kids are back to school and mommy camp is long over. i am now in the thick of the busiest time of year as a personal stylist. it is time. time to do what we who work in the business of style, fashion, clothing, etc. do at this time of year: decide what to buy. you see lists upon lists of what you need this fall. it can all be a bit…overwhelming.

so, what will i be putting in my own closet and the closets of my various clients? wait for it…not a ton.

this fall is about keeping it simple. distilling, boiling down, paring down what is out there in terms of trends and only buying what works long-term.  most importantly, i want to be comfortable. i want my clients to be comfortable. i want the clothing to be the truest reflection of the person wearing them. i am living the words of the new head designer at madewell describing his ideal girl/woman:

she’s effortless; she’s a little more downtown; she’s casual–like her makeup bag would have chapstick and like an eyeliner; she’s not that fussy; she’s not trendy. she just loves classic things and is drawn inherently to familiar things, you know?

for me, that means: a little borrowed from the boys, a little preppy, a little tailored, a little slouchy, a little cute, sometimes a little sparkly, but always, always very comfortable.

military lace-up or logger boots

i am mom to three young children. there is a lot of running around both inside and outside. if i were to pick a fall/winter shoe that works for any and every occasion… it would be the frye engineer boot. i have had my pair for 10 years — and still going strong with not even one repair needed as of yet. the beauty is they slip on as easily as flats; they can  be paired with skinny jeans, leggings, dresses; and, most importantly, they have this ability to make me feel like a badass.

i have been jonesing for a new pair of frye boots. this season, the logger boot caught my eye. i can already see myself wearing them in a multitude of ways: skinny jeans, chunky sweater; skinny jeans, tee and blazer; straightleg jeans rolled, stripe boatneck tee; black jeggings and black drapey silk top…i could go ON. the key is…keep the rest feminine and/or crisp/tailored. no logger boots with a puffy vest, for example, unless i am on my way to actually cut down a tree.

a  cream lace top

so, truth time, i already have one of these. but  thought it was important to include. at the same time i like rugged, i also like sweet and pretty and borderline…matronly? let me take that back. i like the idea that you can take something that can be viewed as staid and make it of-the-moment. which is why my next item is a cream lace top. this one from talbot’s fits the bill. i plan to style it with slim boyfriend jeans, rolled, and heeled loafers. also will be perfect with black leather pants, black blazer (see below) and  cutout booties (see below). for office, it adds texture under  a jacket/pencil skirt combo. and weekend? with skinny jeans, my new logger boots and a cardigan. oh, many possibilities!

the ultimate white t-shirt 

it seems i never have enough white t-shirts. i have a drawer in my bedroom that is  White Tee Purgatory. there is always an occasion for a white t-shirt and i am constantly on the hunt for a better and better and better one. i love madewell’s linen tees and this season, the linen muscle tee. perfect under blazers, cardigans, chunky knits and more. it is just long enough to peek out of the bottom for that fun layering effect.


high-waist skinny jeans

anything that makes my legs look longer? sign me up. the trick is,  do NOT tuck your top all the way around.  only do the front “partial” tuck for that high-waist effect (see below for example). tuck it all the way in and it elongates  your backside. no bueno.

rag & bone always makes me remember that there is something to be said for high-quality denim: you get what you pay for. this pair available on

a collarless black blazer

so much more versatile than a black suit blazer, this can be office, going out, etc. sans collar just feels so modern, sleek and effortless.  my first pick is the one by theory. however, madewell does one for much less. mossimo also does a cute ponte-knit one available at target for 35 smackeroos!


cutout booties/pumps

gotta have shoes that make you feel sexy and COOL these shakuhachi cutouts do the trick. perfect for evenings out, but also a way to switch up office-wear. pair with trousers, blouse, blazer. or, do black tights and a classic, ladylike shift dress. they will available at need supply inc. as well.

photo courtesy of need supply


plaid/checked pants

yes to the british-invasion trend.  loving these zara checked pants.  great for work with that black collarless blazer (above), cream lace top (again, above) and your new cutout pumps (again! above!).


delicate jewelry

i love me a big necklace. i always tell my clients to pay attention to proportion — if you’re petite, be mindful of large jewelry because it can overwhelm. but at 5’2″, i do buy jewelry like i am, oh, about 6’1″. sometimes it does feel a bit much, but if a piece really speaks to me? rules, shmools.  as i always tell my clients, style “rules” are NOT across the board.

this season, though, streamlining and simplifying is the name of the game. and to that end, i have just been in love with the  fun, whimsical pieces by local jewelry designer, rachel pfeffer.

i am definitely adding this sweet one  to my collection — perfect for layering or on its own.

a fair isle sweater

i am not buying any new sweaters if i can help it. for myself or anyone. i am reusing what i already have instead of adding to the stockpile.but… if i do, it will be a cozy fair isle one like this sold-out j.crew number. again, i like the idea of this ski sweater with black leather pants and boots — rethinking a classic and also playing with fun color, texture and print.

i am still on the hunt for another fair isle sweater that fits the bill…will keep you posted.

a ladylike, quilted purse

i have been doing the crossbody for years now. this season, i wanted to try something a wee bit more sophisticated.  nothing, nothing says sophistication like the iconic chanel quilted bag. do it if you can, and i will live vicariously through you. otherwise, loving this rebecca minkoff number that is a crossbody (YES!) as well.


and…that’s it! yes! that’s it!  there is a ton missing from this list. beautiful, fun trends just begging for a chance to live in someone’s closet. or, if you are missing fall basics like tall boots and cardigans, those should be added. but these are pieces i know i can put in my closet and/or my clients’ closets with the confidence that they will work for seasons to come. the key is selecting trends that have a timeless quality about them.

enjoy fall folks. it is, in my humble opinion, the most amazing time of year in this here town of ours.