Are We Still Shopping?
I’ve written blogs, produced videos and podcasted the last several months about simplifying your wardrobe, editing wisely and creating the wardrobe of your dreams. All of this suggests less buying. Perhaps. However, it mostly suggests using a lot more thought about what we have and what we need, which might lead to fewer purchases in the end. I think that’s a good thing. Fashionista reported results of a survey this summer which reflected we are still shopping, but we are putting more thought into our purchases. Their survey showed buyers were mostly picking up athleisure and basics like jeans, t-shirts, bras and underwear.
What to Buy Now
Now that the seasons are changing, I wonder if there is a way to buy practically while adding spice to our fall wardrobes. I think so, and I’ve created the shopping recommendations below (with links to purchase) with that goal in mind. Spend first where it makes sense and where you will get your most use.
Look at Your Most Used Items First
Pieces we use over and over are handbags and shoes. This means you get your money’s worth, but it also means they wear out more quickly. When you assess your fall wardrobe, look through bags and shoes first. A good cobbler can restore scuffed bags and shoes, but if they are worse for the wear, replace them.
Next, look at your fall apparel. Be sure you have a great jacket above everything else because a jacket will get the most wear of any other apparel piece in your closet (assuming you live in a climate where the seasons change). Before we jump into my recommendations, let’s quickly review the top fall trends.
Fall 2020 Fashion Trends
In case you missed the rundown of the top trends for fall 2020 on my September podcast, here they are: shaggy coats, exaggerated fringe, moody florals, velvet suiting, Victorian blouses, pointed shoulders, ruffled collars, puffy sleeves, punk plaid, tailored 70’s silhouettes and slinky silhouettes, tough boots, chunky heels and platforms.
The top colors are lilac, powder blue, buttery tones, burnt orange, gold, petal pink, bright red, black and white, head-to-toe red and head-to-toe black. I love the unexpected addition of pastels to the fall season.
The styling for fall 2020 was a juxtaposition of opposites. We had lug sole boots with Victorian dresses, taffeta with latex, trousers with hoodies, street wear with work wear, and cut outs on modest silhouettes. I love wearing opposites in outfits. In fact, I spoke about it in a recent video. It keeps the outfit balanced, not too much of one thing.
Your Shopping List
Trends aside, here are my recommendations for Fall 2020.
Because our evening events lean more casual these days as we gather on patios and in back yards, I recommend a day bag that you can use in the evening. My favorite style is the tote for its practicality. It easily fits everything, and the straps are usually long enough to comfortably wear on your shoulder. I recently purchased the Madewell Medium Transport tote (in the photo above), which I styled with a Tory Burch crossbody strap I’ve had for a couple of years. If you like a hands-free option, the Madewell tote comes with a thin crossbody strap, but it would look better with this blue and red strap from the Madewell x Kule collaboration.
I got deep into ankle boots during my time in Seattle, and I still love every pair. Sneakers aside, the ankle boot is the shoe style you will wear the most with your casual fall season outfits. I am partial to a lugsole boot right now, even if you have a feminine style. Who doesn’t need to feel a bit more tough and powerful these days? I like the black Madewell Andi Chelsea lugsole boot. On the slightly dressier side of ankle boots, I like the Cole Haan Valorie Bootie (photo to the right) and the Tory Burch Kira Bootie. If the Tory boots give you sticker shock, it is worth noting I have a pair of Tory Burch ankle boots from six years ago that still look as good as the day I bought them. Worth every penny.
I am a jacket junkie. My recs include the LL Bean Ripstop Field Jacket. This lightweight jacket is great for an early fall ballgame or weekend errands. I fell for Blanc Noir in Seattle. I love this hooded moto (photo to the left). If you don’t have a moto jacket, the price on this one makes it a good candidate to test the waters. I also like their reversible bomber jacket because who doesn’t love two jackets in one? Sam Edelman has a short trench coat in a few colors. Lastly, the TopShop Shacket with contrast pockets is a jacket cut like a shirt (thus the name).
Let’s face it, jeans are king in the fall. They look amazing with ankle boots and sweaters, the easiest, no-brainer outfit ever. My recommendation is a straight style because the looser, straight fit make them generally more flattering than a skinny jean. My favorites right now are the Madewell Perfect Vintage jeans. The Madewell Classic Straight jeans (photo to the right) are another good option. I like the wash on these jeans by Liverpool. Lastly, I love a bone colored jean in winter. They are a nice change of pace from the standard black, gray and blue. Everlane makes a nice pair. By the way, all of these jeans are high rise with an 11″ + rise. That will not work for short-waisted ladies. Instead, look for a mid-rise like this pair by Gap.
With Zoom meetings continuing, bring in one or two eye-catching tops to stand out. White House Black Market has a couple of nice options. If you have warm coloring, try this red python print blouse. Otherwise, try this flattering teal smocked v-neck blouse. Animal print is always a winner. Veronica Beard has a lovely one. Be aware, this blouse is a final sale item. Lastly, I’m mad for this sheer MANGO ruffle printed blouse. Notice a trend? The blouses this season have oversized sleeves and a romantic flair.
Medium Width Belt
Skip belts if you are large through your middle. Belts visually add weight and width. If you have a defined waistline, I recommend a medium width belt to add a finishing touch to your fall looks. After many years of the skinny style, belts with a more substantial width are “in.” I love the Artemis belt by Sezane (photo on the right). I am partial to the camel croco. This vegan leather snake print belt at Banana Republic is a nice change from standard brown and black and just as versatile. This dark brown croc leather belt from Club Monaco is chic.
Work from Home Wear
Besides jeans and sweaters, athleisure will likely get the most use in our wardrobes this season. Athleta makes great athleisure basics like the Venice jogger. I’ve stopped spending a lot on t-shirts and sweatshirts in favor of various brands at Target, including A New Day. I think you ought to walk on the wild side in these faux leather joggers by Spanx. You may not wear shoes while working from home, but if you do, get a pair of Allbirds wool runners. They earn an A+ in comfort. I am partial to the natural grey. These black and white Adidas Superstar sneakers are cool. I like the metallic gold V on these Veja sneakers and the Velcro closure. And the perforated black leather slip-on sneaker by Keds is the right amount of casual plus cool.
One Aspirational Piece
When shopping this fall, don’t dismiss fancier pieces. As I mentioned near the end of my podcast last month, we need things that add excitement to our closet. I recently purchased two “aspirational” pieces from The Real Real, an Ulla Johnson velvet top (photographed here) and a Zero+Maria Cornejo “graffiti” printed dress. Whether it is a shoe, a piece of jewelry or a garment, you deserve one piece that makes you optimistic for dressier days ahead.
Lean on Me
If you’d like help shopping for fall, message me. I do on-line shopping for clients around the world, and I am available for in-person shopping in the Dallas area. If you have questions about my recommendations in this post, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org We can discuss your best options amongst these choices.
P.S. I want to hear what you buy! Keep me posted!