Island Stylin’

Fall Fashion Preview: Start the New Season in Style

By SANDRA WEYANT | Sep 05, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Pumpkin spice and everything nice – it’s almost that special time of year, and a new season calls for fresh fashions.

Chrystie Shimko, owner of Tula Boutique in Beach Haven, has her store stocked up and ready for breezy beach days and brisk boardwalk nights.

“A lot of our clothes are lightweight, so you can wear them from season to season, or year ’round, instead of just during fall and winter or spring and summer,” Shimko said. “As always, we’re really focused on having all of the great basics for a complete wardrobe, but also incorporating amazing trends and more ornate clothing.”

Fall in love with these must-have autumn trends!

Sweater Weather. Snuggle up in a cozy sweater – there’s a style for everyone. Choose from open-knit or cable knit, cotton or wool, crewneck or hooded … there really is no limit. In the warmer months, sweaters with cold-shoulder designs or cleavage cut-outs are ideal. Classic turtlenecks and long cardigans work best for chillier temperatures. “Ugly” sweaters are coming out early, so stock up for your holiday parties ahead of time. Go ahead and knit pick!

Mules Rule. Let it slide in the most comfortable shoe of the season: mules. From strappy, open-toe styles to dressier multi-fabric options, mules make an instant statement. Play around with fun prints or opt for chic solids. Take your look to new heights with kitten- or block-heeled mules. Silhouettes with fur lining keep your tootsies nice and toasty. Slip into your perfect pair.

Stud Finder. Be an ultimate badass. Try out tops and bottoms with stud accents – they’re fierce and feminine! Leather jackets with studs will have you feeling like a total boss. These punk embellishments make any outfit instantly cooler. Not sure if studded clothing is really your thing? Kick-start your rocker style with a pair of studded combat boots instead.

Animal Instincts. We’re wild about animal prints! If you’re feeling catty, then leopard or cheetah print is purrfect for you. You’ll be spotted wherever you go. Consider snake print the new neutral and slide a few pieces into your wardrobe (they won’t bite).

“Animal prints are making a serious comeback,” Shimko said. Perhaps this trend will never end, and we’re not mad about it.

Get your paws on animal print styles and run with the fashion pack.

Tough Love. Want a look that dominates and commands attention? Leather is timeless and edgy, and gives off that “don’t mess with me” vibe. You can’t go wrong with a leather moto jacket or pencil skirt this season.

“We have a few vegan faux leather skirts, and I know they will be flying off the racks this fall,” Shimko said.

Bear With Us. Don’t let the name fool you: Bear coats are ultra-soft and cuddly. If you’re searching for the perfect in-between jacket (a little heavier than a sweater, but not quite a winter jacket), bear coats are just what you need, but you’d better act fast.

“I brought these bear coats in for fall, and they are basically sold out already. They are big and furry and extremely soft, like a baby blanket. Everybody makes them. They came out last year, and they are really not going anywhere anytime soon,” Shimko said.

Get Branded. Are you a fan of Nike, Adidas or Puma? Activewear with logos never goes out of style. Rep your favorite brand by sporting logo apparel from top to bottom: shirts, pants, hats and even socks. It’s all in the name these days.

Flower Delivery. These are for you. Fall florals are always fresh. If you’re conditioned to believe that you can wear flower prints only in the spring or summer, it’s time to make a change and let your style blossom. Your best buds are transitioning into fall in warm, harvest colors such as oranges, reds and browns.

Bigger Is Better. Oversized garments are owning the runways, and they have massive appeal. Instead of skimpier, skin-baring clothing, this year is all about comfort and modesty. Higher necklines and loose-fitting cuts leave more to the imagination.

“Oversized everything is taking over. Sweaters, cardigans and tunics are designed to be baggier and more comfortable,” Shimko said.

What could be better than that?

Mad About Plaid. Check you out! Fall is for flannels, and Tula has plenty of them. If you’re like me, you have at least 20 different shirts in every color combination imaginable.

“We have this one really amazing flannel that everyone loves. It’s super basic and comfortable, but not totally fitted. It’s also not like a man’s flannel; it has buttons and more shape to it, but it’s not tight in the arms,” Shimko said.

Life in Plastic – It’s Fantastic. We can see right through you. Plastic is used not only for Tupperware, bottles or raincoats. Some of the most fashion-forward looks on the runways were totally transparent (or almost) from head to toe. If this attire seems as if it would be uncomfortable and stiff, that’s because it is. It’s more about making a statement with these unusual styles, but the plastic-y material makes for easy cleaning. Plus, it’s totally waterproof, so at least it is practical. You will even see dresses and pants made out of clear or iridescent materials to give off that outer-space feel. Take me to your leader.

Jean on Me. Coated denim is extremely popular this year. The leather-like material is shiny and stretchier than regular denim. Essentially, you get the edginess of leather without the heaviness or tightness. Tula Boutique currently carries coated denim in two colors: wine and black.

“Our regular denim is still all about that fit, fabric and feel, but we’re doing it a little differently with uneven hemlines, varied textures and cool colors,” Shimko said.

Spice It Up. Now trending: spice colors. Amp up the flavors in your closet with paprika and cayenne reds and cinnamon or nutmeg browns. Saffron and mustard yellows are also completely delectable choices.

“Mustard is a huge color for us – we’ve been selling a ton of it. We have a gorgeous long-sleeved lace mustard dress with a turtleneck. It’s everything,” Shimko said.

Black Out. Timeless. Slimming. Sophisticated. All-black ensembles are always a win. Yes, you can wear black on black on black. For example, a black top, black pants and black oxfords = professional and classy, and there’s nothing dark about it. Little black dresses are here to stay, too, in case you needed a friendly reminder.

“For our bigger sizes, in general, we really focused on simplicity. We have a black V-neck long-sleeved dress you can wear to the office or wear to a party, and we always have black tops and jeans for everyday wear,” Shimko said.

Fringe Binge. Trust us: You’ll want as many fringe pieces as possible. Boho-chic tassels evoke the ’60s and ’70s, but fringe is totally modern, and you can incorporate it into any look. Expect to find fringe details on shoes, jackets, skirts, handbags and more.

“Anything with fringe or that distressed type of look is totally in,” Shimko said.

Très Bell. Bell sleeves are another blast from the past. They’re back on sweaters and dresses, and they’re so cute.

“We have a great basic black hoodie, and they added a bell sleeve and ruffle hemline, so it’s taking a basic and making it a little different and more unique. I think our customers are really liking it. Simple added details that make it feel a little dressier and better for everyday wear,” Shimko said.

Embrace Lace. Lace is elegant and versatile, and every woman needs at least one lace ensemble. It can be dressed up or down and worn in every season. If you’re not in love with lace, take it slowly and incorporate some pieces with lace accents versus an all-lace get-up.

“People are still loving lace; they are not over it. We had this cardigan with a lace back, and it was gone in a day. They’re loving it in dresses and tops. You can wear it from the desk to dinner,” Shimko said.

The Current Stitch. Embroidered details are sew cool and truly enhance every outfit. Whether it’s an elaborate image or simple, colorful seams, embroidery adds a little something extra to your wardrobe staples.

“We have this beautiful apricot sweatshirt, and it’s a plain crewneck, but it has gorgeous embroidered flowers on the sleeve. Again, we’re taking basics and making them better. You can wear it as a sweatshirt or with a flannel underneath to make it totally different. We’ve had some really great success with this idea – having our basics be the staple of our wardrobe,” Shimko said.

Fashion Flashback. We’re reliving the ’90s. Fanny packs and scrunchies are hot commodities at Tula Boutique. Feeling nostalgic?

“I literally cannot keep scrunchies in stock. I sell more of them than anything else. Almost everyone who checks out grabs a scrunchy, or three,” Shimko said. “They don’t pull your hair, and they come in velvet, satin or cotton. They are great and look cute if you want to wear them on your wrist as an accessory.”

Fanny packs are not like the traditional nylon “mom-ish” ones we remember; they have had a serious makeover. New belt bags feature cool hardware like studs or flashy zippers and are made out of different materials, such as denim or leather.

“We’re taking a new twist on the iconic fanny pack.”

As the seasons change, one thing remains certain: Tula Boutique has all of the fundamentals for a fashionable wardrobe all year long. The boutique now carries sizes S to 3X, making the clothing assortment even more appealing and accommodating for all body types. Visit the store in Beach Haven or shop at After you make a purchase, don’t forget to flaunt your new looks on Instagram with #tulagirlgang.


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