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Ask Avery: 10 fall essentials

Photo courtesy of Flickr /...love Maegan

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Hi Avery!
So I’m headed back to school in just a few short weeks and am attempting to get things together to go back.  My fall is super busy so ideally I’d like to have my back to school wardrobe assembled before I actually get back to school.  The only problem is, I have no idea what is in for fall. HELP!

Well, you’re talking to the right girl because fall fashion just so happens to be one of my favorite things. Even the phrase “fall fashion” sends chills down my spine. Must be all the years of stealing my older sister’s August issues of Vogue. Not that Vogue would help us now, since college students probably can’t afford to buy the magazine itself, better yet the clothes featured inside.

But who needs couture? We’re Buffalo gals, we know how to shop. And with so many fun trends to try out, it’s probably best not to drop a wad of cash on something that may or may not be a passing fad. So here they are: the top ten fall essentials for college girls everywhere.

No. 10: Bomber jackets

My biggest childhood regret is getting rid of a brown leather bomber jacket with sherpa lining that I judged far too masculine for my hair bow-wearing self. Huge mistake. I bet if it was around, it would still fit and I’d look like a baller Amelia Earheart. Alas, it was not to be and some other chick who shops at the AMVETS I donated it to now looks awesome. So don’t repeat my mistake — find a really badass bomber jacket for fall and hold onto it.

River Island Aztec Bomber, ASOS

No. 9: Tartan plaid

This is your chance to feel like Mary, Queen of Scots. Or a bagpiper. Or a Catholic school girl. What I’m trying to say is, tartan plaid is in for fall and you should wear it. If you’re timid, try a plaid scarf or a lined trench à la Burberry. But if you’re brave, like Queen Mary was, opt for a tartan skirt in muted tones. Did she ever actually wear plaid? I don’t know, get off my back. This is a fashion lesson, not a history lesson. 

Buffalo Party Plaid skirt, Free People

No. 8: White on white (on white)

I may be getting a little predictable with my hip-hop references, but I don’t care, especially since fall 2012 really does call for tons of white. I know this has been a trend before, but it’s back again and whiter than ever. So wear your white skinny jeans well past labor day and don’t be afraid of such a colorless palette: pair your bright whites with creams and your ivories with eggshell. If you’re still nervous, go hang out at a bridal salon or a quinceanera to calm your nerves.

Free People

No. 7: Anything military-inspired

And when I say anything, I mean anything. Combat boots, army green, military caps, jackets, vests — you name it. The fun thing about military-inspired pieces is they act like neutrals and contrast really well with more dressed-up items. So try an army green military jacket over a sequined tank or a flowy, feminine dress. It’s function meets fashion, so you can’t go wrong. Just don’t actually go shop at the Army Navy store for your military pieces. That’s taking it a little far.

Cropped Cavalry Jacket, Superdry

No. 6: New silhouettes

If you’re still rocking your bodycon dress from 2009, good for you, party girl. But if you stop sipping out of your red Solo cup for 30 seconds, you’ll notice the rest of the world has moved on. Bodycon is pretty much over, unless you plan to do something interesting with it. If you’d like to wear your skin tight dress under an oversized sweater, over-the-knee socks and boots, go for it. But if you plan to wear it with lucite stripper heels and no underwear, we’re going to have some problems. The new silhouettes are still just as pared-down, but much less obvious. Welcome back the slip dress, the sheath and the pencil dress: all have sex appeal, but they don’t scream “tramp.” Maybe this should be a lesson for all of us: embrace subtlety this fall.

Goldrush Slip, Free People
Cut-out V Back Shift Dress, Forever 21
Peplum dress, H&M

No. 5: Fur

I don’t care what anyone thinks, I love fur. Real, faux — doesn’t matter. And lucky for moi, fur is on the menu this autumn. Obviously not the dinner menu, because that would be gross. But on everything else, I whole-heartedly approve. Fur collars? Check. Fur hats? Check. Fur booties? Check. Fur-lined anything? Yes, please. While I prefer natural tones like brown, black and tan, there’s nothing stopping you from buying fur in colors never ever found in nature. You’re already wearing what may or may not be a dead animal skin, so just go all out — I’m not stopping you. Come at me, PETA.

Luxury by G by Guess, Piperlime

No. 4: Statement collars

Though the verdict is still out on whether collar necklaces are really cool and innovative or if they’re just weird, I’m choosing to believe they’re awesome and I’d really like to have one. They instantly jazz up a totally average t-shirt or a simple color blocked outfit by adding that perfect finishing touch. And with such a conversation-starter around your neck, there’s no need for further accessorizing. Boom. You’re done.

Crystal Peter Pan Collar Necklace, Miss Selfridge

No. 3: Mixed and matched patterns

I feel like I’m constantly encouraging you to mix and match your patterns but I really mean it this time. Go bigger. Go better. Go louder. The fall runways featured three competing patterns on one girl and even though your mind might be blown, just imagine the possibilities for a second. There are no rules here anymore. If you want to wear blue stripes with pink paisley, you go ahead and do it. I think you’re ready for it.


No. 2: Tuxedo pants

Even if you’re not a pants kind of girl (and I mean a girl who prefers dresses and skirts, not a girl of loose morals), you may want to re-assess this fall. Tuxedo pants are the perfect option for ladies who like to dress like ladies, because they’re classy, understated, comfortable and chic. I like a simple black pair with a low waist, loose leg and tapered ankle with a white stripe down the side. Those suckers could be paired with literally anything in my closet. I’m sensing a splurge item.

Katrice Tuxedo Stripe Pant by Joie, Piperlime

No. 1: Graphic sweaters

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of great fall sweaters. You will never have to stress about an outfit again if you stock your closet with an arsenal of perfect knits. This fall is all about graphic sweaters: patterns, prints and images are all the rage, sort of like the graphic tee craze of the mid-2000s. I think we all remember stocking up on $14 t-shirts from American Eagle to go with our Von Dutch trucker hats. Fortunately, the fashion world has moved on to a much cuter alternative.

Longline Big Heart Sweater, Forever 21

Photo courtesy of Flickr /...love Maegan

TAGGED: ask avery, autumn, fall fashion, fall style, top ten, top ten lists

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