” Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple. “
Everything is fair game ! Cotton, silk, leather, wool, cashmere, … Layer over summer clothes or wear knitwear. The transitional weather is not so severe in California making it less demanding.
Navy and black, oversized scarf and oxfords, monochrome
hats, loafers, oversized knits
The leather jacket and the t-shirt
The idea is to wear layers that are easy to take off once indoors. Layering can make me look like a penguin but the right lengths and proportions help. This blog post on the rule of thirds is brilliant in understanding a few proportions. Having the jackets, pants and sweaters be of the right length and shape helps. If not, embrace the oversized boyfriend jacket proportion and be done. The only rule is to stay warm and active without looking sweat-pant-suit-ish. While I put away most of my dresses, I am looking into making them work as the weather gets colder.
THE COLOR PALETTE
It doesn’t change much by season. I try to play it safe with the one color rule. Have a black/gray base with one colorful item in blue, army green or red. Or wear navy with a gray scarf. I dont have the desire to mix too many colors. When I read articles on ‘How to mix print on print’/’learn to pair these two bright colors together’, I think “why should I even try such things? ” I do like a tiny pop of color – as a belt, as a scarf, as a lining of a jacket, as a hat, red shoes, …
CAPSULE WARDROBE ?
My fall closet is centered around leather jackets, denim and masculine shoes. My denim goes unappreciated during the summer months and it’s time for them to take the center stage. A gray cashmere sweater, gray denim and black loafers is my formula. I want to be heavily influenced by the mythical Parisian woman this season. Keep it very simple but wear high quality clothing in gorgeous fabrics.
THE LEATHER JACKETS
These two are the most treasured items in my closet. I used to mock my girl friends when they would use the terms ‘sweater weather’, ‘pumpkin latte month’, ‘floral print season’, etc. I don’t think I would mind using the term ‘leather jacket weather’. The black jacket is lightweight lambskin making it a transitional piece. The burgundy one is heavy duty with some sort of furry lining. These two can tackle Californian fall weather like pros.
I call these my investment shoes. Unlike ballet flats, these shoes are the real deal. They are tough. They can take the beating. They are made for walking. They are durable. And they ain’t cheap. I read about how heels make women feel empowered and confident. I feel the same in masculine shoes. I go dancing to the clubs in polished oxfords and red lipstick.
No jewelry for now. I am bundled up in scarves. The only skin that is exposed is the ankle and wrist. And it will do.
I give myself a free pass on collecting scarves. I wear a lot of gray and a colorful scarf cheers my outfit a little. I have, over the years, bought scarves in the ‘pantone color of the year’ – oxblood, purple, ombre pink. I try to wear one everyday during fall, winter and spring. As the clothing slips into monochrome, it really helps with my not getting depressed with my closet. I am Indian after all and I need some amount of color in my day to day dressing.
My trusty seven year old brown Campomaggi satchel. This is the oldest item in my closet and you got to yank it from me to make me stop wearing it. My first ‘investment’. I did not know that you have to condition the leather for the first few years and it wrinkled in a few places. I tire of it from time to time. Hiding it for a season and bringing it back – makes me fall in love with it again. I can see myself wearing it for another decade.
MOCK THE TRENDS
Season-independant inspiration : The Gentlewoman & Asian Street Fashion
Sorry again. Fashion is fun but can’t help mock the trends when they are shoved in my face. I survived the summer without buying straw bags, offshoulder tops, mules, block heels, flower printed bomber jackets, cap toed flats, weird tiny fur animal bag charms, high waisted mom jeans, … and whatever else was trending. When it’s everywhere, it dilutes the pleasure somehow. I did warm up to the color – dusty pink. I haven’t warmed up to the opulence of Gucci. Alessandro Michele says- “We are animals. We should not have rules”. He makes me smile. Velvet, corduroy, loud prints, a mishmash of textures, animal claw hardware … The 90s are back with a vengeance ? Zara looks like Gucci these days. It used to look like Celine. When I see articles on “how to include this season’s trends’ in my feed, I smirk and say: ‘I don’t have to. Thank you very much’.
When I first came to America, I used to argue that “seasonal colors are stupid”, “no one needs a seasonal wardrobe”, “I am not a tree”, … How times have changed ! Or it’s that the size of my closet grew and I can afford to segment everything by weight of fabrics. The light is different, so are the sunsets. Some colors do look better. The flora and fauna is different. We eat differently during fall. More soups and stews. More porridges, less smoothies. More wine, less beer. It all makes sense. I give in.
Do you have your fall wardrobe sorted ?