It's finally here! At least in my world, if not according to the Farmer's Almanac, it is officially FALL as of September 1st in my closet. What does this mean? Boots, cords, and pumpkin spice are now deemed "seasonally appropriate" and you can switch over your closet from Summer to Fall. In the South, it's still pretty hot, but we're tailgating and bonfiring with the best of them, humidity be darned. Members, this post will go public next week, so shop these Fall finds now - they're all $100 or less!
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Let me take a moment to answer some of your pressing questions that I keep getting: can you still wear white jeans? Do cheerleaders wear ribbons and bows? The answer is, yes, of course. Team White Jeans reporting for Fall. It's all in how you pair your white jeans: pair them with autumnal colors like crimson, auburn, orange, gold, ... ? When can you start wearing boots?September 1st. When can you start decorating for Hallowe'en? This is a sticky one. In my house I personally go straight from Summer hydrangeas to Harvest acorns and pine garlands. I skip Hallowe'en skulls, witches and other wicked tchotchkes because I don't like them. Sorry.
You know how I live by the High-Low Dressing rule, so this week you're getting my top picks under $100 to put in your closet for Fall, and next week you're getting my top items to invest in/spend a bit more on for Fall. Aaaaand this list will come with an exclusive discount we negotiated, just for you lovely Insider members!
Five Fall Must-Haves $100 or Less
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1. Cognac Blazer, $99
Here's why you need a cognac blazer. Cognac is almost impossible to find at an affordable price in clothing. It's a bit easier to find in boots and handbags. And if you collect Max Mara, you probably have invested thousands in cognac coats and jackets and dress pants. Can we be friends? But if you're like me, you like a deal. This is it. Double-breasted cognac cord blazer. It's not so casual or vintagey that it looks like you bought it in a hipster college-town shop, but it's also not too stiff or formal that you couldn't wear it to a tailgating party, the kind with crystal and silver. Can we be friends, too? It's double-breasted, yes, but it is cut quite narrow so it's not bulky or wide. Fit tip: it runs small, dolls.
You're going to wear it like this:
2. Alpine Plaid , $39.99
Here's why you need a plaid top, jacket, or heck even a pashmina will due, that beckons you to the Alps for the crisp mountain air and to roast marshmallows later with the villagers down below: while that's all fine and dandy on a leisurely weekend, you also need something to wear with your pencil skirt or dress pants that says, I'm ready to do business, but I'm not trying to prove anything like Tess in Working Girl. Plaid, or sometimes more formally known as tartan, is the ultimate equalizer. It spans the gap between ages, classes and genders. Plus, sometimes you need a little pattern in your life. And florals may not be your thing. Or polka dots.
Here's how you're going to wear it.
3. Ankle-dipping Booties, $25
Here's why you need these: the hazards of wearing ankle boots are many, the first of which they can make your legs appear short and your ankles stout. They can also be too high (so there's nowhere for your skinny jeans to go but inside them - not a good look with ankle boots) or too low (and this is when your ankles look really kankley). The perfect ankle boots have a little dip at the top front of the boot so that your ankles appear narrow and elongated.
Here's how you're going to wear these ankle booties to perfection.
Here's why you need these: most of your jeans are dated. True story. You know what makes them dated? Two things, the stitching and the rinse. Unless you have high quality denim (it seems a lot of it comes from Japan), the rinses don't age well. They become spotty, stripey, and even dotty. We're not talking vintage Levi's perfectly faded jeans that can sell for $1000 (why didn't I save my Levi's I used to buy in the 80's and 90's from Goodwill??). No, these fade gloriously, unless they are the evil acid wash of the 80's version. But the other denim foul that age you I mean your jeans is the stitching. The more pronounced it is, the shorter the shelf life. Particularly offensive are the bright yellow and orange stitching (these here are pretty innocuous). And if you have any bedazzled pockets, email me privately for a come to Jesus.
Here's how you'll wear them.
5. Short-Sleeve Jacket, $73.50
Here's why you need it: Because it's brilliant. End of story. Ok, I'll elaborate. You know how you're walking out the door in the morning and it's 65 degrees, and by lunch it's 85? And then as soon as the sun goes down, you're freezing again on the football/baseball/soccer field? And you know how when you're on a girls trip to NYC and you're in and out of shops, carrying all your bags, and you start sweating inside and it's just too much trouble to take off your bulky coat, only to put it back on in 15 minutes? Yeah, that's why you need a short-sleeve jacket. All the women in Paris knew this five years ago. Only they wear short-sleeve fur coats. You wear something long-sleeve under it, like a lightweight cotton blouse (perhaps plaid?) and when it gets even colder, switch to a sweater. The idea is that you are regulating your body temperature within a few degrees without so much effort. See? Brilliant.
Here's how you'll wear it.
Insiders, don't forget to shop now before this post goes public! And don't miss my latest loves in case you are needing to replace or add any new pieces to your wardrobe. You can sort your search by type, color, season, etc. And don't miss all the Guides and posts that are Insider exclusives!
Happy shopping! And if you already own these must-haves, use these collages as outfit inspirations. Thank you for visiting.
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