Now that I am through what is typically my busiest month of the year, I thought it would be fun to do a recap post of some of the standout pieces that my clients purchased this fall season. While every client is different, with different lifestyles, priorities and budgets, there were still a few things that were universally loved. I am breaking this into two posts because there is so much to cover. However, even though I am making this a two-part post this doesn’t nearly cover all my clients’ fall fashion picks. Not only would these posts become too long, some things are long sold out online and other things I can’t even remember. But these two posts will be a nice curated collection of some stand out pieces that I think will give you a good idea of what peaked the interests of quite a few of my clients while also inspiring you.
What you will notice is that the price points vary. If some of the price tags make you shudder at the fact that your first car cost less than some of these pieces, keep in mind that some of my clients have an entire wardrobe budget that matches what other clients pay for one or two dresses. I work with clients of all different means, needs and lifestyles. I treat every client the same, no matter what their budget is.
This week I will be covering dresses, cardigans, tops and coats. Stay tuned for casual, shoes, pants, formal and jackets next week. Oh boy, will this turn into a three part post?
Dresses, Dresses and more Dresses
Dresses were, by far, the most popular category this season for most of my clients. Even my more professional clients who need to wear suits often told me that their preference this year was dress suits over skirt or pant suits. It stands to reason, it’s a lot easier to wear a dress and jacket; there is no top to worry about. Suits, in general weren’t that popular this fall but this is mainly because most clients work with me each season and likely felt covered in this area from past shopping trips.
For professional clients, I’d seriously be lost if BOSS Hugo Boss didn’t exist. For example, at least two clients bought the dress suit (link to jacket here and link to dress here) marked #1 in the photo above. Up close it is a really colorful weave that reads more grey from a distance. It’s a nice departure from the classic black or grey suit while still being professional, plus the jacket and dress can be broken apart and worn in different ways.
Max Mara is another label I go to often if a client has the budget. I have been a fan of this Italian label since I was a fashion designer. Dresses #4 and #5 are both from Max Mara. Two of my clients bought the camel dress which will never not be in style. The other dress, #5, was bought by several of my clients who not only appreciated the classic look of it but the fact that it has sleeves. Max Mara may be on the pricier side but most of their pieces will last a lifetime.
Akris Punto is another favorite label of mine, and the purple dress, labeled #2, is from this amazing line. The dress is beyond gorgeous but had one minor problem, a lack of sleeves. Add to that the neckline and collar made the dress even more difficult to style with layering pieces. Jackets looked awkward and basic cardigans seemed like “throw-on” afterthoughts. This is not good when you are spending nearly a grand on a dress. With such a high price tag, unless a solution presented itself, the dress was going on the “no” pile, which was a shame because, otherwise, it was beautiful.
However, Akris Punto totally redeemed itself when it offered this matching cardigan that worked perfectly with the neckline of the dress. Not only was this the solution but this cardigan can also work a variety of ways in the closet of the client who bought it.
One suggestion I made was to wear it with the teal Michael Kors dress, labeled #3 in the photo above. This sheath dress is absolutely stunning and will not only work to create a gorgeous color combination when combined with the purple cardigan, but will work under any cardigan or blazer my client owns, making it a total workhorse that will never go out of style.
Dress #6 is a colorful wrap that comes from Anne Klein. Admittedly, Anne Klein is not a label I shop all that often, but the print of the dress just drew me in, as did the mock wrap style of the dress that involves no fussing, tying or unsightly thigh reveals. This was a total win for my client who picked it up for their fall wardrobe.
Dress #7 from MICHAEL Michael Kors was a surprise for my client who bought it. Neither she nor I were expecting this dress to be a winner. The only reason I pulled it was because it resembled a stripe pattern she had shown me in an inspirational photo. However, after she put it on and we toned down the stripe with a black cardigan and I suggested black opaque tights and booties, the dress really looked cute on her petite frame.
Dress #8 is from T Tahari and my client who bought it saw it as something that would work perfectly under black jackets to create a professional yet interesting look. T Tahari has always been a go-to for me, particularly for clients who have found Elie Tahari (the more expensive line) out of their reach. While T Tahari really came through for me this season, Elie Tahari didn’t, which is a shame. In the past, the line has been a label that has worked so well for my professional clients. This season it just got a little weird and what I have noticed is that when Elie Tahari gets into a trend he doesn’t know how to edit himself. Mesh may be a trend, for example, but must you stick it on everything, Elie? Anyway, my hope is that he redeems himself in upcoming seasons because I have counted on this label heavily in the past.
The bottom two dresses in the photo, #9 and #10 I put together because they are both shift dresses bought by two different clients. #9 is by Michael Kors and #10 is by DKNY. While the sheath dress reigns supreme, these two little dresses were nice palette cleansers and both of my clients envisioned wearing them the same way, with either a simple cropped cardigan over them or with a slim black turtleneck underneath. This brings me to the next piece that many clients have been loving…
The World’s Dumbest Cardigan on Earth
There is this cardigan, it’s by Michael Kors, and it is nearly $700. It’s the most basic, stupid piece on the planet…that is so simply perfect I almost can’t stand it, hence the name. My salesperson at Saks, Carole, and I have named this cardigan “The World’s Dumbest Cardigan on Earth”, because it may be expensive, and almost criminal to pay this much money for such a basic piece, but just about every time a client puts it on they can’t believe how perfect it is. One of my clients owns several and I think dies a little inside when she actually pays for them, yet will tell you herself that these cardigans are the most helpful little items she owns.
Whenever I am in the dressing room at Saks with a client and this stupid cardigan seems to be perfect need I will always turn to Carole and she will just say, “Yea, I know what you are going to say, I’ll go get one”, and off she goes to the Michael Kors department and grab the cardigan. My client who bought the Michael Kors shift will be wearing it with her new black cardigan.
However, for those clients who can’t fathom paying that much money for a cardigan have found this style by Calvin Klein, that is under $40, to be a perfectly workable style for their needs. I have seriously lost count of how many clients bought one this season.
The Only Button Down Shirt You Will Ever Need
If you are on an endless search for the perfect, crisp, classic button down shirt that doesn’t gape, stays tucked in, looks good tucked or untucked and doesn’t bunch or blouse, then you have to know about BOSS Hugo Boss’ Bashina shirt. I don’t think I have ever put this shirt on a client and they didn’t fall in love.
There are a few things that make this shirt so special. First, the shirt isn’t actually a button down, it has side zips and pulls over the head. The placket is fake and there are no buttons, which means no gaping. The side zippers also make it so the shirt can fit snug on the body and eliminates any weird blousing around the waist, the need to constantly tuck and re-tuck your shirts and the fight to keep them laying flat. The last feature that I love is that the shirt doesn’t have to be tucked in. Unlike most classic shirts that lose their shape when untucked, with the side zippers, the shape of the shirt sits close to the body, plus, if you want wear it untucked, you can create instant side slits in the shirt by opening the side zips an inch or two.
BOSS Hugo Boss runs this shirt continuously and always has it in white. Each season they also present a few fashion colors, all which my clients scoop up. During warmer months they sell the short sleeve version called the Bashini.
The BOSS Hugo Boss shirt aside, tops in general can be particularly tough. Everything is blousy, relaxed and unstructured these days. This can be fine except when you just want a simple piece that will go under jackets and blazers. Another common conundrum is finding tops that can stand alone without the need of a cardigan or topper piece. Here are two pieces that solved both of these problems.
First, it’s easy, it’s cheap, yet it works. This shell by Calvin Klein was picked up by so many clients this season that I can’t even remember who bought it and in what colors or patterns. Calvin Klein is always offering them and in a variety of shades and prints
Next, for my clients who want to look done but don’t always want to wear a layering piece, this BOSS Hugo Boss piece was picked up by a few of my clients who saw wearing it with pencil skirts and tailored pants.
There is a funny story that goes along with the puffer coat from Cole Haan that one of my clients bought this season. Originally from the south and now living up here in the New York area, I noted that she needed good winter coats. My client half listened to me and it became immediately clear to me that she has never really endured a harsh northeast winter. Because it is hard to really wrap your brain around what 3 degrees feels like, I took it upon myself to pull this coat. What I love about it is the collar. When it is unzipped it looks like a big, comfy pillow, yet when it is zipped up it looks like this. Silly, for sure. But how awesome will this feature be when we are in the middle of a Polar Vortex?
The next coat that was extremely popular this season is this camel cashmere coat by Cinzia Rocca and was a total find. I can’t describe it any other way than exceptionally gorgeous. Buttoned or unbuttoned it looks beautiful and the shape is a bit 50’s retro, like something you would see a leading lady in a Hitchcock film wearing. The coat is far from inexpensive, but if you have the means, I seriously suggest looking into it.
I hoped you enjoyed getting a glimpse at some of my clients’ fall fashion picks. Stay tuned for more standout wardrobe purchases made by my clients in the second part of this post next week.