PROFESSIONISTA: Fall Fashion Favorites
While the rest of the world has been indulging in Pumpkin Spice Latte season, I’ve been thinking about something else. Football games? Apple cider? Nah. Not my thing. Big cozy sweaters? That’s more like it. Great flat leather boots? Sign me up. Killer outerwear? You had me at Hello. I think you see where I am headed here. The leaves are going to turn, the temperature is dropping and I have one thing on my mind. FALL FASHION.
As I continue to shop for my fall 2014 wardrobe, I find myself worrying that my wallet is going to hate me. Fall seems to call for a much more indulgent set of wardrobe essentials. Jeans, outerwear, leather boots, go-to sweaters, wool suiting, scarves. If you want to stick to any budget at all, you need to think about where to splurge and where to save.
First, before you do anything I have two things I must strongly suggest. First, be practical about your lifestyle and what your fall wardrobe needs really are. Do you need business professional attire on a weekly basis? You may want to consider putting money towards a pair of booties to go with your great fall dress pants and skirts instead of dumping money towards warm and fuzzy Ugg boots. Are you a business woman who also chases kids around all day? You’ll want to think about spending money on some classic and easy day looks instead of a wintery cocktail dress! In other words, think about what pieces you would wear most. Ideally, you choose the pieces that will give you the best return on your investment. The most wears per dollar. Make sense?
The second thing I suggest women do is shop your closet. Are there any pieces that are looking worn out and due for a replacement? Don’t push your limits. If it looks old and tired it won’t do you any favors. Is there anything that could be altered to fit better or look more current? Are there any “superstars” you want to continue to highlight this year? Anything you can repurpose and wear in a different way to make it like new? Think outside the box and you may be able to eliminate some things from your shopping list! Oh, and while you are in there … go ahead and clean out the closet! If you have not worn it in years, toss it. I have plenty of tips for the closet purge also … that’s a whole other blog post worth of information!
So now that you have done a little homework you are allowed to finish that fall wardrobe -shopping list. I usually suggest that people come up with one list of NEEDS and essentials, and a shorter list of trendier or fun wish list type pieces. For instance, you may need a new wool blazer for work desperately, but also really want some faux leather leggings. Tackle your essentials first and if there is room left in the budget, then start on the wish list.
Here are just a few things I think it is worth investing a little cash:
- Flat leather boots: You want these to be a signature part of your fall wardrobe so consider spending a little more on a comfortable pair that you love. Flat boots can be versatile. I wear mine with leggings, great oversized sweater and some statement earrings for a casual put-together Sunday look. I also pair mine with tights, a shift dress and leather jacket for a classic work look during the week.
- Killer coat: Okay, I will be the first to admit I am not one of those people that collects great coats. I don’t even really like wearing them. I do, however, hate being cold so they are a necessary evil in my book, and you better bet if I am going to get one I am going to get one I love and one that can take a beating while still making people turn their heads when I walk in the door. You want your coat to fulfill its purpose – to keep you warm. This may mean you have to spend a little more to get one that really fights the temperature. While you’re at it, you might as well get one that makes other people stop and mention how much they love your coat, right?! One that you love and which completes your look, letting you walk out the door feeling confident and warm!
- Long sleeve dress: One that fits fantastically and allows for versatility. This dress could be the real work horse of your fall wardrobe so take the time to try on several and spend a little more if the one you love is not the cheapest one on the rack. This piece can be reinvented a million different ways with accessories, scarves, and jackets. You’ll be able to wear it for daytime events, work functions and maybe even a date night.
- Tights/opaques: It pays to spend a little more for a few mid-range pairs of great tights. Ones that won’t run or rip and can stand to be put in the wash (on most delicate COLD cycle, of course) I know it seems silly, but trust me. Invest in at least three pairs of good tights this year and you will never turn back! Note from Patty’s desk: My favorite tights are those that have the built-in spanx; they’re high wasted and go up to the bottom of the bra. It allows me to wear most dresses without even reaching for the traditional waste-targeting Spanx! Best investment piece ever!
There are also a few things where we can all save:
- Leather accents or … faux leather accents: Leather is still on trend in Fall 2014 and you can find the look at any price point. Look for jackets with faux leather panels, THICK leggings with some leather down the side or even tops with faux leather detail.
- Sweaters: I am really having an internal struggle with this one. There is definitely an argument to putting sweaters under the “invest” list, but when it came down to it I just think there are so many options at any price point, its worth picking up one that is a steal. Sure you can spend a lot on cashmere and other luxe wool fabrics, but you can get a lot of look from a great cotton blend sweater also.
- Scarves: The options are endless! Scarves may be fall’s most essential accessory, but save your money for a fun night out with your friends and family instead of breaking the bank for a scarf. Stock up on budget friendly versions to create endless looks with your fall basics. You could have a scarf for every mood!
- Basic long sleeve tees: Come fall and winter these are layering pieces that usually go somewhat unnoticed so it’s okay to look for a good basic style for a few dollars. Note from Patty’s desk: One of my favorite dressy and casual tees is the Eileen Fisher Tee. It is made of the softest material, yet has a very dressy look to it. It was a great investment piece for me. While most black Tees tend to fade, with this brand I’ve found that if I wash it on the delicate and cold cycle, and lay it flat to dry, the color lasts for over a year! I’ve had that same Tee for two years and it looks brand new.
- Denim jackets: Another versatile piece for fall. I like a denim jacket paired with a casual dress and boots for a chic daytime look or with straight black pants and simple Tee and flats for a casual weekend look. I love the idea of finding a great worn-in denim jacket or scouring vintage stores for one with the attitude already built it.