By BLAKE RHODES
Although the dog days of summer may be coming to an end according to your calendar, the temperatures outside might suggest otherwise. Alabama weather can mean summer through mid-October. All of you fashionistas know that while adorable fall clothes may be displayed in the windows of your favorite stores, you don’t necessarily get to wear those sweaters and tights right away. But what you can do is supplement your summer wardrobe with some fall updates. My good friend and neighbor in Homewood, Stacie Moore, admitted to me that she was struggling with what to buy for fall. So one Saturday I kidnapped her for a little fashion spree to her favorite stores. A little leery due to her dislike of shopping, she set some ground rules for me to follow:
• Must be cost-conscious
• Must compliment a curvy figure
• Need items for work & play
• Must stay true to her Bohemian-Chic style
The first stop was Urban Outfitters. We found this light-weight, oatmeal-colored sweater that would be great with jeans, work pants, skirts and shorts. For hot weather, a simple nude camisole would work. As the temperature cools off, she can wear a long-sleeve tee underneath or wear over a long maxi-dress. This effortlessly cute sweater was a great find at $49.
Next store – White House Black Market. The goal here was to find classic work pieces that she can dress up or down. We found a pair of cropped black pants – a staple for fall. I had to force her to try these on as she was skeptical of how they would fit. However, she loved them. She can wear now with peep-toe heels and later with boots. Stacie had a coupon and got these pants for under $50!
The last store we went in was Anthropologie. My reasons were because I knew it was her favorite and a budget can easily get out of hand there. I immediately went to the sale rack and found three great tops that she could wear for work and play. Two of the three, she admitted, were completely out of her comfort zone. But once she tried them on, she saw how great she looked in them.
All of paired perfectly with dark denim, but they also could be worn to work. She can update for fall and winter with long cardigans, tweed blazers, or cargo jackets depending on the look she is trying to accomplish. Stacie got all three tops for $100.
All of Stacie’s outfits were styled with Off the Cuff jewelry from www.shopoffthecuff.com.
Blake’s key to finding great items and sticking to your budget: 1) make sure you really love the item you’re contemplating buying; and 2) make sure you set a dollar amount that you are not willing to go over if it cannot be worn different ways, or if it cannot be worn more than one season out of the year. If your willpower is low, take a friend with you to hold you accountable. This will ensure a closet full of great quality pieces that not only will save you money but will carry your wardrobe throughout the year.