid, dark denim or leather jacket like the one in this photo really completes and balances out the entire look.
STILL can't handle the full-on pastel but want to try out the trend? Try a brightly colored sole or laces like these Gilded Age Walk-Over Oxfords or Desert Boots.