After my last post, in which I mentioned that the darker stripes on the sides of my linen trousers might enable them to be worn into the fall, I decided to follow up on that and show some actual examples of how I would do that. (All these outfits came out of what I already have in my closet, by the way. Everything I write about here comes out of my own experience— and closet.)
The trompe l’oeil pullover sweater (the front band and one of the pockets are faux), which I designed and hand-knitted nearly 10 years ago (!), is mohair and silk, which is lighter-weight than it looks, but it is quite warm. I love the way all those shades of green blend with the tones in the trousers, and also how the pink in the shoes echos the pink and lavender in the sweater. This chic little ensemble would be perfect for fall here in Portland, where it’s hardly ever cold enough for a heavy winter coat (which I don’t care for anyway).
Here, the muted sage and taupe colors of the trousers are brightened with this luxurious cashmere V-neck in chartreuse, wrapped up in my cozy entrelac wrap (also designed and hand-knitted by me), and finished with my beloved 6-year-old bronze booties. We have lots of days here when it’s much cooler in the morning and evening than in the daytime, so I could be plenty warm going out the door, then remove the wrap later on. I might add my turquoise necklace to this outfit, now that I think about it. There’s a bit of turquoise in the wrap, and it would look fantastic against the color of the sweater!
In this outfit, I’ve just changed the shoes and added a sweater instead of the wrap. I loved the idea of this dark red shoe with the pale sage green of the trousers anyway, but even more after I added this amazingly cozy cardigan. I developed a color palette for this sweater that ranges from deep oxblood (one of the fashion shades for fall) through copper browns all the way to bright chartreuse; I’ve folded one sleeve over here so you can see some of the greens, which appear mostly on the back of this cardigan. (This sweater, which I hand-knitted, is not my design; it’s my version of a sweater in the immensely popular book Knit, Swirl! I highly recommend this book.)
Notes on all three outfits:
1. The tops are all fairly close-fitting; this helps to visually balance all the volume in the wide-legged trousers.
2. Because all of these outfits are built around layers, it would be easy to adapt them for climates with milder falls (or those unseasonably warm days we sometimes have in the middle of Pacific Northwest winters). You can either omit a layer entirely (like the cardigan), and/or substitute a lighter-weight version of a layer; a cotton pullover instead of the cashmere one, for example.
3. By the same token, you can easily make these outfits even warmer. Since the trousers have such wide legs, I might think about wearing silk long johns (believe it or not) under them on a very chilly day. The silk ones are practically as thin as pantyhose, and make a tremendous difference; skiers use them. I’ve also noticed how warm I sometimes get just from the large pieces of jewelry I’ve been wearing lately. And of course adding things like fingerless gloves (my go-to accessory for the past several years) provides a surprising amount of protection from the cold. It’s really true that lots of thin layers are warmer than a single thick one.
4. Finally, I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: it’s my belief that if you consistently only buy (or make) clothes and accessories in colors that you really love, it is almost guaranteed that you already have things in your closet to wear the new things with. The outfits I’ve been showing you here and in other posts are proof of that! Don’t buy it unless you love, love, love it!
P.S. In my next post, I’ll show you several outfits I’ve put together with a simple cotton-knit summer dress.
September 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm
This looks like the features that have been showing up more in catalogs—mix and match our pieces for all these different looks, etc, etc., yet you’re doing it with your own clothes. I wonder how my ‘catalog page’ would look if I started assembling outfits from my own clothes…
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