Dressing for Fall

BROWN CROC ACCESSORIES FOR FALL

There’s something infinitely chic to me about brown croc print accessories – and I’m seeing them pop up everywhere this fall. I sadly don’t think I’m going to have all that many occasions to get dressed up this season, but even a bag like this one (a bit of a higher price point but I love it and know that I’ll be carrying it for years to come) dresses up a simple pair of jeans and sweater in a way that feels sophisticated and effortless. Below – my favorites that I’ve spotted around the internet.

10 Brown Croc Accessories for Fall:

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SUMMER TO FALL STYLE

In my mind it’s somewhere around June 15th. But in reality, this is the last weekend of August. This time of year always feels a little bittersweet to me, but perhaps never more so than this year. I mean, I never even made it to the beach.. how can summer be over?! And the looming uncertainty of what’s to come this winter has me shivering on a 90 degree day.

But, on the other hand – I truly love the feeling of fall and September always feels like a fresh start. So I’m trying my best to give in to the time warp that is 2020 and just lean into the excitement I feel over the change of seasons.

As it were – this outfit has a bit of a foot in each season. A floaty summer dress. A new bag that is sure to be a fall staple. In a couple of months time, I’ll pair this same dress with a cozy, oversized sweater and leather riding boots.

Until then – I’ll be doing my damnedest to soak up every last moment of summer. I hope you do the same.

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AN EARLY FALL WISHLIST

I’m never one to wish away summer, but every year around mid-August I start to get the craving for Fall styles. Something about the promise of a new season, no? Below, the styles I have my eye on, that can be worn now and right on into fall.

SHOP MY EARLY FALL PICKS:

  • This ‘Pretty Woman’-esque dress is calling my name and is on major sale right now (just $50!). No further explanation necessary.
  • I don’t have much occasion lately for statement earrings but these classic gold link earrings are perfect for instantly adding a touch of polish to your look. They’d be great for Zoom calls.
  • A timely vote t-shirt – all proceeds go to the ACLU.
  • I’ve been swooning over domed and signet rings lately to offset my daintier everyday pieces. This one is super affordable and can be engraved while this one is a bit pricier (around $200) but feels like a forever piece. And don’t get me started on this ‘croissant’ ring!
  • This plaid tie front blouse feels a little bit 1970s cool, a little bit British schoolgirl. Aka – my sweet spot.
  • I don’t see the need for face masks going away any time soon. I desperately need a couple more in my rotation and like these transitional floral prints.
  • The silk slip skirt is a trend that I didn’t immediately think was for me – but last year I picked up a black version and loved how versatile it was. I’d style this rust-hued one with a simple tee shirt now or a chunky sweater later.
  • I’ll be honest, my heels haven’t seen the light of day in quite some time. And I don’t know if fall is going to change that. Instead – I’m looking for cute flats for walking around town. These leopard sneakers are fun and these pretty gold ballet flats feel like they’re just begging to be taken to Paris someday.
  • Blame it on Taylor Swift’s ‘Cardigan‘ but all I want is a cozy knit sweater with a vintage feel. I think I’d wear this navy anchor version for years to come.
  • I, for one, am still not over headbands. This plaid one would look just as cute with a bathing suit as it would with a fall blazer.
  • If you’re in the market for a new purse this fall – might I suggest this classic option, in an impossibly chic ‘cappuccino‘ hue. I have a few bags from this brand and the quality and wearability far exceeds the cost.
  • If you’re not in the market for a new purse, one of my favorite ways to dress up an existing bag is by tying a fun scarf to the handle. The print on this one looks convincingly vintage and adds a nice pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.
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ON HAPPINESS: BREAKING TRADITIONS

I’m a person who really likes order. Who becomes sentimental about sameness. To say I like traditions would be an understatement. And the study of happiness backs me up here – children who are raised with routine and traditions (however small or silly) are more stable humans. However, I’m also a person who will do the same thing year after year, even if it’s become inconvenient or a grind, because I simply feel like I “can’t” break said traditions. Which does not always add to my overall happiness.

This may be the first year I feel like I’m able to loosen my grip on some of that. While I made a holiday bucket list (and shared it here), it’s just that. A list of “hopes” – not “do it or else you’ve failed at the holidays”. It’s okay to cut yourself a break some years. Or simply, shake things up.

If every year drive 2 hours to pick your tree at a local farm because that’s tradition but you have a feeling everyone in your house would be happier if you just switched to a fake tree and had it up in an hour – do that instead. If you think that ordering Chinese food on Christmas is actually what you’d enjoy more than spending 8 hours in the kitchen prepping a home-cooked feast – do that instead. Sure it’s nice to be able to say that you’ve done something every year for 10 years.. but it’s also nice to be happy in the moment each of those years.

So I suggest that you keep the traditions that bring you true joy. And the rest, allow yourself to reconsider. As long as you’re surrounded by the people that bring you true joy, it’s going to be a good holiday season.

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ON HAPPINESS: HOW I’M COMBATING THE WINTER BLUES

As I write this it hovers around 35 degrees in New York City and while it’s a clear sky day, it will be dark in a mere 8 hours. For some people this probably means next to nothing.. but if you, like me, feel the winter blues acutely in your bones – this is the first real scare. The first shift in the winds and the clocks that says “I’m coming for you”.

The tricky part is that I truly love November and December – they’re filled with joy – holidays, traditions, decorations everywhere you turn in the city. Which is often why I’m tricked into thinking maybe I won’t feel the winter blues this year. But every year, like clockwork, January rolls around and I want to crawl out of my (very dry) skin and move to Mexico just to avoid one more single short, cold day. So this year – I’m getting a jump start and putting some simple practices in place so that by that time we’re in the real depth of winter I’m not just surviving.. but actually enjoying it.

One of the things I’ve noticed in winter is that it can be easy to sort of let yourself go. You’re engulfed in a huge puffer coat 90% of the time after all – why not just wear sweatpants underneath and go home and order takeout? But when I put on a real outfit, do my hair (even though it will just be smashed beneath a knit hat), keep up my workout routine and cook healthy meals at home – I feel a huge boost in mood. Today I’m getting my hair colored, I’ve been slowing adding a few new winter pieces to my wardrobe (like this cozy tweed dress that will be great with tights and a turtleneck beneath it) and I’m already in a good routine with working out that I plan on ramping up throughout winter. So far, so good.

The next thing is relationships. Spending quality time with Adam and making a point to trek out in the snow/ice/cold to see friends is always worth the effort. To that end, Adam and I just reinstated our “weeknight date” routine. It can be easy to fall into the pattern of holing up at home and watching TV.. so we plan to mix things up by having one mid-week date night that we take turns each week planning. Mine was this week and I planned an at home date of scrabble, spiked cider and playing records. It was so fun! Now even if I’m having a tough week, I’ll have something to look forward to halfway through. On the friend front – I joined a new book club this past week with the hopes of meeting some like-minded ladies and it was lovely. We’re all planning to go see the new Little Women movie when it comes out next month (that was the book of choice this round) and we’ll meet on the next book in January. Again – things to look forward to with people you enjoy is key!

Lastly, I’ve found that when I dedicate time to things that keep my mind sharp (again – it can be tempting to just binge watch netflix all winter.. but that seems to only add to my blues in the end) make a world of difference. That means reading as much as possible, pushing myself to try new things even if that’s just a new recipe and dusting off old hobbies like drawing or playing the piano – all make me feel great and are perfect for when it’s dark and cold out. Adam recently declared that we should get rid of the desk in our bedroom and replace it with an upright piano for me and I think he may really be onto something. By which I mean, he too is scared of my winter mood. Ha.

And if all else fails – we’re planning a warm weather getaway come March.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.