Perforated To Perfection

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall's bounty of fashion is marked by an abundance of embellishments, from studs and grommets to zippers and sequins -- all trendy touches that point to designers' simultaneous resurrection of looks from the '70s, '80s and '90s. But sometimes the season's under-the-radar trends are the surprise hits: Take these perforated pieces, where the lure lies not in what's been added, but in what's been taken away.

-- Holly E. Thomas

Marc Jacobs's blush-hued blouse conveys an architectural feel with three-quarter-length sleeves and structured shoulders, but artfully punctured silk yields a finished product that's supple, not stiff. $895 at

For an understated approach, cinch one of fall's drapey cardigans or snug sheath dresses with a wide, neutral-hued belt with an old-fashioned perforated flourish. $9.99 at Charlotte Russe stores and

Small accessories get the hole-punch treatment, too. The top-grain leather Reverb wallet combines an ultra-flat design and op arty pattern for a funky take on the traditional back-pocket staple. $65 at

Men's shoe designers have long used touches of perforation to add panache, from spectators in the 1920s to today's office essential, the wingtip brogue. RJ Colt opts for a big-picture approach with this subtly patterned leather lace-up. $80 at

Charlotte Russe's budget-friendly faux suede boot packs a trendy punch, thanks to edgy straps, a slouchy silhouette and a cutout heel and toe. $44.99 at Charlotte Russe stores and

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