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or the 2011/12 season, the hottest looks in cold-weather fashion are all about contrasts in layers and colors: long and short, light and dark, oversized and fitted, muted and saturated.

The latest trends revisit the 70's and 80's with long, soft, oversized sweaters in neutral colors like taupe and brown, or rusty shades like cinnamon and pumpkin. Wear them layered or belted, and pair them up with leggings, skinny jeans, or fitted trouser leg pants. You can keep your figure looking long and lean by draping long lacy sweaters over tightly fitted skirts or pants. Also try cropped cable-knit cardigans with long, sheer, and fluid shirts. Platform heels, oxfords, and ankle boots complete the styles.

The subtle fashionista may opt for the versatility of pairing sweaters and pants in neutral colors with knitted and crocheted accessories in bold, saturated colors like turquoise, emerald green, vivid blue, or fuchsia. Mixing rusty or denim neutrals with brightly colored hats, scarves and gloves helps beat the winter blues out of your wardrobe.

(Photo from Gucci Milan Show.)
Those with a more daring sense of style should try color blocking their ensemble in contrasting colors. Tuck a jade green infinity scarf into a deep red coat, or pair a bright orange slouch hat with an electric blue princess cardigan.

Chunky textured cowls, long cabled gloves, bomber hats (with or without fur trims), wide finer-gauge wraps, and winter hats and scarves in buffalo plaid or Fair Isle patterns add texture, dimension, and color to your everyday wardrobe. Loose slouchy hats and infinity loop scarves (both long and cowl length) are a few accessory trends that carry over from fall. As the air cools and becomes more crisp, add long (or cropped) capes, or ponchos, trimmed with fur, feathers, and other novelty fibers.

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, search for fabrics and fibers that are soft with a gentle drape. Yarns to play with this season range from sport to chunky weight, but are also light, and squishy.

Don't shy away from fluffy mohair, soft cashmere, or blends that include sparkling Lurex or other metallic fibers. This is the season to add glitz to your closet.

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I love layers! I was getting worried that the clean lines of a military look were getting popular and UGH I'm so glad that was a fleeting phase. Mixing textures is so much more interesting.
- Josi M, 2011-11-08 08:28:32

I love pop colors with black and white like this J Crew outfit.
- Julie H, 2011-11-01 07:07:41

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