High and Low Finds For Your Fall Wardrobe Wishlist
Whether it’s the subtle shift in the way the afternoon sun shines, the layer of misty fog blanketing our street each morning, or just that perpetual “ new leaf” I’m always trying to turn over – I’m craving a Fall-closet refresh. Not a full overhaul, just a few key pieces…ones that feel like the leaves outside are actually changing, and ones that feel more like “me” – now 35 – with a toddler. I wouldn’t say I feel pressured in any way to dress mom-ish, but rather, I feel like some of my current closet staples I’ve just, sort of, outgrown.
Well, some of them literally.
I love the way that Fashion acts as a vehicle for shaping and sharing our own unique personalities. It’s strictly visual – us at a glance, really. But I don’t think it stops here. The aim of personal style is to connote who we are, but maybe better yet, it mirrors the way we’d like to see ourselves – or how we’d like to be “seen”. Fashion is a tool, allowing us to try on different editions of ourselves and then see how they feel. When in search of pieces for an update or refresh, I like to ask myself the following: “Does this look truly reflect who I am right now?” and “Does it highlight the parts of me that I feel most confident about at this time?”…These kinds of questions help me to hone in on which aspects I’m looking to highlight, and which pieces truly hit the mark.
What’s challenging, is the fact that this is constantly changing and evolving as we move through life.
Our circumstances change, our shapes and sizes change, our values change – so it’s perfectly natural to feel like an item of clothing that at one point made us feel confident, might now feel like an extremely snug, inflexible glass slipper (or something we might find at a college Halloween party on Sorority row…).
I also find that asking these kinds of questions helps me to separate what I love on other people, from what actually works for me, personally. Friends, I don’t know about you, but this is something I struggle with regularly. Someone else pulls off a particular on-trend look with a casual, effortless cool and I’m sold. I’ll begin sourcing items and see how I can put it all together at home. In this particular case I end up with a pair of sleek, black leather, pointed-toe mules I can’t wait to pair with torn, distressed black jeans. Excited to feel like the Uber-cool-photo-shoot-ready gal from my inspiration photo, I hurriedly swipe on some mascara and half tuck my slouchy top (to get the full effect). But when I slip into the silky leather, my pride instantly deflates, because basically…
I look like the court jester.
Not sleek. Definitely not cool.
Folks, this happened.
Let’s take a moment to recognize that looking to others for inspiration is, in fact, helpful information. We are drawn to what is both aesthetically pleasing and also familiar to us, which can help guide us in fine-tuning our overall personal style. However, make sure to consider first how your inspired look will read with your own unique attributes. As I scroll through the feeds of my style icons, I try envisioning how a certain woven, creamy cable-knit would actually pair with my particularly rosy skin tone and freckles, with my shape and my long torso, with my broad shoulders and biceps that tend to stretch sweater arms to maximum capacity.
It’s not a perfect science. I’ll tell you that.
There’s still a lot of trial, error, packaging materials and returns.
There have been significantly fewer mule mishaps.
In sourcing this Fall’s list, I wanted to stick to items that would work primarily to enhance some of the staples I’m currently reaching for everyday, i.e. distressed denim, black denim, dark denim, cropped denim –
basically, any and all jeans.
This is my current uniform.
I am loving all looks that showcase denim at its simplistic best, but elevated. Tailored and simple, without trying too hard. I tend toward the “casual with a hint of classic” end of the style spectrum, finding that usually (for my unique personal attributes) less is more. This season I’m drawn to looks that are both comfortable and effortless, but still have that element of class. In essence, I’m wanting to convey more of a sense of “put-together” –
even if I, myself, am not.
The few staples that I think will take me there are as follows:
In light of all of the pointed-toe escapades, I’ve discovered that for my overall height and shape, a more traditional loafer style mule just suits me better. I love that there’s a sense of effortlessness because they just slip right on, but the leather and detail still showcase that hint of sophistication. And if you’re not already the hue of a blushed dusty rose (as I most definitely am) try these for something modern…
2. Collared White Button-down
A classic white button down always looks tailored, even when it’s half-tucked and paired with flats (as I intend to style it). I love that it can give you that sense of clean, crisp and elegant without too much fuss. This one from H&M is slightly blousey and the fabric drapes nicely because it’s polyester instead of cotton.
3. Chic Sneaks
Nothing screams “casual cool” quite like a pair of chic, fresh tennis shoes. Stick to classic styles like New Balance, Addidas or Saucony, and keep the color palette neutral, light and feminine.
4. The Smart & Sleek Turtleneck
What I love about a turtleneck is that by nature, it looks slightly more elegant due to its defined shape and silhouette. It gives that subtle hint of refinement even when paired with something more casual, and can easily be dressed up or down. This camel color is perrrrfect for Fall and the price point is exceptional. Which means you can get one in every color…
And then still have enough to spend on something cotton and heathered, like this…
Here’s what it looks like on. See what I mean? We’re already feeling more refined.
5. A Dose of Animal Print
It would appear that this season’s top trend is most definitely snakeskin. From booties to bags, mules and flats, it’s popping up across all platforms and mediums. While I tend to hesitate jumping on board fully with a trend that is bold, brazen and will probably die out as quickly as it hit – I love the bit of edge that these snakeskin flats give to a look of casually-styled basics. They are flattering to many different shapes and sizes, and the print is subtle – still within the realm of neutral.
Besides, it gives me a fair chance at a pointed-toe, even if it’s not a mule…
If jumping on the trend-train scares you too, then these are also an excellent choice…
The shape is just lovely, and they come in a slew of colors – blush, black and a fantastic light leopard print that looks so chic. Which brings me to my next piece…
6. The Classic Black Knit
This crew neck black knit is cashmere, but it is made ethically and with great quality, so it’s worth the indulgence and the investment. This will have longevity in your wardrobe and can be styled so many different ways – with casual jeans and flats, tailored jeans and boots, worn over a dress or paired with a skirt and booties…endless possibilities. Epic softness. Cozy meets elegant.
Here is my inspiration for this piece – one of my go-tos for personal style – Natalie Borton.
7. The Pointed-Toe Bootie
Folks, I have wanted to rock a pointed-toe boot for ages, and in recognizing that this staple is repeatedly a Fall favorite, I finally caved and purchased a pair of my own. A black, pointed-toe boot is the perfect way to completely own whatever style you aim to rock, basically without having to try. It can look edgy, refined, classic, or bohemian and still feel on-trend. Check the height of the ankle to make sure it pairs best with your shape, but this classic boot is an instant mood-boost. Here are a couple of my favorites:
This one by Jessica Simpson – velvet, and just above the ankle…
And this by Vince Camuto – classic black leather, slightly higher than the ankle – so elegant.
The last piece is really more of an honorable mention at the “Higher” end of the High/Low style spectrum, but because it’s a Wishlist, I’m going to include it.
Honorable Mention: The Classic Cocoon Coat
High quality, well-tailored coats aren’t necessarily hard to come by, but they are definitely an investment. This one by J.Crew is the epitome of classic meets modern. I love the traditional marled wool and longer length, but I really love the sleek lines, slightly mocked neck and innovative pocket design. It is also available in an array of colors, so if you’re wanting a classic camel, or a fun and funky blush, this cocoon coat is yours for the taking.
*Images link to each product. Happy Fall Shopping!