More than any other season, fall is defined by a color palette. There are some colors, like oxblood, that evoke happy, cozy feelings of rustling leaves, warm fires, spiced cider. It is hot and muggy in Florida today, so I'm going to try to jumpstart fall with a few pieces in this deep, rich shade.
J. Crew Factory Wool Dress Coat -- the perfect coat when you need to have a bit of a princess moment -- so very Kate Middleton.
Forever 21 Faux Suede Strappy Sandals -- a bold Miu Miu-inspired chunky sandal. I can imagine these with fun, textured tights in a rainbow of colors.
Modcloth Paris Cafe Cardigan -- I love a cardigan that looks just as good (maybe better) when buttoned as it does when left open. This piece from Modcloth's new in-house line is a little bit sweet, a little bit sexy.
Topshop Leather Duffel Crossbody -- your new everyday bag in a very sophisticated shade.
This rich color looks good on so many different skin tones, so any of these pieces would be great closet workhorses. I really love that coat, so let's take it for a spin...
I'm rarely home for my high school's homecoming weekend, but I might be this year and this is exactly what I'd wear. This coat perfectly ties together a fun sweater and pale, relaxed jeans. The accessories are practical and a nod to my school's colors (blue and gold) -- go Eagles! And this coat brings the perfect amount of fancy for holiday activities later in the year. It compliments, but doesn't compete with, a great party dress.
8. A Great Bag (or Two)
Investing in a good bag each season is an easy way to freshen up your look. It's a smart buy, especially if you're looking to stretch your budget. If you find the right one, your cost per wear will be tiny. Here are some of my favorites right now:
Zara Holdall -- I talked about the qualities of my ideal bag here: (looks like) leather, roomy but not bulky, easy to carry. This is a winner, and I love the deep bottle green color.
Yoins Snakeprint Backpack -- an interesting shape and pattern, but still neutral enough to play nicely with the rest of your look.
Boden Berkeley Zip Bag -- this is one of my favorite bag shapes, and I love the punchy tomato red.
Old Navy Faux-Leather Bucket Bag -- classic, great looking bag for a teeny price.
Would it be wrong to buy all of these? I think the Zara bag is my favorite, so let's play with that one:
A perfect bag to take to work, especially on those surprisingly sticky September days. I love this striped shirt dress -- I'd add a couple of bracelets, some not-boring shoes, and not much else. This bag is also perfect for a chilly night out -- people may not see the sleek sweater and pants under your big cocoon coat, but everyone will notice the great bag on your arm.