Currently Obessed: Fall fashion

August 10, 2012

Ahhh, Fall... (looks here from Boden)

I have always been obsessed with fall fashion. Perhaps it was because it filled back-to-school shopping bags or because my birthday list-making time coincided so perfectly with all the new fall lines hitting the shelves, but it's always been my favorite season to dress for. Even being a California girl, I never really identified with the whole tank, shorts and flip-flop thing (no wonder I fit in here in Germany). If I could live every day in sweaters and boots, I'd be a happy girl.

While my local friends often refer to me as a fashionista, I'm not much more than just an average dresser who takes particular delight in trying to find things I actually like that fit my lanky limbs, disproportionate body and bigfoot feet. I would say I'm stylish more than fashionable. I'm more likely to take sartorial cues from bloggers (like nat the fat rat and Kendi Everyday, with a touch of Atlantic-Pacific for good measure), than from the runway. I am generally a preppy, Gap-at-heart kind-of-girl, with a recent desire to mix up my wardrobe in ways that say more J.Crew ca. 2012, rather than J.Crew ca. 1995. So without any expectations of designer names and avant-garde styles, here are a few of my favorite things for fall...

After seeing sneak previews of Lands End Canvas's fall and winter lines (oh, that cowl-neck poncho and gold sequined skirt!), I was super excited for it to hit on Wednesday. Alas, much like last season, I was rather disappointed. Perhaps in answer to their petite customers begging for their sizes, it appears they keep rising the hemlines, shortening the inseams and cropping tops. So much for my go-to shop for clothes that actually suited my long frame. Note to these pint-sized complainers: it's called a tailor - get one. Us Amazonians have no option when things are too short for us, other than to look like we're a hooker/borrowing our little sister's clothes. We're SOL. Speaking of, it appears that Canvas has also stopped making shoes in size 11. The disappointment keeps on rolling in. Well, the only thing that got me clamoring for my credit card were these mint green cords (shown here with the pretty but overpriced silk henley blouse), only to discover they are not yet for sale. Perhaps when they are (along with that sequin skirt and poncho sweater), I might also be tempted to pick up this slouchy linen striped tee, mostly because it's one of the few stripe color combinations I don't already own. Until then, I'm waiting to be wowed Canvas.

Lands End equally piqued my interest with items they don't have in stock (the peek of a Fair Isle sweater, shown above) or that they don't carry in my size (this beautiful, year-round boot - see #16, 17 & 21 on Liv's list of 'What I Know About Germans' ), but I still have hope. These ankle cords drew me in with their slim leg - a must when six months out of the year require knee-high boots for warmth alone - and their beautiful mustard-y and oh-so-autumn-y hue. While they look a little boring at first glance, I'm thinking rolled up and put with a chambray shirt, a cozy shawl sweater and my beloved, new and as-of-yet unworn Frye boots, they would make the perfect autumn outfit. I can't wait...

Ahh, Gap. Probably the shop I most miss over here, magnified even more after finding is a joke in comparison. Great-fitting jeans and reasonably-priced basics - made out of real fabrics, mind you! - are things I feel lost without in the European retail marketplace. While I regularly place orders with Gap, and it's little discount sister Old Navy- and HUGE thanks to my mom, for shipping them to me - there are two bigger ticket items (re: more than I can justify snapping up on a whim due to a discount) that are topping my fall list: the cotton twill parka and the dark sexy boyfriend jean (neither of which, ahem, come in tall on I just picked up H&M's new slim boyfriend jeans and now I'm obsessed. Just that perfect calculation of slim and slouch make for the most comfortable and flattering jeans. And I used to have an olive safari-type jacket that for some reason I chucked in my massive clothing overhaul in packing up our lives to move over here. Now dying to replace it with a hooded version (thank you, German rain) and this is one of the best I've seen yet. 

Boden's fall line snuck up on me. I realized fall was starting to happen in the retail world and I hadn't heard from Boden in awhile - then, bam! One look and its website and I knew I was in trouble. Fall was there and it was beautiful. Not to mention the new addition of Helena Christensen in their model line up. Well done, Boden! Nothing wrong with moving a little away from the whole 'yummy mummy' image. If only I could look like Helena in 10 years... Ah, but I digress. The clothes. Oh, the clothes. As it usually happens, I peruse, adding things to my online cart with abandon. At only a couple items in and already over a €1000 tally, I realized, as I always do, that this is never going to happen. Why so crazy expensive, Boden?! Here I thought J.Crew was getting a bit big for its britches. Well, if I really had to narrow it down, I think my favorites would be the swishy, polka-dotted cinnamon-colored skirt (oh, that color!) and the grey boiled wool coat (although the green is truly phenomenal, albeit less 'practical'). Boden, why do you torture me so? And why do you not offer coupons in Germany like in the U.S.?! We Deutschland folks deserve that deal just as much, if not more, after all the taxes we pay.

Noa Noa is another one I often pass up due to price, but after picking up the catalog from in front of its shop in town, I fell head over heels in love with this silk paisley dress. Not too overly frooffy or lacy like so much of their stuff, this simple dress in a beautiful print has autumn written all over it. And seeing that my wardrobe is filled with bright, summer dresses or a couple of dark wool ones, this is just what I need to fill that void in between. Or perhaps I could call it my 'birthday dress' for a night out in September...

Madewell is slower to bring out it's fall big guns, same as sister store J.Crew. They trickle a few things, but much of their fall lines remain elusively in 'sneak peek' format to work us all into a frenzy by the time the season actually arrives. While Madewell sometimes turns me off with its teenaged-sizing and overly trendy pieces, there are a couple of things I've been coveting since the preview launched. Namely, this pebbletoss cardigan (mostly because I think it actually looks like giraffe print) and those lace-up boots, the likes of which I have been on an epic hunt for for the past few years. They are always either too bulky, too short, the wrong shade of brown or have that ridiculous zipper down the side (hello? laces!), but these, from the tiny lookbook images, seem to be perfect. Now I'm just crossing my fingers they aren't some crazy-priced designer collaboration that I can't afford. *prettypleaseprettypleaseprettyplease*

The item that has become the holy grail of my fall wishlist? This amazing J.Crew coat. It's only available for pre-order, so there is, as of yet, no price tag. By the looks of it, it's a Collection piece (which is really just a fancy term to justify making it ten times the cost of the rest of their merchandise) and even thinking about owning it is nothing short of a pipe dream. Seriously, I might actually cry when they list the price for this stunner. So, if anyone wins the lottery and would like to buy me a birthday present, it's Fall Lookbook look No.7, item #99554. Thanks.

Now, if only this damn summer weather that has finally hit would just give way to autumn, I can get started...

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische