Ah, fall. I love this time of year when things get a little cozier and sweater weather is in full swing. You can pore through all the fashion magazines telling you to buy dozens of different products ranging from insanely expensive fur coats (when will Vogue ever learn?) to some hideous lug sole boots (Glamour, I’m talking about you), but ultimately it’s going to be about getting what YOU want and choosing what’s right for your own lifestyle. That said, there are some wardrobe staples you should consider adding to your closet that will keep you warm and looking good year after year. Happy shopping!
A fabulous jewel tone coat.
A black wool trench is classic, but you probably already have one. And if you don’t, so what? Color is more fun. Save the black for a leather jacket and go get yourself a fabulous fall coat in a rich jewel tone (ruby, amethyst and emerald are especially great on warmer Latina skin tones), a soothing pastel like porcelain pink or powder blue (great for those with lighter skin), or a gold-tone patterned number with special details like gold threading and a removable faux fur collar. (LOVEZZZ a faux fur collar!)
BUY: You can get the above Merona Women’s Luxe Gold Coat at Target for $70.
Black (p)leather jacket and knee-high boots.
OMG two of my all-time favorite pieces, one old and one new. I’ve had the black leather jacket forever and that’s exactly why you need one: You will use it FOREVER. The key is to get one without too many gratuitous design elements — for example, zippers are cool, but if you want your jacket to have staying power, keep the look streamlined. Another must-have: Knee-high boots. Again, I say keep the black for the motorcycle jacket and opt for color everywhere else. I am a HUUUUUGE fan of the knee-high boot (I have different styles in taupe, persimmon, black, chocolate, burgundy, olive and the delicious red pair from DVF in the photo) because they go with practically everything and they’re so sexy, boho and rock & roll. FYI: If you don’t wear leather, you can always go the pleather (aka vegan leather) route. They are usually waaay cheaper, just make sure they don’t look too plastic-y and shiny.
Wide-brim wool felt hat.Anyone who knows me knows that I LOOOOOVE hats. Not baseball caps or those ATROSH trilbies that people think are fedoras and that look good on NO ONE and serve absolutely NO purpose other than to make you look like you’re trying too hard. (You have to read this awesome blog post from Good Men Project and you’ll understand.) I’m talking about a wool felt hat with a slightly wide brim that will shield your face from the sun when necessary, add a dash of mystery depending on your angle and put the finishing touch to your ensemble. The medium-to-wide style looks good on any face shape, but the key is to pick one with a solid fit on your head (no fly aways!) that you will actually wear firmly on your head. Do NOT wear it toward the back of your head like this — that’s about as bad as wearing a trilby.
BUY: I scored my favorite black floppy at Zara but Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Forever 21 (sometimes) are good for hat hunting. Also, if you’re serious about a seriously good, quality hat, check out Louise Green Millinery — you can find her creations in high-end retail shops, but those of us in LA can go directly to her studio in West LA right next to the 405!
Leggings for days. (And nights.)
I used to think I hated leggings. Mostly because I’ve seen so many women wearing them all wrong in fabrics too sheer and without the right top to hide the dreaded panty line or worse — camel toe! However, leggings are now a must-have thanks to their comfort, affordability and versatility (they look great with a trapeze-style sweater or a cute cami + blazer regardless of your size). My favorite leggings at the moment are from Lysse – I have three pairs and not only do these offer tummy control (!!!) but they come in all sorts of different fabrics and silhouettes and plus sizes. I’m wearing the Ponte Equestrian in the photo above (you can see the light reflecting on the vegan leather) with my cherry-colored DVF boots and moto jacket. See, all ready for fall!
BUY: Leggings start at $58 on the Lysse website as well as at department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomgindale’s.