Weekly Roundup: Items to Start Fall

Fall collections are hitting stores fast, and I like what I see. Here’s a roundup of items that caught my eye last week as I browsed with clients. Lots of traditional Autumn hues and far less grey. Some items come in several colours, so do check them out. 

You can see the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

The Expiry Date of a Highly Elusive Wardrobe Item

HEWIs, highly elusive wardrobe items, are items on our shopping list that that take ages to find. Sometimes the specific thing we want simply doesn’t exist, and other times it isn’t available at an affordable price point. 

We keep HEWIs on our shopping list, and hope that with tenacity, patience and a bit of luck, we eventually find them. When we do find them, it’s brilliant and all is right in the world. We can finally put together the outfits we had in mind, evolve our style, and make the HEWI a wardrobe workhorse.

Or so we thought.

Things don’t necessarily work out that way. Sometimes, we outgrow the need for our HEWIs just as we find them. Annoying, but true. That’s because there are changes in the factors that affect our style

For example, your sartorial preferences shift over time. It’s only when you fit on and remix the HEWI into your wardrobe during an outfit creation session at home that you realize that you don’t fancy the vibe as much as you thought you would. Or the looks that you styled with the HEWI in your head don’t work in person. Quite the anticlimax. 

Your body type can also change, which might make the HEWI look less fab than you thought it would. Your lifestyle, climate and environment can change, which can make a HEWI inappropriate or useless once you find it. A HEWI can also be a trendy item that you are “over” once it pops up in stores. Or an item that feels dated-for-you when you finally track it down. 

All this to say that HEWIs have an expiry date, which can be difficult to gauge. If you catch that you no longer want or need a HEWI before you find it — so much the better. If not, be sure to evaluate your purchase carefully when you find something that has been on your shopping list for a long time. Before committing to it, make sure that it works as well for your wardrobe and style as you thought it would.

Five Reasons to Like Pantsuits

Pantsuits are making a comeback across a range of silhouettes, colours, fabrics and pant lengths. Some are classic and tailored, while others are sharp-shouldered, slouchy and oversized. Neutrals, non-neutrals, brights, pastels, earth tones, jewel tones, muted mid-tones and patterns. Long jackets and short jackets. Cropped or full-length pants. High rises and lower rises. Pleated pants or flat fronts. Tapered legs or flares. You name it, the combination came down the runway for Fall & Winter 2017. 

I love the look of a trouser suit. What I enjoy most is that it’s defying the trend towards casualization and giving us more choices. Here are five more reasons to love them.

Dressy, Tailored, Flattering & Professional

If you choose to wear a tailored pantsuit that fits and drapes well, you’re going to look pulled together and professional no matter what. The proportions are traditionally flattering, creating a slimming and streamlined effect. 

You’ll set a dressy standard wearing a pantsuit. You don’t have to dress casually if you don’t want to, which is the point of Modern fashion. This is 2017, where fashion and style are about choice, individualism, and how you personally interpret a trend. A person wearing a suit can look just as appropriate as someone wearing Athleisure in a similar day-to-day setting. 

An Easy Outfit Option

Wearing a pantsuit with matching jacket and bottom can become a daily uniform, and an easy option. Swap out the tops, accessories and shoes with the same suit, and you’ll have a range of fast fall back outfits. If you have an assortment of pantsuits, your fast fall back outfit options increase, and so does the ease of putting an outfit together. 

A Fun Fashion Statement

Pantsuits don’t need to be tailored and dark. They can be patterned, bright, shiny, pastel, and a lot roomier in silhouette. They don’t need to be matched with a stiff button-down shirt either. You can layer just about any top under a suit, from T-shirts and blouses, to crop tops, pullovers, turtle-necks, tanks and knitted tops. Classic heeled pumps are not your only footwear option. Think flat oxfords, loafers, ballet flats, pointy-toe flat, mules, wrapped sandals, ankle strap pumps, booties, and patterned shoes. Or combine the look with sneakers for a Sporty Luxe vibe. Be creative. 

Comfortable Party Wear 

A pantsuit is a fab alternative to a frock for a dressy occasion, especially if you don’t fancy wearing dresses. They can be more comfortable, less fussy, and a lot more insulating in the dead of Winter. Plus you seldom need to wear shapewear with a pantsuit. You can enjoy a meal and not worry about a constricting foundation garment and protruding midsection. Have dessert! 

Unique

Dress codes have relaxed in the US, and these days a dark pair of dressed up or dressed down jeans will take you almost anywhere. If you don’t have a business formal dress code at work, and you enjoy dressing in a  unique way, wearing a pantsuit regularly is one way to go. 

I have two old trouser suits that are in excellent condition. I wear neither very often even though they fit well and look reasonably current. The charcoal pinstriped Theory suit is eight years old, and the avant-garde black suit is six years old. The former requires two inch heels, which puts me off. The flare and drape of the bootcut trousers is elegant with heels so I’m not hemming them for flats. I’m also not into charcoal grey. The black suit is a strictly Summer look with short cropped pants. It looks good with flats, but I haven’t been feeling “all black” for a while. I might pass on the grey Theory suit to Dress for Success, but I’m definitely keeping the black suit that I bought in Tokyo. It’s tailored and too unique to date. I might feel like the blackness of it at some point later, and will keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll be looking out for a fun suit that isn’t black and doesn’t require heels to look fabulous. Could be a great holiday look, and a fun way to change things up.

Over to you. How do you feel about pantsuits?

Roundups

COS Items

Some fab architectural COS pieces to add some arty avant-garde to your style.

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Summer Items

Some fab frocks, necklaces and tops.

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Tops & Bottoms

Fun Summer items for a range of body types.

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Summer Items

A selection of warm-weather items that covers a range of body types.

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Summer White Tops

An assortment of white tops across a range of price points and silhouettes.

Read More

Violeta & Jackets

Larger sizes and some fun toppers make this week’s roundup.

Read More

My Olive Capsule for Fall and Winter

I mentioned recently in a post on wild cards that I added olive items to my wardrobe to refresh and evolve my style for Autumn and Winter. I chose olive items across a range of wardrobe categories to create ample variety. An equestrian anorak, a full-length pair of slim-fit boyfriend jeans, an avant-garde shirt dress, a fluid pullover, and a guitar strap crossbody bag. The shades of olive vary. Here are the exact items:

As I chose the olive items, I kept colour palettes and complements with my existing wardrobe in mind. I can plan my wardrobe and style this way because I know exactly what I have, how it fits, and how it currently makes me feel when I wear it. The results of regular closet management are manifold, but most importantly it allows me to keep quite an accurate inventory of my wardrobe in my head. Accessing that frame of reference when I shop so that I think in mix-and-match capsules is a helpful wardrobe planning tool.  

I have a high affinity for colour-mixing and a wardrobe rich in neutrals and non-neutrals. This makes creating head-toe-outfits with a new colour a lot easier. I have my entire wardrobe represented in YLF Finds so I can also capsulate my wardrobe more accurately at my computer. But the assessment I do in my head is an excellent starting point, and gets the creative juices flowing. Better still, I fit on potential outfits to make sure that I like them. 

As I scanned my wardrobe, the black, cream, pearl grey, cognac and toffee items stood out as a slam dunk support act for the olive newcomers. Here are the exact items from my wardrobe, along with the olive darlings. 

COS
A-line jumper
View Info
Top Pick
14
Zappos
MATISSE Nugent
$193.00
View Info
Top Pick
20
Gap
Clean leather belt
View Info
Top Pick
25

I can build satisfying outfit combinations that make me feel fab with these items when I’m in a completely neutral mood. But since I need to wear non-neutrals several times a week to lift my spirits, change things up, and combat Seattle’s very grey sky — the neutral palette is limiting for my sartorial preferences and emotional state of mind. 

The palette needs blue to cool down the warmth and add crispness to the colours. A metallic for texture and glitz. And some happy brights to liven things up. I scanned my wardrobe further to come up with ink blue, navy, blue denim, chartreuse, citron, gold and a smattering of tomato red and turquoise, as the next level of additions to wear with my new olive darlings. MUCH BETTER. Here are the exact items from my wardrobe with the olive pieces. Half the dark tops that look black are actually ink blue. The gilet and military coat are ink blue too. 

COS
A-line jumper
View Info
Top Pick
14
COS
Long high-neck jumper
View Info
Top Pick
8
Karen Millen
TIE-NECK COAT
View Info
Top Pick
17
Zappos
MATISSE Nugent
$193.00
View Info
Top Pick
20
Gap
Clean leather belt
View Info
Top Pick
25
Yoox
Furla Handbag
View Info
Top Pick
12

You can be very organized, logical and methodical about building capsules, complements and outfits in your head, on the computer, or even laid out on your bed. But nothing is certain until you’ve tried them on. Having done so, I have peace of mind that newcomer olive can be successfully integrated into my style. 

I’ve also put some of the outfits through their paces and I am thrilled with the results. I LOVE my new olive items. They’ve remixed quite organically into my wardrobe and style.

The image below does not show my olive capsule in full, but its a good representation of the colour palette, the items, and the the silhouettes of the items. 

Olive Capsule

 

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Link Love: The Tall Boot Trend

One of the F/W 2017 trends I’m super excited about is the return of knee-high boots. I’ve been browsing Angie’s pinboard, and thought these were particularly fun:

Finding great-fitting tall boots when you have larger calves can be tricky. The Huffington Post has some suggestions.

If you’d like to give over-the-knee boots a try, then PopSugar’s round-up is worth a look.

Fab Links from Our Members

Nordstrom is opening a new concept store in West California that won’t stock clothes: “Nordstrom Local will focus on free consultations with personal stylists, who will advise customers and then have the merchandise brought in. People can also get manicures and curbside pickup.” Aquamarine thinks the concept is interesting, but can’t quite believe this will ever really take off.

LadyNIB found this article about how Forever21 and other retailers avoid liability for factories that underpay workers to sew their clothes thought-provoking.

Leslie Jones cheering in the front row at Christian Siriano’s show during New York Fashion Week made Shevia smile.

Angie reports that facekinis are trending in China as a way to protect your face from the sun. She adds: “I think I’ll stick to a hat.”

Joha found it interesting to read this different perspective on the widely circulated New York Times article from last year on office dress codes.