Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fresh

As a post-grad, about to embark to upon not only a graduate  degree but a thrifty minus-the-parents living budget as well, I've been a little distressed about, you guessed it, fall wardrobe. Now before you write me off as shallow, (because yes, I am also concerned about the current economic situation, clean water efforts in Africa, the oil spill in the Gulf, and many other pressing issues) let me explain my thought process here. The shifting seasons, no matter how minimal they may be in the Mississippi heat, have always been like turning the page of a new chapter ever since I went on my first ever back-to-school shopping spree, Mom in tow, in elementary school. Gone is the feeling of boredom when opening your closet doors, as outfits not only shift in colors, fabrics, and styles, but from an old to new sense as well. It's a good feeling friends, and a good uplifting change . But I digress.

So, with a new job, a new degree to strive toward, and sparkly new chapter of life, the challenge is how to update my wardrobe from school girl to trying-to-be-a-grown-up, while keeping things both fresh and youthful all while on a (gasp!) budget. A few tips I've picked up along the way and some things I'm scouring for for this Fall.

1. Streamlined Fitting Flatters Best
Your mom told you best when she instructed "Wear what flatters." And for me, those are crisp lines, a defining waist, and a low scoop neck or strapless. Its best to spend the big bucks on these perfectly-fitting pieces that can be built upon and transformed in different ways as styles change.

2. Neon is On
Not a trend I thought I'd be drawn to, but subtle pops of neon color are fascinating and fresh. Added to any LBD, plain white tee, or your favorite pair of jeans, this trend becomes not-so-eighties are completely right now.

3. Sequins for Day to Night
Sequins have always been associated with evening gowns and pageant queens, until now when they are popping up on everything from cardigans to dinner jackets to fitted tees. Throw them on with a pair of jeans and heels for a day-to-night look that's easy and inexpensive to navigate.
4. Intricate Jewelry can Transform
This years pieces are big and bossy and can change the whole look of any outfit in your closet. Layered gold chains, detailed statement pieces, cuffs stacked up your forearm- any punch of big jewelry can make what is old new again.

5. Make it with the Shoes
You could wear a potato sack with the shoes out for this fall- Boots, boots, boots galore, along with sky high nude wedges, the new bootie, the open clog, metallics, studs and more. A basic tee and a pair of jeans takes on a whole new meaning.

6. The Cardigan becomes the Party Cardi
It's not your grandmother's sweater anymore. With intricate details, sequins, flowers, varying lengths and fabrics, the cardigan is a fall staple that will transform a number of outfits. Wear it as a top, over a shift, or long and belted over jeans for several staple looks.
7.  The New Nude
I love how neautrals now embody metallics, rose gold, and sometimes even an animal print. Investing in a few of these right now pieces can pair perfectly with some last fall items that need some new spice.
8. Classic is Basic
Another thing your mom told you best was buy something you can wear for the next five years. This is advice I'm seriously considering these days. There is nothing like a well-made LBD, a beautiful pair of nude patent pumps, a luxe gold cuff or a long strand of pearls. But, don't buy it unless you're prepared to take care of it- there's nothing worse than spending money on a great piece only to destroy it in a laundry disaster. I'm prepared to start investing now in these pieces I'll keep for years to come, and can always transform in the details.

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