Stylist Challenge: 5 Fall Trends, Spotted by Alison

Alison Teer and I go way back. She cleaned out my closet when I lived in a tiny Old Town house with even tinier closets. I can’t remember if I had just opened The Shoe Hive or was just contemplating it, but I knew it was time to eliminate some of my accumulated clothes from the mid 90s when I had a job that required me to wear suits regularly. I blame The Ally McBeal show, but I had some really tiny skirts to go with my rainbow bright selection of suits that often had double breasted cropped jackets with large mother of pearl or gold buttons.

Alison Teer was horrified. I knew from the moment she put her hand on her chin, leaned back a little, raised an eyebrow and had a very witty and to-the-point way addressing my inappropriate work attire that we would become fast friends.

Here is what you need to know about Alison, who now has a thriving practice as a stylist: she is really smart, really funny, and really good at what she does. Her career began at none other than Micheal Kors after she moved to New York upon graduation from Denison University. She was one of the company’s first employees and was the Creative Image Manager, where she oversaw the international advertising campaigns and managed international branding with the company’s many licenses.

After leaving New York with a pit stop in Paris, she moved back to Alexandria, her hometown, and started Alison Lukes et Cie, a wardrobe consulting and styling business. If you have a fashion emergency or if you want to make sure you don’t end up in a crisis, she is the woman for the job.

I asked Alison to guide us through some of her favorite trends for fall.

Growing up in Alexandria in the 80s, the formula for fall fashion was plaid kilts and fair isle sweaters (now that I think of it, both also ripe for revival this fall!). But since starting my personal styling business, Alison Lukes et Cie, fifteen years ago, working with clients who are celebrities or soccer moms or often both, I have learned a few universal truths 1) Seasonal transitions are stylistically tough! Especially with this wacky never-ending-summer weather (global warming anyone?) — Is it cool to wear a sweater and sandals? How about shorts with booties? 2) Most people do not actually start their wardrobe from scratch each season. Obviously. Rather people want to scoop up select pieces and strategize to stay current and shift from one season into the next.

For The Hive’s Shop with a Stylist challenge, Elizabeth asked me to scout my favorite fall 2017 trends and suggest how to integrate them into your day-to-day, styled with staples you already own.


1. Viva la Velvet. Velvet is one of those fabrics that instantly exude a luxe vibe, making it a staple for fall. Of course, elegant enough to wear to a party (still obsessing over Gwyneth’s red velvet Gucci from 1996 VMAs), velvet can also be subtle and cozy enough to wear with sneakers…or as sneakers, in the case of these Vince pull-on kicks! I am loving casual velvet this season like this drape-y sweatshirt and leggings, perfect paired with jeans or a bulky sweater.

2. Oo-la-la! What don’t I love from French boho designer Isabel Marant? But these gigantic knit scarves are sure to give you that je ne c’est quoi…Snuggle up in one of these to keep you warm on these chilly mornings, or pull it on as you enjoy a Moscow mule around the fire pit.

3. Retro blossoms are the new floral for fall. A dark palette makes granny glam prints age-appropriate. Opt for feminine silhouettes paired with modern add-ons. To break up the bold motif, pair dark floral with knit or fur and a chunky leather boot (see #5). The mix of textures is what makes this look feel effortlessly cool.

4. For fall’s social schedule of cider sipping and pumpkin picking, I love incorporating unique pieces with rustic, handcrafted charm. These pretty Twine and Twig necklaces, which are all naturally sourced and all tie with their signature suede strap, easily help your jeans and turtleneck go from leaf peeping hike to wine tasting lunch.

5. Grunge is cool again. (See velvet and dark florals…) But since we don’t actually want to smell like Teen Spirit, I suggest leaving the ripped slip dresses to Courtney Love. Stomper boots offer an edgy/tough option to offset fall’s feminine outfits.


  • The latest from Elizabeth
I spent the first part of my career as a copy-writer who helped elected officials brag about their support for entrepreneurs. Then I decided to get off the printed page and do it myself. The Shoe Hive made a splash on the fashion scene in Washington, and was named the region’s best shoe store in its first year. Fourteen years later, I have tripled the store’s size and also opened a sister store, The Hive. At The Hive, we offer clothing lines that are sophisticated and approachable like Rag & Bone, Tibi, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson and Veronica Beard. We have tried to fill our racks with clothing you will want to wear all the time, elevated basics that are worth the investment.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.

The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

703.548.7105                          703.548.7110

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