Breaking news – Fall has officially begun. Allegedly. I say allegedly because here in Los Angeles it is 80 degrees as per and the dress code is the same as it was in summer BUT. According to the calendar or scientists or Oprah or whoever determined what period of time seasons are – Fall is here. The good news is there are lots of ways to take your closet from summer to fall with an array of options for outerwear this season all the way from ‘ac is still cranked get the hell away from me with a layer’ to ‘leaves actually change colors a couple months a year here’ to ‘are we actually that hungry do we need to leave the house and freeze to death’ and all the in-betweens. The best news? I’m here to help you navigate through all of them.
Let’s start off simple and with our lightest layer of all – the scarf. You can do something simple like a neck accessory, a little more substantial like a full scarf, or go full glam with a fur stole but either way, all we’re doing here is adding a little fall essence with not a whole lot of the warmth.
One of my favorite things about a small little necktie like this is that most I have seen are in fun prints or vibrant colors which makes it a great way to ease into trying mixed prints if you are a little nervous to jump right in. Fabrics range from cotton to silk and are pretty inexpensive overall but add a big punch of style for such a small accessory.
It’s pretty impossible to picture fall and not picture a scarf somewhere in the mix and, like above, they come in a huge range of fabrics, weights, prints, etc. so you can really make these stand out as much or as little as you want. If you are in a warmer climate or one with humidity, go for the lightweight styles in silk (above) or cotton and for the colder areas wool and warmer materials will be your best fashion friend.
For even more coverage of your neck and shoulders, try going bold with a stole. This look is so vintage and you can make it full on glamour or go more of a 70’s street style depending on how you pair the rest of your look with it.
Up next we’re moving into something we actually put our arms into but staying sleeveless (wow that was quite the mouthful to say vest, wasn’t it?). Let’s take a closer look at three different styles and lengths of what I mean with the end result all being similar to before – a touch of fall style without the added layer of warmth. Wear your vest with a short sleeve top underneath or no top underneath if you’re feeling adventurous for the warmer climates or if temperatures are already dropping where you are, use it as a layer over a long sleeve sweater or dress with tights/leggings.
This Fendi piece was a diamond find on my last visit to NYC and I absolutely love it now just as much as I did at first sight. It’s actually technically billed as a sleeveless coat minus the little puffs of fur on the shoulders but for our purposes here today we are grouping it in with the vests since it is that same feel. As you can see though – from Target to Fendi there are so many different styles of these longer versions and ways to wear it from casual to formal so find your comfort level and run with it.
You can also go traditional with a menswear-inspired vest. I found this bingo print one at a thrift shop and had to get it since it reminded me so much of growing up with my Grandma Madeleine and playing countless games with her and her friends at the senior club. There are millions of fun prints of vests everywhere or there are lots of subtle and solid designs too so again, make this look your own and go with what feels good.
Moving right along, let’s throw some sleeves on now and start with one of my favorite styles – the bomber jacket. These were huge last year and have made a triumphant return this fall as well and there are styles in leather, suede, nylon, you name it from the classic Members Only style to full on embroidered sleeves.
What I really like about them is that they bring a little bit of casual edge to your look. Take for example the outfit below. It was taken on my birthday last year so naturally I went with a full gold satin dress by Topshop with Betsey Johnson red tulle heels. This look is clearly on the more dressed up side of things but by just adding this custom FXCO bomber jacket (thank you LA loves London) it dressed it down a bit but in a way that still worked for a fun night out.
Here’s another way that a bomber jacket helped bring a superhero style back down to earth a bit. By throwing it on over these amazing gold H&M pants I gave my main man Tony Stark a FCXO makeover at a superhero-themed client dress up party. And before you ask, yes I did have these pants prior to the party and no, I did not purchase them as a costume piece. Pro tip: When you see a perfect cut of gold pants in your exact size you do not hesitate.
There are also versions of the bomber style that help dress up a look if that’s what you’re trying for such as this satin embroidered “Mermaid” version by Valfre. It took an otherwise super casual look of ripped up denim shorts and a t-shirt to another level with just adding one layer.
There are so many styles it can be overwhelming to know where to start sometimes. Here’s what I recommend – Take a look at your staple pieces for the season and think to yourself do you find yourself wanting to dress up or dress down your looks? Are you wanting to take your style to another level or take it down to a more casual look? From there you’ll know where to start at least with the material to start keeping an eye out for and keep in mind the more detail on the jacket the more attention it will (rightfully) draw to you.
We’re moving into colder weather outfits now and the next level is a light layer. A few of my favorite ways to achieve this beyond the typical cardigan or blazer are a blanket sweater, a textured cardigan, or a denim jacket.
Nothing is cozier than a blanket sweater and they’re usually in fun prints and colors so they add a fun vibe to your look right away. One thing to note is there isn’t really a way to dress these up too much so it’s best to stick to casual days when wearing these pieces.
One fun spin on a cardigan is something like this fringe number. It adds texture and takes your outfit over the top right away and is another type of style you can dress up or down depending on how you wear it. In the outfit above, I wanted the look to be a little edgier which can be tough since this piece adds an automatic romantic element so I paired it with a layered necklace, a very deep v-neck bodysuit, an eye-catching bralette, and ripped jeans to achieve that vibe.
The look below I let my hair air dry for natural curls and went with a more understated look with soft tones for makeup to play up the romantic side of it. The great thing about most outerlayer pieces is that you have the flexibility to really make them fit with your own tone and style and simple changes like this make a dramatic impact overall.
You may recognize this amazing Laser Kitten patch from this post and for good reason. Customized denim is one of my favorite looks for this season and one of the easiest ways to show your personality with little effort. Denim is so easy to apply patches to and if you can’t find a patch that you like or that suits you you can still show who you are with pins. There are thousands and thousands of styles of pins available all over the place (Etsy has really great obscure ones!) and with just one or two you can make a statement on who you are while also keeping warm and staying on trend.
We’re nearing the end of our trip through outerwear and getting into the more substantial type of coats now. A classic style is of course the trench coat and now more than ever there are so many different styles and even levels of warmth for these.
This one was a bit thicker and was perfect for a trip to NYC in December (by perfect I mean I was only shivering a little bit wearing a t-shirt underneath):
While this one by Topshop is really light and thin and perfect for the breeze in LA.
If a trench style isn’t your thing, there is always my favorite option – a (faux) fur really over the top style that is as warm as it is fashionable.
Some may think that when wearing an emerald green fur coat you should maybe keep the rest of your look on the subtle side but some people would not be me. I went the complete opposite to that line of thinking with sequin rose gold pants from Free People and a velvet bodysuit. FCXO will be focusing on textures and how to combine them especially this season in a coming very soon future post so we will save that discussion for later but the moral of the story here is don’t be afraid to do something unexpected and different. You can definitely have more than one bold element at a time for your look and when in doubt, just remember there’s a good chance no matter how extra you think your outfit is, mine is even more over the top.
Aside from the green fur coat above, I have of course my ‘regular’ faux fur coat as well that I try to incorporate in as many outfits as physically possible when it is cold enough to wear it. Below are just a couple ways I’ve taken her out on the town.
Then, of course, we have true ‘oh wow it’s really cold and wtf is that snow?!’ type of weather that I found myself in last year in Norwalk, CT. I made this purchase at Target almost immediately following the trip before this one when the LA girl thought to herself ‘it’s just snowing a little bit, I can walk that 5 minutes to the hotel no problem’ not quite realizing that snow is, in fact, wet when it hits a subject. The subject being me. I made it halfway through the parking lot before I was soaking wet and shivering in my flimsy little blazer, regretting my life choices, and adding a weather resistant warm coat to my shopping list.
And imagine my (pleasant) surprise to see that even when dressing appropriately for the weather I was still able to have a little faux fur in the mix. 🙂
It’s a bit silly how one of the last posts I made here was about transitioning seasons from winter to spring and now here we are transitioning from summer into fall. On a personal note, here’s whats been going on the last 6 months: Trips to Arizona, New York, Denver, LA x 38401850235 times, lots of health issues and figuring out how to move forward with an incurable illness I’ll unfortunately have to deal with the rest of my life that is made worse with stress, a horrific allergic reaction to medication that was supposed to help make said illness a little manageable, my current company merged with our sister company and I’m essentially at a brand new company (again) so there’s been a bit of a learning curve there plus I started a second job in August as an official stylist! Needless to say 2017 has been a busy year for me. But just like trees lose their leaves this time of year and make way for new growth I’m moving into a new season of my own and making some decisions to put myself first in a way that I have never done before. I’m going to learn to say ‘no’ more, I’m going to put my health plus eating and sleeping regularly at the top of my priority list, and I’m going to (sadly) have to let the stylist job go for now.
One thing I let fall away (again) was updating this blog regularly and in making some of the other changes I am really hopeful that this space is one that will experience lots of new growth. As many of you who have been around since the beginning of FCXO know, I originally started this blog as a way to do something that made me feel good again after losing both my mom and grandma so close to each other and it turned into a way to make me feel close to them somewhere along the line. So Mitch and GT, once my cheerleaders and now my angels, this post (like every post before it) is for you.