Fall Looks: Wear Now, Wear Later

by Tracy James

Wardrobe wise, living in the South has its pros and cons. On the one hand, summer heat lingers longer than most would like, confusing many on what the heck to wear when it’s almost October but still pushing 90 degrees outside. On the other hand, the lack of seasonal extremes allows for a more streamlined wardrobe, as many pieces can multitask their way through various temperatures. We’re Birminghamians, not Bostonians, so there’s no need for a closet full of woolens. Expand your existing clothing collection by learning how to adapt for different weather conditions, while staying seasonally appropriate and on-trend.

The Piece: Tunic Dress

Wear NOW: The warm caramel tones and inclusion of suede in this outfit keep it visually transitional but comfortable temperature-wise. Rachel Zoe silk dress ($495), Stuart Weitzman “Sunflower” sandal in Amaretto ($455), Rebecca Minkoff clutch ($245), all from Gus Mayer. World Market necklace ($24).

Wear LATER: For core warmth, layer a Coobie tank ($22) underneath the dress, and then pop on a Adrienne Landeau fur vest ($295). Finish the grey story with a Rebecca Minkoff handbag ($345) with Linda Richards fur pouf and Stuart Weitzman “Tieland” boots in Anthracite ($798). All from Gus Mayer.

The Piece: Silk Blouse

Wear NOW: Think it’s too late to wear shorts? Not when they are in a saturated color like this cobalt and a sturdy, lined construction. Equipment silk butterfly-print blouse ($258) and Pelle Moda “Kacey” suede sandal in Lemon ($145), Gus Mayer. J.Crew Factory shorts ($54.50); Banana Republic cuff ($48); Good Works trio bracelet ($30), Mia Moda in Vestavia. Earrings are the stylist’s own.

Wear LATER: When weather turns colder, layer the blouse under a cashmere sweater. Allowing the collar, cuffs, and tail to peek out keeps the look casual and modern. Kate Moss for Equipment sweater ($278) and Franco Sarto “Yogi” boot ($138), Gus Mayer. DL 1961 “Cindy” jean in Milk ($178), SOCA Homewood. (Think you can't wear white after Labor Day? Think again. First of all, this "Milk" shade is not bright white. Second, as I mentioned in a previous article but it bears repeating, in the old days, families had coal-burning furnaces in their homes. These heating systems emitted tiny bits of soot into the air, which would make light or white clothing appear grayed and dingy. So when the furnace was turned on – which in some parts of the country was around Labor Day – those particular clothing items were moved to the back of the closet. When It was time to turn the furnace off for the season, which was around Memorial Day at the latest, that clothing could come back out to play. Therefore, unless you’re still running a coal-burning furnace, in which case I think you might have more trouble with the EPA than the Fashion Police, you’re good to go wearing white anytime of year as long as it’s temperature appropriate.)

The Piece: Printed Sleeveless Top

Wear NOW: Iris Setlakwe top ($265), Tory Burch “Gemini Link” sandal in River Rock ($350) and “Zoey” saddle bag ($495), all from Gus Mayer. BCBG “Simone” skirt ($138), Saks Fifth Avenue. Stella & Dot tassel necklace ($79); LOFT stretch bracelets ($24.50); Ring from Argent Antiques in Homewood.

Wear LATER: The sleeveless top is perfect to layer under this Iris Setlakwe unlined faux suede (feels better than the real thing!) jacket. Keep the look from leaning too business by adding a trend or two, like these from past seasons that have decided to stay awhile – torn Frame jeans ($238) and fringed Sam Edelman boots ($150). All from Gus Mayer.