September 27, 2009

How to Transition to Fall

Weather in New York was diverse this week... we went from 83 and muggy to, well, cold and rainy right now. And we're expecting mid-70s and low 60s next week. We're definitely out of summer, but not solidly into autumn, with those random warm days and humidity.

What's a well-dressed girl to do...

On this rainy Sunday, I am presently autumn-izing my closet. Or, more accurately, this blogging is a break from the process. This is a step away from winterizing the closet, and makes the seasonal transitions much easier. It seems many women are annoyed at and confused by transitional dressing. This I am told by friends and family, and witness on the street. During a nice afternoon in Little Italy yesterday, I saw North Face shells, a handful of linen pieces, many flipflops, Uggs, Wellies, Bonanno sandals, scarves and quilted jackets. It seems this is a common conundrum.

Do you remember in high school geometry (or perhaps calc) when you had a graph of a zig-zagged line, and to answer a proof you had to draw the "best fit line?" Yes, I am a nerd. If you're not, well, here's something to jog your memory.

The line doesn't hit all points; rather, it goes through the middle as a sort of average. This is how we should approach autumnal dressing. On one side of the line is all the summer wear we haven't stored yet, and on the other side are the chunky sweaters and tweed trousers that have been on display since August. So you take the best fit line of those extremes. Those extremes are obviously seasonal cuts, colors and fabrics:
- eyelet
- linen
- heavy wool trousers
- anything ski-related
- straw or wicker (bags, shoes)
- tropical florals

The good news is that your best fit line can still cross into bright solids, thin cotton, lightweight cashmere, and loads of other options. This is possible through layering and thoughtful combinations.

Here are some ways to autumn-ize your summer clothes:
- slip that polo under a sweater or vest; pair with a chino or denim skirt and flats
- put your non-tropical sundress under a boyfriend cardigan or blazer, and add boots
- 3/4 sleeve jersey dresses always work!
- pair bright, airy tops with neutral, heavier bottoms. Yellow pops with gray, and brown is a warm complement to pink, turquoise and orange.
- twill and chino pants are ideal; more season-neutral than linen or wool.
- this is the season for lightweight scarves. Try them in darker colors to tone down a bright shirt.
- button-downs layer with tees, blazers, cardigans, vests, tanks... pretty much anything.

Here are some of my favorite transitional autumn looks. All images are from The Sartorialist, the best source for fashion inspiration on the web.

On the left, black stovepipe pants, a black leather bag and a sweater layer perfectly with an oxford and t-strap pee-tie platform sandals.

A pleated, lightweight blue skirt is matched with a heavier, draped top, and season-neutral metallic heels and a bright red clutch.

All-black is an easy palette: pair a heavy jacket with a short skirt and open-toe heels. Classic quilted bag optional.

And my favorite... this is brilliant. A standard v-neck sweater and casual navy mini, transformed by beautiful color, a statement necklace in neutrals with texture, and fabulous multi-hued brown peep-toe platform sandals. This girl looks gorgeous!


~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Love the pictures.

siegfried said...

Lovely the header picture. I suppose is Central Park. The second one (girl sitting on a moped) is definetely shot on location in my Italy...