Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer, even if there are still quite a few warm days ahead. School is back in session and life leaves vacation mode. A few tweaks can add fall flavor to your outfits without burdening you with heavy layers.
For a casual look, choose half or three quarter sleeve lengths and cropped or ankle pants instead of shorts and tank tops. Even just a couple extra inches can make your look feel more autumnal. Add a scarf in darker neutrals or jewel tones and swap out your brightly colored summer purse for something a little more subdued. There are plenty of scarves that are made of a light enough material that you won't swelter, and if the temperatures get high enough, you can take it off and tie it to the handle of your bag. To add a bright pop, I choose a pink shoe that plays off one of the accent colors in the scarf.
As the weather gets cooler, you can choose pieces with longer sleeve and pant lengths, as well as darker wash denim. Although fall colors tend to be darker and richer, they don't have to be boring. Jewel tones look great on many people and cold weather fabrics, such as tweeds, add interesting textures to the mix. The neon brights of summer will soon be retired for the season, but you can still look brilliant.
Can you believe that it is almost Labor Day weekend? In just a few days we will be barbecuing, wearing white, and generally enjoying the last hurrah of summer. The long weekend is also perfect for getting out of town for a couple days, whether for a relaxing respite in nature or to a wedding filled with dancing. Whatever your plans are, I have tips on how to dress for them all so that you are comfortable and chic.
If you are heading to a wedding, take a look at this post about skipping the dress and heels. It may seem daring at first, but there are plenty of fabulous and appropriate outfits that will give your look a quick makeover and keep you dancing all night!
Looking for a delicious summer drink to enjoy during these last weeks of warm weather? Head over to bread & flowers for a recipe for strawberry ice cubes in a ginger soda.
If you have any other Labor Day weekend related style questions, leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them before you have to pack your suitcase or head out to the neighborhood potluck!
It is still hot and sticky today, but cooler weather is on its way. Check out these outfits for inspiration so you look stylish for the change of seasons and so you know what to look for when you hit up the Labor Day weekend sales!
It's time for another date with Genevieve Antoine Dariaux! This is part of a weekly series where I review the fashion advice from her book, A Guide To Elegance. For the complete description of this series, check out the intro post here. Previous posts can be found here. Her book is organized alphabetically and today we are venturing into "Bargains," which is the first section of the letter B. Add your thoughts in the comments and let me know if you think her fashion rules still apply.
To determine whether or not something is a bargain, she suggests to not look only at the price tag, but instead to "divide [the price] by the number of times you wear the article in question, and then accord generous bonus points for the pleasure, self-confidence, and elegance it may have given you" (pg. 11). This is a tactic I use when shopping the sale rack because the low prices there can quickly overwhelm better judgment. It is easy to spend $15 on a shirt that you are on the fence about because it is not a huge financial commitment. I you only wear it once, then the price per wear is $15. On the other hand, a well-made blazer that fits you well and costs $125 may give you pause before you reach for your credit card. But if you wear it once a month for just 9 months then the cost per wear is already lower than the cheap shirt. These types of calculations in the dressing room can help minimize your spending on disposable fashion pieces so that you have the funds to splurge on pieces that may become bargains over time.
Although not addressed in the chapter, I do want to discuss another type of bargain: the experimental bargain. The idea is that you can't always know if a certain piece or style is going to work for you so it may be necessary to spend some money to try it out. In this case, the cost should not be calculated on a simple price per wear model. Instead, think about the purchase as a meal. If you want to try out a new meal, then you have to spend money either on ingredients or at a restaurant in order to learn whether or not it is something you like and want to try again. Once you have had the initial meal, then you are in a better position to make decisions about whether you want to have that same meal in the future. The same idea can work for clothes. If you are unsure about how a maxi dress would fit into your day-to-day style, you might need to buy one to find out if it is something you feel comfortable wearing around. If you don't end up wearing it very much, it is not a waste because you have learned something from the experiment. That knowledge will help you better estimate other bargains in the future.
Although lots of people like to brag about the incredible deals they snag on their clothes, I agree with Genevieve Antoine Dariaux that it is important to pick pieces that you love rather than succumb to the "sensible purchase" (pg. 12). With pieces you love at home, then every shopping trip can start in your own closet and then you really will be getting a bargain!
Dariaux, Genevieve Antoine. A Guide to Elegance. New York: William Morrow, 2003. Print.
Book club is such a glorious idea. You get to spend time with your friends, eat great snacks and drink one too many glasses of wine, and there is a specific topic to discuss so you don't have to worry about accidentally leaving someone out of the conversation. Today on bread & flowers I posted a review of Emma Straub's new novel, The Vacationers, which is a great book club read. Of course, that means actually attending book club and I can tell you from experience that it is easy to let a short hiatus when everyone is busy turn into an indefinite break. But once you figure out all the logistics and take the time to read the book, there is one last hurdle to jump--what to wear to book club.
The issue is that although book club is a casual affair, it is still a social excursion so you don't want to look sloppy. Even if you are meeting in someone's home, you should still dress as if this were taking place at a coffee shop or bar so leave the yoga pants at home. However, the flip side of that is that you don't want to overdress because then you appear to have taken a wrong turn and ended up in someone's living room by mistake. Luckily, there is a very simple option that will work all year round and is probably already in your closet. Behold the knit wrap dress.
A knit wrap dress is flattering for pretty much every body type and is just as comfortable as the yoga pants I have forbidden you from wearing to book club. They are available in any color and pattern imaginable, as well as every price point. The fact that it is a dress makes it feel like you put more effort into your outfit than you actually did, but the fabric is relaxed enough that you won't look like you are dressed for the wrong occasion.
You might be thinking, "Why can't I just wear a nice pair of jeans and t-shirt? After all, no one else looks nice for book club." It doesn't matter if everyone else shows up in their pajamas because you should take pride in how your present yourself. Plus, if you don't want style advice then you are probably reading the wrong blog. I love jeans and tees as much as the next person, but to reach the same level of "stylishly casual" would require much more accessorizing. By suggesting a knit wrap dress I am actually simplifying your outfit.
One of the things I often hear is that people are worried that if they dress nicely for casual events, other people will make disparaging comments. When you start improving how you dress on a day to day basis, it is not uncommon to feel a bit like a fraud at first. When you are wearing a blazer with your jeans at the grocery store, you might feel the urge to tell the woman behind you in line who is wearing sweatpants that you're only dressed up because you have to go somewhere later (even if that isn't true). I can't guarantee that there won't be a couple jerks who ask you why you are trying so hard, but I have found that many more people will be supportive. We all want to look our best and sometimes the only thing in the way of that is that we have no idea how to go about it. So when you go to book club in an adorable and well-fitting knit wrap dress, embrace how great you look and feel with a genuine smile and chances are the only response you will get is positive.