Brace yourselves: There's a new trend on the style block and it's all about binding yourself with bold belts, buckles and straps.
"Straps and buckles lend a hint of punk or military, which makes a classic piece look really modern and now," celebrity stylist Penny Lovell, who has worked with Ginnifer Goodwin, Keira Knightley, Emily Deschanel and Diane Kruger, tells StyleList. "I'm not sure why designers have gravitated toward it more this season, but I love it."
Yep, there was a little bit of dominatrix dominating the fall trend list -- Burberry Prorsum, Rag & Bone, DKNY and Alexander Wang were just a few designers who sent their models strapped on the runway. But how do you keep the look hot, without being too S&M?
We asked experts Lovell and Bridgette Raes, style expert and author of "Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want," to crack the whip and teach us a thing or two about how to add, as Raes calls it, "a naughty edge to our more conservative looks."
Bold, not bondage.
- "Avoid overdoing the look," Lovell says. "Have detailing on one part of your outfit and not everywhere. Straps on shirt sleeves are a subtle place to start."
- Raes says what you wear with your straps also is important. "If you are wearing a leather jacket with a bunch of straps on it, it probably isn't the smartest thing to wear a pair of black leather pants and wear your makeup super harsh," she says. "I prefer a more eclectic approach to the use of trends. For example, if a woman has this really cool leather jacket with straps, I'd suggest she water it down a bit and balance the hard edge with something a bit more feminine, like a great pencil skirt or tailored pair of pants."
- "Boots are a great way to try this season's buckle trend," Lovell says. "Whatever your boot preference, they look great on all boots -- ankle boots, knee high boots with any kind of heel."
- "Thin leather belts that double wrap around the waist or hips are an easy way to add straps and a buckle to an existing dress or top," Lovell says. "A strap or buckle around the cuff of a coat is also an easy way to wear this trend."
- "If someone is wearing this trend in their shoes, I think that the shoe should be the main player," Raes says. "Keep the rest of the outfit more understated and use the shoes to add punch to the look. You never want too many focal points in one outfit, as it begins to dilute the entire look and take away from each trend being worn. This strap, braces and buckles trend should be an accent to a wardrobe, not a main player."
- "For most people, straps look great on jackets, and if you are tall and thin, on a pant," Lovell says. "If not, it's usually best to avoid anything that adds volume, so I would avoid them on the top of the pant. If you are bold, then a top or jacket with lots of straps is really cool. Pair this trend with simple clean lines, narrow pants, skinny jeans."
- "Wearing shoes with buckles is really easy," Lovell says. "Again, just keep the outfit fairly simple. Ankle boots with buckles are a great look this season. High or low, pair them with skinny jeans, mini skirts or narrow pants. The tougher you want to look, the more buckles you should look for on a boot."
- Raes says shoes are a great place to test this trend out. "Wearing this trend in your shoes can take a blah, boring outfit and make it more interesting," she says.
Straps and braces not your thing? Check out how to dress in a more ladylike or minimalist fashion.