While I'm Thinking About Fall Fashion Magazines

The arrival of the fall fashion magazines has always been my signal to think about fall clothes, even when I've lived in places like Florida and North Carolina where, in August, fall is just a hazy promise. (In Chicago August was a reasonable time to think about fall, so that you wouldn't be caught out on that first crisp day in mid-September; here in the Bay Area it may be a chilly August but September is likely to feel more like summer than fall.)

If I were better at fashion blogging (see last week's post) I would have a giant post with five gazillion images all laid out in the format of "my must-haves for fall!" in which any three of them would add up to more than a month's rent in any reasonable place. But since I'm crap at fashion blogging, I just have a random list, like those you might find in the bottom of your handbag after a trip to the grocery store.

Mine is:

— olive anorak/parka/long jacket?

— full pleated skirts? pencil skirts with bag pockets?

— wool/denim/twill Heidis with long-sleeved tees/vest sweaters, tights, boots?

— boots??

— shirtdresses?

Does that list make any sense? For fall I'm feeling two palettes: one mustard, olive, maroon or burgundy, with a caramel leather or camel coat (both of which I have, thankfully); the other (more towards winter) with dark and light gray, pale blue, black, with maybe pale yellow or chartreuse or even teal again. The limiting factors here are travel: I don't want to have half a week's clothes in each palette so that I have to pack two coats and two pairs of boots! 

I plan on riding my bike a good bit, so full skirts for days in the office, with a long anorak to keep the wind out; Heidis with boots for travel and meetings. I may be too goofy, round, and short to pull off the "multiple-long-layers over a shortish skirt, tights, and boots" look, but I can give it a try. 

"Boots" has two question marks after it because I have five pairs that I love and hardly ever wear. Plus one pair at the cobbler's being stretched. Why don't I wear them? I need to figure this out before I buy another pair, although this one is CALLING ME (only in black, please). 

And I do have a couple of shirtdress patterns that really, really need to be made up. They just look at me with those puppy-dog eyes whenever I open their box … but they would be for California wear only, too lightweight for travel to cold places. 

I believe the Heidis are self-explanatory … 

What does your fall list look like? Also — what's NOT on your list? I think I'm almost done buying vintage leather jackets (after the completely impractical robin's-egg-blue one I grabbed last week), boots (see above), tights in weird colors (have a box full), and hats, because I splurged on a couple Kangols last year (although I'm always tempted by cheap berets) … 

27 thoughts on “While I'm Thinking About Fall Fashion Magazines

  1. It’s a very likely possibility that I’m going to need an entirely new fall wardrobe. I love your first listed color palette, but I should probably work from my stash. So: Black, red, gray, and brown. Le sigh.

    You know my word of the season: Jumpers. Wool blend jumpers with a lightweight sweater or heavyweight blouse underneath. And of course, tights and combat boots for fighting off the Kansas winter weather.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with in your delicious colors of choice.


  2. I’m so glad I’m not the only person with a box full of colored tights. I have to stop myself from buying new ones… (Last purchase: fishbowl print, which I think beats your jacket for impracticality.)


  3. I own tall black, brown, tan, and red boots (shiny, even!), and short brown and black, so I don’t believe there is such a thing as too many pair.

    My fall wardrobe will hopefully consist of a new red wine jacket, a dark teal wool dress, a high collared cape, and a couple of check and plaid jumpers. Now if only the weather would cool off to match….


  4. First of all I NEED a yellow parka and a pair of yellow wellies. Mainly because I want to be Coraline Jones for Halloween, which will be fun yet practical.

    My colour palette has recently started to move from black/white/red/pink to navy/red/white/pink; mostly separates in solids with printed scarves and a varying cast of jewelry.

    I adore that jacket, that is the most practical jacket I have ever seen.


  5. That blue leather jacket was my first fashion purchase in 1957! I was 16 and working part time at my first “official” job; i.e., I paid taxes and SS on my salary of $.57 an hour. The precious jacket was $25.00! When I finally got it out of lay-away it felt like $1,000 000.
    Then it was certainly impractical as a staple of my high school/college wardrobe, no matter that I loved it. 57 cents an hour didn’t allow for more than one jacket.


  6. Hey, shirtdresses could be made in fine wale corduroy and worn with silk long underwear, (which I LIVE in during the winter months in Virginia) tights, and boots.


  7. I doubt you will ever regret buying that robin’s egg blue coat!
    Fall makes me think of leaf colors: greens, russets, golds. In fact this is the only time of year I wear those colors. I’ll be looking for tops those colors in the thrift shops (the only places I shop).
    And I plan to whip up a couple of pairs of stretch denim pants, from a pattern I made by deconstructing an old pair that fit well.
    It’s really funny how much I love fashion, since I myself am supremely, and happily, unfashionable.


  8. Since my hair has gone silver, I’m moving to black basics (sweater dress, long knit skirt and – new this season, a black jumper, probably wool, possibley a gray one). Sweaters, turtlenecks and tights in shades of gray (all new this season) and three pair of tall black boots, with possible addition of one pair of tall gray boots if I can find the ones I want. All this accesorized with my collection of vintage sparkely brooches and earrings, and as-fast-as-I-can-knit-them colorful scarves.

    Just for the record: Too many boots? Not possible.


  9. Well, there’s the usual black pants, gray pants, white sweater set, black blazer, which I’m pretty tired of. So this week I’m going to make some dark green pants because I have a cute blouse that is a dark green/dark orange plaid. Next up, a gray wool with tiny black, white & red lines, which will be a skirt, top & jacket if the Vogue pattern I ordered will ever get here. After that I really want to make more skirts, in something besides black and gray, and a fall coat. Haven’t made a coat before, but really want to try this one, and can’t decide what color. Mostly seem to be leaning towards the dark greens and orange/ginger shades for things this year.
    I haven’t been one to wear boots before, but after this last bitterly cold winter might have to try it. And that blue leather jacket is gorgeous, but I’d never have had the guts to buy it!


  10. I agree with Isaspacey: You could just make the shirtwaists in a winter fabric. A fine-gauge wool would be a joy to sew up for this classic style. Plus, you can wear it as a light-weight coat in Spring/Fall. For myself, I’ve recently been given several dead persons’ stashes as their daughters clear out estates, so am constrained by the tastes of persons other than I. I look like a walking rag-bag most of the time … .


  11. My obsession with jewel tones shows no signs of stopping, so I’m planning a lot of separates and dresses in garnet, sapphire, teal, dark purple and steel gray. I also want to hop on the plaid bandwagon and make a cotton flannel shirtwaist dress in green/navy/black plaid.

    As for things to buy, I did just get a gray wool cloche from Banana Republic, despite the fact that it’s 95 degrees in Washington DC today. And there’s always room in my closet for another pair of tall black boots…


  12. I’m thinking wool challis for the shirtdresses. Paisley??? That olive, mustard, burgundy (edible color palette) caught my eye.
    Why is it that boots look so cool but never get worn in the northern climes? Gotta have the all weather gear up here. Lucky you…SF has a great boot climate. So buy another pair!!


  13. That leather jacket is to die for. Wear it often!

    I just need new clothes and shoes. Period. Everything I own is several years old. My wardrobe consists of slacks and sweaters and jeans and tops. I could use a suit or a couple dresses and a new dress coat. Mustard and olive aren’t my colors, but some people can wear them well.


  14. I would love to find or make some warm, soft, comfortable, flattering tops that are not standard-flannel-shirt-shaped. I am a total sucker for the softness of flannel next to the skin, but am tired of the lumberjack persona in my professional life. (Hint: I am not a lumberjack.)


  15. This fall I’m looking for/considering:
    1. A cadet hat in gray or olive drab
    2. (already purchased) Hooded tees in gray and olive drab
    3. (already purchased) A gray cardigan! I’ve wanted one for a long time, but it’s hard to find ones that fit.
    4. (and this is exciting) A suit! Like, with coordinated jacket and pants! JC Penney has a new line of suits for teenage boys, which means they actually have my size. And the pants are flat-front and the jackets are double-vented. So stylish! They’re not wool, but they’ve got just about everything else going for them. The only question now is gray or black.
    5. New sneakers. Because my sneakers have holes in them.

    I’m not looking for any new scarves. I already have a black and white plaid one that was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend, a gray and purple plaid I appropriated/inherited from my mom, a bright tricolor number that was the first thing I ever knit and a large gray one with the Decepticon symbol painstakingly Fairisled onto one end. I really need to wear that one more 😀
    I moved into a new place this summer, and in the process went through all my cute long sleeved layers. I’m pretty jazzed about getting to wear them again.


  16. Roobeedoo, just search for “Heidi” on Dressaday.com and you’ll see! Oh, you’ll see….

    My as-yet-finished Heidis (three planned!) will make up a significant portion of my fall-to-winter-to-spring wardrobe, layered as it gets colder with various warmer items like cute cardigans, tights, tall-heeled knee-high riding boots or peep-toe pumps. Perfection!


  17. I bought a coat just like the robin’s egg one a few years ago in a charity shop (£15!). I agree, totally impractical. I think I squeaked when I walked. Even I, a self-confessed attention seeker, couldn’t handle the degree of “look at me in my coat!” effect. Anyway, I put it back into the charity shop machine to claim another fashion victim.


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