I have a theory:
All of our favorite wardrobe pieces most likely work together.
I’m not saying the result isn’t crazy sometimes, but I’m hoping all our wardrobe favorites add up to something beyond safe anyway.
This theory came up for me as I confronted the closet this week. In-between season dressing is tough. As the weather transitions from hot to cooler, I often stand in front of the closet with a big blank for what to wear. Maybe it’s that classic symptom of having not shopped strategically enough. This summer brought stunning, fun, and versatile pieces into my wardrobe, but I never found the time to just sit and figure out how it all works together. But the other reason is just as true, and maybe more so: When I’m working so hard, it’s nice to grab a combination of pieces I know works. Less energy spent on dressing = more energy to spend on editing and business.
As the weather shifts, some much-missed clothing staples return to the closet, like the shearling fur gilet and jacket. But I’m not ready to give up on my summer favorites, especially when mountains of work kept me inside for most of those warm days. I didn’t get to wear out my new treasures! Yesterday I decided to make this week all about the last hurrah—i.e., pulling out my absolute favorite clothes from this summer and giving them one last go before packing them away.
First up are the Isabel Marant ecru skinny jeans embroidered with butterflies and flowers. Sigh. How I love these. Only Isabel can make embroidered flowers and butterflies feel cool. But it was cool yesterday as I worked with all the windows open, so I needed the jeans to work with the falling temps.
I pulled out other absolutely favorite pieces: the ivory/gold Jamdhani, the Roger Vivier bronze flats, and the Baccarat gold scarabee necklace. I also pulled out a soft, textured cotton top (H&M Consciousness collection) that didn’t see much action once temperatures rose (it’s thick fabric). Last, I pulled over it all a long linen jacket from Eileen Fisher that I recently got to replace a much-missed cotton jacket from India. I literally wore the Jaipuri jacket out, and the holes and stains were not attractive. It took three years to replace, but this replacement is perfect.
All in all, this combo was a delight to nest in while working through an early autumn day.
But then the experiment got me to thinking. Is it possible to push the embroidered jeans further into autumn? In other words, is it possible to take a spring garment and just keep wearing it until the bitter winds hit?
Well, let’s see. For the fifteen minutes of sunlight I get in the apartment right now, I first replaced the top with an Uniqlo black cashmere tee. Yum. Now that creates a soft nest of cloth . . .
So that seems like a good start. But that long white Jamdhani . . . that feels spring/summer or “special occasion in winter” to me. How about a different scarf?
I pulled out the new vert tilleul Marwari dip dye. My first thought: the salmon of the scarf could echo the blush of the embroidered flowers. My second thought: the unique green of the scarf evoked the fading green of summer and could maybe bring out the bronze of the ballet flats and my hair. It’s an odd combination, but sometimes odd makes an outfit a little more interesting.
A final touch: layering on the shearling Mongolian Princess jacket in place of the long, linen duster . . .
This is an outfit I would throw on for taking tea and pastries with friends during a final sidewalk-sitting-cafe visit.
That experiment was so fun, I decided to try another real quick. What about something for visiting Chelsea or Upper East Side art galleries?
Well, if avant-garde art is on the agenda, then avant-garde Japanese pieces seem fitting. One of the delights of my summer spending has been tentative steps into Issey Miyake Pleats Please. I’ve been testing these out for years and years (Issey Miyake was the focus of a chapter of my Master’s Thesis), but I’ve never had the courage to take the plunge. Here’s one of the initial pieces that entrapped me:
After changing out the bronze flats for simple black ballerinas, I changed out the dip dye for the ebene/soeil/corail Kachinas Maxi Twilly recently found at Wall Street. Yes, this is the same as shown beautifully on MaiTai—It’s been on my must-get Maxi Twilly list for a while, but after she posted it, I knew I couldn’t delay any longer since she sometimes causes stampedes to the scarf counter. I adore the Maxi Twilly format. It feel effortless to wear. I did a simple wrap here, folding carefully to get more of the playful Kachinas. The goal was to use the scarf to echo both the graphic quality of the top and the playfulness of the embroidered jeans.
The final adjustment was made to incorporate a warm layer for chilly afternoon breezes: I wrapped the scarf tighter around the neck (tying in the back) and slipped on the shearling jacket.
But, I asked, can all this be made simpler and very casual. What about weekend walks through some woods and leaves? My answer: replace the black tops with an olive tee-shirt and the black shearling jacket with a stone-colored cotton safari jacket.
At first, I pulled on a black 70cm vintage scarf to keep the neck warm, but that felt too cold for me. I wanted something brighter, more playful and evocative of a personality beyond neutrals.
The answer: the grenadine Marwari dip dye.
Yes, I’m loving these dip dye scarves, even at just 90cm.
So that was my few minutes of experimentation. I documented it initially just to save some ideas on my computer for when I feel in a rut. Then I thought it might be fun to share some of my thinking process when standing in front of my closet.
What favorite summer piece are you wanting to extend into autumn? How would you do it?