Friday, October 16, 2015

My Personal Style: Jacket, Boots, Scarf, Autumn!

autumn mom uniform 1

Autumn is my favorite season by far. I don't do well in the heat, so many of the joys of summer are lost on me. I like cold weather if I am indoors under a down duvet, but otherwise lose patience for winter once Christmas is past. But autumn? It's magic to me. There's a bit of a chill in the air, but it's not freezing cold yet. The days often warm up enough in the afternoon that I can shed some layers. But honestly? I don't mind if I don't shed them, because I love those layers. Autumn is my favorite season stylewise. I know how to dress myself to feel comfortable and look good. That is not always the case in other seasons.

For me, the key to dressing myself well in autumn is having a formula for the outfit. I am guessing this is true of many busy women. My usual formula is this: jacket, boots, and scarf, with two variations of what I put on with those three things. The first variation is a dress and either leggings or tights. Whether I choose leggings or tights depends on how chilly it is and what I think looks best with the dress I've got on.

autumn mom uniform 2

The second variation is jeans and a top. Skinny or straight cut jeans work best with boots, so I just have two identical pairs for this purpose. I find it hard to find jeans that fit well and are affordable, so when I found a pair that worked well and was on sale, I got two.

scarf, jacket, boots!

Speaking of identical pairs, you may have noticed that I've got boots that are the same aside from the color. I used to own just one pair of brown boots, which was fine, but after super gluing them back together five times, I finally admitted they weren't going to make it and went on a mission to find a new pair when I was in the US last spring. I found the black pair first, and they were so comfortable and were such a great price that I called around to find a store that had them in brown. I barely fit both pairs in my luggage for the trip back, but it was worth the extra round of suitcase Tetris to bring them home with me.

When it comes to jackets, I sometimes think I have too many, but I do end up wearing all of them. The ones I'm wearing in the top two photos are the ones that live on the coat rack by the door and get worn most often, but I've also got some blazers and a few other jackets that I keep in my wardrobe upstairs so I can mix it up a bit. They're all different weights, fabrics, and colors, so I always have something that will work with whatever I'm wearing.

My scarf collection is also a bit much, but again, I end up wearing all of them. I keep an ivory medium weight scarf on the coat rack, as it goes with everything and can be grabbed in a hurry, but I get so much pleasure from choosing a scarf that I don't usually just go with the default (unless the default will look best with my outfit). A scarf can change the look of an outfit completely, and that is why I love adding one. I'm not great at choosing other accessories, but I'm good with scarves. I've got to play to my strengths.

Eventually fall will give way to winter, and the only thing people will really see is my coat. Which is best, really, because I'll be cobbling together whatever layers are available underneath. It probably won't be pretty, and that's okay. I'll just remember the glory of autumn and look forward to spring.

In case you're interested in sources for my autumn duds, it's a mishmash. Boden dresses fit me well and are good quality, so I try to get those on clearance or on eBay, and I fill in with good ones I find at charity/thrift shops or at H&M. Scarves are from charity shops, Target, Connected in Hope, FashionABLE, and Boden (clearance or eBay). Jeans are from Old Navy, purchased before we moved since I knew there would be no Old Navy here. Tops are from everywhere, but I get basic tees from H&M usually because I like the fit. Leggings are usually from H&M as well. Most of my tights are from eBay. Boots are from Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse. Most of my jackets are Boden or random brands from charity shops. I've also recently had a friend pass on a bunch of Boden stuff to me, and thus I highly recommend having a friend who is into capsule wardrobes and is your same size.

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