Happy Autumn Equinox H&T babes! I am finally ready to embrace that Fall is upon us - in Newport, it felt as if someone flipped a switch one day last week. The chill creeped in the mornings and evenings, the light started fading earlier, and suddenly the beaches were empty and Thames street was quiet. The equinox happens two time a year, when the sun is exactly above the equator and so the day and night are equal length. It is a time of natural transition, a shift from one part of the year to the next.
I am a sun-worshipping, endless summer girl at heart, and I admit I always hang onto every last long, warm day with all my might...letting go of summer always comes with a twinge of sadness. But even I am feeling a jolt of excitement as our temperatures begin to drop this year. In New England, Fall comes in a rush of colored leaves, crisp air, and nostalgic traditions. Corn mazes, apple picking, and pumpkin carving ease the transition of carefree summer into a lovely, cozy Autumn. Maybe it is something about the richness of New England's history and traditions in this time of year, or personal memories of new school year rituals from childhood, but there is always a nostalgic mood mixed with the excitement of a fresh start that strikes in late-September.
As the seasons change, so do our wardrobes. We trade bikinis for cozy knits and sandals for our favorite boots and no matter how much I love summer style, fall fashion cannot be beat. Not only is it the industry's biggest hurrah (with fashion week, the September issue, and designers' most anticipated collections of the year), but the season also naturally lends itself to chic dressing in our every day routines. From knits to dusters, layers don't just protect you from the new edge in the air, they also add complexity and interest to your looks in a way that looks both practical and effortless. Trends for the year are already beginning to manifest, and I love how in the world of fashion, art follows life and reflects the changes we are feeling in our environment. Here are the trends that are popping out to me in the shop as we step into Fall.
The world was already turning more casual before the pandemic hit, but now with so many of us working from home, and everyone living a more home-centric life, this trend has taken hold with new fervor. The fact is, for most of us, late nights turning into early mornings out on the town are a distant, nostalgic memory, black tie events have been postponed, and board room meetings have moved to Zoom. All the big events we dress for have changed in this odd year, and so it is natural for our entire wardrobe to shift and lean toward comfort. I will be the first one to reach for my stilettos, high slits, and extra jewelry when the world cracks back open, but until then, we are all learning to find ways to be put together and stylish in more casual settings.
I have two very different but equally important staples to introduce you to. For me, getting excited about casual looks requires a balance of effortlessness and structure. These two pants are my very favorite bases for building those types of looks.
The Billy style by Boyish is the modern vintage jean of my dreams. Crafted with the highest standards for sustainability (including a PETA certification for being vegan and cruelty free, and utilizing a mixture of upcycled fashion scraps and responsibly produced tencel and organic cotton), this is a piece of clothing you can feel good about and feel good in. The Billy style is a classic high waist skinny jean with a rigid fit. Rigid means that this denim has no stretch, and will maintain its structure wear after wear, even as the fabric softens over time. Stretch is so ubiquitous in modern denim, and I understand the hesitancy (and even intimidation) of a rigid jean. Yes, you may have to size up (I find with this pair, picking a size one inch greater than your waist measurement is the key), but this is not the vintage, made-for-men fit that we feared in dressing rooms of the past. Boyish may be inspired by vintage denim, and even embrace tomboy vibes, but these jeans are designed for women, and so the structure will embrace your curves - you don't have to worry about them being made only for stick-straight body types. The Billy will give you instant cool-girl, casual style as soon as you put them on, but that rigid structure really gives that put-together touch that can only come from form-fitting, tailored pieces. It's the perfect pair for tucking in a blouse - I love the idea of a loosely tucked white button down with the sleeves rolled, your favorite watch, and a heeled slide.
On the other side of the style spectrum, we have the Second Skin Legging by Joah Brown. This pant will seriously change your life. The sueded texture is very subtle - it's not actually vegan suede, it's just a very soft handfeel with a matte finish. This legging is completely opaque, so you don't have to worry about covering her up - she's meant to be shown off. The super high waist stays in place and holds you in subtly, but also moves with you. Joah Brown does this like no other designer - the pieces truly are meant to be as versatile as you are. It's hard to imagine a pant that you could dress with a work blouse and heels for the day, but then change to sneakers and a tank and take on a lunchtime run. I have been on the hunt for the perfect legging for a long time, and I can confidently tell you I've found her. Lately, I have been wearing her with oversized sweaters and stacked heeled boots some days, and paired with a matching crop and my favorite dusters on others.
Animal print started making its comeback a couple years ago, and I can tell you this is a trend that is here to stay. I never thought I'd buy into the idea that leopard is a new neutral, but I've recently been converted. I love the trend toward soft takes on the print, with subtle, sandy shades of cream, taupe, and tan instead of the harsher contrast found in vintage versions.
The Ada Gown by Spell manifests everything I'm loving about this Fall's leopards. Of course, I love her worn as a gown (like she is styled here with a white heeled bootie, or even swapping them for a tall western inspired boot or an over the knee style) - her button down front gives the effect of a slit, showing some leg when you walk, especially if you unbutton her to the knee or mid thigh. However, I think the more unique and styled approach to this piece is to unbutton her entirely, stash the belt tie, and wear her open as a duster over your new Boyish jeans or Joah Brown Leggings. To keep this look casual, I like pairing denim with a cream top - either a cropped hem, or a silky basic tucked in - but if you want to go more edgy, contrast the leopard with black or even a pop of color on top. Either way, this look is taken to knew chic heights when you add lots of gold jewelry, especially a statement ring.
Animal print is no longer limited to just cheetah, leopard, or even zebra. Exotic prints are giving way to new ideas of animal, like this Holy Cow Roxanne Mini Skirt by Show Me Your Mumu. I am loving this abstract, western style print. Though it's called Holy Cow, it actually reminds me of a pinto horse too. In the soft stretch fabric, this piece is fun and just out there enough - while everyone else is donning more traditional animal prints, you will stand out with this different take on a modern trend. I'm loving the contrast with black - you can style her in a full Mumu look with the Black Stretch Dory Bodysuit (another killer basic that also belongs in your closet as a Fall staple for Casual Dressing), or pair her with your favorite cozy, open knit already in your closet.
Another more abstract take on animal print - this Ginger Barbados Skirt by Cleobella gives me okapi vibes, but the stripes could also summon images of tiger or zebra print. The subtly is my favorite detail - it just hints at the idea of animal print, and takes you in with the rich, neutral tones. Though tie skirts usually make me think of vacations and poolside afternoons, this version transitions beautifully into Fall - she is lovely over a our favorite Amabella bodysuit, or with a tucked Hanni Top (as styled in the image), but I am also digging the idea of edging her up with the Le Gauze Lace Bustier and a vegan leather jacket.
Florals are obvious in Spring and even Summer, but they hold a unique feminine appeal as we enter Fall. As the Dahlias, Mums, and Sunflowers bloom in our gardens this time of year, they are also popping up in our prints! We highlighted gold tones for summer, but this bright hue is continuing in our Fall florals as well, and our shop is filled with marigold, mustard, and metallic.
Spell's Anne Midi Gown gives us flower-child hippie vibes in all the best ways. I love the peach, ivory, and yellow hues in the floral - they ground the print in a Fall pallet, and work with the high neck and ruched details to give this dress a dose of sophistication. This midi is perfect with a dark toned bootie or tall boot and a tailored bomber for cooler temps.
Merrit Charles' Purple Floral Daffodil Dress gives us a refreshing dose of brightness in a season dominated by neutrals. The lavender colorway breaks up the predictable color trends we are used to seeing for Fall, and provides a much needed contrast to all of our neutrals and warm tones. I love how this piece can be worn on or off the shoulder (the tie at the front allows you to adjust the fit). Romantic and bohemian, this babe is perfect paired with a trendy white bootie and open knit cardi, but she can also be dressed up when we get back to event hopping - I'd love her with a strappy slim tall heel.
Spell's Sunflower Mystic Print embodies this Fall Floral theme to the max. One of my favorite pieces in this collection has to be the Mystic Tasselled Robe. This is the type of piece that can be added on top of any basics to elevate the look to new heights. My favorite way to wear her is to ditch the tie and throw her over The Billy denim and my favorite bodysuit with a belt and western sueded boots. The tassels, metallic thread, and enthralling pattern will add style to an otherwise simple ensemble.
We have put together The Fall Edit - a shopable collection of our favorite picks for Fall, highlighting these early trends and more. Keep an eye on it - as new arrivals come in, we will add and style them in the collection, so you can see which pieces we are pairing! And there is still so much exciting style to come - from new brands, to fresh takes from old favorites, this Fall is new at Harper & Tucker in more ways than one.