7 In Getting Dressed/ Series

Faking Fall Fashion in 80 Degree Weather

Brenda and pumpkin

I look at my phone every morning to check the weather. I’m getting anxious. What’s up? It’s nearly November! I still have summer clothes in my closet! Shouldn’t fall be here by now?

So this is my obsession: checking my weather app constantly. Here’s today’s update: High of 84, low of 52, chance of rain, 0%. Anybody want to talk about climate change?

At this rate there will be no frost on the pumpkins, that’s for sure! Kids aren’t going to be walking around in trick-or-treat outfits this Halloween in purple puffy jackets over their pink princess costumes with parents at their sides holding the umbrella over their heads so they don’t get rain in their candy bags.

Am I complaining? Well, yeah, sort of! My eldest daughter lamented the other day, “I hope it gets cold soon or I have 60 sweaters that I’m not going to be wearing!”

Brenda in street


I don’t have 60 sweaters that aren’t getting a chance to see the light of day but I am starting to ache for sweater-weather. Or even jacket weather or weather that doesn’t call for sandals.

I think it was Dad who said, “It’s not what happens to you, Brenda, it’s how you handle it that counts.” So I’ve decided to handle this situation. I’m taking action! I’m going to fake it! Here’s the plan:


1. I ditch the sandals.

At least for today, I’m digging out my short black booties with the little fringe detail on the side. I wear little footies inside the boots but expose my ankles so I have enough air conditioning.


Brenda in street looking down


2. I pull on jeans.

Jeans have been on a long sabbatical. I’ve been in white pants mostly. I have three pairs of white pants, different styles, and I just rotate them day after day. Or else I wear tunics or dresses over leggings. Jeans will change the tone.


3. I wear a jacket over a top.

What I want to wear is a black wool blazer over a crisp white shirt but forget it! Not in 80-degree weather! So I pull out a black and white cat print silk sleeveless top and put my looks-like-a-jacket-but-is-hardly-a-jacket over it. It’s a Chico’s nylon jacket I use mostly when I’m walking in warm weather but want my arms covered. It’s so lightweight, it’s like wearing nothing.


4. I add charcoal accessories to my wrist.

I haven’t bought a sweater, a pant or a coat yet this season. I’ve shopped with my clients for their fall wardrobes but haven’t gotten around to even moving my fall/winter wardrobe into my closet. It’s just been so easy to put it off. I have pulled obvious summer things out of the closet so now I’m living on transition pieces–things that can fake fall until fall truly arrives.

Although last week, I did make a fall purchase. It’s a bracelet. You’ll see it there below in the picture. It’s made by an Italian designer and it fastens to my wrist with a buckle. I found it at Hutchinson Jewelry in Larkspur Landing in Larkspur, CA. I like the color of the metal fringe and it works well with my arty ring. So my wrist feels more like fall. The jewelry is darker and has a heavier texture than my summer Lucite bangles.


Brenda new bracelet


5. Finally, I switch handbags.

I get out my satchel bag, black and blue with faux pony detail in a palomino color. The pony trim makes the bag feel more fall.

So there you have it! The anatomy of an outfit that is trying to look like fall while it still feels like summer.

Oh wait, everyone! Good news! I just took another look at my weather app. There’s a day ahead in the 10-day forecast where we’re supposed to have a high of 64.

You know what that means: There’s going to be some sweater-weather celebrating going on in Sonoma! I bet the bar at the girl & the fig has a special drink for sweater-weather! I’ll be pulling up a bar stool and ordering whatever that is. If you’re in town, come join me!


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  • Reply
    Amy Roseveare
    October 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Perfect solutions for our mercurial weather!! Love the bracelet. xo

    • Reply
      October 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      I was thinking of you the whole time I was buying that bracelet. I remember your post about Hutchinson Jewelry and finally got there. IMPRESSIVE!!! Thanks for that tip, Amy!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Brenda,

    I couldn’t wait to tell you…you are the best! About a year ago you mentioned using a bra extender when you travel. Thank you!! We just returned from long flights to Prague and back from Dubrovnik..I remembered your suggestion and I can’t tell your readers enough what a difference this makes on long haul flights.especially now, when seats are getting smaller and smaller. I was so much more comfortable I’ll never forget your tip.

    Wish it would cool down in Southern California too. Thanks for the pre-fall dressing tips.

    A faithful fan,

    • Reply
      November 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Oh Pat, I LOVE that you brought this up to me! I am traveling in December and need to remember my trick. I’m giggling at the fact that I’d forgotten. I guess it comes with the territory of life in one’s 60s. Bless you!!! Glad it worked out so well!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Question for you, I see you mention Chicos quite a bit but you look close to the same size as me and nothing from there has ever fit. Am I misunderstanding the sizing or are you getting their clothes well tailored?

    • Reply
      February 20, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Mare, I’m not getting things sized. Looks may be deceiving. I have worn a 0.5 jean. In tops I generally wear a size 1 although I’ve probably purchased something in a 1.5 before as well. I’m bigger on the top.

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