Tuesday, October 23, 2007

what i want today: layers for fall

the weather's finally turned cold at my house - a sure sign is that i'm reaching for my scarves and my favorite ugg slippers (still can't quite stomach the boots, but i'll admit the slippers are dang comfy).

the problem i'm having is that, while i'm super excited to pull all of my yummy fall sweaters out of storage, i still have a few things from summer i'm not quite ready to say goodbye to yet. fortunately for me, layers are everywhere this fall, and i'm ready to hop right on the trend.

first stop has to be a great turtleneck - throw one on under the right summer dress, add tights and ballet flats, and you've got a perfectly darling fall look. t-necks are so very hard to get right, though. you want fabric that isn't sheer (it is nearly winter, after all), but is still really thin so it layers easily - nothing sucks like that overstuffed feeling you get when your layers start bunching. and the neck is really important - you definitely don't want that uber-thick chunk of fabric around your neck like you used to sport back in grade school.

my two favorites this fall are by juicy couture and zooey. the juicy version has a nice low-ish neck, which is great for those of us with shorter necks, or who just realize that covering the whole thing up isn't exactly the idea. and it has such a very flattering cut! the zooey is perfect for those of you who normally hate t-necks...the neck is really loose (though doesn't venture into cowl neck territory at all). plus, nice long sleeves, which is a major perk for me when layering.

i actually got the idea for this whole fall layering trip i'm on when i saw a pic in the october vogue (page 425 in your hymnal, if you're curious) showing some of summer's sweater dresses layered under horizontal striped tees. now i'll admit, i'm terrified of horizontal stripes. seriously. even ankle boots don't disturb me as much. but under a dress (or a cute t-shirt, or maybe even the right vest), when all you see is the arms and a bit at the top, all of a sudden, stripes are more than okay - they're covetable! i'm loving this striped cashmere tee by autumn cashmere. the colors are perfect for fall, and will layer with just about anything, plus it's nice and thin, but still cuddly soft. i think the trick is to make sure the chest & tummy areas are covered by a solid color...as long as you stick to that, i think the look is really chic. something tells me this piece is going to be in major rotation in my closet this fall.

i will admit to one peeve about layering, and that's the layers sort of...well, not staying where they're meant to stay. nothing i hate like spending all day tugging on a shirt that's under another shirt. but, i had a brainstorm: what about a dress under a dress? take, for example, this darling cowl neck dress by james perse. alone, it's perfectly cute (though maybe a little thin to wear solo, i think). but i tried layering it under a few different things (specifically, a BCBG sweater dress and a jersey knit tank dress from old navy), and it was adorable! plus, no tugging, and no bunching at the waist, since the dress has roughly the same hemline as the other layer.

really, though, i think my best layering advice for fall is to experiment. i had a blast in my closet this weekend, just throwing things on top of each other, even if i thought they made no sense together whatsoever. sure, there were some disasters that will never see the light of day....but i definitely found a few fabulous new looks i'll be psyched to sport this fall.