A Bit About Fall Fashion…As Interpreted By a Northcoast Girl

Cleveland gets a bad rap for not being a place of “fashion.”  But I’m pretty sure that society as a whole has forgotten that there is only one chance to make a first impression.

Have I gone posh since entering the world of luxury retail?  Am I about to go all Tyra on y’all?  Certainly not.  And I’m not saying that you need to spend a lot of money to look great.  But I go back to something that I heard in this Brooklyn Circus video a few years back – to paraphrase: “When a man leaves his house, he is a representation of his family.”  My own husband takes this statement very much so to heart.  Sometimes, on a Sunday, we’ll be gearing up to go to the grocery store & I’ll come downstairs in some kick around capris & a vintage t-shirt – only to find my hubby decked out in his “casual best.”  It certainly makes me feel like I need to step up my game, which isn’t a bad thing, but it also makes me proud to be with someone who really wants to put his best out there all the time.

I often wax nostalgic when I hear my Mom talk about how she used to go shopping downtown with my Grandma as a little girl and they would dress up – even wearing little white gloves.  Part of me longs for the fashion of that era – the other part of me realizes that many of us (especially my savvy career/homemaker/mama friends) have to pack so much into our lives that making sure we’re “presentable” sometimes falls by the wayside.  As such, let me present a few easy fall trends I’m loving at the moment:

1. Ecletic Elegance

We’re lucky at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beachwood to have a master stylist in Jesse Oates (this man knows how to dress any woman.  After shopping with him for three months I marvel at what I did without him…).  When talking about trends for fall with him leading into this fall season he showed me leather, he showed me the lush burgundy palette that we’re seeing on all sorts of pieces, and even updated peplums.  But nothing was doing it for me until he took me through the looks he had styled under the header of “eclectic elegance.”  This comes to life through layering of unexpected textures, patterns & embellishments.

So this

Gold Embellishment - Marchesa Runway Fall 2012











With this

Proenza Schouler Skirt












And this

Millen Outerwear













Finished with these

Jennifer Behr Headband











JImmy Choo Abel Pumps in Gold











Voila!  When done wrong, this type of dressing feels a bit like clash day at school in 4th grade.  If you keep a common color throughout the pieces to tie it together it looks rich, elegant & in my humble opinion the best kind of fun.

A few additional takes:






























2. Statement Outerwear

I’ve always been a fan of a great piece of outerwear.  I remember back to my childhood – my mother let me purchase this gorgeous red plaid poncho.  Very McQueen – I was the most couture 10 year old you’ve ever seen.  In fact I wish I still had it (surprisingly, I’m about the same height as I was then, save a few inches).  Alas the poncho is long gone but my love for a dramatic entrance when coming in from the fall winds off of Lake Erie is not.  How to keep warm this fall?

I stalk this Burberry London jacket on my way to my office each day.  Jesse reminds me, when he catches me looking at it, how great it would look with a pair of long, black, leather gloves (he’s not wrong…):












Here’s another few I’m loving:

Burberry Brit Moto Jacket











Burberry Brit Moto Jacket (check out the feminine silouette & playful ruffle detailing at the bottom)











Okay, one more from Burberry London (they’re killing it this season) – what I love about this peacoat is the versatility.  Wear the fur collar for those days where you need a little extra fabulous; peel it off when you are feeling like flying just below the radar.

I’m particularly loving this retro take from our friends at J. Crew:

Double Cloth Lady Day Coat














So this look combines both trends (Eclectic Elegance & Statement Outerwear) quite nicely.  And you thought you couldn’t rep denim, reptilian brocade, stripes, statement neckwear & a hot retro teal jacket at once?  Muhahaha!

Also in this category: capes & scarfs.  I would even say that a great pair of gloves (we’re seeing leather in every shade of the rainbow at Saks) or the right hat can turn last year’s jacket into this year’s sensation.  Let your inner Kate Moss be your guide.

Both of these trends allow for the hi/low shopper to maintain their fashionista status while not breaking the bank.  Invest in pieces you love, mix in your favorite finds off of the sale rack & rock that runway, hallway, RTA platform…wherever your fall leads you.