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Fall Fashion Finds For Every Budget
Well darlings, New York Fashion Week is a mere breath away from resuscitating our style senses with its enormous tents, sleek and stylish models, and equally sleek and stylish celebs rushing from event to event, pausing only to make quick changes into whomever designer's attire they are about to view (wonder what would happen if SJP showed up at Narciso Rodriguez attired from head to toe in Derek Lam? Well, of course she would never do such a thing, but just, what if?) But I digress…
Anyhoo, it used to be that fashion editors and their glossy magazines would rule the runways. One nod to an up-and-coming designer from the powers that be and said designer was moving from a ratty loft on the wrong side of the river to much more desirable digs in Manhattan. But
with serious competition coming from TV and the Web, the winds of fashion arbitration are blowing in a bit of a different direction. (Anna Wintour
Mediaweek Senior Editor Lucia Moses, in her recent article The Delicate Balance, shares her insights into this phenomenon:
"The long-anticipated September issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar this year contained much of what style-conscious readers have come to expect from these famous fashion magazines — makeup secrets, wardrobe musts and models dressed in flowing ensembles from Europe’s fashion capitals. But a closer look between the glossy pages revealed that something else was going on. Features sought to reassure cash-strapped shoppers that they could update their fall wardrobes without breaking the bank. Vogue published a report on how designers were “trying to keep quality high and costs low.” Both titles promised “stylish steals” on their covers.
What were these budget-friendly features doing in pages that usually praise couture gowns, Vuitton bags and $2,000 Lavin skirts? They’re a sign of the times. Desperate to woo recession-spooked shoppers clutching their wallets tightly, every facet of the fashion business — from designers to retailers — is doing what it must to stay relevant.
Make that magazines too, as the contents of the make-or-break September issues so visibly indicate. Traditionally, September is the issue that fires the starting gun for big-ticket fall and winter shopping sprees. This year, however, they’re thick with bargain buys and advice on shopping one’s closet."
Which I can verify from right here at my computer! Glancing across the room, I see the September issues of six different magazines spread across my coffee table, with "Smart Shopping Special", "Clothes That Take You Everywhere (and cost next to nothing)", "What to Know Before You Shop — 75 Smart Tips & Tricks", and "Hottest Looks For Every Shape and Budget" emblazoned across the covers. It seems that the glossies are revamping to embrace and inspire Everywoman, which I find refreshing and timely indeed. In fact, I have adopted Marie Claire's "The New Way to Shop" guide (which came with my latest issue) as my new fashion bible — it is a handy dandy little booklet filled with what's fresh for fall — and the best ways to get it now, online and in stores, for less. Who could ask for anything more?
With that in mind, let's take a little look-see at She She Me, Shop Girl, and Girly's favorite pieces for fall:
Boyfriend Blazer. This is one of fall's most versatile pieces, as well as a wardrobe staple. It can add professional polish to a sleeveless sheath dress, or you slip it over a skinny tank and your favorite pair of broken-in jeans, push up the sleeves and add a hipslung belt for a bit of rocker chic. I think of this as an investment piece, because it is timeless. You can wear it now, with a pair of flannel or wool trousers and belted over a silky top; five years from now it will still look classic when paired with jeans, a button down blouse and a pair of boots. Remember, when it comes to investmentpieces, the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Buy the best quality item that you can afford and look for details like double stitched seams and a full lining.
Basic Black. Think sleekly sophisticated with just a bit of bad girl thrown in.
Cashmere Cardigan. Another investment piece, although there are several very affordable cashmere options out there for fall. My favorite source for cashmere is J.Crew because of their excellent quality and fantastic selection. I have a gorgeous coral cashmere cardigan that I bought when I moved to the San Francisco area three years ago, and I wear it several times a month, year round. The key to longevity is proper care. I always hand wash my cashmere, using The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Shampoo, then roll it up in a towel to remove the excess water (NEVER wring sweater), and dry flat on a mesh drying rack. Treat your cashmere right and it will treat you to years of excellent and toasty warm wear.
Leggings: So many styles, colors and fabrics to choose from, like lace, leather, and velveteen, the legging is a must-have for fall. Leggings can add a layer of warmth to extend the life of your mini dress when paired with boots. They can also add a shimmer of style to a tunic or sweater dress and heels. Lengths from capri to ankle to stirrup will help boost your fall fashion style.
The hottest denim trend to hit the catwalks and sidewalks this Fall is the "jegging
," a combination of the jean and legging
that makes for one hot look. Very easy to wear and so very versatile. Dress them up with a hot pair of skyscrapers
and a belted flowy blouse, or go uber-casual with a tee shirt and trainers.
One fall trend that I adore is monochromatic tights/shoes combination, especially if the shoes are peep toe. This also works wonderfully with slouch boots, ankle or knee boots. I love these semi-opaque cotton tights by Falke - they are very flattering, extremely comfortable and durable as well, with just a hint of a floral design throughout. I just adore the look of a legging with a subtle pattern, perhaps a herringbone or stripe, or if you really want to make a statement, an all-over lace patterned pair is just the ticket.
Classic Denim. You can't go wrong with Gap Born to Fit denim. Find the perfect fit for your particular body type. The boyfriend jean, the always skinny, the sexy boot. You can also style your premium jeans to bring out the personality in each pair.
Well darlings, it's a great start to a fabulous season! Happy Fashion Week!
White House Black Market will open a Pop Up shopping boutique in SoHo on 9/10/09, just in time to kick off Spring 2010 Fashion Week and Fashion’s Night Out!