Are you one of those people that are in denial when summer leaves in an instant (seriously, wasn't it just warm out)? I am. I swear I'm going to wake up one day and it's going to be ferociously hot and I can't walk down my block in my havianas because it's sectioned off for cook-outs that last to 1 in the morning with ribs sizzling away on the grill and loud club music blasting and iceys for days. But alas, the only people out that late anymore are the crackheads, the only ribs you get on the grill are made the George-Foreman way (which you gotta love, but sigh, it just doesn't taste the same). And club music blaring while I'm snuggled under the comforter watching Project Runway? I wish somebody would.
For people like Rihanna saying good-bye to August means packing up their summer clothes and getting in a Fall-to-Winter shipment. Lovely for them, but I'm a little too entry-level for a complete wardrobe change. And I wouldn't blow the money if I had it. All I do is pick three double-duty pieces from their wardrobes and my closet becomes cold-weather-ready faster than you can say "65 degrees." Here's how.
1 - Under the Cover-ups
God bless the Bohemians! I shamelessly wore my little Ikat boho dress to work with a long cardigan and cowboy boots and it felt brand new! And thank the Lord because I just moved into an apartment and do NOT have the $ to buy anything really new without sacrificing lesser important expenses...like food and electricity. My cardi singlehandedly saved what would have been a drab Fall wardrobe.
I know what you're thinking: rocking your pretty tank tops and sleeveless dresses under a cardigan is an old trick, but the Fall season gives you plenty of ways to update your cover-ups. The number 1 difference? These cover-ups should become a part of your outfit, instead of feeling like an add-on.
Glamazons, it doesn't get any chic-er than this. Buy a neutral color like gray, brown, navy or black, even deep purple. Pair it with a dress of a similar length and a complimentary hue...or a blouse and a pair of knee-length shorts...or a fitted top and short skirt. And you're done.
And the cost of your new go-to piece? A mere $19.80 at www.forever21.com. (They have a million cardis that I just love, including the open front cardigan for $22.80...so glam!)
You can belt it for a shapely silhouette (skinny belts work) or just let it flow. The look is stylish, comfortable and somehow, supersexy.
TIPS AND TRICKS
But ladies, beware. A few missteps and this lax, luxe look can go irreversibly sloppy. Keep these tips in mind:
-It's worth it to invest in a cardigan that's constructed well. Read: an unfinished hem, loose threads and moth balls will make you look like you went shopping in your grandma's attic.
-Balance it out. Wear loose cardigans/sweaters over fitted dresses, skirts and tops. Or long cardigans over skinny jeans. Too loose begs the question of if you bothered washing at all. Too tight completely misses the mark.
-Have fun with it. Bohemian is synonomous with understated, uninhibited cool. Play with texture, experiment with color. Just don't go overboard (i.e. bulky layers, accessories galore). When you've got it right, it will feel pulled-together and effortless.
Two words: contrast proportions. Keep the top long/fitted and the bottom full (or vice versa) and you're good to go. Exhibit A: this glam Jil Sander look.
Mariah, Mariah, Mariah. Here's how NOT to do the cropped jacket. The pop of color is glam, but the proportions are all wrong. The look is too tight and the length of the top and short hem of the leggings is a jarring combo.
With a flowy top and fitted skinny jeans, Rachel Bilson gets it right.
I am just in love with how a blazer can make a look instantly sharp and sophisticated. Don't believe me? I remember going to my internship at Marie Claire wearing a great blazer, my old Express jeans (atleast three years in) and a flimsy white tank top...and looking like a million bucks (for about $50 altogether, I swear!)
This season brings new styles like the smart contrast piping (below on Vanessa) and the All-American color scheme, worn by the fabulous Blake Lively (Gossip Girls).
You can just as easily throw your blazer over a corset and be ready for a night out with the girls.
The right blazer is worth every dime. In terms of fit and construction, a little quality goes a long way. Ralph Lauren works their signature look for about $300 at www.macys.com (love the crested emblem, it gives a preppy, Gossip Girl, private-school-snob feel).
But I'd get the Nine West blazer for $129 (also, www.macys.com) with the edgy zipper pocket detail.
-A leather jacket
A la Rihanna. Rocker chic is one of the few winter looks that's just as irrestibly sexy as an Herve Leger bandage dress. It's tough and glam with just a touch of goth.
Just avoid over-styling like the plague. The jacket should take the lead, think Beyonce, and everything else is Kelly and Michelle.
Everywhere from Bebe to Member's Only has incredible styles. Check out leather stores too, like Wilson's, for amazing variety.
Crisp and classic. $595 at www.membersonly.com.
This jacket is calling my name! The tough luxe leather meets the soft ruffle trim for an unbelievably sexy look. $249 at bebe.com.
For $5 on a New York street, the wrapped scarf looks unjustly expensive. It's the perfect way to cover your chest lest you get a cold (like your mama told you) with style. And a color that pops---orange, green, fuschia---looks so fashionable against a casually cool ensemble.
If it's super cold, take it off and wrap it over your shoulders. If you just got a touch-up and there's a surprise rain storm, Erykah-Badu it until you get under cover. Worn over a blazer, blouse or dress, this scarf is your new best friend.
Avoid getting a too-long scarf like Lindsey (below) as it tends to overwhelm the look.
Beyonce's scarf falls at the perfect length.
And if it's too long, tie it like Kylie..
Btw, love the YSL mail bag...very glam!
More Fall styles to come...talk soon!
Photos: JillSander, WireImage, Getty Images.