How To Style The High Gloss Finish Trend for Fall

One of the many things on my fall favorites list is the opportunity to try new looks and be bold about your style. That means playing with colors, fabrics, silhouettes and finishes. This fall seasonal trends appear to go above and beyond options for the above-mentioned fashion attributes. One trend that I’m interested to try this year is the high gloss finish.

The High Gloss Finish

Whether it be patent leather, wax coated denim, matrix style leathers, or vinyl finishes, I love to add a little shine to my outfit. This trend is not to be mistaken for the patent leathers of your childhood (I remember I had a pair of black and white Mary Jane shoes), the loud and tacky vinyl of the 1960s or the pop-diva plastics of the 1990s and early aughts. The fall 2019-20 version is high-end and sophisticated with age-appropriate silhouettes and beautiful, rich colors.

This is definitely a trend to try this year but like many trends, you have to know how to work it and do it right. Let’s dive a bit more into the high gloss finish fall trend for women over 40.


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High Gloss Fashion On The Runway

high gloss on the fall runway Alberta Ferretti, Celine and Balenciaga
Fall 2019 RTW: Alberta Ferretti, Celine and Balenciaga | Photos:

I love how the incredibly high-end designers made this trend wearable for every day. Runway giants like Alberta Ferretti, Celine and Balenciaga all took high gloss and patent leather finishes to the streets and made them workable for women over 40. The Celine show featured many options of slouchy boots in patent and shiny leathers.

The pair of oxblood color over-the-knee leather boots with shearling trim had my eyes popped open wondering how I can get them (or a more affordable dupe) to wear them immediately. I also loved the apple red patent leather trench coat featured in the Balenciaga show. It proved that high gloss finishes and patent leathers for women over 40 do not have to be boring. They can be bright, bold and beautiful and help you exude confidence.

How To Style High Gloss Finishes Over 40

 high gloss finish trend for fall fountainof30

For a woman over 40, as fun as this trend is you must tread lightly or it can come off looking juvenile. Keep silhouettes clean and slim. If you opt for an oversized piece, keep it the feature of your outfit; which in my opinion should be either an oversized coat or pair of slouch boots, which are both also key trend items for fall 2019.

A good start for early fall weather would be this Frame Le Vintage Coated Jacket. Even though it is snake skin print (which is hot, hot, hot right now!) the color can be worn as a neutral. I’d wear it with my high-waist, super wide-leg pants (my new favorite pant) and a simple camel colored top. I’d add an interesting twist by finishing the look off with a pair of ivory/black snakeskin oxfords and accent the total look with gold jewelry and accessories.

I’m also a big fan of an interesting bag, so if you want to give this trend a try on the accessories front, invest in this Bao Bao Issey Miyake Vinyl Tote. The geometric design, although quirky, is quite architectural and can be a special piece you can pull out time and time again.

Expert Style Tips: The High Gloss Trend

1. Don’t go head to toe.

This trend works best if you stay subtle and only do one or two high gloss pieces per outfit. If you decide to opt for a high gloss finish coat, then I wouldn’t pair it with pants or a top with the same or similar finish. You may be OK with a pair of patent leather oxfords or flat shoes, but I wouldn’t much go beyond that. Less is more and it will keep your look elevated.

2. Quality matters.

This is not a trend you want to opt for super cheap pieces. If you do, they will tend to look super cheap. There is something to be said about investing in a quality piece when you go with high gloss finishes. Even if they are on trend now, some of these pieces are true classics that will never go out of style. Something like these Kate Spade Patent Leather Pumps are a perfect example. If you invest in these, you’d be able to wear them consistently for the next 50 years because they are truly timeless.

3. Don’t be afraid of color.

It’s easy to fall into only wearing black for this trend. The truth is, when done correctly, high gloss finishes in a real  color can look fun and sophisticated. I came across these Jeffrey Campbell Jewel sling backs and almost fell out of my chair. They are absolutely stunning and look sophisticated and polished with their muticolor snakeskin print, crystals and all. These are perfect with a simple midi length pleated skirt and crew neck long sleeve top. Wear both pieces in a neutral, monochromatic color story.

4. This trend is forgiving to the body.

High gloss is a great way to express your personal style without being self-conscious of your body. Many clothing items that have high gloss finishes don’t fit close to the body or hug you in the wrong places. High gloss jackets, coated jeans, shoes and accessories can all be forgiving. So that is one less thing you have to worry about when shopping this trend. Just cinch up that belted jacket or rock a high-waist pair of coated denim and off you go!

5. Store and clean your high gloss finishes.

It’s important to know that uncared for patent leather can dry, crack and discolor so make sure you know how to care for the pieces you invest in. Cleaning solutions like Windex used with a damp cloth or paper towel work well to keep your items clean. When discoloration occurs, petroleum jelly, acetone or alcohol can help restore them back to new. When storing the items away for the season, make sure to use a dust bag or wrap the piece in tissue paper. Also, keeping your items in a climate controlled environment should also help tremendously.

Shop The High Gloss Finish Trend

Pictured above:

Frame Le Vintage Python Coated Jacket, $365

Kate Spade New York Pallas Patent Leather Pumps, $228

Veronica Beard Carolyn High-Rise Baby Boot-Cut Jeans, $328

Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Lightweight Vinyl Tote Bag, $595

Jeffrey Campbell Billion Jewel Slingback Pump, $184.95

Are you going to try the high gloss finish trend this season?

– Carmen Turner

You may also like to read about more fall 2019 trends like How To Get The Top Fall 2019 Jewelry Trends For Less and 11 Of The Best Fall Shoe Trends For Women Over 40.

This post contains affiliate links which may give us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Runways Photos: Fall 2019 RTW Alberta Ferretti, Celine and Balenciaga,

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