Sometimes the transition from Summer to Fall can be such a pain in the hiney, particularly when it comes to fashion. I’m sure you realize that I’m the type of person to plan out her outfit the night before I have to be someplace. Obviously I would not make the same fashion choices in 90 and 70 degree weather. Thus, the Autumn often leaves me asking myself the archetypal question: What should I wear tomorrow?
Oh, I know. You toil over it. You obsess. I understand. Who among us hasn’t decided on a little sweater and pants combo at 8am, when it is still a brisk 64 degrees outside (and colder in the house for some reason? What is the deal with that?) Then, by noon, its a whopping 86 degrees and you have to keep your arms at your sides at all times b/c you’ve sweat through your cute little burnt orange top? Oh the horror!
Thankfully, I live 2 blocks away from my office, so I can go home and change. But I’m sure that you, my friends, are not all so lucky.
Throw into the mix the notion of taking an Autumn vacation. Maybe you’ve grown accustomed to Late September weather in New York… but how is it in North Carolina? Maine? Spain? New Zealand? You get where I’m going with this.
Whether you’re dressing for a Fall trip (lucky you! I am not!) or just a trip to the outlets, I’m here to teach you the art of mix-and-match, the art of layering, the art of becoming the Superman/Clark Kent of Fashion. I’ve chosen two base outfits – items that I assume we all own some sort of variation of – and I’ve played around with them to form 6 distinctly different looks.
I don’t recommend changing in a phone booth, though, because they ARE see through.
The first ensemble that we’re going to play around with is the age old (well, maybe not AGE old, but good ol’) combination of the white t-shirt and jeans. Everyone should own a variation of these items, and if you don’t, well, I’m not even sure I want you reading my blog anymore. Go out and purchase these, and then come back and continue reading.
The “favorite” collection from the Gap are great standards to keep in your collection. They wash well, have minimal shrinkage, and are soft against the skin.
These basic blue jeans are from Loft, but any old pair will do. Fyi, these are on sale for $30 right now!! PS – Recognize that bracelet from the last blog? I do, and I now own it as well.
Scenario 1. You arrive in a foreign country… lets pretend its Spain. You and your husband – lets pretend his name is Scott – decide you’re going to explore Madrid. Shopping and eating will be involved. Its temperate weather – about 75. You’re obviously going to need comfortable sandals for all of the walking you’re about to embark on, and a nice tote to house all of the gifts and trinkets that you’re going to bring home to your friend… lets say her name is Heather.
I’m a scarf gal. I think it really dresses up a plain top. You KNOW I’m an Anthropologie girl as well, so now can I not love this scarf? I would put this on and feel very Art Historyish. Don’t the colors just scream “Gaudi?” I think they do.
When I see a girl wearing a funky scarf and big earrings, like this pair from Juicy Couture, I assume she’s an up-and-coming fashion designer, and I just want to be her best friend.
A great tote for vacation, day trips, work, etc, by Cole Haan.
These gladiator sandals, from B. Makowsky, just look supple and comfortable. I’m probably going to order them (from Piperlime) as soon as I’m done typing this blog.
Scenario 2: Well, I guess its pretty much the same scenario as the first one, except, oh no, its not as temperate as you thought it would be! Its only about 60 degrees, and you might be a little chilly walking through the shady backstreets of Barcelona in only a tshirt. No fear – you’ve packed a few extra pieces in your luggage! Still, you want to bring home gifts for “Heather” though… that’s an integral part of either scenario.
Metallics are pretty much neutral in my book, so this great shopping tote, from Kate Spade, should become part of your permanent collection.
I’ve found that Steve Madden flats are among the most comfortable around.
Scenario 3: Its now 9pm on the above mentioned day. You’re pretty tired from traipsing around the city, but, hey, you’re on vacation and you want to live it up. You plan to go out for some drinks and a light dinner at a very popular, trendy cafe bar.
Since you don’t have the energy to change, you throw on this cropped riding blazer from Banana Republic, and your outfit is instantly dressier and of-the-moment.
This strappy heel, from Nine West, is gray leather w/black piping – so much more special than a basic black shoe.
You know my feelings on evening bags. It is never appropriate to wear your daytime bag out at night, and the same goes for when you’re on vacation! Pack a cute and versatile clutch, like this one from Calvin Kline, and you won’t hear a peep out of me.
Here is basic outfit/item #2. The sundress, here from Gap. Any sun dress will do, provided it doesn’t look too tropical (a print with pineapples is a NO) or too summery. A neutral black, brown, tan, red, or any other subdued solid color is much more versatile and seasonless.
Scenario 1: Its a beautiful warm morning, and you’re going to be touring some local vineyards, and possibly get a quick bite to eat at a cafe on the water.
This necklace, from Urban Outfitters, looks vintage, but obviously its not, because I just told you it was from Urban Outfitters. Regardless, you want people to think you’re an expert at scouring estate sales for priceless ivory pendants. At least I want people to think that about me.
These espadrille wedges, from Steve Madden, are a much prettier alternative to a flip flop, and they’re comfortable – trust me, I own several pairs of Steve Madden wedge sandals. I could walk miles in them, and you can too.
I love this little pouch, from The Sak. It makes me feel like Robin Hood, and I might even rob a rich person and give the cash to some homeless person. You just never know with me.
I’d throw a colorful cardigan, like this one from Old Navy, in my bag in case it gets breezy by the water. Remember – we’re having lunch by the water. I’m having the watercress salad.
Scenario #2: Its the afternoon. You’re dying to check out some of the local museums, but you also heard that there’s a modeling scout in the area. Secretly, you’ve always thought you’d be a great model, and you just know you’ll be discovered today. Its the long legs. Anyhow, its getting a little chilly because it is now after 4pm, but you still want to show off the stems to Mr. Model scout. What to do what to do?
You’re going to keep on your sundress from earlier and throw this knee length sweater jacket, from Anthropologie, right over your dress. This is a great piece to have in your collection – I can also see this sweater over a pair of skinny jeans, or even as an evening jacket.
Add a rich burgundy clutch from Charles David. You want to look high fashion, after all, don’t you?
Scenario #3: It turns out that you were not scouted by the modeling agent today. That jackass. You’ve been crying for many hours over it, and now you’ve decided that the only thing that could possibly cheer you up is a $500 dinner at an over the top expensive restaurant.
You’re a piggy poo, so you still keep on the dress that you’ve now been wearing for, oh, about 14 hours if my calculations are correct. Whatever – you’re in a foreign country. Its not like you’re going to run into anyone that knows you.
Cover your bare shoulders with this beige pashmina, from Jones New York.
You certainly can’t go overseas – or out to dinner – without bringing along a merkin. Gold Clutch, Lauren Merkin.
Throw your hair up in a bun and let these stunners, from, Anthropologie (who but?) dangle from your ears. You might be discovered tonight, after all.
Who cares if these heels, by Enzo Angiolino, hurt like a bitch after 15 minutes? I assume after the day you’ve had that you’ll be enjoying, oh, I don’t know, 27 cocktails tonight? You won’t feel your feet after number 6, so suck it up.
Having now saved you from the drama of fall dressing, and possibly the trouble of over packing, and spending that extra $50 per bag that the stupid airlines now charge, I feel like I deserve a nice Cosmopolitan myself. So, I’m going to do what I always do when I’m drinking at home – put on my pajamas, a nice pair of really fancy shoes that hurt much less when I’m sitting on the couch while wearing them, and watch House Hunters.
Next up… you tell me? What do you want to read about?