Dressing for Fall

A HYBRID WARDROBE FOR WORK TO WEEKEND

This past year and a half has drastically changed the way we work. And likewise the way we dress. I’ve been on a ‘hybrid’ model since the start of this year – meaning I work 3 days a week at home and 2 days at our Brooklyn office. And it occurred to me that I’ve started to transition to a hybrid wardrobe to match. A dressier trouser at the office, but just the blazer paired with jeans for video calls from home. A sweater for when it’s chilly at the office that can just as easily be worn into the weekend. If the mantra used to be “dress for the job you want” – I think it might now be, more accurately, “dress for the life you have”.

These separates from Talbots are a great example of pieces that can go from WFH to the office to the weekend – worn more casually or pulled together for a more professional look. A checked blazer, matching trousers, chunky cardigan and relaxed fit jeans. I swapped in one comfortable pair of heels, sneakers, a t-shirt and a button down and the options are kind of endless. They’ll all be getting a lot of wear this Fall and beyond.

Are you getting dressed up for work these days? Or still gravitating towards more casual pieces? I’ll always lean towards getting dressed but still want to be comfortable. All about that hybrid balance.

FOR A TUESDAY COMMUTE TO THE OFFICE:

FOR A BIG MID-WEEK MEETING:

FOR A DAY FULL OF VIDEO CALLS AT HOME:

FOR CASUAL FRIDAY:

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FALL WISHLISTS

Every Fall I find myself gravitating towards two iterations of what I like to think of as ‘academic chic’. One is softer, filled with neutrals and rich textures like suede and tweed. The other is more graphic with pops of red and a few fun prints like argyle or leopard. This season is no different and because I absolutely could not narrow down all of the items currently sitting in my online shopping carts – I made a wishlist with both. Below, my dream wardrobe for this Fall.

SHOP NEW NEUTRALS:

  1. Plaid Scarf – It will go with every sweater in my closet.
  2. Suede Jacket – This almost looks vintage.
  3. Plaid Trousers – I love that these could be worn casually with tennis sneakers or as a full suit.
  4. Gold Hair Barrette – So chic, this is like jewelry for your hair.
  5. Plaid Blazer – With jeans or the matching trousers. Fall always calls for a new blazer.
  6. Platform Loafers – Chunky loafers are going to be everywhere this season and I’m on board.
  7. Straight Leg Jeans – In the perfect faded wash.
  8. Striped Pullover Sweater – This style is trendy right now but it’s also classic. Win, win.
  9. Tan Suede Ankle Boots – Absolutely dreamy. Code: Steele15 gets you 15% off.
  10. Plaid Button Down Dress – Aren’t you ready to get dressed again?
  11. Chain Link Necklace – Layer with a pendant and wear it everyday.
  12. Striped Button Down Shirt – I just got this and it’s perfect. Roll up the sleeves messily.
  13. Pearl Drop Earrings – These are so elegant but would also look great with a simple sweater.
  14. Woven Leather Tote Bag – I desperately need to upgrade my work tote and this is it.
  15. Tan Sneakers – These are a good upgrade from my current beat up tennis sneakers.

SHOP MOD PREP:

  1. Velvet Bow Headband – A little bit Bardot a little bit Blair Waldorf.
  2. Striped Collared Sweater – About to hit ‘checkout’ on this while it’s on sale.
  3. Thin Gold Hoops – Absolute classics, at a great price.
  4. Leather Peplum Top – I’d layer this over a t-shirt, turtleneck or button down this Fall.
  5. Red Button Down Sweater – The perfect orange-y red pop of color.
  6. Two Tone Lucite Earrings – Lightweight and ultra mod.
  7. Patch Pocket Jeans – The perfect, crisp dark wash.
  8. Argyle Beaded Shoulder Bag – This is just so quirky and fun to me.
  9. Black Suede Ankle Boots – These are perfect in their simplicity.
  10. Vegan Red Lipstick – A creamy matte, long-lasting finish + clean beauty = an absolute winner.
  11. Sweater Vest – One of the biggest trends of the season and I’m into it.
  12. Two Tone Sweater – Minimal but packs a punch.
  13. Platform Loafers – These platform Bass Weejuns are the ultimate cool kid goes back to school shoe.
  14. Leather Mini Skirt – I’ve been swooning over this skirt for a couple of years now and need to finally pull the trigger. It would go with everything, right?
  15. Tiger Print Scarf – Pair with a classic trench or black handbag for a little bit of personality.
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CASUAL FALL JACKETS

I love jacket season. When it’s crisp enough to need an extra layer, but warm enough to leave it unbuttoned. And even better when said jacket blends in perfectly with the fall foliage. I mean how good is the color of this quilted jacket?! And those leaves?! This is a little town in Pennsylvania that we drive through on our way to the lake house and almost every year we make a little pit stop to walk through the quiet streets. It feels like the set of the Gilmore Girls’ town of Stars Hollow to me.

When it comes to Fall jackets, I tend to air on the side of casual. Especially this year when I’m really not ‘dressing up’ very much. I love quilted styles, like the one I’m wearing here, for fall outdoor activities like apple picking or long walks – and they’re great if you happen to get caught in a little bit of rain. And my other favorite are the cozy, sherpa types – that you can throw on to run to the grocery store or snuggle up on the couch for a movie night. I’ve got my eye on this one that comes in several colors and is super affordable.

Luckily, there seems to be no shortage of good options out there this year and almost all of the styles I picked below are on sale right now!

QUILTED AND CASUAL:

SOFT AND COZY:

GET THE LOOK:

Now get out there and do some leaf peeping.

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STYLING FOR GOOD: ‘ART OF THE SCARF’ WITH TALBOTS

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month – a cause very near to my heart after watching my late Grandmother and Aunt battle the disease – and I’m honored to be partnering with Talbots this month on their ‘Art of the Scarf’ campaign, to showcase styling ideas for their capsule collection of 3 unique silk scarves designed by 3 brilliant female artists – @jessillustrator, @karenmabon, @alimacdoodle.

In the spirit of women helping women, 10% of net proceeds from each scarf sold between now and October 31 will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline, which provides education, support and resources in local communities. And to take it even further – I’ll be donating 10% of my own personal proceeds from this partnership to the same cause.

You can see the full styling video over on my Instagram – and details of each look below. Aside from the scarves – which are beautiful and support such a great cause – I just noticed that lots of these cute Fall pieces I styled them with are also on sale right now!

LAIDBACK LUXE:

Fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) – tie the ends behind your neck and then drape the center into loose folds. The look is casual enough for a weekend outing but still a little bit sophisticated looking. I paired with jeans, stripes and this ‘pumpkin spice’ hued jacket that’s my absolute favorite right now.

PRETTY + POLISHED:

Again, fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) and then roll the scarf into a long skinny snake like shape from there. Tie in a bow around the hand of a bag and voila! I love the way the pink and burgundy hues play off this plaid blazer. I’m not back in the office yet but I’d wear these pieces on a zoom call or out on a lunch date where I wanted to feel put together.

CLASSIC + COOL:

Same start – fold the square scarf in half diagonally (into a big triangle) and then starting at the widest side, fold down in two inch strips until you have a long rectangle. Tie in a knot around your neck and leave the ends long. This one feels very French to me!

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A WEEK OF REAL OUTFITS: 10-9-20

This time of year is my absolute favorite to dress for. Warm enough for bare legs but cool enough for boots. Textures like corduroy, tweed and cashmere plus colors like burgundy, cognac and navy. I always go back to a lot of the same staples in the fall: throw-on-and-go blazers, pretty, dark floral dresses, well-fitting jeans, cute flats and great boots. Mix and repeat.

Some of these items have been in my wardrobe for years now – and in that case I’ve done my best to find a similar substitute – and some are brand new favorites that I featured in my recent Fall Wardrobe Edit.

Below – 6 of the outfits that I wore out and about this past week.

A DAY AT MY DESK:

I’m usually swamped on Monday’s and reach for an outfit that doesn’t require a lot of thought but makes me feel put together and ready to tackle my to-do list. This pink corduroy blazer is one of my favorite fall pieces and I love these sweet little plaid shoes as a fun pop of print. Also – I was testing out a few pairs of Warby Parker glasses frames this week and while I didn’t end up going with this pair, they made a cute pairing with the hint of pink!

Blazer is from last year but the brand has an almost replica again this year. Shoes are also from last year by Kate Spade but I really love the color combo of the alternative option I found too.

ERRANDS AROUND TOWN:

I love a ‘borrowed from the professor’ type look for fall – corduroys, slightly oversized button down shirt, tasseled loafers. Paired with this very luxe looking little bag and a silk scarf for good measure.

ZOOM MEETING WITH A FREELANCE CLIENT:

I love a fall floral dress and while I didn’t necessarily need a bag and shoes for a Zoom call, I like to put on a full real outfit each day even though I’m working from home to help myself feel motivated and put together.

Dress is Old Navy and Bag is Dagne Dover – both from 3 or 4 years ago. Linked similar here. Shoes are new and I’m so impressed with the look and quality for the price.

BOOK CLUB HAPPY HOUR:

It feels so rare to have real “plans” to be out lately, doesn’t it? Aside from my virtual book club I also host a small group in person here in New York and it is always so fun to grab a drink at an outdoor restaurant together and talk books! This past month we read Boys of Alabama (if you like coming of age stories, literary fiction, southern gothic writing styles and are open to a little bit of witchiness – than this book is for you!). Admittedly, I ended up switching to a proper coat and boots before I left the apartment because it was a little bit chilly to sit outside and I’m glad I did! But before that – I really loved this classic outfit.

Blazer and shoes are both a few years old, so I linked similar below. These jeans are my current favorite pair – super flattering and don’t stretch out. Size down though, I’m wearing a 2 here.

LUNCH BREAK IN THE PARK:

I’m determined to start taking real “lunch breaks” again (why is this so hard when you work at home?) and head over to a small local park and read for a few minutes while the weather is still so nice. Hold me to this please.

Exact sweatshirt is sold out in this color but still available in a pretty burgundy. Otherwise linked a similar option. Boots are old – similar here.

Last Saturday night *almost* felt normal. We went out to one of our favorite East Village restaurants on a street that was buzzing with people, sat outside while a little band played live music nearby and enjoyed this perfect early fall weather. I dressed up in what felt very much like a pre-pandemic date night outfit. Just added a mask!

This dress runs a little bit short/small – I got a medium and am only 5’4″ and definitely wouldn’t want it to be shorter on me. I think it will be great with tights and flats too though. This jacket is 5 years old but the brand still makes an almost exact version linked below.

DINNER DATE NIGHT:

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.