Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prêt-à-Porter: Long Live Summer

When fall arrives each year, I always feel a little resigned in spirit.  Resigned to dim-colored clothing, and to growing increasingly (with the onset of colder weather) bulkier in shape as I pile on the layers.  Putting the happy, light summer dresses away feels like putting away the happier, sunnier me 'til spring.  But it's not all depressing, I suppose.  Fall and winter also mean greater structure.  Dress shirts and sleek pants and boxy coats.  Minimalism and black and white can be a welcome break from the flirtiness of summer dressing.

(above: a look from the Alberta Ferreti Spring 2010 collection, paired with navy wide-leg pants from Barneys New York and a Lutz &Patmos cream-colored cardigan. Pictures via and

But this fall, I'm just not ready to let go of summer quite yet.  So here's a suggestion, even for those who have to dress for the office every day.  Why not prolong summer by wearing warm weather pieces all throughout the fall (and maybe the winter, too, if you love summer like I do)?  Float innumerable light layers on top of each other: a bare, wispy blouse over a bare, wispy dress over another wispy dress, capped by a thick sweater or a suit jacket in the office.  When it's particularly cold, I slip on a close-fitting turtleneck as a base layer or add pants under the dresses.  Another idea: Tuck the ends of a gossamer scarf into the waist of your dark pencil skirt to combine a little feminine with the conservative.  Instantly, you've got a multicolored look with personality that's ready for work.  I also have a lot of fun wrapping delicate scarves around my torso to create a silky, strapless top under a jacket or cardigan.  And finally, summer tunics and caftans can have an interesting life in autumn either paired with a coat of similar length and dark tights (for an elongating look), or belted and brought up short as a loose blouse with great volume.  Wear them with a pair of trousers or a long skirt, and you'll have the perfect mix of summer and fall.

(above: a look from the A.F. Vandervorst Spring 2010 Collection, paired with a fitted brown jersey skirt from Rick Owens Lilies and a camel-colored wrap coat from The Row. Images via and

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