This floral number is one of my favorite summer dresses and even though the temps are beginning to drop here in the valley I’m not ready to retire this charming print just yet. Not every summer dress makes the fall transition, but ones that have colors that work for fall or that can be layered with more fall like pieces are ones that make the cut. In the case of this dress, the bold floral print incorporates two of fall’s color trends, royal blue and bright cobalt, making it a piece that easily works in early autumn.
Since I love a good A-line skirt, I chose to pair this dress with a sweater for an instant update that also helps to make the look more fall appropriate. The white peter pan collar, which echoes the white in the dress, helps minimize the summery effect of the dress’ white background.
Metallics, especially gold, are also a major fall trend. This kitten heel adds to the feminine charm of this look and is an easy way to add another autumnal element to the outfit.
A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to model a few pieces for & Apparel’s fall lookbook. I use the term model very, very loosely here as I am the world’s most awkward person in front of a camera. The fact that any of my photographs turned out to be usable is a testament to the magic Michelle Herrick yields with a camera and the styling genius of Alex Evjen.
This first outfit Alex selected totally captures my style personality and is one of those looks that fits the various outfitting needs of a modern girl. The polka dot chambray is not only stylish, but it’s amazingly comfortable- probably the softest one I have ever worn.
And can we talk about this adorable skirt for a moment? While I adore the added visual interest of the white piping along the waistline and the pockets, it’s the bicyle print along the hemline that makes this a truly special piece. Anything that has a healthy mix of sophisticated style and whimsy is a must-have piece in my book.
Do yourself a favor and check out & Apparel’s fall collection. It is full of lovely pieces that perfectly meet a woman’s needs for stylish garments that can transition from day to night, work to play.
Bright colors, like red and pink, are on trend for fall this year so if you were about to pack your more vibrantly colored clothing away until spring think again. They will actually be relevant for several more months to come, which, if your clothing budget looks anything like mine, is a major reason to rejoice.
This pink floral midi skirt is something I picked up for a steal this summer with the intention of wearing it long after the temps begin to drop. With its bright pink background and grey floral print, the skirt is a nice juxtaposition of summery brights and wintery muted hues. To update the skirt for fall I paired it with one of my favorite sweaters from last fall. The sweater helps to not only draw out the bright pink in the skirt, but also serves to further accentuate the floral pattern. The sheer, polka dot sleeves keep the sweater from reading too heavy and add another quirky element to complement the skirt’s oversized florals.
To emphasize the feminine elements of the sweater and skirt, I chose to accessorize with a black statement necklace and round toe pumps with a gold accented heel. I love the mix of classic and modern these pieces bring to this look.
If refreshing your summer pieces for fall seems a daunting task, remember that an easy way to extend the life of your summer pieces is to mix them in with some of your fall favorites rather than wearing a head-to-toe tribute to warm weather.
Style Notes: Anthropologie sweater (fall 2013; similar) / ASOS skirt (summer 2014) / Kate Spade necklace via outlet (spring 2013; similar) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014; love) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014; love)
I love a good sequin skirt. They make great special occasion or holiday party attire, but they are super easy to style for more every day wear as well. The key to making a sequin skirt work during the day is to balance the dressy aspects of the skirt with something more casual on top, like a graphic tee or chambray, and top everything off with a few key accessories.
In the case of this look, the chambray shirt helps to tone down the dressiness of the sequin skirt without looking totally out of place. The Peter Pan collar echoes the classic femininity of the skirt’s A-line silhouette while the chambray’s polka dot print repeats the circular pattern of the blush and gold paillettes but with a more relaxed, laid back tone. The statement necklace helps tie the casual top and fancy skirt together as it, too, is a nice juxtaposition of whimsical and sophisticated elements. The metallic gold, kitten heel shoe provides a modern perspective to the entire look and draws attention to the smaller, gold sequins in the skirt.
Style Notes: Loft shirt (summer 2014) / Anthropologie skirt (spring 2014; similar) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; similar) / Anthropologie necklace (spring 2014; similar) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; love)
The key to wearing pieces that feel a little retro is to strike a balance between classic and modern elements. In the case of this look, the classic aspects are the Peter Pan collar, the midi skirt, and the black pump. They all echo a silhouette that was popular in the 1950s, which I love, but I certainly don’t want to appear as if I’ve traveled through time.
What keeps this outfit from looking too costumey is the sweater’s sheer panel, the skirt’s graphic, almost paint stroke like print, and the shoe’s surprise gold heel. Sticking to two colors, black and white, with the mixed prints also lends a more modern feel to the silhouette. The pop of yellow in the clutch, which reappears in the shoe, helps break up the black and white and further adds to a fresh twist on classic pieces.
Style Notes: Forever 21 sweater (fall 2012; similar) / H&M skirt (spring 2014; love) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014; summer update) / Kate Spade clutch (fall 2013; love) / Kate Spade bracelet (fall 2012; love)
Based on my fall/winter style board on Pinterest, it’s safe to say leather is on my radar for fall in a major way. I’m really hankering for a super cool leather jacket this year, but here in AZ we are still several weeks away from weather that it’s even remotely close to being cool enough to don a jacket of any sort. An easy way to begin wearing leather or leather inspired looks now is to find a killer skirt in either a pencil or A-line cut. Certainly, a leather skirt is going to be a tad heavier, and warmer, than its cotton, linen, or polyester counterparts, but it’s a far less sweaty way to delve into leather for fall and an easy way to incorporate leather in a day time, work appropriate way.
Leather, or its faux counterparts, can read a bit tough/rock ‘n roll, so look for pieces in classic cuts without too much sheen and with a soft, almost buttery, texture. This will prevent the piece from coming across as too severe or cheap. A classic silhouette and dull sheen will also make it easier to pair with work appropriate tops and shoes you already own. Leather is one of those wardrobe pieces that I believe it is important to invest in; you don’t have to break the bank and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it is also the time to skip over a fast fashion, budget friendly retailer and head to one that caters to a working adult. Below are some great leather pencil skirt options under $100:
I purchased this leather pencil skirt eons ago back when Isaac Mizrahi was designing capsule collections for Target. I probably spent about $50 on it, which was quite an investment as a young, single teacher. Initial sticker shock aside, that $50 has turned out to be one of the wisest fashion investments I have ever made. By sticking to a classic silhouette and a duller sheen, I managed to pick up a piece that looks great each fall. To give this skirt a fun little update for this season, and to keep it from looking to heavy while it’s still 100+ outside, I paired it with an ivory blouse in a t-shirt cut. The hue helps balance out the black skirt so things don’t read too austere, while the embellished collar adds a little more femininity to the look.
Accessories are another great way to indulge longings for fall garments even when the weather isn’t cooperating. Each accessory in this look, the jeweled collar, owl purse, and metallic shoes, is a statement piece in and of itself, but they work together because of the repetition of fall inspired hues and textures.
What’s on your style radar for fall?
Style Notes: Ann Taylor shirt (summer 2014; on sale) / Isaac Mizrahi for Target skirt (years ago; love) / Kate Spade purse (fall 2014; purchased during a recent sale) / Ann Taylor shoes (fall 2014; similar) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; love)