Fall 2009 was, by all accounts, conservative, which makes sense, given the economy. Designers stuck to familiar ground, reworking themes with new silhouettes, or revisiting decades—the strict, strong-shouldered forties and the giddy, equally strong-shouldered eighties, in particular—whose silhouettes felt simultaneously novel and familiar. Mannish jackets done in cozy, rich fabrics or touched with fur felt like a return to tradition and comfort—who doesn’t want to wrap up in a boyfriend’s coat? But without sex appeal, there is no fashion. So those swinging jackets came atop sexy thigh boots; little black dresses flashed a bare shoulder; and trim suits were done in fiery crimson—the color of the season, both passionate and safe. The clothes might be subdued in some ways, but there’s a bounty of what fashion calls “wearable,” which is to say, realistic: simple motorcycle jackets, silky printed dresses, waist-defining belts (already given a global thumbs-up by Michelle Obama). And what would a new season be without an “It” bag? This fall, even those have been simplified to their essence, with hardly a logo or a glint of hardware to be seen. Simple is better these days. Right now, fashion is meant to last.