Every month, I, Chrissy Monroe, your new Fashion Forward columnist will bring you what’s new, hot and even some of my own personal predictions of upcoming fashion trends. As we start 2017, unique looks with velvet, sequins, fur and even chokers are hitting the pages of all the top fashion magazines! Talk about Glam!!

This season I am in love with the Velvet thigh-high boots in various heel lengths for everyone from the Kardashians to my next-door neighbor. With versatility, this boot can be dressed up with a simple mini dress or completely dressed down, over some jeans. Add a t-shirt and your choice of jacket and you have a hot ensemble. These boots can be found online at various price points and in an array of fabulous colors, or sometimes you might be able to score them from a local thrift store.

I am also drooling over the sexy, crushed velvet bodycon dresses and cat suits. Throughout NYC, they are worn by women of all shapes and sizes. For this time of year, velvet is the ideal fabric. It is warm, comfy and soft to the touch.

Fur is making a huge comeback. Everything from the custom Nike slides (fluffy, fox fur on top) which are pretty much sold out everywhere, to Gucci’s extra-lavish furry spin on their classic loafer. Not big on real fur? There are so many faux fur choices that look like the real thing and are just as beautiful minus the guilt.

Not into having furry feet? You can always throw on a nice accent piece such as a scarf, headband, hat or even fur embellished mittens or gloves to add a touch of luxury to your look. I suggest only wearing one piece at a time, as you don’t want to look like the abominable snow woman!! Although, I do think a nice mink coat with a matching headpiece in the same color looks just fine and is especially warm and functional for the blistering winter weather.

Always wanted a fur but think you can’t afford one? There are so many great pre-owned pieces available now online on sites such as eBay and Etsy. Also, there are usually some great finds at your local thrift stores, some of them just need some TLC to bring them back to perfect condition. In Rochester check out Second Bloom and Anything Goes consignment stores as they definately have some hidden treasures.

Now onto sequins! Let’s not think about the eighties, disco beret your aunt wore when she met your uncle. lol. Even though I loved that look, sequins have definitely evolved into everyday wear. How do you ask? How do you wear a sequined top during the day? Or what about some sequined pants? One would think these items would only be appropriate for a cocktail party or wedding. Not at all! You can easily find a neutral-colored or black-sequined tank top to throw under a nice suit for your next business meeting or how about pairing it with some jeans and bomber jacket for lunch with the girls? Maybe try an over-sized cashmere sweater with some wide-leg sequin trousers.

Not ready to go full-on with this trend? There are plenty of accessories such as belts, handbags and scarves to add just a touch of sparkle to any outfit. And like with the fur, I advise you to only wear one item at a time because these can be very dramatic statement pieces depending on what you choose. No one wants to be nick-named Sequined Sally.

What about these chokers that are everywhere?? I absolutely loved wearing them in the nineties because I loved how they looked in the seventies. I thought I would never live to see the day they would come back in style! But lo-and-behold here they are seen on practically every reality T.V. Starlet and even in the pages of Vogue magazine, they have definitely made a huge comeback and are more popular than ever! I must say I have never seen such a creative variety!

Everything is popping from denim with chains, openly-laced into the front to leather and rhinestone in all sorts of patterns. Even some of the top Jewelers are making real gold and diamond pieces for the Beyonces and Mariah Careys of the world. My favorite choker look this season is definitely a simple black leather string tied into a bow paired with a white button-down shirt, jeans and black leather boots. I also love a nice, simple, velvet choker paired with an off-the-shoulder top or dress. It really accentuates the neckline and draws the eye to that particular area. You can even add a nice pin or clip-on earring  to make it uniquely yours.

If you dare you can actually take one type of each piece and combine them together in one outfit but it has to be done correctly. Let’s say for instance a black velvet dress with some black high heels that have the little furry ball on top as seen by Jimmy Choo this season. Add a beautiful rhinestone choker and a black sequined clutch and POOF!! Instant glam !!! I also love this look with a nice updo at your favorite hair salon and a red lip with dramatic eye lashes to make things extra spicy!

You do not have to be rich to dress well and be stylish. My main goal in joining the Rochester Woman team is to share with readers some of my secrets and tricks of the fashion trade. I’ve learned by working hands on, both behind the scenes and in-front of the camera for over 30 years. I love helping people look their best, as I believe your outward appearance is definitely a reflection of what’s going on inside. For 2017, I want everyone to shine and be the best possible version of themselves that they can be! Please join me monthly as I talk everything fashion and Fabulous!!

– Chrissy Monroe