Trend to Skip: Dance Shoes
Unless you're auditioning for a part on Dancing with the Stars, says Adam, don't wear these. Ankle straps cut off your leg line. Plus, Adam says, "Every time I show a shoe like this to Gayle King, she says, 'Oh, that looks like an Aunt Esther shoe to me.'"
What to Wear Instead: A Classic Pump
Think unadorned. Think Mad Men. Whether you choose a stacked heel or stiletto, Adam says, the traditional pump is back.
Trend to Skip: Head-to-Toe Pattern Collision
Although mixing whimsical prints looks great on the runway, it's often hard to do on your own without looking like a clown, Adam says.
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D
What to Wear Instead: Pieces That Are Already Mixed and Matched
Leave the hard part to the pros and buy pre-coordinated prints—like this jacket from Tory Burch
. Keep the rest of your ensemble less busy and stick to solids.
Trend to Skip: All-Over Feathers
"Not only do they add visual pounds," says Adam, "but you can look like you're about to take off when you're wearing feathers head to toe."
What to Wear Instead: Plumage in Moderation
Instead of making Big Bird your style inspiration this season, says Adam, choose pieces where feathers are used as an accent: like trim on a collar, cuff or hemline. They create a sense of lightness and will catch the air as you walk across a room or twirl on the dance floor. He also recommends evening accessories, for example, a small clutch with feather detailing to add some pizzazz to an LBD.
Trend to Skip: Leopard Print
Last season, this big cat's spots reigned supreme on the runways. And though Adam still likes a piece or two in a leopard pattern (he thinks it works as a neutral), for fall 2011, he suggests that your fashion focus be on a different type of jungle animal.
What to Wear Instead: Python Prints
"Python print is the new leopard," says Adam, who swears that you can find faux that looks just as exotic as the real thing. Colored snakeskin makes the pattern stand out, but neutral versions (like brown and gray) add texture to any outfit in a more subtle way. Just remember his number one rule for pulling off this trend: Never mix animal prints—say, a zebra-striped blouse with a snakeskin belt—or you risk looking like a passenger on Noah's ark.
Trend to Skip: Patterned Pants
Printed slacks splashed with stripes, flowers and polka dots will instantly transport you back a few decades—and not in a good way, says Adam. There's a reason fancy pants belong in first grade. They also make your thighs and bum look bigger than they are, he adds.
What to Wear Instead: Jewel-Toned Slacks
Navy, black and khaki are predictable—stand out in something a bit bolder this fall. Red, teal and fuchsia look all grown up when paired with a longer, neutral top or high boots that minimize a bit of the brightness.
Trend to Skip: Fair Isle Knits
It's true—last season's must-have ski-style sweaters will still keep you warm, but if you're looking for a new pattern to brighten the long winter days, he likes something a little different.
What to Wear Instead: Neo-Navajo
Vibrant, Native American–style patterns look fresh, says Adam, who has only one caveat: You don't want to look like Pocahontas. Try a printed dress or colorful bag and keep the rest of your outfit simple.
Trend to Skip: A White-Out Look
An all-white outfit worn with matching shoes makes you look too nurse-y, says Adam.
What to Wear Instead: Optic White with Metallic Accessories
This season's arctic white is bright and vivid—not the cream of seasons past. It's a great way to refresh a dull black-and-gray wardrobe, says Adam. Pair a crisp white dress, or a pants-and-sweater combo, with metallic or nude accessories—like taupe heels or a shiny silver bag. (Save spring's colorful accent pieces for when the weather warms up.)
Trend to Skip: Bulky Hosiery
Wearing heels with socks is a no-no in Adam's book. Little girls look adorable with white lace socks and Mary Janes, and Britney Spears worked the look early in her career, but the look doesn't flatter any adult woman, he says.
What to Wear Instead: Slimming Stockings
Stay away from the middle ground. Tights should be fully opaque (translation: you shouldn't be able to see any skin through them) or sexy and sheer for evenings out (as exemplified by Kate Middleton), says Adam. Try his go-to hosiery brands this fall: DKNY
. (And please, we beg of you, put your shorts away until next summer and don't slip them over your stockings.)
Trend to Skip: Lace Catsuits
The only person who should get in on this trend is Catwoman, says Adam.
Photo: Courtesy of L'Wren Scott
What to Wear Instead: Nonstretchy Lace Pieces
Elastic lace can look tacky, warns Adam, especially when it's pulled taut across your backside or thighs. Colored varieties (especially in shades of bright red, yellow or pink) can also look cheap. Opt for a lined lace pencil skirt, a feminine cardigan with lace accents, or a black lace cocktail dress for a party—like this Bordeaux-colored dress from L'Wren Scott
Trend to Skip: The Real Deal
"No doubt about it, fur is fantastic—on animals," Adam says.
What to Wear Instead: Faux Fur
Adam says there are great faux-fur pieces out there—soft, warm, beautiful—like the collar on this Merona for Target coat
. "And faux is the only humane way to go," he says.
Keep reading: 5 fall beauty trends to pair with these Adam-approved looks