What are my fashion credentials you might ask? Well, my fashion resume consists of a few years in retail management at J.Crew and a distinct interest in mirroring my personality through my choice in wardrobe. My style is decidedly preppy (it's undeniable really) and a lesson in high/low shopping. That's just code for a closet consisting of a few J.Crew, Anthropologie, and BCBG pieces but bursting with a miscellany of Target, Old Navy, JC Penney, and anything-Outlet snags.
The trick is to successfully marry those pieces into an outfit without looking like Joey in that episode of Friends where he tried on all of his clothes at once. Or looking like I buy everything in the Juniors department as I move into the eve of my 27th year.
Let's start with investment pieces. These are the quintessential go-with-anything, always-lookin'-good, wardrobe staples that you probably want to spend a little more coin on in the name of quality.
1. blazer (my all-time fave is a navy wool version with gold buttons I got for $90 after my employee discount. Think blazer with a tee/tank and jeans or blazer over a silk dress, etc.)
2. grey wool pants (I just grabbed a new pair from Martin & Osa because the waist fits wonderfully high over my love handles and the inseam is long enough for my 5'9" frame.)
3. knee-high boots (in black or brown, a good pair of tailored, leather boots look great with skirts, jeans, trousers, knee-high wool shorts, you name it.)
4. white button-front blouse (you can always look sharp with a starched white shirt. Cute new twist: InStyle recommends trying a men's button-front pajama top under a blazer. How fantastically silly!)
5. jeans (just find a great pair that fits no matter what the cost. need I say more? I'm a bit of Frugal Fanny so I don't even own a pair of jeans that always fit great. I did find a pretty good pair at Madewell though. They sell jeans using men's waist sizes AND they sell different lengths in the store.)
6. t-shirts (Pima cotton, short-sleeve, long-sleeve, crew neck, v-neck. Find your favorite and keep it on hand in a few colors for Saturdays around town or under a blazer at work. My favorite is a v-neck with a pocket for a little added character.)
7. black dress (this is a given but why must it still allude me?)
On to this season's trends. These are pieces that I just don't tend to spend much on because they may be a faux pas before the holiday season.
1. ruffle blouses (in any fabric, they add a flair of feminism to any outfit.)
2. long cardigan (These look great over a t-shirt or silk camisole and can be accessorized with skinny belts [see #3] or scarves. I've got an evergreen-colored one from my grandfather I'm about to try as soon as it gets cold.)
3. belted waists (most popular being a patent leather skinny belt but wider leather versions are popping up too)
4. colorful tights (these are so fun! If you tend to buy lots of blacks and grays like I do, this is an instant color boost to your outfit or can make a mini-skirt not seem so tiny. I bought a citron yellow pair last season on sale but I'm so glad to see them back again.)
5. big jewelry (where to find, I can't say I have any great recommendations. You'll just know that big, bauble necklace when you see it and you'll wanna snatch it.)
6. ankle boots (this I feel like I might not be able to pull off but I just saw a gray suede pair in a DSW ad and I'm thinking my bravery's up.)
When I mentioned to a friend that I might be writing a fall fashion-themed post, he requested that I not forget the men out there. Here you are guys, my diagnosis of the current men's fashions.
1. v-neck sweater vests (a solid or a subtle stripe is super cute over a casual [think un-ironed] button-front shirt with rolled sleeves)
2. skinny jeans (I'm not sure what this trend is about. Maybe the fit is better for some men, but for my hubs and his seriously muscular legs due to running, these just won't cut it. He was actually turned down recently in a store after the salesperson gave him a once over. She said "nope, our jeans just aren't gonna work for you.")
3. blazers or sportcoats (corduroy, canvas, tailored but casual. Think super smart math professor Charlie from Numb3rs.)
4. boy scout belts (I don't know why I refer to them as such but I'm talking about leather belts with small, silver buckles. These just make my heart smile.)
5. t-shirts (similar diagnosis as for women, just find one you like that doesn't have any holes in it and that you haven't owned since high school.)
Lastly, here are a few of the current looks I love that illustrate the principals outlined above:
Oops, forgot to mention anything about color palette. This fall berry, yellow, and grey/silver are BIG so supplement your everyday wardrobe with splashes of those colors.
I feel as though I have barely scratched the surface so perhaps this commentary will continue in a few days. Until then, let me know what you think!