In "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
And it truly does. There's an excitement when you finally get to unpack those winter boxes, full of newly rediscovered goodness, maybe Grandpa's sweater or that vintage suede skirt. With a whole new season comes the constant question of the day: What am I going to wear?
The best approach is to invest in classic staples in neutral tones, which will have a longer lifespan and last through the seasons. Go to pieces everyone should own: A crisp chambray or rich flannel shirt, a favorite sweater and thermal wear, great jeans, a tailored blazer and a good white tee. These are great building blocks to throw together any outfit. Let your personality shine through by accessorizing.
Comfort also continues to reign supreme in styling. Why would you want to spend hours in an outfit that was uncomfortable and restrictive when there are so many other options if you think outside the box? My approach to dressing is like an artist's approach to a painting—it's all about layers, especially in the fall. To create the perfect finished look, I pair textures with rich color and contrasting patterns. With trending colors like emerald, burgundy, navy and pastels, the combinations are endless.
This season is still all about the "boyfriend" outfitting for the ladies. Whether you throw on an oversized flannel shirt or a loose-fitting denim, this comfy trend is a proven classic. Another frontrunner in current style game-changers is athleisure outfitting and trendy athletic wear. Gym wear continues to turn high fashion from runway to ready-to-wear, which is a perfect combination. No time to change out of your yoga pants? That's fine. Simply throw on a chic oversized sweater, statement necklace and heels. You're ready for cocktail hour. In today's busy society, we need accessible fashion that takes us from gym to work to after-dinner events quickly. Having multiple holiday parties this season, ladies? Try switching it up a little and wearing a tailored pantsuit or jumper.
It's no longer the era of Hillary and the traveling pantsuits—jumpsuits, rompers and pantsuits are everywhere right now and are a comfy, yet stylish alternative to the cocktail dress. A tailored suit is always in style for the gents as well. However, try to switch from the basic black this season, guys. Shake it up with color and try a navy or maroon suit this year. Bulldog fan or not, this classic color is a unique approach to up your suit game. Try adding a classic fedora or modern beanie to your look. Hats are a must-have once chilly weather hits. Dress down your suit by throwing on casual sneakers (like Vans and Chucks) or add modern wingtip oxfords and a vest with the fedora for a nod to '40s-era style. For the ladies, top off your look with a fancy hat and a vintage statement necklace or scarf.
Now, with all that being said, I am always looking for ways to do all of this sustainably and on a budget. I usually try to buy a few key pieces and then thrift or repurpose items already in my closet to fit the current season. This way, I curb my spending while reducing my impact by recycling. I am loving that the slow movement has become so big across the board and people are finally beginning to take notice and be aware of what they are buying and where it comes from.
This goes for fashion as well. It's important to support the local economy by buying from local vendors and handmade items from artisans. Plus, with so many consignment store options in the Jackson-metro area, it's crazy not to thrift! I always like to add a touch of vintage or recycled to every outfit.
Another good way to do this while remaining on-trend is to host clothing swaps with your friends and family. It's a great dinner party idea because everyone has a few things hanging in their closet that they just can't bear to get rid of but don't ever wear. Give these things new life with a new home and swap for something you might love from their closet. So this season, go slow. Relax by the fire in your comfy sweaters. Host a clothing swap. Buy local. Support handmade. Thrift.