Fall Shopping Confessional: Basics and Bell Sleeves

I try to be very deliberate and mindful about shopping for my wardrobe. But this year that high-minded approach went to pot, mostly because we moved to a new home. Moving creates a lot of chaos, and for a few weeks I was just running around with my head in one place and my hands in another. Fun times!

As a result, I ended up buying a few items in a very “Ooh, shiny!” kind of way. You know what I mean: I’m at Target, Kohl’s or wherever, buying new stuff for the new house, and I see a shirt, or shoes, or something fashion-y — and then I just toss it on the pile, because I’m already buying stuff and I’m tired and I need to get home or to work and I don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth left to think it all over. I just want to be done.

As a result, I found myself picking out a few shirts here and there — in fact, I OD’d on a few bell-sleeved tops. Luckily, I love stores with nice return policies, and ended up returning most of them. (Seriously, do I really need three tops with flared sleeves? I picked my favorite one and then returned the others, as cute as they were.)

Happily, we’ve settled back into a somewhat normal routine. And now the cognitive energy I put into managing moving can be channelled into sartorial matters, which is ever so much more enjoyable. Here’s a bit of what I’ve bought (and kept) for the season, and what I have an eye out for…

Shoes! Glorious Shoes!

I haven’t bought many shoes in the past few years, but this year I realized I have a few pairs that need replacing or ‘refreshing,’ as the common fashion parlance goes.

Happily, fall is a great boot opportunity — and this season there are TONS of boots to choose from. I already got a workaday pair, which I’ve mentioned elsewhere on social media.

But I’d like to pick up a more fanciful pair, like the embroidered kinds I’m seeing all over the place.

I also invested in a pair of Adidas Neos, which are like Stan Smiths but not Stan Smiths, which everyone and their mother has. (Online, at least…in my particular city they haven’t quite taken off, which is nice.)

It took me awhile to get on the white sneaker train, but I see them as just a bit more polished and sophisticated than my usual Vans high-tops, and as someone who wears a lot of black, there’s something nice about a spot of white to draw the eye.

And I know it seems excessive, but another pair of knockaround-y shoes would be nice. I wore the Avalon slip-ons from Toms a lot this spring, and I’d like something a bit more substantial for late fall days taking my toddler to the park or outside. I’m thinking a nice suede high-top pull-on, like the ones that Vince make. This particular style is trickling down to the mass market now, so I’ll be hunting for a cheaper pair soon, since I don’t see this style as being particularly ‘classic’ yet.

I also have a ‘pretty flat’ slot in my wardrobe and my existing pair of balletines are wearing out. I think I’d like to pick up something in a nude-ish shade and a texture like suede.

Jeans, Jeans, Jeans

The other thing I’ve already one was replace a few of my jeans, another item that I haven’t bought in awhile. I bought two pairs after I gave birth, just to get me through the madness, but that was two years ago and they no longer fit.

My favorite jean right now is actually Old Navy’s high-rise Rockstar jeans. (I’ve changed so much from my J Brand days!) I picked up a dark wash pair, and then also tried the Rockstar 24/7 jean, which is super soft and like the best pair of jeggings that aren’t jeggings. Right now those two are getting me by, without breaking the bank. (Which is already pretty beaten up by moving!)

I would like to try Everlane’s new jeans — and maybe I’ll pick up a pair — but I really don’t like to buy bottoms online, so those will have to wait.

Every Good Wardrobe Needs An Parka-ish Jacket

Call it a parka, field jacket, utility jacket, whatever, but one of my necessities in my closet is a good army-ish jacket. The one I currently have is basically nearly seven years old and faded, and I finally admitted to myself that it just doesn’t work on my post-baby body. (Ugh, bigger boobs really changes the line of a lot of outfits!)

So I have my eye on a new field jacket-y thing. I’d like something a little longer than my existing one, with drawstrings that cinch at the waist so I can adjust the line when needed. (Sometimes you need a baggier fit, sometimes something a bit more fitted.)

The other thing I was thinking of investing in was a trench coat. I had a trench coat ages ago — just a nice classic number from some place like Banana Republic — that I wore in an ironic way when I was younger. I’m at the age, though, when one doesn’t get away with irony quite so much, and would likely wear it in a truly classical way. But two outerwear investments seems a bit excessive to me in a season, so I might wait until spring on this.

The Fun Factor

Boots, a jacket and jeans sounds well and good, but sometimes a girl needs to play, no? Other than the aforementioned ‘fanciful boot,’ I don’t know what else to pick up. Usually I like to pick up 1-2 ‘fashionable’ blouses or tops, since they tend to be trendier items and keep me from fashion boredom. Maybe I should’ve kept one of those bell-sleeved tops? Or maybe I’m thinking a new sweater. That’s what I love about fall fashion…so many possibilities!

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