Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Fashion: Practically Speaking (Shopping)

“It is amazing how much clothes mean; perhaps I value them too highly. But nothing- be it illness, poverty, or loneliness or other misfortunes, distresses me more than having nothing to wear.”-Isak Dinesen

Isn’t that a marvelous quote? Despite her adventurous life Isak was a clothes horse and indulged her love of fashion throughout her life, as I did last week. I realize it’s been a flight of fancy and that what I shared was out of the realm for most of us but that’s not the purpose of the runway. It’s to inspire. It’s so you do tip your head, crinkle your nose and say, “I could never wear that but if it were longer I’d love it.”  Because the odds are that’s how it will appear in your favorite store. Unless your favorite store is Costco and then you’ll have to wait for 18 months but something vaguely similar will show up in polyester denim for only $18. If you still like it, buy it.

My point is this—there’s plenty of practical in the world. Every day you go to work or look for work. You deal with family members and colleagues that, perhaps, you’d like to garrote. You don’t. Instead, you come home, settle in with a glass of wine or cup of tea and peruse a favorite magazine or blog looking at lovely, refined, sumptuous fantasy. We all need it.

I’ve had a marvelous time reviewing the fall runway fashions but would like to close by taking a brief look at some things I liked that could fit in the average person’s budget. A bit of practicality of you will. Each item pictured costs under $100 which means you really could treat yourself to one new thing this fall.

Leopard has been around for quite awhile and now, more than ever, you can dabble in it as much or as little as you like but, really, you ought to try it. For whatever reason nothing says 'I know fashion' like an animal print. Unless you're wearing it head to toe, in which case you're roadkill.

From top: Ann Taylor blouse Talbot's pumps, Target pumps, Kohl's purse, Kohl's bangles, Portolano suede print gloves.

There are so many reasons to love Katharine Hepburn but one of my favorites was her ability to take things considered strictly for men and make them her own. For her it was simple practicality- men's clothes were more comfortable. This fall men's plaids and silhouettes were big but I like taking the expected and adding a feminine twist- like a bright soft scarf, a chunky cuff bracelet, or a high heeled flannel oxford tied with ribbons. Or, if you really want to have fun mix one of the leopard pieces with something with a menswear vibe.

From top: Lauren Conrad shoe at Kohl's, H & M scarf, DVF plaid pencil skirt, Franco Sarto oxfords, H & M cuff, Jules Jurgenson tank watch, H & M white blouse with trousers 

I can't promise I'm going to live by my own edict and buy anything for fall but here are the two pieces I'd add to my wardrobe to shake things up.

I'm a huge fan of denim and chambray shirts. For me it is a classic that can be paired with jeans or khakis or dressed up with a grey flannel skirt and a rope of pearls. You can wear it over or under another top, cuffs up or buttoned. The real difficulty is finding one that works as they're often considered the purview of western wear (bleech). This year Aeropostale did a fairly simple version. It's not marked down to $16.99 so should be manageable- if there are any left in my size.

Tortoise shell is another classic material most often seen in glasses frames. I'm glad it made a move this year into accessories. This fun bracelet from Target will only set you back $19.99 but can be worn with every trend out there- even leopard (mix it up!). For me, it's a neutral, and at this price I may have to go for it.

It's 85˚ here today so a bit hard to think about fall but I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts as much as I have. 

It’s your turn- what are you adding to your wardrobe this year?


tweedlibrarian said...

Isak Dinesen's quote is perfect. I know fashion isn't the most important thing in the world but I love it! First on my list is something with leopard. I found an adorable pair of leopard pumps here:
I also want a pair of scarlet red tights or thigh highs but haven't found just the right color yet.
Last, I want a charcoal colored pencil skirt. Ann Taylor has one with a pleat in the front:

I think those three pieces would match lots of other things I own, and would work well together.

Yet another fun post!

Abby said...

I will not be buying anything fancy, but I respect your ideas nonetheless. Today I'm wearing a pair of jeans that are entirely too uncomfortable and I want my "normal" ones back. Actually, I want my yoga pants back, but those are not "accepted" at the office.

Anyway, I do know something about "other" industry trends, as leopard is still quite popular, which I love. Trending up though is zebra print, not just black and white, but black and other colors such as pink, silver, purple and some metallics. Fun!

I should probably get back to that "other" industry right now...

Ixy said...

I really enjoyed this - great picks! I especially liked the black pumps with the leopard.

And it is wonderful to come home and just sit and dream.

Kristi said...

If your mission was to make me want to go shopping...mission accomplished! :) Really loved a lot of your picks.
I especially like the denim shirt and tortoise shell bracelet...and both those stores are close to me. back in a bit. Think I need to make a quick trip out! lol
Fun post! Found you over at the Write on Edge link-up.

angela said...

I love fashion, though you might not be able to tell by my current wardrobe :(

Great tips and examples of things to use without breaking the bank. I am so tempted to go buy that Target bracelet. Right. Now.

Catherine said...

Angela and Kristi- the tortoise shell bracelet needs to happen right? It's probably even been marked down by now!

Anastasia said...

I really want some wide leg pants a la hepburn.

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