Happy almost Friday, Everyone!
Every mid-August as I was growing up, there was always something that kept me distracted from the anxiety I would receive as I anxiously approached the start of a new school year: those wonderful school shopping trips. Although I am well beyond those days of getting to class just as the bell rang, passing notes to friends two rows down (wait, did I just say, pass a note?), and endless hours of homework that I put off to the last minute, because practicing my new cheerleading routine far exceeded what I needed to know about the Civilization of Ancient China, I still need a distracter from anxiously awaiting that first day of school. So in the meantime, I continue to do what has always worked in the past: shop! This year, and this year especially, I feel as though I am back in high school again, and not so much because I now teach high schoolers (oh, the irony…), but more so, the fashion I followed during my junior high and high school years have finally found their way back into my closet. My mother always used to tell me, “Styles always come back-hold onto what you love!” And I would snobbishly roll my eyes at her and think to myself, “I’m a teen, I know everything, and you know nothing. You’re just saying that, because you’re still stuck in the 70’s!”
Well, as always, mom was onto something, because this fall, the smell of Macintosh apples, Pumpkin Spice coffee, and nostalgia are in the air…
As we get closer to the beginning of the fall season, you’re going to see me share more and more of what I love: fashion. I usually wait another week or two before I actually begin the “process” of shopping. Yes, I consider this a process, there’s a lot of logic and strategy that goes into my shopping madness (hence, why I can never shop with anyone other than my kids-If I don’t circulate around the store about five times, then you may find me coming back about five times). I also like to take my time and really think through how practical some of my “wants” are…and most importantly, I have to keep my eye out for those magical four letters that some say is L-O-V-E, but what I say is S-A-L-E…
So for this post, I am sharing with you my top 15 (because 10 is not nearly enough) must haves for this year’s fall fashion-and in no particular order, here we go:
1. The Fedora- Granted, these are one of those items that I think to myself, “but when will I really have the chance to wear it?” I am going against my guilty conscience and buying one, because I saw some really great ones in both camel, black, etc…at Forever 21 for $12. So for that price, I might as well. These timeless hats are showing up everywhere in the world of fashion, and the best part is, it’s a great substitute for those sunnies you’be been sporting all summer, and most importantly-it solves that bad hair day you just don’t have time to fix!
2. Statement Rings and Crystal Bracelets- I figured I would combine the jewelry pieces. I just purchased a black stone with a gold band for $1.99 on clearance at Forever 21 and I am really starting to love the look of wearing big stones again (as you saw in my “Soakin’ up the Sun” post), but don’t overdo it-I would say two is my maximum! Not to mention, crystals are a hot trend right now. I hate using the word “trend,” because it changes by the season, but if there is one thing that you can get away with that’s considered to be “trendy”, it’s jewelry, because you can always purchase them at a reasonable price, and they’re not something that will prevent you from wanting to look back at selfies 10 years from now, and say, “Oh my God! I can’t believe I wore that!” Besides, you can wear them to help dress up your most casual wear, or add more sophistication for your night out on the town.
3. Booties- Oh, how I love these! I currently own a few great pairs in camel and black, but this year, I intend to buy a pair with some added detail. Open-toe ones are great, but again-you may only have a month or two, to wear them before locking them up in your closet until spring. Instead, I’m thinking one with either a statement heel, or a great pair of leather ones (there are fringe ones out there as well…but there’s just something about fringe that has made me cringe since I was younger…stick with fringed accessories if you’re afraid this “trend” will be here today, gone tomorrow). Why do I love this fabulous spin on the regular knee-high boot? What’s there not to love about them? They dress up any look, they are incredibly stylish, comfortable, and you can find them just about anywhere in very unique fabrics, textures, and colors. I always take into consideration that I am on my feet all day long, so a thicker heel does the trick for me. Pair them with a great skirt or skinny jeans, and you can’t lose!
4. Lace-Up Ballet Flats-Because, “Ballet” flats are becoming too basic, I tend to lean on this type of feminine and chic footwear on those days when my feet can’t handle much else. I match these up with slim fitting pants to give my short stature an elongated look, or a cute knee-length dress-NOT a maxi! For some reason, I have a terrible pet peeve about wearing maxi dresses with flats. My rule: if you can’t wear them with sandals or flip-flops, you shouldn’t be wearing that maxi at all.
5. Loafers- No…not the penny loafers worn in the 80’s, but close! These loafers have such a modern and edgy spin, coming in a variety of colors, from matte to metallic, tassels, bows, etc…you name it! If you’re looking for a substitute for the flats mentioned above-this is a fun switch! Again, these can be easily purchased at just about any shoe store…come on, you know somewhere in your mind, it’s bringing back those childhood memories…
6.(All hail the…) Hunter Boots- For the past two years, I’ve been prancing around in these classic, durable, and effortlessly (somewhat) chic, rain boots, and this year (whether my husband likes it or not…sorry!), I’m buying pair #3, and since they have a line for kids, my mini is getting her own, too! Who says you have to wear rain boots only when it rains?! Forget it! They are so much fun to wear with fitted pants, or a skirt-Heck, I’d wear them all summer, if I didn’t care about having bizarre shin-length tan lines! They come in a variety of colors, both matte and gloss (I’ve only purchased gloss, because I like the shine). I traded in my grey ones for black, and this year, I’m (eventually) going to go more bold (I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve been lovin’ red). Usually I would recommend ordering them online (hunterboots.com), but you can also purchase them at Lord and Taylor (and soon to the Albany area, Nordstrom Rack).
*A little secret-these boots cost around $150 or up, so if you can find them second hand (both pairs I purchased, I spent no more than $90), I recommend it-here’s where I found them (Poshmark)-it’s my go to second-hand shop when I want something so particular, that I just can’t hold off on the hope that I may find them thrifting!
7.Cozy, loose knit Sweater (over-sized, pull over, or cardigan)- It’s fall! Your last chance for anything outdoorsy, before you layer up underneath those coats! This is a staple every fall season for me! This year, the Navajo-70’s inspired print is in. However, you can always opt for just one color. Pair these over a great skirt, or any style of pants and it can easily complete any casual, cozy or modern look.
8. Skinny Jeans/Leggings (in grey-for some reason, grey is the new black-but no complaints here!)-I just purchased a distressed pair from Gap Factory the other night. They are extremely comfortable and breathable (and yes, the waist is a bit higher), and I just love the idea of transitioning from summer to fall in these with some sandals or flats, and then booties for the winter. Not to mention, skinny jeans/Leggings are my go-to versatile look for day or night. I feel that with a sleek, form-fitting silhouette on your lower half, you can pull off just about any top or blazer to even out the look.
9. Pleated Neck Shirt- This feminine blouse will look great with any skirt, or pants and your new pair of booties or lace-up flats! Completely 70’s inspired, but the look never goes out of style, and I am adoring the bow that is seen on this season’s take of your basic blouse. They are sold as a tank, short-sleeved or long…great for late season’s transition into fall, layering!
10. The Midi-Skirt (among many other skirts I purchase on a monthly basis)-I absolutely adore this style skirt! It’s not something you see many women wearing (probably why I am currently obsessed with it). I caught onto the trend about a year ago, and tested it out, when I bought one in black tulle. Now I am on the hunt for one with a textured, mono-colored look (they also have them with pleats…but it’s just too busy of a look for me). I would pair this with a cute t-shirt to make it more casual, a fitted long sleeve shirt, or a fitted button-down. To complete the style, and help elongate your figure (since the midi ends at either your knee or calf) a cute pump would finish this retro-inspired look.
11. Denim-Anything in the All-American Classic look, even the Canadian’s, with their Tuxedo (denim on denim) can be pulled off at the moment, as long as you promise not to make the denim wash identical when sporting the look. Every year, I am on the hunt for the perfect Chambray top (see above photo with white midi), because it’s one of those shirts, that can go with just about any look you’re going for on any particular day.
12.The Romper/Jumpsuit-If someone told me just a few years ago that I would be wearing a romper like the ones I wore in the early 80’s, or even a jumpsuit for that matter, I would have died…but of course, here I am, ready to purchase a black one. These are probably one of the most popular looks going on right now, and ironically, it’s more of the adults that I’ve seen, that have really gotten creative and truly perfected the look. As long as you avoid that “just-fit” look, these actually look really chic regardless your size or shape. I saw a few that were appealing to my eye, and as long as you wear a cardigan, blazer, or jean jacket to cover up, this is such a great, and comfortable, early fall, fresh look!
13.The Cape-I love this look right now. However, try to find one that is not going to swallow your entire body. I can’t resist the idea of wearing one of these on a day when I don’t have the time to think about what to wear, or when I just want to quickly throw something on. They are adorable, comfortable and look great on anyone!
14. Plaid-This was one pattern I loved in the 90’s! I think this was because it gave off a little tomboy, inspirational look that you could, again, dress up or dress down, patterned on a skirt or a button-down shirt! If you’re opting for a plaid skirt, try to keep your top a solid color, so the look doesn’t become too busy. However, if you choose to go for a plaid top, this look is always perfected in the fall with a great skirt or a pair of jeans. And, because one of my favorite looks of all time is layering (especially in the cooler months), this is perfect over a t-shirt, and under a long-sleeved stripped shirt (I also love playing with different patterns), under a sweater, or even my own personal favorite piece of clothing-the blazer!!!!
15. and speaking of the Blazer– If you haven’t already read my interview with the TImes Union blogger of “The Cat’s Pajamas,” the ingenious Brian Huba (if not click on his name to read), I mentioned that I am on the hunt for a great leather blazer. These, like the jean jacket (I’ve always had one in my closet since I was in elementary school) are so extremely versatile and flattering on EVERYONE! This year, tweed is a fabric that has made a return to the runway, and of course, anything wool! The secret to not making this look seem too sloppy or bulky, is making sure the blazer fits you correctly! The key to any wordrobe is making sure your clothing is tailored to contour your body. However, I always make sure I have enough room to have the opportunity to wear a fitted sweater underneath. Pair this up with a great pair of pants, a fedora, HUGE scarf (if we had time-I’d share this accessory as well!), any pair of shoes, maybe a cute pair of stud earrings and a statement ring, and you’ll put Jennifer Aniston to shame!
Until next time, here’s to keeping your weekend full of inspirational looks to store up on before that first leaf turns brown in a few weeks! Don’t forget to tag me on Facebook (Danielle Piel), Instagram (daniellepiel), or leave me a comment sharing your favorite fall must-haves!
Photo Credits: ASOS, J Crew, Etsy, Forever 21, H&M, Hunter Boots, and Google Images