Sometimes it seems like the fashion world has officially lost its mind. I’m not talking about the avant-garde, directional, capital “F” Fashion spectacles that we mere mortals aren’t supposed to really understand (or buy) in the first place.
I’m talking about the sheer volume of shows, the channels they’re reported on (thanks, Internet!) and the futile, drinking-out-of-a-fire-hose act of trying to pinpoint trends.
Speaking of pinpoint, did you know pinstripes are a trend? As is elevated sport. And statement furs. And capes. And… extra-long sleeves. With more than 450 women’s ready-to-wear runway shows and more than 75 “trends” defined by four of the top women’s magazines (with some overlap, for sure), what’s not considered a trend these days?
If it’s too much for you to get a handle on, but you want to freshen up your look, don’t fret. The good news is that it’s never been a better time to hone in on the one trend that will never go out of style: dressing in a way that makes you feel most like yourself.
To that end, I’ve enlisted the help of some wonderful NYC-based stylists and wardrobe consultants to help us (yes, women and men!) with our own “back to school” styles. We’ll zero in on the small, but important style upgrades that they’ve seen work well for their clients. Trends aside, these are everyday, add-on ideas that will play well with your existing wardrobe and freshen it up this season, as you’re on your grind.
This week, we’re focusing on some tips for the ladies (guys, you’re up next week):
One way to skip the trend forecasting as well as the lines in stores? Do it all online! Orly Schwartz, a personal stylist and co-owner of mobile boutique Zahavi & Schwartz, says fashion rental services can be just the thing to keep your wardrobe fresh for Fall.
“Women’s trends are on a constant roller coaster all year,” Orly says. “This week it’s skinny scarves, and next week it’s crop tops. So for trendier pieces or just to always give some newness to your wardrobe each month, think about renting it.”
Orly has used and recommends LeTote.com and Gwynnie Bee. The clothing rental sites work similarly: you pay a monthly fee, get clothes to try on and wear for as long as you want, and then either pay to keep the items or return them for some new merch.
“I am enjoying the constant change, without being tied down to actually purchasing the item,” Orly says. “Or if I love it, I can keep it.”
One item Orly wants you to know about, that you’ll definitely want to have in your closet and not share with anyone, is the Feathers Curved Hem Tee, exclusively at Urban Outfitters.
“I discovered this shirt at the beginning of summer, and have already bought duplicates, because I love it that much,” Orly says. “My male co-worker went and got one and is also in love. The cotton feels amazing, and the shape is flattering on all body types. I wear mine with skinny jeans or leggings for an easy weekend look, and he wears it with a slim straight 5 pocket. We have actually come into the office twinning, because we love this shirt so much!”
With a new favorite tee to use as a casual or layering piece, what about something a little more sophisticated to help you feel like a boss in the boardroom? How about a recommendation from style star David A. McKnight.
As a certified image consultant for 10 years, David works to help his clients “gain the confidence to express who they are.” One of his top picks for women this Fall is the Catherine Dress from MM.LaFleur, a brand started by Sarah LaFleur in 2013 to “put the fun (and the ease) back into the ritual of dressing for work.”
“For the woman who mean business, this flattering wrap dress will help any woman exude confidence, while experiencing comfort, in the conference room or on an interview,” David says. “Simply pair with a blazer to deliver a powerful presentation.”
For Fall, you can put a little oomph in your wardrobe and also a little pep in your step. Great shoes are a great way to pull together an outfit and give it personality. Both Orly and David have shoe recommendations at the ready.
“For early fall, a closed toe mule/slide will making getting dressed each morning easy and fun,” Orly says. “Getting them in classic black, grey, or cognac will only keep them in your wardrobe for longer than Fall 2016.”
Orly likes this option from Anthropologie:
“Jeffrey Campbell’s Armadillo Mules are a great option for those who aren’t crazy about a loafer look,” Orly says. “Pair them with slim pants or boyfriend jeans. For an added bohemian look, throw on an off the shoulder top.”
Orly also recommends the At Ease loafer from Free People.
“My personal favorite, as I have them,” Orly says. “They are comfortable, and I receive many compliments and can wear them all day. I wear them with black ankle pants and an oxford for an easy office outfit.”
David loves a flat loafer look, too, for business and casual looks, like this one from J.Crew.
“This shoe is a must have for the NYC professional woman because it offers the comfort of a flat, but the sophistication of a high heel,” he says.
Once we get further into Fall, Orly says it’s time to break out the thigh highs.
“These Steve Madden thigh highs flat sole are great for everyday use,” she says. “The pointed toe keeps it chic, and the zipper makes getting them on easier. Wear it with tights, shorts and button down for fun fashion forward look, or throw on your favorite leggings a button down and blazer for a comfortable business casual.”
When it comes to punching up your professional wardrobe, don’t forget the one thing that conveys your sense of health and vitality the most: your skin!
David think you’ll love incorporating this serum from L’Occitane into your new Fall mix.
“Smooth flawless skin is something that we all want to achieve,” David says. “This is one of my favorite skin products. After using this for only a few days you’ll be guaranteed to get compliments for skin that glows and feels velvety smooth with a fresh clean scent.”
With fashion going in so many different directions, focus on who you are and what works best for you – and on you. Get into your new “back to school” groove by focusing on the confidence you bring into any situation. It’s always a classic.
Connect with our experts:
We’d love to hear your go-to wardrobe add-ons and must-haves for Fall! Email Kyle: [email protected]
See the picks for men coming up next week, on Wednesday, as our On Your Grind: Back to School series continues.