Ensemble: Transition a Sheath Dress into Fall

There are easy and fun ways to transition a sheath dress into Autumn if you’re a frock gal. No need to pack away those Summer dresses just yet. Here are four trendy ways to layer sheath dresses so that you can wear them to the office, out and about, or out at night as temperatures begin to drop. Note that maximal outfits are on trend so some of these renditions are far from simple. 

I’ve chosen a sleeveless sheath, but sleeved sheath dresses will work just fine. I’ve chosen a patterned dress, but solids are equally fab. Choose any colour palette. 

Sheath & Maxi Cardi 

The easiest and most simple combination of the four, and very versatile. This one will take you almost anywhere, and is the most comfortable to boot. Layer a maxi cardigan over a sheath and complete the look with peep-toe booties and a punchy bag. The cardi can absolutely be longer than the sheath, although you might prefer those proportions with heels. 

Sheath, Cropped Straights & Wrap

This is the most dramatic of the combinations. Layer a sheath over cropped straight legs and throw on an oversized wrap. Add a brooch if you like, and complete the look with booties and a bag that you can hold in your hand. I’ve pattern mixed the combination, but you can go the solid route.

Sheath & Faux Fur

This one has a little Retro flavour. Wear a faux fur topper over a sheath. Choose a jacket, coat or vest. Finish off the look with Mary Janes and a glitzy bag. 

Sheath & Bomber 

And a little Sporty Luxe rendition for the tomboys. Layer a bomber over a sheath and keep it open in front. Scrunch the sleeves and add high-shaft booties to finish things off. I’ve pattern mixed because that’s all over the catwalks at the moment, but solids will create a calmer effect. Add jewellery, eyewear, hosiery and watch as desired.

Ensemble: Transition a Sheath Dress into Fall







Link Love: Fashion Weeks Around the World

Today is already the last day of New York Fashion Week, where designers are showing their Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections. I’ve been reading some interesting behind-the-scenes articles, which I’d like to share:

There are currently about 80 Fashion Weeks around the world. Most media outlets mainly report on the Big Four — New York, London, Paris, and Milan — and have less time to explore smaller developing markets. Racked investigates when a fashion week has reached the maturation point at which it can successfully ramp up its foreign agenda.

If you have lost track of who works where, then T Magazine’s guide of new names and old pros will come in handy.

Business of Fashion explains the new rules of seating arrangements at fashion shows.

The New York Times has been running an interesting oral history about New York Fashion Week. In one instalment they also go deeper into the seating arrangements and what it meant to be in the front row, another explores how runway models went from being underpaid mannequins to the stars of fashion week. I also enjoyed reading about designers recalling their debut shows and other pivotal moments in their runway careers.

Fab Links from Our Members

Vildy is impressed with Rae’s short video illustrating her method of cleaning out your closet by using an off-screen client’s real wardrobe as an example.

With Angie’s blog post on extended sleeves in mind, Barbara Diane wanted to show us this photo. She loves how the dramatic pleated long sleeve looks in motion.

UmmLila directs us to Google’s Fall fashion trends report. She thought it was interesting because it shows which of the trends are actually being picked up by “regular” people who are doing fashion searches and who might end up buying the clothes.

The Disconnect Between Retail and the Weather

There is often a disconnect between the weather outside and the merchandise that is sold at retail. Spring and Summer collections hit stores in the northern hemisphere in February when we’re bundled up because of ice and snow on the ground. Heavyweight Fall and Winter merchandise hits stores in August when we’re trying to beat the heat in breezy skirts, dresses and sandals. 

The fashion industry has operated like this for as long as I can remember, and there is method to the madness. The idea is that you plan ahead by refreshing your wardrobe early. That way you’re prepared and ready to wear something new as the weather begins to change instead of scrambling at the last minute.

Of course, the flip side is that it’s hard to focus on seasonal merchandise that’s very different to what you’re wearing at the time. It can also be hard to pinpoint your sartorial preferences so far in advance. Some prefer to wear their items as soon as they’ve bought them instead of waiting for hotter and colder weather. And some prefer to wait for end-of-season sales because they’re bargain hunters. 

More recently though, I’ve found that retailers are doing a better job of supplying weather-appropriate wardrobe items at the right time. Retailers in the US stock transitional merchandise throughout the year, which is brilliant for moderate climates. They’ve also caught on to the fact that Spring coats and cashmere make complete sense, and that sleeveless tops or sandal booties are a hit in early Autumn. Plus, online shopping has made it possible to shop for a larger range of items at any time of the year. 

I’m not sure whether it’s just because I’m conditioned this way, but I fully support the “disconnect with the weather outside” retail strategy because it makes me feel more prepared for the upcoming season. I love planning my seasonal refresh in advance, and having new items in the wings waiting for just the right weather conditions. And if those weather conditions show up earlier than expected — so much the better. I can enjoy my new stash earlier, and my upfront planning has more than paid off. 

It also helps that I am most excited about shopping right at the start of the season, so the refresh is on my radar. Retail buyers put their best stuff in early and that’s when I pounce. I’m assured of getting my size in the colours that most tickle my fancy. By the time the weather outside complements the merchandise in stores, I no longer want to think about planning and organizing my wardrobe for the current season (plus I’m bored with what I see.) I want to enjoy what I bought, wear the heck out of it, and slowly begin planning for the upcoming season so that I’m once again ready to pounce when the first lots of inventory hit retail. 

Over to you. What do you think of the disconnect between the weather outside and what is sold at retail? Do you wish that retail merchandise was more aligned with our weather patterns?


Hints of Fall

A fun selection of items to tantalize your tastebuds as the season shifts to Autumn.

Read More

Transitional Items

Start thinking about your Fall look by zoning in on a few key transitional items.

Read More

Items Under $100

An assortment of more affordable Summer items to amp up your style.

Read More

Summer Neutrals

A collection of trendy Summer neutrals that are easy to wear.

Read More

Quiet Neutrals

A selection of quiet neutral pieces for Spring that can pack quite a punch.

Read More

Summery White Items

Adding white to your wardrobe is a great way to give your outfits a more Summery vibe.

Read More

Fall Trend: Mary Janes

As I mentioned in my seasonal trend report, Mary Jane footwear is making a comeback. Mary Janes are low-vamped shoes with one or more straps running across the instep of the shoe. The style is very distinctive, and here’s a collection that is hot off the press for Fall. 

Bandolino Onni
View Info
Top Pick
Calvin Klein Gracy
View Info
Top Pick

Mary Janes can be dressy or casual, heeled, wedged or flat, solid, patterned, or colour blocked, and dainty or chunky. The strap(s) that runs across the instep can be positioned higher or lower on the foot, and can be narrow or broad. Toe boxes run the gamut. Pointy, almond, square, round, or rounded and square. 

Mary Janes have their pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros:

  • The low vamp looks fresh after five years of ultra trendy high vamps. 
  • The straps secure the pump to the foot. 
  • They have a Retro appeal. 
  • The straps are fun maximal details. 
  • They can look quirky when worn with socks. 
  • They can look gorgeously ladylike and slightly playful. 

Here are the cons:

  • They can look juvenile and too “school girl”.
  • The straps can create an unflattering horizontally cutting line across your leg line (although a low-contrast strap will minimize that effect.)
  • The aesthetic can be prissy, ladylike and twee. 
  • The style is hard to fit on feet with high insteps (straps are often too short.)

I have mixed feelings about Mary Janes, although I love my Tokyo wedges because they are unique. I wore flat, round toe Mary Janes with socks and tights daily for twelve years as part of a school uniform, so I sometimes have a negative reaction to the silhouette. That said, their ladylike and Retro integrity appeals to me. If I come across a pair of dressy and heeled darlings that look sufficiently “grown up” to my eye, they will earn their spot in my closet. 

Over to you. How do you feel about Mary Janes, and will you wear them?

MARC JACOBS Lexi Glittered Patent-leather Mary Jane PumpsLANVIN Patent-leather Mary Jane PumpsMIU MIU Crystal-embellished Velvet Mary Jane PumpsGUCCI FOR NET-A-PORTER Floral-print Textured-leather Pumps









Dressed Up Jeans and Tee

A new outfit from Brenna Mari of Chic Street Style, whom we introduced to YLF in January 2014.

Brenna dresses up a simple tee and jeans with well-chosen accessories and a chic trench. She’s tucked a white slub jersey T-shirt into distressed skinny jeans. The ripped knee combined with the tee are very casual. Opting for a neutral colour palette paired with gold-toned jewellery, a cognac leather satchel and drapey waterfall trench adds lots of polish. Nude chunky heeled cage sandals create soft edge and provide visual interest. So do Brenna’s oversized round sunnies and her caramel ombré locks that complement the colour palette beautifully. A soft pink lipstick and classic Chanel brooch finish off the look.

Brenna - 1

Brenna - 2