Fall Into Seasonally Appropriate Fashion: SoCal Edition

I do a lot of online shopping, but, unfortunately, the amount of
time I spend browsing doesn’t exactly correlate to the amount of clothing that
actually winds up in my closet. Besides the dismal amount in my bank account, the main thing cramping my innate knack for discovering the best online deals is—lo and behold—the weather. Yes, you read that right: The sunny and often-praised Southern California
weather is actually a detriment right now, at least when it comes to keeping up
with all of the current fall trends. 

I often find myself perusing all types of
sweaters—fisherman, fluffy, oversized and patterned ones that would make Bill Cosby
proud—and quickly adding them to my cart, only to realize that it is not
anywhere close to sweater weather in this neck of the woods. Although I have
pledged my allegiance to the Golden State, I am an East Coaster by nature, wired to feel the need to start incorporating soft sweaters, structured jackets and
lush leather boots into
my weekly outfits. 

So if you’re like me and have the urge to keep up with the
rest of the country in welcoming colder
weather, here are a few style tips to embrace fall trends while living in an endless summer. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the season of pants. Yes, pants, and, no, by pants I do not mean
leggings. 

Leggings are fine for working out, dancing, shopping or being active in any way, but if you are going out to a bar or restaurant wearing leggings, you are doing a great disservice to not only yourself, but also your country. I can picture it now—our European counterparts are mocking Americans all over as très slob

So be a good
patriot, and dress accordingly. Disclosure: Leggings with designs clearly distinguishing them from yoga leggings and pairs that are thick enough to camouflage can pass in a pinch. 

Back to pants. First style tip: find a pair that fits both your
body type and your personal style. These two crucial tips apply to any
fashion situation. While it can be tempting to purchase every trend, doing so is rarely flattering. Rather, shopping with your own body and style in mind will result in an outfit that fits well, looks great and gives you
the confidence needed to get shit done. 

This non-fall, try out a
pair of boyfriend or girlfriend jeans, both of which are a personal
favorite. The boyfriend jean has been around for a while, but let me give you the 411 on the less popular ‘girlfriend’ style. This cut is
slightly more structured around the hips and ankles than the boyfriend jean—fitted, but with more give than a skinny or super slim-style jean. 

Suit or tuxedo pants are a great way to fake your way into
adulthood by looking presentable and stylish to boot. J. Crew is the
master of the casual tuxedo pants, but Zara and H&M do a wonderful job as
well, at a fraction of the price.

If you try to wear a thick and wooly
fisherman sweater at the present moment, you will most likely suffocate from the heat. Take
a chill pill and stop looking at your Boston friends’ Instagram feeds. Slowly embrace sweater weather by pairing cotton or light merino wool sweaters with shorts or tucking them into midi skirts. J. Crew once again makes great merino wool sweaters
that are light enough for SoCal. (I swear I’m not getting paid to plug for
them, but once an employee, always an employee.)

One of the many advantages of attending the
Claremont Colleges is getting to stock up during end-of-summer sales and having the luxury of being able to
incorporate those finds into your October and November wardrobes. This is
especially advantageous when it comes to shoe shopping. Yes, you can still wear
sandals by the time Halloween rolls around, and lord knows I’ll be rocking my
sandals in January. 

For those of you with the urge to splurge, you can start breaking out fall boots as well. Ankle boots are perfect for the transition period from California’s scorching summer to temperate fall and winter. I’m a big fan of
thick-heeled ankle boots with cutouts—they up style points with the added
support of being tolerable on the toes, so no need for Chacos.

I’m not saying it won’t be hard to resist putting toasty sweaters and wool
coats into your online shopping cart—especially when daily emails offer tempting sales in advance of the quickly approaching winter months—but try to hold off for at least another month or so. Starting off by slowly embracing fall trends will keep you from not only emptying out your wallet on a coat for which you will have no use, but also from paying unnecessary dry-cleaning bills
for those pesky sweat stains on sweaters that just can’t cut it in this heat.

Chabrina Bruno PO ’15 is a religious studies major with a minor in studio art. She loves to collect vintage clothing and jewelry. 

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