18 In Anatomy of an Outfit/ Styling Tips

The Anatomy of an Outfit: Sutble Steps Toward Fall Fashion

Fall fashion outfit

Finding my way toward fall fashion one baby step at a time


Fall has officially arrived. The grapevines around Sonoma certainly have the look: beautiful red, orange, and burgundy crispy leaves. Fall fashion has been in stores for weeks. You’ve probably seen it: long floral dresses, plaid below-the-knee coats, and cropped (who’s wearing these?) sweaters.

I was going to St. Helena on Sunday to meet up with the Bellas for an afternoon of brunch where there’d be lots of style, travel, fashion, and art talk. I looked at the temperature for St. Helena (50 minutes away) and my phone said it was going to be in the 90s.

I’m not making this up!


Summer temps in fall

A hot fall day in the wine country


“But it’s fall,” I told my phone. “F-a-l-l, you know, sweaters, tweed blazers, layering, boots, new colors.” My phone responded, “Na-na, na-na, na-na. Deal with it.”

Well, okay then. I pulled up my big girl panties and with a few subtle styling steps, I created my end-of-September outfit.


Bellas in St. Helena

Meeting up with Mariann and Marj, my lovely Bellas, in St. Helena


Acknowledging fall fashion with subtle steps

I went into my still-mostly-summer wardrobe and decided to start with cream-colored jeans (Eileen Fisher, this season) and a cream-colored short-sleeved T-shirt (Halogen, Nordstrom, this season). I know I stand on my fashion pulpit and talk about how it’s A-okay to wear white after Labor Day. But I must confess, I’m so happy to have this cream choice because white is looking awfully bright to me.


Dries Von Noten jacket

Dries Von Noten jacket will pass for early fall fashion



Subtle fall fashion styling step: a jacket that nearly passes for fall

What jacket could I put on over my column of ivory that would be lightweight without looking mid-July bright? This wonderful Santa Fe consignment store score from last year, my Dries Van Noten artful print jacket, 64% linen/36% rayon. It’s got a fair amount of brown in it along with blue, black, violet, and warm creamy yellow hues.


Subtle fall fashion styling step: a weightier necklace

I love this beaded crystal necklace, but I didn’t wear it much in the middle of summer. It has heavy design weight, and it was a bit much on dresses and lighter-weight tops. But for late September, it feels just right.


a fall necklace

My crystal necklace has more oomph then my summer necklaces


Welcome to the season, crystal necklace! We’ll have a lot of adventures this fall!


Subtle fall fashion styling tip: ankle booties

I looked at my footwear and just couldn’t bear to wear a sandal. I wanted my feet covered. I dug through my basket of ankle booties and lured this sand-colored bootie (Lucky Brand) out of its slumber. I wore them with a pair of Peds so my feet weren’t hot. I love the way they look with my column of cream. Hello old friends!


Wearing booties in early fall

My sand booties with Peds inside don’t feel hot



Subtle fall fashion styling tip: changing the lipstick

It feels like the right time to retire my Milani 66 Matte Passion (bright orange) lipstick. Good thing, because it’s down to the very end. Thank you, Matte Passion, for all your service. It’s time to bring Kosas Violet Fury out of the lipstick drawer.


Lipsticks change for fall

Buh-bye Matte Passion, hello Violet Fury



Moving away from my summer bright orange lipstick to this berry shade


So there you have it! They are subtle, but with these few adjustments—lipstick, booties, heavier necklace—I feel just a tiny bit more like fall then summer. I bet I’ll have a chance to wear this outfit several more times before pulling out the nubby, tweed blazers.

Are you maneuvering around the warm weather and finding ways to bring some fall into your outfits? Please share, my friends!



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  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Great outfit! it looks really hot for 95 degrees, though, at least to me, here in S.FL, where it is not so hot as 95 degrees! I can’t even imagine wearing boots.
    Maybe you’ll be in freezing AC all day, though. Still I couldn’t do it when it was so hot outside.
    More power to you!

    Thanks, Brenda.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Gorgeous outfit! Yep, it’s still warm in Oklahoma but it’s getting cooler, I am getting out the long sleeved blouses, jackets and seeing what I need color wise and making sure everything blends together. Love your posts, I learn so much!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 5:52 am

    Brenda, you are just killing it with that gorgeous outfit – love your glasses, your jacket, your crystal necklace (where did you find that?) – wow!

    Your LA “sister”

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

      Hi Brenda, I assembled that necklace myself. I bought the parts at a gem show. I really love it too! Your Bay Area Sis, Brenda

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    September 25, 2018 at 5:59 am

    That’s how our weather has been lately…hard to transition but you won’t hear me complaining. In fact, that’s why I’ve been wearing my peep toe booties lately. And to think I thought that trend was silly a couple of years ago…LOL!!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Isn’t that funny how that happens. It’s all making sense to me too, the peep toes. A great option! XO

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Nope. It’s plenty cold where I am. Big sweaters, scarves, ankle boots and gloves are all out and getting their turn in the rotation. Plum is the accent with a new Missoni scarf and a pair of plum Timberland boots with velvet trim to put a smile on my face and spruce up last year’s plum tote bag and sweater-coat. Mmm. It’s chilly though. Be careful what you wish for . I love your work Benda. Thank you.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Lizette, you have really got it going on. LOVING all these descriptions. In this community, I think you just may be the leader of the fall fashion pack!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Beautiful ensemble Brenda! It gives me an idea for pairing ivory crepe EF skinny pants and ivory tee with a jacket I have that has similar colors. And taupe or caramel booties! Thanks for inspiring us all.. Here in MN, we had 92 and the upper 50’s less than a week later, so it’s been instant fall.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:44 am

      I love the vision inside my head of the outfit you’ve just described. Heading to Minnesota in a couple of weeks. I know exactly where I’ll find fall–it’s just a plane ride away!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Brenda, can you tell me which consignment shop in Santa Fe? I live close. Heading to California next week, i hope to stop at your daughters consignment shop when passing thru San Anselmo. Thak you for a response. Diane

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:40 am

      It’s called Ooh La La Consignments. Hope you got a chance to visit their store!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2018 at 7:04 am

    I’ve actually had to move on from my dark green linen safari jacket to a warmer one here in Fargo. I agree with Deanne, we went from hot to cool fall in a blink of an eye. So, yes, much to my dismay, I have had to pull up my big girl panties and move on!

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Well, my friend, I’ll be joining you soon! Can’t wait!

  • Reply
    September 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    I love fall, but ‘‘tis a bit unpredictable right now. I layer, add lightweight jackets and fall colors in my jewelry to welcome the season in. Always tricky time in Ohio but well worth the wait when the leaves change.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2018 at 7:45 am

      That’s true, Kathy. I imagine it is worth the weight as you will be experiencing plenty of cold weather in no time flat!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2018 at 10:58 am

    What products do you put in your hair to get that chic wispy look?

  • Reply
    Sharon Allen
    August 13, 2019 at 11:18 am

    My dear, your clothes are pretty, and you wear them well. But the most beautiful thing about you is your smile! Your attitude shows through that gorgeous smile!

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