Oh fall, you total fashiongasm. There’s really no better season for fashion than fall: the textures, the layers, the rich colors, the boots, the blazers. Oh my.
Today is a beautiful, crisp, fall day in Washington, despite the fact it’s only August. No matter, I’ve whipped out my sequins, my brown leather, and my navy schoolboy blazer with gorgeous gold buttons. I cannot wait.
From a style perspective, one of the key components of fall is investing in staple pieces for your wardrobe that are high-quality, reliable, and able to be worn on a variety of occasions—dressed up or down, layered, and transitional from summer-to-winter. In the summer you can go basically everywhere in a sundress and sandals, other seasons, not so much.
Madewell and its sister store, J.Crew, are always two of the first stops on any savvy shoppers list when hunting for great staple pieces. However, Madewell can be a bit droll for those of us who crave a bit more pizzazz.
No longer. Madewell brought on a new head of design, Somsack Sikhounmuong, who is adding a unique touch to the label’s classic pieces, designing the latest denim collection, and styling the fall line with gusto.
The fall look book killed it, with classic pieces like navy sweaters and gingham button-downs layered and remixed in new ways. In addition to lots of leather and chambray (I die), there’s a heavy focus on beautiful rich fall shades of navy and burgundy.
One I calmed down and culled my shopping cart down from oodles of dollars to slightly less oodles of dollars, I decided to focus on a few fall items that would be smart style decisions.
1. A crew-neck, fit-and-flare dress in a great fall shade. These dresses are universally flattering, for starters. Secondly, they can be dressed up or down: with a blazer for work; with flats for the weekend; with heels and a statement necklace for a Friday night; or with boots, tights, and a scarf, for a fall outdoor activity like wine tasting or a bonfire.
2. A chambray button-down. If you don’t have one already, get one. This piece is seasonless and matches with, quite literally, everything. Mine’s from J.Crew but Madewell has a serious selection.
3. A light, loose, knit sweater. You can transition this from summer-to-fall, wearing it with jean shorts, sandals, and a panama hat to the beach now, and wearing it with jeans and boots come fall. It can be dressed up with a pencil skirt (bonus points if it’s leather), and pumps for the office, or a mini-skirt and ankle booties for a night out.
4. Leather, leather and more leather. We’ll come back to that soon, but, Madewell has a great, affordable, leather pencil skirt that’s sure to sell out quickly.