Signature StylingThought Leader: Debra Schwartz
If you live in a four-season region you get to experience the spectrum of styles each year from cozy cashmere to loose linen and back again.
“These pieces can be reimagined to pick up trends from the upcoming season.”
The opportunity to switch from cotton and linen to cashmere and leather is something I look forward to each year. Plus, I’m partial to the fall colors—the browns, wines, deeper greens that are ones with typically associate with this season. If you live in a climate that doesn’t fluctuate enough to warrant fleece, this is still your occasion to plunge into the more traditional (or trending) fall hues, both in clothes and in accessories.
And, Fall also is the perfect time to revisit some of the treasured pieces we stashed away for the summer—reconnecting with forgotten favorites is like shopping in your own closet; those sweaters, jackets, trousers (that you loved enough to park in cedar or “moth balls”) will feel new-to-you again. These pieces can be reimagined to pick up trends from the upcoming season.
There’s a bonus psychological lift you get when you see that things you bought a year or more ago can still spark joy…confirming a good choice, as well as affirming your personal style. This is one of the reasons I advise my clients to separate fall/winter clothes from spring/summer ones.
Take the over-the-knee boots I bought 10 years ago (yes, that long ago). I loved them then, and still get a “kick” out of them. They are BACK on-trend for Fall ’22. It’s worth it to a spend a bit more on special or unique things that are well-made and of top-quality fabrics and leather.
“But enough digressing about dressing…let’s get down to brass tacks, or zippers, if you will.”
For instance, a decade ago I splurged on an Issey Miyake. His unique Japanese-inspired fashions are as fresh and relevant today as they were in the 80s! It’s like wearable art.
But enough digressing about dressing…let’s get down to brass tacks, or zippers, if you will.
Get Your Wardrobe Fall Fashion Ready:
1. ) First, make room in your closet. Clear out the summer stuff you never touched this season. You have five pairs of white jeans but only wore two on rotation. And there’s that end-of-the-season sundress you picked up on sale, which never made it into the sunlight. Donate, dump or demote (or sell) these depending on condition and emotional attachment, while others can still enjoy your discards this summer. Free up space in your closet and lighten your mood.
2.) Now go get the things you put away for the summer or pushed to the back of your closet and try them on. What fit last year might not fit this year. Much can change over the course of several months both in your size and lifestyle. No negative self-talk, nor judgment allowed! Fresh season, fresh start
3.) Then, look at the condition of your clothes. Do they need replacing? Repairing? That white button-down kind of yellowed? The black tee not so black anymore? The wool cardigan replete with pills? Do they need to be cleaned? And, check for missing or loose buttons.
4.) Do the same for shoes, handbags, belts – most of us don’t replace handbags and belts each year…so they become a collection that we should take care of as well as curate. Take shoes, bags, and belts to the shoe repair for a pre-fall sprucing up – just in time for your Fall fashion reboot. Treat shoes and boots to new soles, a professional polish, and waterproofing. Use leather conditioner on bags to give them a sheen and resistance to staining. Beyond just making them look fresher, professional care will also extend the life of the shoes and bags.
“A piece that fits you perfectly will not only make you look better, but it will make you feel better”
5.) Go to the tailor, and alter the clothes that may need a little adjustment. We tend not to think about tailoring, but this is honestly one of the best investments you can make in your wardrobe! A piece that fits you perfectly will not only make you look better, but it will make you feel better…more confident. And it will take what might be a less-expensive piece and hoist it into a high-er price category. Men know this, but women tend to think that it something doesn’t fit right off the rack, it’s our bodies to blame.
6.) Next, review your clothes to determine which are transitional and will take you from late summer to fall – you can wear lighter-weight fabrics in deeper colors (and all the dopamine-boosting brights this season, too); or, slightly heavier-weight versions of the summer lights and whites you’ve been wearing. Trade twill for linen, cashmere for cotton. Now is the time to layer as the temperatures drop. NOTE: TRY everything on…it’s the perfect time for a closet purge. Clean the summer-only pieces and pack them away for the season.
7.) Now take an inventory to see what’s missing from your wardrobe. What are the MWP (most-worn pieces), the backbone pieces that you wear on regular rotation? These are the pieces that are the go-tos and starting points for a no-brainer outfit. Think: black blazer, leather jacket, dark jeans—the perennials that you reach for each season for no-brainer outfits. Do you have the basics, or are there glaring holes in what would otherwise be a wardrobe you can work with?
8.) Look at the trends in style and colors for Fall Fashion. Which speak to you? What colors call out to you? Do you have pieces in your closet that will work with these trends? Trends tend to come back every several years, and the more classic ones, in better fabrics, can be brought back into circulation from your wardrobe. (contact me for a full Fall Trend Report for 2022)
“Find and add images of pieces you already own, too.”
9.) Now, shop to fill in and freshen. I suggest you shop online first, to get a broader “lay of the land”, starting with stores and brands that I know fit you well. Then you can head to your favorite stores with a plan in mind. The pre-fall sales / Labor Day sales are the ideal time to purchase replacements at discounted prices. And, don’t overlook thrift stores, and resale sites like The RealReal and Poshmark as shopping resources for pieces both new and pre-loved.
10.) Finally, create a FALL outfit board on Pinterest. When you see an item that appeals to you, from a store website, blog, Instagram post or magazine, pin it on the board. Find and add images of pieces you already own, too. Not only will this give you outfit ideas, but it’ll also help you develop your own signature style. After a while, your likes (and dislikes) will become clear to you.
Easy Fall Fashion Style Reference:
Your Pinterest board also serves as an easy style reference you’ll use to reduce getting-dressed stress (quick outfit ideas when your style mojo isn’t feeling it) and when packing for a trip as well. NOTE: Use the “search” feature to flesh out the board, putting in style terms that resonate with the look you’re after, like edgy, classic, or the new buzzwords “Coastal Grandmother”.
The fashion world knows that most of us get that “back to school, back to social time-for-new -clothes” feeling. New styles appear in stores. It’s the most exciting time of the year for a wardrobe reboot.
When you start in your own closet and take these steps to prepare your wardrobe for the upcoming season you’ll be sure to be set-with-style for the Fall.
About the Author:
Debra Schwartz, of CRUSH.STYLE, is a stylist and designer with more than three decades in fashion, cosmetics, corporate design, branding, and digital media.
As a Confidence-Creator, an Amplifier of Self-Image, and an Architect of Empowerment for women her goal is to have you show up with confidence and style in chapters two, three, (or four!) of life. “My passion and mission is to bring elevation and joy to women through signature style… and reclaim your fabulousness”.
Find Debra on Instagram @crushstylenow. Visit http://www.crush.style to learn more about Debra and how her signature style services can elevate you to the next level.