I kept meaning to buy some of those fall editions of fashion magazines. I have to admit they are a bit intimidating – as big as phone books and full of ads with snarling or unhappy women. Even the fashion editorial, when you get to it on page 354, is weak. Get the “bohemian look” for $600 a pop? Doesn’t that undermine the very meaning of the word “bohemian?” I looked it up. Bohemian refers to a person, such as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. Just like Keira Knightley!
I don’t have the budget for this. Who does? A very select group of people. I know they are out there, even in Minnesota. How do I know? Because sometimes at consignment stores there are designer clothes there with the tags still on. This means, presumably, that someone spent a lot of money on an article of clothing and never wore it. I find that very interesting.
So this fall I’m embracing my own “bohemian look” and creating my own Fall Fashion Forecast without the mags. Here are my choices:
Men’s button-down shirts paired with dark, skinny jeans (bigger on top means go smaller on bottom). I can find a lot of great men’s shirts at consignment and thrift stores so I won’t buy any at full price.
Wide-leg trousers with t-shirts and cardigans (bigger on bottom means go smaller on top). Pants and jeans I need to buy new. It’s too frustrating trying to find nice pants at thrift stores or even consignment stores.
“Old lady” blouses – things with pin-tucks, ties for bows, lace. Again – vintage or thrift or JC Penney’s
Long-sleeved t-shirts, tunic length (this holds over from last year). Great on their own or for layering under a short-sleeved t-shirt or blouse. If you’re looking for layering pieces, check out Target’s sleepwear section. They had really soft, thin, long-sleeved t-shirts last year and I bought a dark blue and a gray one. Might be going on a hunt for a black one this year.
Tailored or cropped (swing) blazers. Also – anything that is slightly military without going over the top.
Boleros ( those long-sleeved, highly-cropped sweaters) Throw one on over a long t-shirt and some cute jeans and you have an outfit. Some people will say these are “out” but I think they’re just becoming “in.” And if you can find one in an interesting color, go for it. The best ones have a ribbon for tying in the front as opposed to buttons. Or I guess they don’t have anything in front, like this picture I copied from some couture site. This bolero is $242! You can MAKE one from an old sweater for $0!
At least one or two long sleeve “day dresses” for work or going out for dinner.
Cardigans – I need these in several styles… long and chunky knit cardigans to throw on with jeans and slimmer, smaller and beaded (vintage) ones to wear with dresses and skirts.
Here is where it pays to lay out some cash. Shoes have to look good and they have to last. Sorry, DSW.
Flats – all kinds, round or pointed. I did see that pointed flats are now the rage but if those hurt my feet (all the flats I have right now are rounded toe) I won’t wear them. Flats are for early to mid-fall before it gets too cold and then I have to move to…
Knee-high boots to wear with dresses and skirts
Menswear-inspired oxfords if I can find some without too high of a heel. I’m a big fan of actually being able to walk and everything I’ve seen so far has three-inch heels. Kind of menswear-inspired vamp shoes like the ones in this picture that are sold at Dillard’s. The heel is too high for me but it inspires a certain kind of librarian, stenographer, lady reporter feel that is fun. And it’s not black.
Tights and knee-high socks. Preferably tights that kind of match but not really. If the skirt is brown, blue or purple tights are cute. Patterned tights can be cute too. Last year I bought some very cute thigh-high tights at Sock Dreams. I’m sure I’ll be ordering again. Here’s what’s great about that site: they have everything in every length you could want and in every color, stripe or pattern. It’s easy to get lost on the site for an hour or two just browsing tights or knee-highs.
Scarves. Yes, there’s been a lot of grumbling about women wearing scarves during the hot summer months. I say, who cares? If we don’t mind a little sweat on our necks, then why should anyone else? A scarf always looks great, year-round. I recently bought a new one at the Len Druskin outlet store at Southdale Mall (I just discovered this place!) marked down from $24 to $12. Scarves look great with blazers or patterned button-down shirts. A cool scarf and a quality pair of shoes MAKE an outfit – you can have on old jeans and a t-shirt and you’ll still look great. Another great place to look for fabulous but less-expensive scarves than you will ever find in department stores is Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.
More ideas for places to shop:
Len Druskin outlet store
JCPenney (I ALWAYS find flats here and they usually have cute embellishments like bows or fringe)
J. Crew for pants
Banana Republic for pants
Forever 21 for accessories
Urban Outfitters online for purses, bags and belts
Macys or Nordstrom for shoes
Garden of Eden for perfume, shower soap and lotion (choose your own scent and they mix it for you)
Arc Value Village
Buffalo Clothing Exchange in Minneapolis
Lula’s in St. Paul
My Sister’s ClosetÂ (two levels of STUFF!), St. Paul
Sophie Joe’s Emporium (a mix of antiques, accessories/jewelry but some clothes too – minimum browsing time is one hour), St. Paul
Rodeo Drive (consignment), St. Louis Park
Opitz Outlet, St. Louis Park