Six ways to warm up your wardrobe for fall

I really love the fall season, watching as women slowly come out of their summer clothes and start to pile on the layers. From my perspective as a designer, here’s a list of six things to be on the lookout for while shopping to update your wardrobes this season:

1) Colour/Fabrics

I love the play of colour for fall. Black, charcoal, chocolate and navy are always great bases for playing off against shots of red, mauve and even yellow. Look for wonderful fabrics that feel good against your skin. If you can afford them, look to cashmere, wool and trans-seasonal viscose blends. Try to find garments that have lycra or spandex for that added comfort. Makes them great for work or travel.

2) Jackets

Look for garments that have a soft texture, interesting tweeds/boucles, colourful plaids, over-sized checks or even stripes. Look to jackets that have a slight 80’s retro feel and come with zipper details or gathered puffy sleeves. Some jackets use over-sized buttons and even come belted. Try to include what I call the non-jacket: rich knit fabrics cut into jackets that even double up as outerwear and can be worn with jeans.

3) Pants

Should be on the skinny side. I love the new black double knit pencil pant with zipper details on the back of the leg or at the bottom of the side seam. The bottom should be no more than 12” (30cm). If you are buying a tailored pant, I like those worsted wool/lycra men’s wear fabrics and details like 1/4 top pockets and side seam tabs. Some pants come with soft pleating at the waistband.

4) Skirts

My favorite this season comes in a skinny pencil silhouette, maybe a higher, fuller waist and then tapered at the bottom — hovering just above the knee.

5) Shirts

Smooth cotton sateen combined with lycra in solids and men’s wear stripes are my favourite. Novelty jacquards all cut into skinny boy’s inspired shirts, shirts with zipper closures, 1/4 sleeves and sexy ruffles are a great way to soften things up a little.

6) Dresses

I love tailored dresses that can take you from the office to cocktails after work, dresses that make you look slender and sleek, and those with retro collars and structured seam details. The dress can be layered over a shirt and used as a jumper. Just make sure it doesn’t go past your knees in length.

Remember, no matter what, don’t buy it because it’s trendy. Buy it because you love it and it’s made of great quality. And if you really want to make this Toronto fashion designer happy… BUY CANADIAN!!

Ciao for now.


With three corporate stores in Toronto, Franco Mirabelli continues to distinguish himself as one of Canada’s strongest fashion talents. Keep up with him by following his weekly blog at or by visiting

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