My favourite season is about to begin. Favourite weather: cool but not cold. Favourite fashion: sweaters and jeans and boots. And with the demise of the summer humidity, it’s the best season for hair. Fall is about new beginnings, new ventures. Like making videos. Ha. New back-to-school clothes. New books by our most loved authors. Books that we’ve been waiting for, like the new Susie Steiner, and the new Ann Cleeves. We’re turning the metaphorical page on summer, folks.
I am always excited by the advent of crisp early mornings in late August. In a normal year that first cool morning happens when we’re down east and makes Hubby and I realize that it’s time to head for home. This year Hubby is preparing for a seven-day back-country canoe trip with a buddy. They’ve been packing and planning how to manage the covid situation safely. And I’ve been planing too. I sure have. Because, as you may already know, I love my alone time.
Instead of meeting Liz at Nordstrom and shopping the latest fall fashions, this year I am doing most of my shopping on-line. At least the window shopping. I’ve been perusing the Vogue.com site for the Fall 2020 fashion shows. Checking out the good, the lovely but unattainable, and the sometimes chuckle-worthy outfits.
These two images below are from Frame. One of my favourite denim brands.
Both of these shots made me want to shop my closet. Because it’s not all about new things. Especially when we still love our old things. Yesterday I had a hankering to pull out my fall blazers to see what I could come up with for transitional outfits. So I did. I tried my old camel Adrienne Vittadini blazer with a cream blouse and tucked my skinny jeans into my brown suede Stuart Weitzman boots. Nah. Cream and camel together is NOT good for me anymore with my uncoloured hair. But I still love that Frame camel blazer, and my own camel blazer. And maybe this year will be the year I spring for a new pair of knee-high boots. Black, but with a chunky low heel, I’m thinking.
I actually own those boot-cut jeans in the shot on the left. I don’t, however, own a light-coloured fall blazer. My tweed and woolen blazers are all dark. But I gamely tried my old black Max Mara jacket with my Frame high-rise boot-cut jeans, my sneakers, a white message tee, and an old black saddle-bag bought way back in the nineties at Holt Renfrew. The outfit was not altogether successful, but I did want to try to emulate the photo as closely as I could. That shock of white hair seems to throw off the balance somehow.
And since I know I’m not going to go back to darker hair, I’ll try some other variations another day. I’ll probably end up wearing the jeans, tee, and sneakers with a different jacket. Maybe I should be looking for a fall jacket in a lighter colour. But I can’t bring myself to buy anymore blazers when I own so many. Maybe I’ll change up the white tee for a black turtleneck, and wear my black ankle boots, but I somehow don’t think that will solve my problem. Not that it’s a problem, per se. I’m just messing around with clothes here.
Outfit try-ons are never wasted. I did learn that I like those jeans with my sneakers. And I am definitely going to be wearing my old cross-body bag this year. I love that purse, the visible stitching and the wide, cross-body strap. I haul it out every now and then when I want an easy, casual bag. Like this fall. I’m still hunting, though, for a smaller tan or burgundy cross-body bag. That’s been on my list for a couple of years now.
Some of the photos I drooled over on the Vogue.com site made me think about what I might add to my closet to update old pieces.
I love that Tibi plaid coat on the left. And while that bright yellow accessory looks more like one of those airplane neck-cushions to me, I get the idea. Similarly the photo on the right. That shot is just plain beautiful. The weathered stools and peeling walls of that vintage diner, wherever it is, make me long for a fall road trip. And those chartreuse gloves. Clearly Tibi is all about a pop of unexpected colour in an otherwise traditional fall palette. I have a long, dark green tweed winter coat which I don’t wear often enough. And which I might update with a pop of colour. And while my pop probably won’t consist of a yellow fake fur collar, I’m now thinking of what it might be.
And speaking of drooling, this Brunello Cucinelli outfit, below, is delicious. And it had me thinking of specific new pieces I want to add to my shopping list. I can’t afford Brunella Cucinelli, so I’ll work with what I can afford. I have a recently purchased grey sweater that I’ve been musing over. Of course it goes with lots of things already in my closet. But I’ve been dreaming of how it would look with black boots and a pair of lovely grey flannel trousers. But maybe grey culottes will work better. With those black boots that are already on my list. And my short white Uniqlo jacket? It’s good to keep the options open, don’t you think? Let’s just say I’m looking for black knee-high boots, and something loose to go on the bottom. Might be pants, might be a skirt, might be culottes.
Of course not all the images I’ve been perusing have inspired me to shop my closet, or had me dreaming of new fall outfits. Some shots just made me laugh. I know, I know. Runway shows are all about the theme, the ideas behind the collection. And of course the models are not always wearing outfits we might want to wear in the literal sense. But still. Sometimes I do think that designers are having us on. Just a little.
That child in the white J.W. Anderson for Moncler coat, below, looks as if she’s waiting for the train to Hogwarts. And since the background is surreal and fantasy-ish, and the whole show seems tongue-in-cheek, maybe that’s what they were going for. Besides, it’s only the accessories that are outlandish. Especially the Mary Poppins carpet bag. Ha. But that Prada outfit in the middle is just plain ugly. Especially the leather puffa jacket. And while I’m normally a fan of Stella McCartney, that teddy coat needs a hair cut. Clearly it went four months without professional hair attention just like the rest of us. So big is in again this year, I guess. Big, loose, and extra long. Also extra-puffy, and extra shaggy.
Sometimes we need a good laugh. Remember that line from Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Bennet says, “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn.” And in case that sounds mean, please know that no matter what fashion houses send down the runway, whether it’s luscious or ludicrous, I always enjoy the show. And even if I hate some of the outfits, I do recognize the talent and work that goes into them.
So fall is almost here, my friends. Even though most of us are still wearing our summer clothes. This morning was definitely crisp. As I type this I’m wearing long sweatpants and hiking socks, so it’s time to dig out the fall clothes. Next week when Hubby is away I will be doing my fall closet edit. I hope to make a video of that. I’m excited to be pulling all my old friends out of storage. I’ll also be doing some in-person shopping. I have my list all ready. I do need a few new things… see above musings. And one day soon I’ll be meeting a friend for a patio lunch. So I’m hoping for a sunny afternoon and cool-ish sweater weather.
But, you know, it’s not just the crisp mornings and the sunny afternoons of early fall that excite me. I love those first cool evenings when we have to pull on chunky sweaters if we want to sit outside.
The other evening I invited a few of the girls over for a backyard, socially-distanced get together. It was lovely. We shared funny stories, and tried to lighten the stress load of those who head back to the classroom next week. Even with the candles I’d set out, it was dark earlier than expected. And it grew quite cool. But everyone pulled on their cosy wraps, and we talked and shouted with laughter into the darkness.
Then I shushed everyone, because out on the river I could hear what has become a much-loved harbinger of fall for Hubby and me. Ducks quacking like there’s no tomorrow. That sound always makes me smile. We couldn’t see them, but we sure knew that they were there. Then as we looked out over the water one of the girls pointed. And as we watched, across the river and behind a line of tress, the most beautiful full moon was rising.
Now I ask you, if that’s not a harbinger of good things, and better days to come, I don’t know what is. We were quiet for a few minutes and then someone cracked a joke and the conversation continued. I love these women. Old friends, best friends.
Because of course it’s not all about new stuff in the fall. We still love our old things. Right?
Well, that’s enough musing from me. Now it’s your turn, friends. What fallish things are you musing about this weekend?