What should I wear? We ask that at least once a day, often more. It’s right after, “What should I eat next?! Even though I’m in my second act, I still have a lot of fun with my clothes, and I do it on an everywoman’s budget, with an everywoman’s body.
This time of year we are transitioning from summer to fall, and we want to have clothes from both the warmer days and the upcoming cooler days in play. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe to make the new season shine. Remember what the pros say: Shop your closet.
First, give it a top-to-bottom assessment. Get rid of anything that is in damaged beyond repair or that you haven’t worn in a couple of years. Get rid of anything that’s doesn’t fit. (It can’t be repeated enough: Fit is the most important thing. No matter how pretty or cute or elegant it is, if it doesn’t fit you, it won’t look good.) And the clothes you’re going to grab from your closet should be clean, have no holes or tears or hems down, and be weather appropriate.
So all that said, what can you mix and match from summer and fall?
On Saturday, I put on a lavender flowery summer dress and over it a fall denim jacket for a slightly boho, feminine mashup of the two seasons. For me, that look could go to work, too.
What’s smart both for work and for errands and lunch with the girls? Some rules can be broken: you can still wear those white pants after Labor Day. I’m pairing mine with a black silk shell and a burnt siena sweater. On my feet: still my favorite summer metallic sandals.
My office is usually casual so I will look to another time-honored principle this week: It’s always chic to mix the high with the low. I’ve got a frilly flowered blouse from the summer, and I’m dressing it down with the blue jeans I avoided all through August. A pair of Oxfords will complete that look.
For a business dinner I’m wearing a flattering fit and flare jersey navy dress I haven’t worn since last spring, a lavender cardigan I wore on summer days, and to accessorize, a couple of favorite long gold necklaces that I had set aside during the warmer months. What shoes I wear will depend on the day: remember, always check the weather report in the morning so that you dress accordingly.
Looking towards next week: I will add to my patchwork midi dress from the summer – patchwork is on-trend right now – a gray pullover sweater and black knee high boots on the first day that it’s cool enough.
About those on-trend items. Are you going to buy anything new? It’s fun, right? When you assess your wardrobe for the season, you should figure out what basics you really need, and when you buy them, they should be of high quality. Good leather boots, a turtleneck sweater, a fall coat. Then find a couple of trendy things you are craving that only need to endure for the shorter term. For me that’s going to be some fashion sneakers and, looking ahead, I’m hankering after a second-hand faux-fur coat.
Finally, remember, the MAIN thing guiding how we look is not what we wear, but is how we feel. Try and eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and work some activity, even a little bit, into your day. Your outlook will be vibrant and positive, and you and everyone else will know it.
I am a software company administrator nearing retirement by day and a fiction writer in the early morning hours. I’ve published eleven short stories in literary journals, and I’m proud of that! I live in the Boston area with my husband, a photographer. His three children are grown. We enjoy museums and movies, and we take a lot of walks in the parks near our house. In my second act, I still care a lot about clothes.