There is nothing more exciting than the lush textures, printed layers and rich colors of fall dressing. InStyle partnered with Halogen, available exclusively at Nordstrom, and Executive Style Correspondent Dana Avidan Cohn to get schooled on the style staples that will keep you fashionable all season long.

Read on to the end for three simple tips to update your fall wardrobe.

Lusting for Leather

Halogen leather shift dress

Key piece: leather shift dress

A black leather shift is essential for those chillier fall days. Wear now with bare legs and lace-ups and add tights when the temps drop. Add dimension by wearing  a thin fitted t-neck underneath to create a sleeve and add a silk tie at the neck in a sophisticated print in lieu of jewelry.

ELEMENTS OF STYLE: SEE THE HALOGEN LOOKS AND TIPS

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For Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans we partnered with Vans for an exclusive apparel collection for women and men, loosely based on the colors of our sneaker selection. We love the result and hope you do, too. In fact we were so impressed during the prototype-vetting process and seeing the finished products, we got Vans’ designer Vince Martinez on the horn to ask him about the collection piece by piece.

For this project, I was told it was a Pop-In Shop, which I was familiar with, so I got excited to do something extra creative. There weren’t strict parameters, just to tie back to the footwear and bring the design to life. It wasn’t a free-for-all, but I was allowed to do what I do. Usually I’m told, “Here’s your budget.” And I work with that. For this, there was no budget. I was like, OK, I’m just going to take everything to the next level: use the most expensive fabrics, work with the factories, make sure the hand-feel is good. All those things that I normally do, but I was able to give a lot more pushback.

–Vince Martinez

SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans

CLICK HERE FOR THE LOOKS AND Q&A

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Nordstrom Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe with Sesame-Ginger Dressing. Photo by Jeff Powell.

After being on the menu at our Marketplace Cafe and Cafe Nordstrom locations for years, this Chinese Chicken Salad has quite a following. Because it’s delicious. And, as we show in our Friends and Family Cookbook, it’s pretty easy to make at home too.

We toss together a fresh and tasty mix of julienned bell peppers, carrots, bok choy, oranges and chicken with our Ginger-Sesame Dressing. I was surprised by how flavor-packed that dressing is, considering the small number of ingredients and its easiness to throw together—it has just the right Asian-inspired balance of salty and sweet with a little heat from the dry mustard and ginger. To top it all, crispy fried wonton strips (don’t skip these!) followed by a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds and sesame seeds.

I had plenty of ingredients left over after composing one of these salads to photograph, so I packed up all the components and took them to a party I had been invited to that night. I just layered the ingredients in a big bowl—which made for a beautiful presentation too—drizzling each layer with the dressing. Not surprisingly, it was very popular, and now I can send a link to this recipe to all the people who asked me for it afterward. Guaranteed you’ll be doing the same once you serve this light but satisfying salad; it’s a tried and tested winner.

GET OUR RECIPE

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Some occasions are too important to fête just once. Take it from Jason Wu, the launch of a new collection is cause to celebrate again and again. On the advent of his new diffusion line, Grey Jason Wu, the American designer decided to host a series of dinner parties. Wu is a consummate entertainer. His elegant and lively functions usually include any number of New York artists, literati and fashion luminaries, inventive menus and impeccable decor. And, of course, gorgeous clothes.

Jason Wu bartending at one of his launch parties.

Jason Wu bartending at his July 20 party at the Lucky Bee in New York. All images courtesy of Grey Jason Wu.

Coolly feminine with a slight edge, Grey Jason Wu, his namesake designer collection’s sister line, is perfect for the New York society with whom Wu runs.

We got a glimpse inside two launch parties Wu has hosted to date—more will follow, we’ve been told—and a look at the comely guest list dressed in Grey. Additionally, the designer imparted some party hosting tips and a recipe for French vanilla bean ice cream—so good.

Place setting at a Grey Jason Wu dinner party.

Scenes from the July 20 dinner party at The Lucky Bee in New York. 

Do you have one simple tip for entertaining that you can share?

Make guests feel welcome. I think the best dinners have a great ambiance and are not too fussy. I love using creativity to cook and prepare for guests. Try to curate a meal that encourages guests to get involved.

SEE THE PARTY PEOPLE: READ MORE

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We had our in-house aces at Studio N depict a few calculated style risks for the upcoming cold season, because sometimes it’s good to step outside your comfort zone.

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Style risk: the farmer cuff

The farmer cuff (no actual farming required) is absolutely trending. Wear it with no socks or no-show socks, always. This roughly six-inch cuff turns your regular pants into a pair of cropped pants. It’s a lot more successful with vintage-feeling, wide-leg styles.

Alternatively with dark denim or chinos, avoid the farmer cuff and do a clean double roll. Same goes with cargos. Speaking of: there’s a passé but vocal perception about cargo pants being corny, a Disneyland dad thing. Ignore that. The cargo pant is a classic. A small double roll works well with a thin cargo. Since there’s so much going on leg-wise already (the cargo pocket), it’s about keeping it sleek.

SHOP: vintage-wash jeans | cargos | adidas | jackets

CLICK HERE FOR MORE CUFF STUFF

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NARS Powerfall 2016 Fall Collection

Let us catch you up on a handful of our favorite new things in the world of beauty at Nordstrom. From NARS’s covetable fall collection to Bobbi Brown’s handpicked favorites in one super-portable palette, here are six of the best new things out there right now.

SEE WHAT’S NEW TO ♥

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Fashion editors love to call trends. At the risk of jumping on that one, we can no longer ignore the accessory craze that’s experiencing a resurgence this season: chokers. The beloved ’90s jewelry is back on the throats of style setters around the globe. We saw chokers on the fall 2016 runways at Alexander Wang and Rihanna’s Fenty X Puma show, as well as on the pop star herself. But it’s always so refreshing to see those runway trends on the streets.

We spotted these ladies in New York. Each one shows that the necklace renaissance is upon us, and open to a variety of interpretations. Here are some looks we love as well as some historical tidbits about the choker. New York street style choker

All photos by Kristin Yamada

The classic black velvet or fabric choker has been around since the ’90s–the 1790s, that is. Aristocratic French women would tie ribbons on their necks to commemorate those lost to the guillotine. The fashion caught on across Europe. Sometimes women would decorate these simple bands with broaches or jewels. In the 1800s, black ribbons could be used to identify prostitutes.

New York street style choker

Beaded chokers date back to ancient Egypt, where they were thought to have protective properties. Gold and lapis lazuli were common materials on these necklaces. During her trips to India, Princess Alexandra of Wales saw beaded and gold choker designs on women, and she brought the trend back to Europe. It’s thought that because of a neck scar, the princess frequently donned elaborate choker necklaces. Many other European women in the Alps regions of Germany and Austria also used chokers to hide goiter lumps caused by iodine deficiencies. Beaded chokers returned in the 1970s and then again in the ’90s, and of course are surfacing again now.

SHOP: choker necklaces

THE CHOKER PAST AND PRESENT: READ MORE

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One thing fashion is not necessarily known for is practicality. Especially during the haute couture displays of Fashion Week, when the sky is the limit for designers’ imaginations and the shoes models sport to walk the runway are equally as elevated, one doesn’t see much emphasis placed on comfortable wearability.

During recent Fashion Weeks, however, one trend that literally hit the streets of New York, London, Paris and Milan was the sneaker. Some of the most stylish women and men in the industry were sporting tennies as they rushed to runway shows. It’s the ways in which they wear them that make these sneaks chic.

Spring 2016 Street Style sneakers

Images by InDigital

Here are some of our favorite styles and street style shots paired with shoes you can shop now.

SLIP INTO SOMETHING LACEY: READ MORE

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Blueberry Almond Buckle Cake (a gluten-free dessert) recipe from Nordstrom.

Buckle: if you aren’t familiar, it’s sort of like a coffeecake and a muffin had a sweet, delicious child, and is so called because the butter and sugar stuesel topping caramelizes and “buckles.” Our version is served at selected Nordstrom restaurants. Packed with blueberries (two pounds to be exact), it’s an excellent way to capitalize on summer’s bounty.

This recipe sprung from a happy accident. Our chefs were working with corn and almond flour for our Blueberry Almond Cake and realized afterward that it just happens to be gluten-free—though that affects neither the texture nor the flavor of this moist and tender blueberry cake.

Serve this easy-to-make dessert with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on a warm summer night.

Gluten free dessert: Blueberry Almond Cake recipe from Nordstrom.

GET OUR RECIPE

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OliviaKimVans

OliviaKimVans

Our Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans Vans selection includes Old Skools and chukkas designed by our own Olivia Kim, a project she undertook with designer Alex Dymond. You’ll be able to tell which ones they are. They’re fuzzy.

Available for adults and kids, Olivia’s faux-shearling and velvet shoes aren’t available anywhere else on the planet except for Nordstrom. They are exclusive and “fashion” (Vans also exists in the fashion world now, if you didn’t know), but above all else, fun.

Here she speaks on Kurt Cobain, cringing when brands try too hard to be down with the kids and how getting her shoes clowned in fourth grade scarred her for life.

—Andrew Matson

SHOP: Pop-In@Nordstrom x Vans

READ THE Q&A

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