Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Essentials, Pared Down

(Image: Anthropologie, fall 2013)

A few chilly days have thrown me into a minor style panic. Will I be warm enough for the coming seasons?! This says a lot about me. My primary concern is warmth over style. Thinking ahead to long winter days in front of the fireplace leads me to pondering how I will manage to be comfortable and cozy. Yet of course, I don't want to fall into frumpiness. I have a couple of pairs of drawstring pants in a velour fabric that I usually rely upon, but I've been wearing them for years. I think I may keep them for morning walks, when I want to be able to just throw something on, before I actually get dressed for the day. Therefore, they will go into my exercise clothing cubby, rather than into my dresser drawer. I have plenty of time to search for replacements.

I have begun to collect my strictly-for-summer clothing to put into storage. I think I will head to the dollar store today for a couple of bins, since we seem to need at least one more. This week, my plan is to begin to sort through the winter clothes I have stored away. I already brought a few pieces down from the attic to incorporate into my essential wardrobe for fall. Then I started to worry about my dresser drawers and closet becoming too full! Imagine such a problem. You probably can. After spending all that time purging our wardrobes, we don't want to fall back into patterns of having too much clothing yet nothing to wear.

Is it time to shop yet? I have been fighting the urge. The thing is, I have a plan to lose about 12 pounds by Halloween. If I buy new items, they may not fit soon. I'd rather wait until closer to Christmas and then gift myself with a few high quality pieces that I absolutely adore. Doesn't that sound like a better plan?

(Image: Anthropologie, fall 2013)

So first things first. Pare down what I already own, including accessories and outerwear. Then, and only then, make a list of specific pieces to fill in the gaps. Begin to source where I will look for these needed items, and whether it is something to purchase now, or to wait until the inches are lost and/or Christmas is coming. Finally, be merciless in my choices! I want future pieces to be only those things that I will look forward to wearing for years to come.

In this transitional phase, you can have fun combining warmer and cooler weather items. You can wear lightweight trousers in a capri length that translate into fall if you wear socks (or not) and booties, loafers, or ballet flats, rather than sandals, with them. Put a sleeveless or short-sleeved blouse on top and add a cardigan, blazer or jean jacket. The same thing can be done with skirts and dresses. Simply pare them with tights or leggings and closed toe shoes or boots, throwing on a sweater or jacket to keep out the chill. Peep toe shoes can also work, especially with feminine socks. A chic scarf and a cute hat add instant flair when you're out and about and are quintessentially French!

(Image: Anthropologie, fall 2013)

The key is to avoid wearing anything that screams summer, either because of the colors, style, or fabric of the item. Keep in mind that it will warm up as the day progresses, so you want to be able to add or remove layers. Some pairs of sandals will still work for fall. I will do my best to begin posting some of my own fall looks next week, now that I have a new camera. So far I have been able to hit the right note for this transitional period by keeping it simple. The other key is to apply the rotating wardrobe aesthetic. This means that you can wear the same clothing, either changing things up or duplicating the exact same outfit, from week to week. If an outfit looks great today, it may also look perfect for church next Sunday. Especially if you are not seeing the same people every day, no one will know that you just wore those jeans with that blouse 5 days ago.

This is how the French manage to look pulled together always. They don't worry about repeating a certain look or wearing the same pieces often, even to the office twice in the same week. Besides, if you tweak the look with different extras and accessories, most likely no one will notice that you wore your black pencil skirt on both Monday and Friday. The more classic pieces in solid, neutral colors do not stand out as much as trendy shapes, patterns, and loud colors, so you can get away with rotating them frequently. Just wear the flashier pieces a little less often, or wear them when you go places where you are not seeing the same people. Keep most of your look neutral, but add a shot of color with your shoes, a statement necklace, or a handbag.

(Lydia cut out loafers by Anthropologie)

So how is your closet purging going? Are you feeling more free and less stressed about what to wear? I would love for you to share what is in your essential wardrobe and how it is working for you. Have a lovely week!


  1. I am purging too. Still have a ways to go but it has made a big difference. So much easier to keep the house and my bedroom clean. Plus I don't have a problem finding outfits to wear to work anymore!

  2. That's awesome, Laura! I still have so much purging to do of books, magazines, paperwork, etc... And once I am done with my own things, I will have to help my daughter do the same. Ugh! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Yikes! Beazy has a lot of stuff.


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