The September Issue used to bring me such joy. I used to live in places where "Labor Day" meant something in terms of both temperature and fashion. Cooler days and chilly nights translated to new jeans, long-sleeve shirts, boots and funky scarves. SOCKS, for Chrissakes -- I used to wear SOCKS.
Now I sit in my air-conditioned apartment in Houston's Museum District, wistfully flipping through the pages of my three-pound September issue of Vogue, sighing heavily as I turn each page over. The fabrics I won't wear for months (or ever again), the colors that don't seem right even when "winter" comes -- because I know not of a winter where cold = 50° F. Fifty? That's spring, people.
Alas, the heart wants what the heart wants. Here are four items I yearn for, but which remain out of my grasp so long as I am in such close proximity to the Equator -- for a few more months, anyway.
Oh, the sweaters! Fendi has a hunter green number in the opening slew of ad pages that has me ready for a more muted color palette. Tommy Hilfiger's Autumn/Winter 2011 collection features sweaters with chunky knits and big, cowl necks that look super-cozy. Another standout in the sweater category includes the new Missoni for Target line, although these lighter knit pieces in the signature bold Missoni patterns stand a chance at being worn here in Houston...in a few months.
St. John's new ad campaign featuring Kate Winslet shows off a gorgeous camel-colored twinset in a lightweight cashmere and matching scarf. You can shop the ad campaign at the St. John Web site, and I think you will agree that the pieces are classic, elegant and wonderfully suited to Houston's temperatures.
3. Boots (and feet in general)
As any good Alaskan girl knows, Sorel boots are the only way to go when living in an Arctic climate. Obviously I don't need my old pair anymore, but I love their cheeky ad campaign for autumn/winter 2011 -- tagline "Apres anywhere" -- as well as the styling of these practical boots with impractical cocktail attire.
Clarks has a cute ad campaign featuring shoes and socks. Normally I object to the heels-and-ankle socks look but...oh, socks -- I miss you so!
In spite of my disdain for UGGs -- mostly due to the hideous, slouchy UGG "classic" (that's anything but a classic) -- I have to admit this season they have turned out some adorable, sleek, heeled boots in suede that I want on my feet.
Military-inspired pieces can be found in many of the fall/winter 2011 collections. Andrew Marc and Kenneth Cole both apply the structure of military uniforms to outerwear. I'm a sucker for military-inspired clean lines and bright, shiny hardware -- they always attract my eye. The Burberry Prorsum collection has many pieces in this vein, but their yellow-and-blue check double-breasted coat dress is a show-stopper. I'm enamored of most of the clothes that emerge from the Burberry line; I love the way the house creates luxury clothes that still hold on to the outdoorsy vibe that inspired its creation. Add in their use of classic color palettes, practical preppy prints, and flattering cuts, and Burberry is a collection that provides practical yet elegant inspiration that everyone can relate to.
In a provocative ad campaign that almost overshadows the clothes, Kenneth Cole pairs a lovely swing/pea coat hybrid with a challenge to the viewer about gay marriage and equality. I get a bit antsy when high fashion campaigns get too political, but Kenneth Cole is no stranger to controversy. Remember his Tweet using the Egyptian uprising to name check his own spring collection? Yeah, #awkward.
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There is no shortage of leather outerwear in the autumn/winter 2011 collections, but few use it as effectively as this caramel leather jacket by Loewe. The texture is rich, buttery and luscious, and simply jumps off the page. I love the style of the coat, which combines a retro vibe with its color while maintaining a truly modern feel through the details, like the breast pocket that replaces one button, the narrow three-quarter sleeves, and the clipped, vaguely Peter Pan-like collar. Want!
Jeans -- something on the list that I have a shot at wearing again, if not for a couple of months. Unlike heavy sweaters and leather coats, there is a time and a place for regular jean-wearing on the streets of Houston. Gap's 1969 Skinny Boot in a very dark wash looks promising, though we'll see what "skinny" means when the pants meet my thighs. Anything goes for autumn/winter 2011: light and dark wash, tailored or torn, wide legged and skinny. The key is, as always, fit and function -- wear denim appropriate to the season and occasion and you can't go wrong. I tend toward classic lines and darker washes that work for a wider variety of circumstances, but I'm giving serious consideration to a pair of lighter wash boyfriend jeans for casual Saturday mornings at the farmers' market.