Kit & Ace tank top | not available online
Eileen Fisher slouchy pants | size LP
Admonish curved zipper tote bag
Robert Clergerie Gavale Slide sandals
This is an outfit I took a picture of a week or so ago (before my latest hair cut!) and never posted; it’s sort of blah. And while I love the Kit & Ace tank (the most comfortable thing EVER), and wear it all the time, it’s not very photogenic. Especially with the “wrong” bra.
But I was thinking about a comment Kelly left yesterday about dressing “in-season” (for fall in September, when it technically is “fall”) when the temperature is still very summer-like in many parts of the country (HOT as hell). The easy answer to “how to do it” is to just wear whatever you feel like, whether it’s “seasonally” appropriate or not. If it’s 90 degrees where you are, dress for 90 degrees, not for the 30 degree weather the magazines and editorials would have you dressing for.
I also know that around this time every year, I start to get VERY antsy for fall clothing. I’m probably influenced quite a bit more by advertisements and catalogs (damn Nordstrom anniversary sale) than I care to admit, but I’m also just OVER summer clothes (it’s not my favorite sartorial season). Add to that that I am relatively cold whenever I’m inside (even in my own house) and have to layer anyway.
Never mind that it’ll be November before I’ll want to wear sweaters or jackets or layers of any kind outside, I’m already starting to crave them. In fact, as part of my “taking a break” this week, I went through the sweaters and winter items (the few I have) I store in my closet to see what I need to focus on adding or getting rid of this year, and wanted to lie down and snuggle with my cashmere for a while…
Anyway, back to the idea of dressing for fall when it’s still too hot outside. I find myself around this time incorporating more pants/jeans into my outfits than earlier in the summer. I wore my old AG tomboy cropped jeans yesterday with my gray Everlane u-neck tee and wasn’t too hot for a trip to Target & Ulta (it’s no longer in the 100’s here). Well, except, I’ve finally come to terms that those jeans have GOT to go. They’ve never been comfortable (low-rise, ugh), but I like the way they look on me and have never been able to find a replacement pair that I liked as much, or fit better, so I’ve just kept and worn them. But man, yesterday, I had enough. Also, bloated. But still. Why should I wear uncomfortable jeans just because I like the way they look? I can find a better pair, or not.
So, the way I deal with wanting to wear more “fall” clothing is incorporate it in small bits here and there. I still can’t wear shoes (sandals, only!!) in this heat, and honestly, I love to wear sandals and will do it as long as I can comfortably. But I’ll wear jeans or pants a little more often, and maybe add a light layer over a fitted dress or something every once in a while.
I try not to let editorials and “what’s new” in shops influence me too much, but it’s inevitable that it will. In that case, it’s easier not to fight against it too much…it takes up too much energy! As long as I feel comfortable, I’ll wear it, weather be damned…
And speaking of fall…
Kit & Ace wool/cashmere reversible cardigan
Sadly, one of things I think I’ll have to replace this year is my old Lululemon wrap/cardigan with thumbholes. Man…I love this thing, and have worn it TO DEATH, but it’s so big on me now, especially the sleeves, and has stretched so much that it’s sort of fussy to wear out. I bought it on sale several years ago, and have been so pleased with it. I knew I’d need to replace it eventually, so I’ve been on the lookout for something similar (and that’s washable…). Perhaps this Kit & Ace cardigan is the one?
I wish it had long sleeves, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s reversible to a dark gray from black. LOVE that. And that’s it’s washable. And it looks like a giant blanket. Which I also love, and appreciate when I’m cold. I’ll have to see if they have it in my store here first, but it may be my replacement & the “coat” I thought I needed to buy this year. More on that later.
What’s your secret to dressing for fall when it’s still hot out? When do you get ready for cooler-weather clothing?
Hi Grechen – sorry to hear that your weather is still so hot! Can’t imagine what that’s like – we have had (for us) an incredibly hot summer so that any grey, cloudy day feels like a gift.
The slouchy pants are terrific- and while I like the tank, I don’t think it photographs well, either! Love the Kit and Ace cardigan – tricky to wear under a coat (which is what most of the fall/winter here requires) though.
As for fall, it’s my favourite time of year – crisp mornings and beautiful blue skies. But thinking about dressing for it – hmmmm, not on my radar yet.
It will be hot and disgusting until Halloween here. This is always the most depressing time of the year, when Halloween decorations and fall clothes show up in the stores and it’s still 105. It’s just so WRONG.
If you are looking for something to replace that Lulu cardigan, check Splendid. A couple years ago, they had this open front piece like that that was made of some thin, stretchy material that was a little fuzzy on the inside, almost like thin sweatshirt material, but with stretch. I am not doing a good job of describing this! Either way, the fabric was heavenly and so soft. I ended up giving it to one of my friends because open front drapey cardigans always make me feel fat, a side effect of boobs I think. So sad, because it was lovely.
Duff´s last blog post ..how it all began
I wore pants to work on Wednesday for the first time (literally) since June. So yes, I think that adding pants back in (even when they’re still lightweight) is part of my transition to fall. And fall is my favorite season. Well, I love spring too. Both have the best weather in NC. I also move the pastels out of rotation (well, I only have a couple pastel cardigans, but some of the jewel tone dresses I wear for work I don’t wear into the fall either.) I might start adding scarves again soon. Anything is fine indoors since my office is cold.
But the chelsea boots won’t be worn until October or November 😉
I got a wrap cardigan at the Nordstrom sale last year – Bobeau. It looks great and is so comfortable (fleecy!) but it has pilled quite a bit in the year I’ve had it.
I get very excited about seasons and my northern-born psyche remains locked in to calendar shifts despite the temperature outside. Every September, I head out in the morning sporting a sweater and my autumn happy face only to be hit by a wall of heat. The deep south really messes with my head.
I’ve had to adapt by adjusting my wardrobe by color and texture for the seasons. Despite my Marie Kondo flurry earlier this year, I still have a drawer of tank tops and a drawer of scarves. They help me transition. All my pastels and floral colors are put away at the end of spring. In summer I wear clear, crisp colors like white, navy, aqua and tan. By the end of August, all those colors go away, as well as anything light and airy like linen or voile. In September, I shift to khaki, dark green, grey and marsala. I also bring out my suede footwear, which I will only wear in fall and winter. For fall, I also bring out a heavier purse, and shift from flat shoes to something a bit more chunky. Fall is really the only time I wear brown accessories. By the time winter comes around, I am wearing black and grey…which I wear all year. But in winter it is the wooly stuff.
Oooh, now I am excited. I must say, as I look forward to heading toward the cooler months, I find it harder to stick with my commitment to wear “kinder” textile choices. I can really go for linen shirts and straw purses in the summer. I love wearing wool in the winter. I try to be mindful of cruelty-free options for both humans and animals, but now with Patagonia’s sustainable farms sheep cruelty fiasco, I am aware once again at how hard this is. 🙁
Christine M says
Wow – that Kit & Ace cardi is gorgeous, and while I love the whole look they have going there, I’m totally confused by it, I guess that’s because I can’t think of a single day of the year when a turtleneck, bare legs, booties and a 3/4-sleeve cozy open sweater would add up to something that works in the Northeast. It’s way too much clothing to wear now, of course, but if the weather is cool enough to be that covered up, I’m definitely going to want tights. And probably long sleeves (with the option of pushing them up). Maybe even a coat too. I’m saying all this to myself so I don’t get too tempted to buy on the basis of how great it looks in that photo.
Grechen Reiter says
haha! yeah, the styling of stuff like that always confounds me. i mean..if it’s cold enough for a heavy sweater, you’re not going with your legs bare…
the sweater would work for me, for most of the winter, layered over a long sleeve top and maybe a scarf or something (with jeans and boots, not a dress and bare legs). even though i think i need a coat here, i probably don’t. it’s not cold enough for long enough to warrant one i don’t think. i can get by with heavy sweaters and scarves for another year. i hope. 😉
although, the 3/4 sleeves are probably a deal-breaker for me. gotta think about it REALLY hard.
I mostly dress the same during the day and maybe consider darker colors. In the evening, it can get fairly cool by the coast, so then I can whip out my ankle booties for a dinner out in Sept 🙂
MonicaP´s last blog post ..Summer outfit: White distressed shorts, crochet top, and sandals
I may have been too rash yesterday in my flippant attitude of, “Just wear what you want, when you want!” I really do love Fall best, probably because I’ve always been a ‘dyed in the wool’ (haha) sweater girl. I’m not trying to whine, but menopausal hot flashes have really put a sweaty damper on my enjoyment of sweater-wearing. It has to get REALLY cold before I’m comfortable in wool or cashmere…and I’m talking 20’s or lower outside. Montauk is pretty temperate due to the ocean, so I don’t require the wardrobe for seriously cold weather like I did when I lived in the Upper Midwest.
So, I can be pretty comfortable out here all summer as Mrs. Casual in t-shirts, shorts, sundresses and bathing suits.. Not remotely “Hampton’s appropriate” attire, not that I really give a sh*t. I’ve grown in confidence enough that my new motto is Seussian: “The ones that matter don’t mind, and the ones that mind, don’t matter.” Good advice at any rate. When calendar Fall arrives, I might add in a few cotton cardis, a Current/Elliott sweatshirt, cargo pants by J Crew, some Frank & Eileen button downs, and Converse Chucks, Adidas black suede Superstars, and still, peep-toe flat booties. It can be warm all day, but very cool at night. It’s probably not Gil Thanksgiving that I pull out the artillery: My Panjar boots for windy beach walks, an old Gap black parka, and jeans, with a fisherman’s knit sweater.
The best way to sum it up is that it never happens “all at once,” but rather in stages. Here a scarf, there a bootie. And it all comes together somehow.
It’s funny when i first saw the pic in today’s post, i thought wow, i really like that top on Grechen…so reading how you didn’t think it so flattering kind of clashed with my initial impression. For what it’s worth! I too completely love fall dressing more than any season and have been lucky to mostly live in places that cool down a lot come September. My favorite pieces are always the cooler weather ones and I’m with you on being so over summer dressing! Speaking of which, I’ve lately become obsessed with longer drapey open cardigans and am interested in this one by oak, but have never bought any of their pieces, so am curious if you have experience with their sizing:
Any thoughts appreciated! Look forward to more posts on fall dressing!
Christine M says
Grechen, any guess what those booties might be? They’re the perfect height and fit around the ankle .. Exactly what I’m looking for to replace a well-worn similar pair. The website has some nice views of them but I don’t see any distinctive details that would tip me off to the brand. Maybe you do?
Do you happen to know how the Frank & Eileen button downs compare to the James Perse? I’d like to figure out how to incorporate more button downs into my wardrobe, but default to a sweatshirt shape for my daily wear. I think it may be because I have butt issues and assume I need to tuck in my shirts with buttons…
I’m kind of a Frank & Eileen “expert” since I’ve loved them ever since I first set eyes on them! They’re made in the U.S. of fabric that is woven in Italy. You pay a pretty penny for them, but IMO, they’re worth it. There are several different fit-styles to their shirts. For example, “The Barry” is cut smaller/more fitted, tinier in the waist and shoulders, and a tad shorter length so it looks BEST untucked. http://frankandeileen.com/shop/lasses/barry-whd.html
Whereas, “The Eileen” is cut looser, more forgiving/relaxed, and I wear mine untucked and sometimes over a white tank top. http://frankandeileen.com/shop/eileen-whc.html
I’ve purchased both, in size XL, because I wear a 14, and I have trouble with The Barry because I have broad shoulders and a tummy, but I’m not willing to part with it (Totally anti-Grechen, anti-Kondo rule-breaking, here!), but The Eileen fits me like a dream.
I’d highly advise you drop Audrey an email. She’s the owner, and is quite busty, whereas, I’m not, so she can speak to ALL fit issues with firsthand knowledge. Feel free to ask any more questions, Christina!
Grechen Reiter says
so funny you ask this…i’m going to get the frank & eileen “eileen” shirt in army green tomorrow because i’ve become interested in them thanks to val (thanks val LOL) – i got a $50 off coupon for neiman marcus recently that is BURNING A HOLE in my wallet, so i went to see if i could use it on anything i needed (of course) and ended up trying one of the frank & eileen shirts on. it’s different for me, because i generally like something that is longer in the front as well as the back, and lately, of course, i wear more oversized, but i liked the shirt and the fit VERY much. I tried on both the small and the medium, and the small fit nicely, but i’ll probably be more “comfortable’ in the medium.
as far as i can tell, it’s hard to come by frank & eileen at a discount (although hampden often has them on sale, but in colors i would never wear) so i thought i might as well jump at the chance to at least get $50 off…
if you’re trying to compare F&E with the JP sheer slub shirt, they’re pretty different. the JP is more fitted to curves, and with rounded hems, which i like, but can be more casual. honestly, if i had to choose which one to get, i’d go with F&E
and i’m with you on adding more “shirts” to my wardrobe – i decided that as i was thinking about fall shopping – that i would like to have more shirts with collars. they’re just “nicer” and honestly, i’m finding myself gravitating more towards them now anyway. and away from just t-shirts/sweatshirts.
oh, and the F&E fits really nicely over my butt. doesn’t cover my saddlebags at all, which is what i have the hardest time with, and why i tend to prefer oversized, longer shirts, but i will also admit that hiding body parts never quite works the way you think it will LOL – and i probably need to do that LESS often…
Grechen Reiter says
they’re lovely…will do some recon and try and find out what they are, or at least similar styles…
Grechen Reiter says
i have had that oak wrap in my hearts section at shop bop FOREVER. i keep waiting for it to go on sale and it NEVER does. based on my one oak dress, i would say their sizing veers to larger than normal, but i would be wary to size down because of the sleeves (tend to be tight on me). i love it so much, but also get concerned about the polyester/cotton blend, which i know will pill something crazy. but then again, pretty much everything does anyway…
if i ordered it, i would get a medium if that helps at all. i’m still considering it. it looks like a great mid-weight open cardigan. and i LOVE that it drapes a bit in the front.
Grechen Reiter says
well my initial reaction was that they were acne, and they still might be, but they’re not exactly the ones i was thinking about – still looking…
*edited to add – marc fisher ltd. does a decent knock-off of these…
Grechen Reiter says
FINALLY. here you go: vince yarrow booties – new obsession.
Haha! Just call me “Val the Enabler.” I think it’s worth emphasizing what you said, Grechen, about the main difference between the James Perse “Sheer Slub Side Panel Shirt” and the Frank & Eileen “Barry” is that F&E’s are made of a WOVEN fabric vs. James Perse’s JERSEY.
I realized I was pinning a LOT of looks with great white, chambray, and other poplin/cotton button downs, so my style has shifted…why not try it? And the Fall colors are lovely (Grechen wants green, I want Burgundy.)
I think my biggest mental block is that I grew up in New England, so fall did mean cooler weather (even in September 😉 I’ve lived in NC 18 years now – longer than I lived in New England or anywhere else – but I still want to dress/change my wardrobe for the season as if I lived up north. I found my shopping browsing for cashmere sweaters online a couple days ago. Why?? (I don’t need any, AND I wouldn’t be able to wear one for months….And even then – not very often)
And I get sick of my clothing choices after a couple months too (which is one reason I don’t have a minimal closet 😉
Texas Aggie Mom says
Fall is my favorite season in general, but especially for clothes! Unfortunately, I live in the same general area you do, so it’s ages til we can bust out the sweaters. My early fall (i.e. starting the day after Labor Day) wardrobe strategy is to find fall colored pieces in styles and weights that work for the early fall Texas heat. So I wear tanks and tees under suits for work that are in darker, fall colors (teal is back this fall – can.not.wait!) but I keep them sleeveless and lightweight fabric. I bought several linen v-neck tees at LOFT this year, and all but one are in darker colors that will transition well. This gets me through that last really hot month and then I start breaking out the longer sleeves, lightest weight sweaters, etc. The first day it’s cool enough to wear tights I’ll probably be dancing across the parking lot at work. I just started wearing opaque tights two years ago, and love how they allow me to wear shorter skirts than normal without looking inappropriate. I don’t do much of the “wear summer dresses in the winter with tights and a sweater over them” like the magazines all tell me I should. I really like having separate wardrobes for seasons, especially now that I have pared it down so much. (Still a work in progress, but progress has been made, thanks in large part to your posts and Debbie Roes’ LIWI project.) I bought the Nordstrom cashmere travel wrap in black with the grey edge and can’t wait to snuggle up in it on the first cool, rainy day. You know, in mid-November. : ) For what its’ worth, my favorite local weatherman says this winter will be even colder and wetter than last year, so we may have a good excuse for adding some more cashmere to our closets!
Thanks to you both! Quite a while back, I tried on a F&E shirt at Neiman Marcus, and the fit was very small on me. Now that I realize they have different styles, I think I’ll have another go at them. I love the fabrics. I have a couple JP sub button ups and LOVE them in theory, only I don’t actually wear them because they do nothing to minimize my love handles. JP had a regular looking button up this past season, and I was really interested in it but couldn’t find it anywhere to try on in person.
We’ve just finished binge watching The Newsroom, and Emily Mortimer’s character wears the most gorgeous button ups all season long! I’m not beyond being influenced by such things. Now just need to find the casual-me version for my wish list.
“The Barry” fit was impossible for me, even in an XL. But “The Eileen” is perfect and I love it! I hope it works for you, Christina!
Christine M says
Oh wow – nice work! Gotta save up my pennies and wait for a nice big code to get those babies! 🙂
I have that oak wrap cardigan. Just wanted to add a word of caution: it is not midweight – it is heavy! Good for cozying up in a chilly home.
Grechen Reiter says
ah! sold 🙂 need it right now…