A little while ago, we bemoaned the direction of this fall's fashion. (In a word? Snooze!) Here's an interesting viewpoint: International Herald Tribune's kookily coiffed fashion critic Suzy Menkes declares this year's autumn looks are for a woman of substance.

Out go the flimsy, frilly and girlie looks that were the despair of women dressing for work and playthings for those who love every shade of pink. After a decade dominated by clothes that were lightweight in every sense, a more feminist image is fighting its way back.

Hmm. Fall fashion, feminist? Blame the high-waisted pants, sturdy shoes, "mannish" jackets. "The female body now has the option for a complete cover-up," writes Menkes. Okay, so the problem we have is this: while we're glad that the era of super-low rise jeans, assless Christina Aguilera chaps and side-boob dresses is coming to a close, we're not exactly interested in dressing like Velma from Scooby-Doo.

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Sure, sure, we know it's about wearing what you want and not following trends. But here's what happens: Louis Vuitton (above) shows chunky knits and slim skirts; Suzy Menkes writes about chunky knits and slim skirts; then you need something to wear one day, and you go into some mass market store and find chunky knits and slim skirts. It's not a terrible thing, but that look is not for everyone. If it makes a professional model look a wee thick-waisted and dowdy, what will become of the rest of us? Even though Thelma was the smart one who solved all the cases, you wouldn't exactly call her wardrobe exciting. Is there a way to be feminist, feminine and, uh, foxy?

Autumn Looks For Women Of Substance [IHT]
Earlier: Fall Fashions Are Here... And They Suck