Fall Wardrobe Refresh: Breathe Some Life Into Your Basics

From Paris to L.A. – It’s la Rentrée!

fall wardrobe refresh, updating your basicsToday Tish (A Femme d’un Certain Age) and I are sharing another of our “From Paris to L.A.” collaborations, this time approaching a fall wardrobe refresh from the perspective of each of our cities. 

Above left: earrings | top | jacket (similar) | watch | bracelet | jeans | boots
Above right: earrings | top | cardigan | bracelet | pants | boots (similar)

Here we are in September already! La rentrée can mean back-to-school, or more loosely “early September,” when we begin to transition from summer to fall, perhaps return from vacation to routine with renewed energy, or just begin looking forward to cooler days. This has always been my favorite style season, probably a holdover from that back-to-school-with-new-clothes-and-lunchbox feeling. Now though, the allure of fall fashion has more to do with the types of items that are offered, and fabrics and weights that are wearable 9 months out of the year here in Southern California.

While I do tend to add wardrobe basics most often during this season, as I’m transitioning from a full-time office job to the wonderful world of self-employment, I’m mostly holding off on adding any more core pieces at present. I need to figure out where my style is going and what works for my life now. In the meantime, I’m looking to add a few things that will refresh my current basics (jeans, trousers, tees, jackets, sweaters) with some color, pattern, and interesting shapes.

Unlike much of the Northern Hemisphere, in L.A. our cooler days are still several weeks off, so I’ve chosen some of my fall wardrobe refreshers with that in mind. Some to wear now, some later, some both.

Something spotted…

J. Crew silk leopard top

First up, a silk leopard print top. I love how leopard print works with fall colors. This very lightweight silk top can be worn alone on the warmest days or layered under a jacket or sweater.

Something bright…

boiled wool kimono jacket

Yes, I caved. This is the Eileen Fisher boiled wool jacket I showed you a couple of weeks ago. It will be a bit warm to wear this for the next few weeks, but it’s lightweight and not lined, so perfect for L.A. winter and spring. This red is just so special!

Something pink…

pink wool paisley scarf

Scarves are an easy way to incorporate new colors and prints into your wardrobe. Here’s a lightweight wool scarf that includes a bunch of my favorite colors all playing nicely together. Again, too warm for now, but will be perfect in a few weeks.

Something neutral but not black…

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ankle boots

I picked up these Paul Green cognac boots during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and can’t wait to wear them!

washable wool crepe cardigan

I’ve found that these long cardigans are real workhorses in my wardrobe, and love the drama they add. The wool crepe fabric on this one from Eileen Fisher is lighter than you’d think, so I’ll probably start wearing it once our evenings begin to cool down. Gorgeous swing and movement with this style too!

I can’t wait to see what Tish has selected, go here to see! How are you updating your wardrobe for fall?


Stay in touch.

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  1. Jaye
    September 7, 2016 / 4:25 am

    I have been craving that EF boiled wool jacket for weeks! Love your selections. As you know from your recent visit to NYC our weather is all over the place. The leopard top is a perfect transitional piece for this time of year.

  2. Meg
    September 7, 2016 / 4:37 am

    I love that you are pairing a bright color with your leopard print- that is such a pretty look in my opinion.
    The Wool Crepe from Eileen Fisher is something I am going to have to go find and try on. I love their other woolens, and this sounds perfect for layering and traveling!

  3. September 7, 2016 / 5:15 am

    That boiled wool jacket is amazing! Especially that color.

  4. September 7, 2016 / 5:16 am

    You know, Sue, we could probably swap wardrobes if I were only a few sizes smaller:) I love all of these. Looking to get lots of wear out of a grey Vince coat sweater that I bought at last year’s Nord Anniversary sale. If and when the weather finally cools…currently 32° C here today…plus humidity that makes it feel like 36°. And that sleeveless animal print top reminds me that I have a sleeveless Max Mara one that I didn’t wear at all this year, so should probably send it to the consignment store… but not before I try it with a jacket and jeans for fall. D’uh. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Jill Pontiere
    September 7, 2016 / 5:19 am

    The truth be told, I caved too! Only I got a Calvin Klein red jacket. Spotted it on sale about a month ago and didn’t get it. Went back yesterday and found it hidden with some other things and got it on sale for $24.00. We have a wonderful Dillard’s Outlet here in Florida and I have found Eileen Fisher pieces (which never go out of vogue) for a lot less than normal, and other things that I fill in my wardrobe with through out the seasons. I have a leopard print blouse similar to the one you have posted and I will pair that with the red jacket and dark washed jeans or black pointe knit pants. You are always such an inspiration.

  6. September 7, 2016 / 7:07 am

    I’m mostly holding off for now, with all the unpacking as we move our goods from storage into our new home and see what I’ve been missing and what fits in the new closets. And I’m leaving soon for 2.5 months in Europe where it’s entirely possible I might pick up one or two things. . . 😉 I did grab that J Crew silk leopard top which is coming in my carry-on luggage. Also picked up a pair of black pants that promise to be workhorses — a style called Dexter from Aritzia (a company that started here in Vanc’r but is going international now, and is already online). And black sneakers, of course. . . .Mostly, I’ll be happy rediscovering my own wardrobe, I think.
    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

  7. sybes1
    September 7, 2016 / 7:18 am

    Susan did you actually try those high rise J Crew Jeans? Do you like them? I’m afraid they wouldn’t fit or feel good because I’m not thin like the model who’s wearing them…..
    The silk top looks nice but what I really want are those beautiful cognac colored boots. My bad that I didn’t purchase them during Nordy’s sale….x Sally

  8. tish868
    September 7, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Great outfits, Susan. I look forward to seeing you wearing them in one creative form or another later this year. xo

  9. September 7, 2016 / 10:47 am

    I may have posted this previously, but hubby and I were on the road during the first two weeks of the Anniversary sale and when we returned I read your post and recommendations. Like you, I have been trying to find cordovan/cognac booties (to replace my old ones from Munro). I ordered two items right before the Sale ended and one of them was the Paul Green boots, largely based upon your recommendation. They are gorgeous Thanks for the recommendation.

  10. nell
    September 7, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Love the injections of color and those beautiful boots. Feels very “fall” and “new season”-ish without being over the top. Good choices!

  11. Nicole
    September 7, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Some of these very items have been sitting in my Nordstrom shopping basket! You’re trained me well. Thank you!

  12. horopito
    September 7, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Great selection! Love the colours.

  13. September 8, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    I love your selections here, Susan. We can never go wrong with black, splashes of color and a sprinkle of animal print. Since I’ve recently retired from my day to day school psychology career I’m finding that my wardrobe is shifting significantly. I’m still figuring out the new balance of pieces, and I’m definitely going more casual now. Easy, breezy!!
    I was just catching up on your Paris posts–lovely! I’m still working my way through my trip to Italy on Style*Mind*Chic Life. I will eventually get to my time in Paris…still drooling over Italy, I guess.

    Safe travels, lovely lady!
    xx, Heather

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