Labor Day is over but for most of us the laboring now begins! That time to change over your wardrobe is quickly approaching and the dread of having to look in your arsenal is usually extremely daunting and overwhelming. I know the questions that loom over you constantly… What should I keep? What should I donate? What do I need new for the cold weather ahead and still look amazing? What can I afford?
Honestly, if you followed my Fall Must Haves from last September, you will need very little new pieces to be right on track and if you didn’t besides me shaking my finger saying ‘shame on you” I am certain if you take a thorough inventory of your entire closet (go to the back of your rack where you never pull from) you will find some items from this list that can be brought to the front of the rack again.
Fret not my pets… Again the trends are available in every price point you can imagine and many of the high end designers have done capsule collections with discount retailers like Target, Kohl’s and H&M just to name a few where you can get a version of their higher priced collections for pennies on the dollar to what it would cost in say Barneys or Neiman Marcus. So now I need you to take a deep breath, get a pen/paper or just print this article out and use it as your Holy Grail for Fall!
Grey is the new Black!
Not just for you but for the whole family. For the first time in a long time, many of the trends this season are fundamentally the same for men women and children. Grey is a neutral for fall and can be paired with just about EVERYTHING! You can wear it to balance patterns, wear it monochromatically (all the same color head to toe preferably in a mix of subtle hues differences or all the same hue if that’s better for you; but I prefer the mix of tones for dimension and character). It’s ok to give your traditional black suit a break this season. As a matter of fact, put them in the back of your closet and only pull them out for funerals this season. Let’s see how well grey works for you standing alone without it; you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I promise.
I always love how strong bold colors and patterns are balanced so beautifully with the simple addition of black and white; it is truly the great equalizer. This year will be no different; with the added help of the signature color grey when donning the HOT TREND and rich essences of BURGUNDY, REDS, CHOCOLATE and BLUES. These colors are reminiscent to of school uniforms; as I wore for many many years as a kid and loathed it. Now it’s refreshing to see these colors brought to life in fantastic fabrics (not polyester like those school uniforms) like chunky knits, rich suedes, cashmeres, fine wools, cool cottons and leather just to name a few.
The Bootie and Over The Knee Boot!
I couldn’t mention one without the other as they are both equally HOT Must Haves for Fall.
The Bootie is actually a year round essential but traditionally better accepted by the masses during cool/cold weather until recent. The over the knee boot is just as it states an “over” exaggeration of the standard knee hi boot but it has become a style essential for Fall. They both translate well from work to play and works beautifully with the pencil and flounce skirts (also a very popular staple for Fall).
Fit & Flare
Also known as the Skater Dress is a popular ultra-forgiving figure flattering dress for all body types. It cinches in the top waist (your smallest area; right above the belly just below the ribcage) and a-lines (/ \) from there. The skirt works well as a separate also paired with a fitted top of your choice (see Beckham in a great quality long sleeve tee with flare skirt). Whichever you go with, the one piece or worn as separates the idea and silhouette remains the same. The skirt will skim the hips for a flawless finish and deliver a shapely silhouette no matter whether you are a size 2 or 22 and the top will keep it tight and upright. The lengths come in ranges from mini to floor length so find the length that works best for your height. If you’re petite you are strongly advised to stay in the mini length. You need to show as much leg as possible and stay clear of the over the knee boot; its bootie or stilettos for you. StyleTip#1: You can add a wide belt to compliment the bootie or over the knee boot you pair with it or it works well with a simple stiletto. It comes is a wide variety of patterns colors and textures just make sure the silhouette is fitted at the top and wide and the bottom and you can customize the rest that feels good to you! StyleTip#2: If you have a Fit & Flare Dress that is in an evening dress fabrication or length (midi) you can still wear it to work! Pair it with a cropped denim or cropped varsity jacket for balance and wear a pointy flat (for added casual balance above and below) or a simple stiletto for the edgier fashionista; both very fashionable savvy and highly appropriate for daytime.
Fair Isle Prints
There’s nothing better than a soft knit sweater on a brisk Fall day. Now the sweaters you would just pull out to go skiing or for Christmas is now a go to all season long. The oh so comfy, home-y fair isle print (elegantly done by Pucci and Burberry this season) is coming out of the back of the closet, tossing the moth balls and wants center stage this fall. Its like look has us borrowing our fathers look. I personally would wear it more for a casual cute look paired with some fur lined boots and fitted cords but try them for yourself and see how you would rock them best for you. Regardless, how you wear them you wont be able to resist finding a crackling fire somewhere and roasting some marshmallow for old times sake.
I am so in love with drop crotch pants or rompers/jumpers because they are comfortable and they can be super stylish…its such a win win; I Iove wearing them! This season the next big thing that is dually comfortable and chic is the head to toe knit. Its like your favorite ice cream topped with candied bacon on top…something good made GREAT! Knits aren’t just for sweaters anymore! Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney showed us on the runways their version and Zara and H&M will be doing it too. Comfort, Stylish and Warm together in one complete look from head to toe for fall. Thank you guys; you’re the best!
Colored Leather Skirts
We saw colored leather in pastel this spring. I wore one from H&M for my rooftop birthday soiree atop the Manhattan skyline this past June. Leather for fall isn’t exactly a new trend, but for fall its being shown in almost every color of the rainbow. (buttery orange, electric royal blue, ravishing reds and so on proving that leather is so much more exciting than black and beige.
What girl doesn’t love a little sparkle in her life. We absolutely adore a great sparkle on our fingers and I’m not talking about our nails! Besides a great diamond the other perfect accents in your wardrobe. This season, from jackets, to boots and everything in between you will find shine. I’ll play along but the shine from a quality diamond on my digits still reign supreme with me.
With Fall/Winter there are certain trends you expect to see year after year with just fresh twists to keep it modern. Leathers and furs (faux and real) is a staple. This year they reached far into the 80’s for some designers and pulled out the old school shearling jacket that I remember as pairing perfect with EVERYTHING from Clark Wallabee Shoes to satiny silk wrap dresses my mom would wear for special occasions and put on her shearling coat like it was chinchilla. I was young and didn’t have one but i remember it being warm as hell when I wrapped myself in it wishing I was lucky enough to own one. Well that style has returned all over the 2014 runways and now the streets, but in fun colors and prints. What was once an old trend is new again and if you happen to still have your mom’s, dad’s or grandma’s old shearling in the attic…pull her out, take to a reputable furrier or your local major retailer like a Bloomingdales or Macy’s Fur Vault and have them work on it and give it life and luster again. That furry friend is sure to be a hit with the fashionable set whether you dye the fur a funky outrageous color or not.
This classic outerwear never gets the chance to hide in the attic because it really can be used year round. Even in the summer on rainy days a trench can be worn and be perfectly envogue. This season is no different. The variety of trench coats availabel this season is as long as it is wide in lengths, fabrics, weights, colors and styles. Pick one any one! There are losers as long as you own one. And what’s nice is the is one for every member of the family. It comes in sizes for toddlers and kids too!
The Extreme Turtleneck
I love anything that gives me warmth during these cold months. The extra high extra wide turtleneck collars are a MUST for those like myself. Be aware that some of the fabrications like some wools, angora or acrylic blends might not always be smooth against your skin. try wearing a thin moisture wicking turtleneck underneath to save you from the itch-ezzz.
Always Remember “Powerful & Pretty Should Be One Word”
It’s time to head back to school. Whether you are in preschool or graduate school I am sure you dread the crisp cold mornings when you have to get out of bed and head to class. Putting away the bathing suits and flip flops are the last things you want to see go away, I know. Regardless to all those cons one thing is for sure, fall always brings fun with all the new fall looks ahead to wear and bring cozy chic into your chilly reality ahead.
Every season, women’s fashion headlines the MUST HAVES because lets be honest menswear/boyswear was always a bore; outside of Brycewear of course, which was my great love affair with menswear miniaturized for boys for many years after I was a frustrated parent who wanted my son to be stylish like his momma and I couldn’t find it in stores anywhere. Well that was almost 10 years ago I started that quest and now I’m happy to say thanks to stores such as Zara and H&M for expanding their collections for men/boys, it’s now not so difficult to get fashion-forward pieces for them to get stylish too! I love being a trailblazer, lol! Designers & brands alike are FINALLY starting to “step up to the plate” with fashion for guys and it’s about time!
Here are my TOP 10 Must Have Items for BACK TO SCHOOL for Guys & Girls this season:
Motorcycle and Varsity jacketst have to be the James Dean type or Football Enthusiast to wear one anymore. They are a slightly edgy style for your kid’s fall outerwear piece. Some have a retro vibe, while others feature new twists on the all too familiar classics that are still street chic and can be equally functional for warmth! The Moto jacketlike a rebellious preppy movement. The Varsity jacket equally has options in fabrications however the fit is still at its coolest comfortable and slightly oversized. Pair it with jeans and a graphic tee or do it a little more daring by wearing some shine with it…glam grunge is all the rage these days!
Gray Denim…We all know denim jeans and jackets are a back-to-school staple but this season GRAY is this year’s hottest shade for both boys and girls — and it matches just about anything. Gray is their new black!
Skinny Khakis…sorry moms! The skinny-jean trend hasn’t gone away; it’s migrated to khakis, giving the usual preppy look a bit of a skater-boy edge. It’s a great way to rock those chinos and still look cool!
Loop Scarves aka Infinity scarves, are a practical and pretty accessory year round. They come in a wide variety of colors and prints that take your child’s basic wardrobe of solid T-shirts or not so exciting button-down shirts to a new level — and they provide a bit of warmth on crisp fall mornings. I can handle the cold air if my neck is warm and makes a great finish for a look!
Wide Belts are great not just for cinching our waistlines, it’s a great finishing accessory when wearing tunic or shirtdresses or pencil skirts with a separate or over a duster/sweater coat. A staple for the Boho Chic look!
Biker Boots, Doc Martens & Slip-On Sneakers go with everything and are year round footwear (with exception to snowy days for the slip ons) so get a pair for those outfits that need a little edge with little effort.
Florals & Textures. s nice to see the rich dark hues that so compliment fall and winter be the focus of fashionable wear for the season for the whole family. I just love the strength of Navy, Burgundy, Green & Gray. It goes well with florals that are fun and whimsical to wear during the cold months. Chunky knits sweaters and great tights are also perfect additions to add.
My last word of advice is not to go breaking the bank to get everything on my list unless you absolutely have NOTHING. Truth is you really only need one or two new pieces each season to make a new style statement each season. There are more trends that are great this season like: plaids, wooly coats, oversized cardigans and pastels. Keep them in mind when you have extra funds to spend or list of gifts ideas for upcoming birthdays or holidays but the above essentials are just that but more never hurt either.
This is the next designer following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Versace, Marni and Maison Martin Margiela, French designer Isabel Marant, a French Designer who was made infamous by her wedge sneakers that became one of the hottest sneaker trends of this era (I have a few pairs; I just loved them!). Marant is next in line to grace us her loyal customers and H&M’s customers with her signature Parisian chic designs.
“The Isabel Marant pour H&M collection is an eclectic mix of boho elegance and rock ‘n’ roll insouciance. The spirit is quintessentially Marant: masculine tailoring is featured together with skinny pants, sweatshirts, loose blouses, airy dresses and textured knits” says H&M about the collaboration due to hit stores November 14, 2013. Not many have the full collection of the H&M/Marant collection, but I DO! View the full lookbook, which includes pieces for men (a first for Marant) as well as teens and make your wish list now because when those doors open on November 14th, I predict there won’t be much left on November 15th to buy. This limited edition collection launches in select H&M stores across Canada and the US.
Unfortunately pricing for the collection will be slightly higher than regular H&M threads and accessories; tops start at $50 and outerwear range from $200 to $500. Truth be told… us Isabel Marant loyalists are THRILLED to get an Isabel Marant piece at “close” to an H&M price! We will suffer through the fact that its a little higher than other H&M items, really its ok!
I find her collection a great mix of what that contemporary woman would need. The Isabel Marant pour H&M has everything from basics like easy tees and tanks, teenager swag accessories, outerwear, shoes, cool sneakers and of course, the classic LBD, this collection is saturated with versatility for the whole family. Rather than designing a different style for ‘Women’, ‘Men’, and ‘Kids’, Isabel Marant stuck to the same look/story in knits and tie-dye for the entire collection comprising of sequins, knits, silk, and quality fabric. Although the collection boasts wearable statement-making streetwear, the outerwear and knitted coats in this collection are nothing short of exquisite.
Another detail of this collection worth mentioning and that sets her apart from collections prior is that Ms. Marant used iconic models to showcase her premiere collection with H&M by the likes of supermodels, Alek Wek, Lou Doillon, Milla Jovovich and Constance Jablonski…Way to make your mark Isabel. Now let’s get shopping!
Living in NYC is an amazing experience. I was born and raised a Brooklyn kid so living in the city is 2nd nature. Even though I have traveled well I always found NYC as my true place of comfort. My life is very parallel to NY in that there is much more to it than just being a concrete jungle of hustling and high life living. There are beautiful and quiet elements that NY offers that make it one of the best places on earth to me at least…now only if we had tropical white sand beaches and blue oceans! I look forward to fall for many reasons but one of them is to take my kids apple picking! I love the chance to be in the midst of nature and rustle up some fruits and pumpkins and apple cider to take home and enjoy for a few weeks. We make homemade applesauce and apple pies, drink cider with cinnamon sticks on chilly nights and it feels just like we are roughing it in the woods but just an 1 hour or so from the NYC (the Big Apple).
My favorite place to go is Maskers Orchard in Warwick, NY www.maskers.com but resource and scout for yourself because they all offer different activities. Maskers tops my list with animal petting zoos and pony rides, haunted houses, hay rides and much more. We like to pack a picnic basket with wine, cheese and crackers to go with our freshly picked apples and dine in between the trees. I just love this time of year.