In a few short weeks, we will turn the calendar page to September. Here in South Carolina, that really only means more humidity, more sweet tea and more weekend jaunts to the Blue Ridge mountains for refreshment or to the beach for ocean breezes.
But by the end of September, early October, we will be feeling cooler nights and the itch to wear our riding boots and a jaunty blazer. We will be wishing for more cashmere in our closet and yet another new pair of boots that will define winter 2014. (Despite the many other pairs we already own!)
I always start to get excited about my fall wardrobe around the end of July. Summer sales at Marc Jacobs, Net-a-Porter, Tory Burch and J Crew have usually netted me an inexpensive ‘score’ on summer fare I will enjoy mostly next year. About now I slowly, slowly start to crave the richer colors of fall and the timeless look of a well-made pea coat paired with the coziness of a cashmere turtleneck underneath.
When my August Vogue rolls in, the horses are out of the gate, so to speak and I am ready to dig in and be inspired by it’s pages filled with Fall trends I start to mentally edit for my own life and needs. I actually love to edit as it allows me to build a tight narrative for my wardrobe, which is very, very important to me. For a short time in my life, money was not as strongly an issue as it is now and at one point, I could afford some real luxury labels: Ralph Lauren Black Label, Cavalli and Gucci. But life circumstances have once again brought me back to a place of frugality and extreme editing. And even though it is not ok, it’s still ok. Because what I pick now is so carefully thought out and considered, I make very few mistakes and I end up with wardrobe options that serve me well.
Rustle Up Some Western Wear
Blake Lively is on the cover of the August Vogue and the moment I saw it and the feature on her in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, wearing Western-inspired looks, I was lassoed and done for. The cover has her wearing Ralph Lauren and I need no more inspiration for my own closet. The article featured clothes I covet ’till I break out in a sweat, by stunning photography courtesy of Mario Testino:
Listen, if this doesn’t get your blood racing for a few Western pieces to inject into your life, no matter where you live, I am at a loss.
So first on my shopping list is Western- inspired wear. And call me a label snob, it has to be from my man Ralph. His pieces always have that provenance and authenticity that doesn’t make me feel like a poser.
I have the Ralph Lauren Blue Label cashmere sweater, above from Fall 2012. I fell in love with its Navajo inspired theme and bold colors. To this day, it is one of my most treasured pieces and although not something I can wear every day, I look forward to wearing to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a destination in my future. Talk about Western wear done right!
I have hopes high that as his Fall looks for Blue Label are unveiled, I will find a perfect serape blanket sweater like the one Clotilde wore in a Ralph Lauren print campaign back in the 80′s, below. It’s profound how stylish that looks today, some thirty years later. I was in college when this ad came out. It ended up on my the walls of my sorority room.
If you love this look and plan to emulate, don’t forget the concho belt. Of course my favorite are Ralph Lauren. They are investment pieces you will hand down to the next generation.
I found the RL Denim and Supply serape sweater (above) available for $125 now at:
I’m also nuts for Ralph Lauren’s Blue Label Plaid Cashmere Wool Maxi dress, above.
I love the sophistication of the plaid and the full skirt cinched with a Western tooled leather Ralph Lauren belt I own would be gorgeous. And comfy. I’d pick this over wearing jeans any day. So much more cozy, flattering to girls like me with bigger hips and thighs –and really, so much more of a statement. Retailing at $798, I will definitely be waiting for it to go on sale and when it does, my Atlanta Ralph Lauren sales associate, Kirkland, will be getting a call and he’ll hook me up.
Channel Your Inner Boho by Traveling ‘Round the World and While You’re at It, Go Preppy and Equestrian Too
Tory Burch’s Fall 2014 Collection is simply fantastic. She takes us to Scotland with old world tapestries and ghillies, by way of Japanese-inspired prints and equestrian motifs too, if you can believe that crazy mash-up. But it works and it’s full of embellishment taken to a sophisticated extreme, especially by Tory standards.
Some highlights from her Fall runway show:
Perusing her fall collection, I have selected 90% for my own closet. Sadly, with Tory Burch prices, that will not be of course. So for now, I have whittled my selection down to three things…for now.
I have pre ordered the Cora dress above, inspired by an antique Japanese bookplate. Menswear in feel, I will wear it as shown online, with black tights, black boots–even a black turtleneck and a totally chic looped inky black yak-like Tory vest that goes down to my knees from years back– before the masses were thronging to have Ms. Burch dress them. Or I will pair it with my Michael Kors leather moto jacket.
At $450, this was an investment piece to be sure but one I think will get a lot of wear on cold winter days when I just don’t feel like being bound by jeans. You may pre order here:
And lest you think the embellished look for Fall begins and ends with Tory Burch, check out Mary Katrantzou’s Fall 2014 Collection wildly opulent–a feast for the eyes.
The Tory Burch Frances Loafer, below, captured my flight of preppy fancy:
With stock running low online, I jumped quickly and am pleased I did. It has a nice but comfortable heel to it, giving me a lift I need. I love the sporty white sole and grosgrain trim and in a black and navy leather combo, it will go with so much. It’s a really neat shoe that will look good without socks, paired with my boyfriend jeans rolled up, exposing some ankle and with my much-loved J Crew Schoolboy blazers, in both navy and black, below.
In taking stock of my winter boots, I decided a few weeks back that I am good to go when it comes to my boot situation. I have plenty of Tory Burch boots to carry me through a (mild) South Carolina winter. They are all so cool, so equestrian in feel, I probably should be showing horses in them. I love all my Tory boots.
But I when laid my eyes upon her over the knee boots that were in many runway looks for Fall, I was in a quandary and flustered because I don’t have an over the knee boot and they would look so modern with a lot of my winter pieces. So here I go again…another winter where I have to budget like a fiend for the next months, to get those covetable boots.
Grrrr. I swear, fashion has me coming and going. But what can I do? I love the art of it all. Below is the Simone over the knee boot for $525. Available at Tory Burch online, Nordstroms and Tory Burch boutiques nationwide.
Fall Can’t Be Fall Without J Crew, Right?
I found the other day at my Charlotte J Crew, the most sublime gingham checked shirt to help me transition painlessly in to Fall.
Called the Gingham Utility Shirt, woven in a cotton and linen blend, it felt delicious to the touch and was perfectly rumpled with a louche but sexy look to it. I pictured it with white jeans and a pair of Tory Burch orange suede driver mocs I have and topped with a slouchy cardi or that J Crew Schoolboy blazer in navy I wear constantly in cooler months.
Here’s the link so you can snag your own. Available in navy (preferred by your Hip Reporter) and other colors.
It is definitely on my hit list and will be a classic piece to add to my preppy/boho little closet. And other than Ralph Lauren, no one does cool preppy like J Crew. And sometimes J Crew does it a little better than Ralph because Jenna Lyons, Creative Director for J Crew, has us all mixing it up in the strangest but most perfect of ways. (Oh she of camo and ball gowns…)
Rag and Bone Classic Newbury
Lauded as the shoe of every cool girl from LA to NYC, Rag and Bone’s Classic Newbury has earned its fashion chops. Year after year, these shoes are introduced to a rabid following and sold out in no time.
They come in a variety of colors and leathers, even fabric for summer months. All I know is that I tried one on yesterday at Nordies and it felt like a puff of air on. Incredible. They were definitely foot friendly and were something I could walk in without pain for an afternoon out. The heel comes in at 3 inches, perfectly doable and so flattering to us girls who are just a touch height-challenged.
Knock offs abound but if you can swing a real pair of Newbury’s you’ll be rewarded with a shoe that will last for a long time and wear beautifully into a hip, rich patina.
I decided this is the year to get my own pair of Newburys. I am tucking money away for them as I compose my blog. The $525 price tag is steep for an ankle boot but someone help me, I love them and want a pair.
Available at finer department stores nationwide, Neimans, Saks, Nordstroms and at Rag and Bone’s website.
And in the ‘A Girl Can Wish’ Category, Burberry Sends Me Dreaming
The latest fall trend that is such a ‘must have’ and a real standout is the blanket as coat look. Visit the Daily Mail’s website for a great little article all about it:
Christopher Bailey of Burberry did such a wildly artistic Fall collection, above, for the company’s Prorsum line, it got my attention immediately and flip if I wish I could figure out how to convince my husband I need one of these blanket ponchos Bailey’s hawking, below.
This was the final look for the Prorsum Fall runway show, with ‘it’ model of the moment, Cara Delevigne leading the line of models swathed in them, stoic faces but surely smug knowing they were wearing something we all want and want now.
I can’t think of a better idea than wrapping myself in a cozy blanket on a fall day and feeling safe and warm. I am positively nuts about this piece and I can’t stop thinking about it. For a mere $1395, it could be mine. Big sigh.
Olivia Palermo has been spotted wearing hers already (in the summer, with shorts of all things), monogrammed as Cara’s was on the runway. The font for the monogram is just perfectly beautiful on the piece. The fashion powers that be could not have selected a better font.
Really, the entire Prorsum Fall Collection was a stunner. And completely, wildly artistic and creative which is a real credit to Bailey. It’s got to be a challenge to take this old, iconic Burberry name and wig it up a bit (to say the least) so it stays relevant and desirable. But did he ever.
Dresses in the collection had an easy shape and flow and looked hand painted in bold, simple strokes with a flower theme prevalent throughout. A hand painted sheepskin coat (Blake Lively is actually shown wearing it in Wyoming, above) is a piece of wearable art, available for $10,000.
Huge Burberry Bowler Bags were hand painted too, whimsical and wild, a far cry from the proper Burberry plaid we often see on bags.
They were also mish-mashed with fabric that was so Navajo blanket feeling you’d almost swear Bailey had pilfered them from the Ralph Lauren showroom. Utterly gorgeous. Below, Christopher Bailey poses with the blanket ponchos of the year and those stunning Navajo Bowler Bags.
Please, visit the Burberry website for a look at a collection that will go down as one of Bailey’s most fanciful, artistic and best:
As Fall draws closer, your Hip Reporter urges you not to run out willy nilly to the retail destination of your choice at the peril of making questionable choices just to fill your closet. Rather, draw up a list of looks you’d love to have for a Fall update that will add to and enhance what you already have. Imagine yourself as a lead character in a story and how you’d want to look as you set the tone and mood of your life and how you live it out. I do that every time I go out. Who do I want to be today?
You’ll make fewer mistakes and you’ll have a wardrobe that has pops of real greatness and harmony–and of course high and low and classic and trendy–which is what it’s all about. Pick that one great piece for fall and then build around it.
It’s a formula that works. Have fun Fall shopping.