How to Dress for Changing Seasons

In this Episode, Lessons From Linda shares the story of a lot of Lindas who have no idea what a wardrobe really costs–are you one of these Lindas?

“Accessory” is our word of the week, while I know you know what the word means, do you know what an accessory actually does?

In Current Events, I cover some top trends for Fall 2019 that every woman can wear.

Finally, in the Everyday Style Lecture, I share tips for looking polished even when the weather is having an identity crisis–hot one day, cold the next, freezing in the morning, hot in the afternoon…what’s a stylish girl supposed to wear? I’ll tell ya! Plus, I share how I make the task of changing out my own closet for the seasons a little more manageable.

Links and resources from the show:

Wikipedia definition of accessory.

Pantone Color of the Year List–see what will be big in the next few years.

How what we wear trickles down from high fashion…courtesy of the Devil Wears Prada

The Style Lounge has closed. We invite you to join our member community in The Style Circle to continue the conversation.

Get the Capsule Wardrobe Guide here

Listen to the episode now!

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Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 15 How to Dress for Changing Seasons

Hello Hello! Thanks for joining another Episode of the Everyday Style School podcast, where we’re on a mission to make style simple and fun for women everywhere.

We got such great feedback from the last episode on Editing Your Closet like a pro, and if you remember, I gave you the homework of setting a timer for 30 minutes and organizing your closet the way I described.

We had a few people post their pictures in the everyday style lounge, and I love seeing you ladies making progress in your wardrobes! If you didn’t do it, there’s still time.

So this episode is sort of your fall fashion epsiode–The September issue Vogue, In Style, and all the other glossy magazines, is the big fall issue–talking about what’s on trend for the next few months.

Now, if you go read those magazines, you’re probably going to find a few things real women are actually wearing this fall, but most of it is speaking to a slightly–or very- different demographic.

Today, in current events, I’m going to share the trends you’ll actually be seeing in stores this fall.

In the word of the week, we’re talking about accessories–I know you know what the word means, but do you know what makes something an accessory? We’ll talk about it!

Then, in the Style School lecture, I’m sharing how to transition your wardrobe from Summer to fall without looking ridiculous.

As you very well know, there isn’t one day where it switches from hot, humid summer weather, to cool crisp fall–there’s a lot of gray area, and temperature ups and downs in between that can make getting dressed in the early part of fall really challenging.

Today we’re going to talk about what to switch out first, and what to keep wearing, to make this season easy and stylish!

All right, let’s get this party started as always, with today’s Lessons from Linda

Today’s Linda is NOT one Linda. Today’s Linda is probably 75% of the Lindas I ever shopped with.

Work together just in closet, just shopping, or both. Both was easier because I had a better idea of what they needed. When we just shopped together, I had to depend on them to tell me.

With clients whose closets I hadn’t been in, we chatted before we got started-

  • What their style goals were
  • What their shopping priorities are–what would you be sad if you went home without
  • Did they bring anything to work with, or match…
  • Then came the big question. What is your budget for this shopping trip.

25% of Lindas had a clear budget. 75% said some version of “I’ll spend what i need to spend to get what I need” As a stylist, that doesn’t work for me. I’ve had clients with a 300 budget and 3k budget.

I want to be respectful, but without SOME guidelines, I can’t do that. So I asked them to finish this sentence. If we spent (fill in the blank) today, I’d feel ok. If we spent (fill in the blank) today, I’d feel a little sick.

All of a sudden, women who said “I’ll spend what I need to spend were saying “If I spent 300, I’d feel ok. If I spent $400, I’d feel a little sick”. So you know what? $300 was the budget, with a tiny bit of leeway.

If she said 300 feels ok but 600 would make me sick, we had a 300 budget with a little more leeway. And I’m not discounting that $300 is a chunk of money, but it isn’t “spend whatever I need to spend” kind of money.

There were times women wanted to get an entire wardrobe for $300-400, including shoes and bras. That, my friends, is really difficult. So we had to prioritize, and say–what do we need now? What can wait?

Then, armed with Linda’s true, realistic budget, we started to shop–and most of the time, we came really close to hitting everything on their list.

Two lessons: First, you need to know your budget–and your budget determines what you buy, not what buy determining your budget. Repeat after me: We do not go in debt for clothes. Most women have no idea how much they spend on clothes, or even how much they would need to spend to get the wardrobe they’d want.

The first thing you need to do at the beginning of every season is figure out what prices you need to replace, and which pieces you’d like to add to your wardrobe. Do a rough, yet realistic budget of what it would take to get everything on your list.

Then adjust if you have to–up the budget a little if you comfortably can, prioritize, pare down the list—But make what you buy fit what you have to spend…not what you spend fit what you want to buy.

The second thing I want you to take away is this: Buying more, but shopping less is the best way to build a wardrobe of value.

When you have $500 to spend for the season, and you fritter it away on a trip to target here, an online purchase there, a fun pair of shoes another time you quickly spend your money, but you don’t create a cohesive wardrobe, you forget key basics, and chances are you’ll still feel like you have nothing to wear.

On the other hand, if you’ve got $500 and you go shopping one time, armed with a list of what you need, you’ll make better shopping decisions, and have more to show for it.

Trying to build a house one piece at a time, with no thought to the other pieces you’ve used would be pretty ridiculous, and that house that would probably never be done, right? Same thing with your wardrobe.

Let’s move on to the word of the week!

Today’s word is “Accessory”. I know you know how to spell and pronounce it, so I don’t need to do it for you. But the reason I’m talking about this today is that a lot of women don’t really understand the role of accessories in a wardrobe, so they don’t make the best accessory choices.

When you think of accessories, you’re probably thinking of jewelry, belts, shoes, handbags, scarves, etc etc, right? And you’d be correct. But here’s the actual definition of what an accessory does that I want to talk about.

This definition comes from the most scholarly of sources, Wikipedia, but it actually sums it up succinctly, so i’m using it.

Here you go: “A fashion accessory is an item used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer’s outfit, used to complete an outfit and chosen specifically to complement the wearer’s look.[1] It has the capacity to further express an individuals identity and personality” .

The part I want to talk about is this–it is chosen specifically to complement the wearers look. That means, if your outfit changes, your accessories change.

Right now, as I’m recording this, I have rings on my left hand, and a ring on my right. The rings on my left, engagement and wedding, are worn every single day, regardless of what else I’m wearing.

The right on my right, while much smaller, and less flashier, would be changed if I were going to a dressy event, or the gym..whatever. The point is that the ring on my right hand was chosen to complement and enhance my outfit.

Therefore, it’s an accessory. The rings on my left hand are worn every single day without thought to my clothes. That makes them jewelry.

It’s the same for every other category of what we think of as “accessories”–Shoes, for example. When you are doing the flamingo thing in front of a mirror, seeing which shoe looks best with your outfit, you are choosing an accessory.

When you slide your feet into the same shoes you wear every single day without thought to what else you’re wearing, you’re putting on shoes.

Same with bags–picking out a date night clutch because it looks good with your dress? Accessory. Same bag used all season long? Just a handbag.

Now, that’s not to say that everyday pieces can’t or don’t enhance your look–I always choose a bag for the capsule guides that fits with the entire guide and elevates the look of the outfits–its chosen with intention, and I think one of the best ways to look polished everyday is to choose basic, must wear items like bags and shoes that can go with a lot of things, but also elevate your style.

Accessories are important because they do two things in your wardrobe.

The first is, they take you from dressed to well dressed. They put an exclamation point on your outfit and say “I got dressed with intention. I’ve thought this through”.

They’re also a great way to put your personal stamp on your outfit. One of my favorite wardrobe challenges in the Community is when we ask our members to dress up a t-shirt.

The accessories come out, and even though a few hundred women are starting with the same piece, everyone’s outfit turns out completely different.

The second thing accessories do is maximize your wardrobe. Listen ladies, accessories are budget friendly and they always fit, so if you invest in good wardrobe basics, you can create hundreds of outfits just by swapping out accessories.

This is especially important for women who are going through a period of transition, and don’t want to invest in a big wardrobe- have a few versatile clothing items, and change it up with accessories. They won’t be wasted when your transition is over.

Finally, everyone wants an accessories “must have” list, and my advice is always the same–actually, I think I shared it in Episode 12.

The only accessories you must have, are ones that you love, and will wear. If you don’t like silver, don’t by anything silver. If you don’t like bracelets, don’t buy bracelets.

Because accessories are “extra” and we don’t have to wear them, unless we love em, they sit in the jewelry box, or closet, or that drawer of scarves you haven’t even opened in 5 years. Yeah, I know about that drawer.

Train yourself to look for accessories you love, and buy those. I guarantee you’ll find a way to use them.

Today in Current Events, I’m sharing the top trends for Fall 2019–lets head there now!

Today I’m going to be sharing the colors, patterns, fabrics, and accessories that are going to everywhere in stores this season. This is not an exhaustive list–there are definitely more out there I’m not covering today, but this will give you a good overview!

Let’s start with color. In general, this season is trending really warm. About a year and a half ago, I noticed some brown velvet jeans hanging on a rack at banana, or Ann Taylor, I forget where, and I thought–wait, is brown coming back?

Yes, you have been able to buy brown pants in department stores that carry work appropriate pants in the same style in the big 5–black, gray, navy, brown and tan, but beyond that, there’s been no brown anywhere in stores in years.

A serious, lack of brown. However, after that one pair of jeans, I saw it cropping up here and there, and last summer wrote a blog post, about how brown is becoming trendy again.

I’m not ready to say that it’s the big shade for fall, but we’re definitely seeing more brown in stores, and in general, warmer tones than we’ve seen in a long time, including mustard, ivory, orange, brick red–and the big one, which is a color I’m calling terracotta in the Capsule Guide.

That’s the shade of fall. This one is interesting, because it’s a version of the 2015 Pantone Color of the year, Marsala.

In case you don’t know, Pantone, which is apparently the company who invented the rainbow or something, comes out with a color each year that they deem “the color of the year”.

They do this by analyzing trends in fashion, home decor, graphic design, etc.. And then they tell us what we should be on the look out for. Every year, when pantone announces their color, people message me, or tag me in posts, saying “Have you seen this”, and yes Linda, I have.

But here’s the thing. I don’t care. It doesn’t apply to me or the women I serve. Pantone analyses the latest runway styles, the high end home decor stuff, etc and tells us what’s coming.

What they don’t tell you is that it’s going to be a few years until you actually see it in a major way. Take Emerald Green, for example–that was pantone’s coty as we say in 2013, and 6 years ago, you could probably find a green shirt here or there, but it wasn’t until spring and summer of 2019 that it showed up significantly in stores like loft, and banana, and talbots, and gap.

So, this marsala/terracotta color has been in the works for a few years, but it’s taken until now trickle down to us regular people. So, the next time you see Pantone announcing their “color of the year” you can say, cool, I know what I’ll be wearing in 5 years.

There’s a great clip of this concept from the Devil wears Prada that I will link in the show notes above–its worth a watch!

Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just haven’t been shopping in a couple of months, you probably already know that the big pattern trend for fall is Animal print. It’s not just leopard. Leopard has been around long enough that it’s kind of a new classic, and we’re used to seeing it.

Edgier animal prints like snake, zebra and tiger have joined the mix and are on everything from earrings and tops to jeans and shoes. I urge you to give this one a try, and if you’ve been wearing leopard for years now, kick it up a notch and try a new animal.

One thing I want to say about this one, and I shared this with my Community because we do feature animal prints in the Fall Capsule, is that the harder you go on this one, the faster you’ll get sick of it.

Even if you’ve been a leopard fan for years, adding a cute leopard skirt, and a scarf, and a tee, and a…you get the idea… will make it seem like a costume to you very soon. Try this trend, but try it with restraint–and resist the urge to wear more than one piece at a time.

Plaid is always a big thing for fall, and while it’s not as big this year, its out there–we’re seeing bigger scale plaids though, and other traditional patterns like houndstooth, are showing up in a much larger scale. If you’re not sure what scale means, it’s just the size of the pattern.

Textured fabrics are also kind of a fall trend staple, and I think adding texture to your outfits is a great way to make your look more interesting.

This season, thermal (like waffle knit) is still going strong, and ribbed fabric is gaining momentum. Rib knits are a 90’s throwback, and since the 90’s are ruling trends in general, it’s not a surprise.

Rib knits are cute, but I want to issue a warning, that this fabric tends to seek out, cling to, and highlight “stuff”. So if you don’t love your midsection, a fitted rib knit top is probably not going to be your fall bff. As always though, try it, and see what you think!

Another fabric you’ll see more toward the end of fall is sherpa–like the lining of ugg boots. I’m seeing it inside jackets, on hats, and on handbags, so keep an eye out for this one as the weather gets colder.

Finally, let’s talk about which accessories are having a moment in fall of 2019

Hair accessories are not going anywear-headbands, scrunchies, scarves, barette–especially pearl barettes, are everywhere, and can be worn by women of all ages. I recommend hitting Pinterest, and searching images of accessories in your type of hair for inspiration on how to wear these in an age appropriate way.

Belts are big too this season, and it’s no wonder, since we can finally see them again.

After years of long tops covering our waistlines, tops are getting shorter, tied and twisted hems are big, and the half tuck is the styling choice of lots of women–see how fashion works all together!–belts worn in the belt loops of pants are back.

Belts with double ring hardware are especially popular–I’ll put a link in the show notes above, but animal print belts are a fun way to combine trends in a subtle way.

Last but not least, interesting hoops are big this season–not just your little one inch sensible circle, but big hoops combined with geometric shapes, or double hoops are making them look fresh for this year.

That’s it–now you’re in the know for Fall 2019!

I’ll be back in just a minute to talk about how to navigate transitional weather, without looking ridiculous!

Ladies, the Fall Capsule Wardrobe Guide is available now! This is the most versatile Capsule we’ve ever created–turning just 34 pieces into over 200 outfit options to take you from the warm days of September to the cool nights of November.

Capsule wardrobe Guides help you save time and money, while giving you more style than you ever thought possible. Isn’t it time to ditch the “I have nothing to wear today” stress for the confidence that comes from knowing you’ll be dressed and ready for anything?

The Fall Capsule Guide goes into the Vault September 30, so don’t wait. This is the year for the effortlessly stylish wardrobe you’ve always wanted.

Today we’re talking how to transition your wardrobe through changing seasons so you look chic no matter what the weather is like. We’re going to be talking about warm weather to cooler weather, since we’re heading into fall, but the same principles apply when you’re transitioning from cold weather into warmer weather,

A few years ago, I was in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and I remember this very clearly–it was one of those first days that felt like the crazy heat was gone for good, and cool weather was on it’s way–which means it was probably late September, early October and the high was going to be 75 degrees.

If you’re wondering why I remember what the exact temperature was, there were 2 women in the waiting room with me who made me have a philosophical conversation in my head about what season 75 really is. Let me explain.

It was morning time, so it was probably in the 60’s, but one woman had on a tank top, shorts, and flip flops. I remember thinking, she must be freezing. A couple of chairs away from her was a woman in jeans and Ugg type booties, and a long sleeve puffer jacket.

I remember thinking she was going to be miserable later. These ladies clearly had different definitions of what 75 meant–for one, that was still summer…for the other, it was late fall.

The point is though, neither one of them was sporting a transitional look, and both looked a little ridiculous, frankly. The thing is, with any transitional season, or even those buffer weeks when the weather is changing, the trick is to have a foot in both seasons.

Not to firmly plant your feet into summer until it’s time to jump solidly into fall….and not to rush to jump into cold weather clothes, when the thermometer isn’t ready to go with you quite yet.

What I see a lot is that one day, women are so excited to wear fall clothes, that they just decide it’s “Fall”, actual weather be dammed. I talked in the last episode, and on Facebook about the difference between ideal fall, and actual fall–and how dressing for actual fall is going to make life easier, and make you feel more stylish.

It can be really hard to get dressed in these buffer seasons–when everything that’s appropriate for the weather looks too summery, and everything that looks appropriate for the season is too warm to wear.

So I want to share with you HOW to dress for the weather and the season, when they’re not in sync, then I’m going to talk a little about switching out your closet, if that’s a thing you have to do. Here we go.

The first thing to swap out is colors. Traditionally, summer is all about bright, tropical, punchy colors, and in fall, we turn toward a darker, more muted, dare I say fall-like pallate.

The easiest thing to do, is wear the same silhouettes you were wearing in the summer, in fall like colors. I have a couple of super simple, short sleeve blouses from Loft, and I wish they still made them because I would buy multiples in every color. I love them that much.

Anyway, I have one in bright turquoise that I love in the summer, and I have one in black that is a fall go-to for me. I can wear the turquoise one with white denim shorts in summer, and switch to the black blouse with dark denim shorts in fall.

It’s the same outfit, both totally comfortable in warm weather, but the dark version looks more fall-y.

Now, you’re probably saying “wait, I thought we could wear white jeans in the fall” and yes, you absolutely can. In fact, you should–this is just an example of how darker pieces in the same silhouettes can make your outfit look more fall appropriate even when it’s warm.

This is a good time to swap out patterns too, the big palm print we wore all summer is reading very summery–it’s time to swap it out for plaid, animal print, wallpaper florals. In the Capsule guide, we’ve put short sleeve and sleeveless versions of fall patterns and colors so you can transition seamlessly.

Every wardrobe needs these pieces, and it is here where most women are lacking.

The second way to transition your wardrobe between seasons is to be aware of your shoes. There is an entire season between flip flops and shearling boots, and it’s called fall. Simply putting on a more substantial shoe transitions your look for cooler weather.

Had tank top and shorts lady put on sneakers with her outfit, it would have looked a lot less beachy than flip flops. Whenever I talk about how much I hate flip flops as regular shoes, people feel the need to tell me how much they love their flip flops. And that’s great. But today we’re talking about how look chic and polished.

So, you can have your flip flops, or you can look polished. You can’t have both. There’s an awesome scene from Season 1 of project runway, where Wendy Pepper (may she rest in peace) is arguing with Tim Gunn about a frumpy shoe she’s picked, and he’s advising her not to send it down the run way.

She keeps telling him why she loves the shoe, and finally he says, in his Tim Gunn way, Do not defend the shoe to me. That’s how I feel about feel about flip flops–wear em, knowing the effect they have on your look, but don’t defend the shoe to me.

Remember, shoes define your style. So, what shoes should you have for transitional weather?

Slip on sneakers are great, as are loafers, ballet flats, dorsay flats, peep toe booties, perforated shoes, mules, anything that gives your feet more coverage than your summer sandals, but doesn’t go full on “sweater weather” is a good choice.

Third, swap silhouettes–I know this is a no brainer, but once the weather is cool enough, its time to swap shorts and short sleeves for their longer counterparts.

When the weather is all over the place, do the half and half–short sleeves with long pants, or long sleeves with shorts or shorter skirts. Trade v-necks and halters for boatneck and cowls that give more coverage..

Another thing to consider during transitional season is fabrics. As the weather changes, swap your lightweight cardigans for actual sweater weather versions.

Leave the linen pants behind and go for chino material instead…at the end of the season, it’s time to bring in what we think of as “fall” clothes–fleece, wool, sherpa, thick cotton, ponte–all of those are kind of final phase fabrics

The last thing to consider during transitional seasons is layering. There comes a point where we are layering for fashion–where you know you’re going to keep that outer piece on all day..but in early fall (and also spring) layering is about function.

Often you’re adding a third piece in the morning because it’s chilly, but as the day gets warmer, you’ll probably ditch it.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of my clients struggle with is having underpinnings (meaning that base layer) that stand up on their own. For example, a plain white cami or tank that’s gone a little grey under the arms might be fine if you’re keeping your cardigan on all day–but if you would never wear it on it’s own, it’s not a great layer for transitional weather.

You’ve got to start with an outfit that works with nothing over it, and then add an appropriate layer.

I know that might sound like a yeah, obviously, kind of thing, but I’ve seen so many women not have pieces that truly work for layering–and when that happens, your wardrobe isn’t as functional, and you don’t feel as ready for anything–you end up uncomfortable all day–and there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable, is there.

Now that you have a step by step plan for transitioning your outfits to cooler weather, I want to share with you how I transition my closet.

I highly recommend recommending listening to Episode 14 on editing your closet like a pro, as I share my way of organizing that makes this step easy.

Just like I mentioned in that episode, your closet setup is going to determine some of this–if you are able to keep your entire year round wardrobe in your closet, that’s great–I still recommend moving off season pieces out of prime spots though, to make getting dressed and staying organized easier.

I have to switch out my closet twice a year and this is my process.

Because I have my closet organized by item type, it’s pretty easy.

For me, just like with my closet edit strategy, changing out my wardrobe for different seasons is easier to do in small chunks, rather than just one day where I change out everything out.

Doing that also makes it really hard to get dressed when the weather swings wildly, as it tends to in those early transitional weeks.

The firt thing I do is start not long after labor day. I just quickly go through my closet sections and pull out  anything that screams “Summer” to me–super bright poppy colors, summer patterns, like a tee I have with beach umbrellas on it, white linen pants–Like I said earlier, you can absolutely wear white after labor day–but to me, the combination of white and linen is too summery.

Anything that looks too summery to me, and I know I won’t wear again until next year gets pulled out. I leave darker tanks, sleeveless tops that are good for layering, light weight cardigans, etc…

That’s the first pass, and its easy to pull those few things out right away so I don’t have to deal with them later. How you store things is up to you and your situation.

I’m lucky to have a small walk in closet in my office, so I leave hanging things on their hangers, and I have a few bins for folded things. I also put my most summery shoes away, and pull out my fall shoes at this point.

A few weeks later, I do the same thing again, and just quickly flip through to see if there’s anything that now seems to summery, or that I can’t really wear again until next year.

Those go in the storage closet–at that point, I look in my office closet to see if there’s anything that could come out and go in the bedroom closet–there’s nothing worse than forgetting about a piece that you could have been wearing, am I right? Usually this is where the summer stragglers get put away.

I don’t do the big, final swap until I notice I’m starting to get dressed in my office more than I am in my bedroom. When I have to go to storage pretty much daily, it’s time. At that point though, I’m pretty much just adding in the heavier fabrics, boots, etc… and it’s not so overwhelming.

This strategy may not work for you, but I thought I’d share my process in case you’re stuck on where to start.

I hope this episode helps you make the most of your fall style. Its actually a little sad to me that so many women call fall their favorite fashion season, but spend over half of it struggling with what to wear.

Remember fall starts very differently than it ends in most places, and you should have clothes you love for the whole season, rather than just waiting for sweater weather.

That’s all for today friends! Your homework for the week is to pull your super-summery-not gonna wear it again this season stuff out of your closet (if you live in a 4 season climate) and either put it into storage, or move it out of the way in your closet if possible.

Hop over to the Everyday Style Lounge on Facebook and let us know if you did it!

And, don’t forget the Fall Capsule Guide. I want to help make fall fun, simple, and stylish for you, and the Capsule Guide is the best way to do that.

The link is in the show notes above, or you ca just head to my website, and get your copy. Use code podcast at checkout to save $15 on your first Capsule Purchase–and don’t wait–When October arrives, the Fall Capsule Guide disappears!

See you next time!

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