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a woman poses in three different outfits
by
Monday Michiru
,
September 16, 2022

Fall Fashion Take: Monday Michiru

I pride myself on finding insane deals. 

Bringing in a new piece to an already existing wardrobe is, to me, like introducing a new friend into a circle of old and trusted friends.

“I have nothing to wear!” 

I’m sure so many of you can relate. And with every closet in the house bursting to the point that I can’t slide the hanged clothing on the closet rod over to one side to see what’s next to it, I still shamefully have that insatiable itch when the seasons change to get something new. It doesn’t really have to be new, just new to me. When the iconic Century 21 shop closed, my beau (who is the rare man that can actually out-shop me) and I fell into a stupor of so-where-do-we-shop-for-great-bargains-now. Enter RealReal. Even though I have no business shopping for clothes on a barely-working musicians’ wage with a part time job to keep the lights on and get bambino through college, I can actually get some amazing clothes at a fraction of its original price almost guilt free. I pretty much exclusively hit their 75-80% off cyber-bin. Woodbury Commons is another great source, particularly during end-of-the-season and holidays sales; I pride myself on finding insane deals. 

The unspoken perk of mature age is that we’ve earned our stripes to avoid the whims of the fashion trend marketing machine trying to sell head-to-toe looks of the moment. We know who we are, what our style is, what works for us, and guess what? We have most of the basic staples and tried & true investment pieces — yay us! I am unapologetic about my proclivity for ‘70s hippy jazzy rock, mixing and matching with hi-lo and new with vintage. I am admittedly hypocritical about the quality of textile and cut while unabashedly crushing on a cheap one-season-wonder. I’ve figured out that some days I want to be super feminine, while other days the tomboy masculine austere attitude chick comes out to play, or Ms. 9-to-5, or other colors of my personality that demand a certain look, and it’s not inauthentic, it’s all me. 

That said, I do like to pay attention to fashion and what’s trending. With the death (for now…) of skinny jeans, my eye has been on high waist cuts with more generous legroom. Light colored jeans that’s been in a couple years have been tricky for me because they can make me look fatter than I want, but I finally found 2 pairs I adore. I’m happy to see over-the-knee boots come back. Maxi dresses are totally my jam, and there’s plenty out there with really interesting sleeves. I’m HOT on hot pink. Loafers have been on my radar for at least 4 years and I kept looking for the perfect pair (which I think I’ve finally found!!). Sequins, leather, Western boots, tailored jackets, head-to-toe graphic patterns, long jackets…I am really loving all that fashion is bestowing on us right now, and the looks are so varied that there’s something for everyone.

LOOK 1 - Hot Pink 

I’m fairly sure that the hot pink trend is an off-shoot of Barbiecore which focuses on pale sugar pink, and I like to think of it as the more sophisticated cousin. Okay, maybe more ‘eccentric aunt’ by the time I wear it, but whatevs. I noticed that as soon as I hit my 50s, I was suddenly able to wear bright colors, or rather I NEEDED to wear brighter colors to uplift the sagging skin that would unwittingly go into a resting bitch face (when I thought I was being sultry…). This deprecating theory was backed up by my makeup artist friend who advised me that as we age, we need to have more color on our faces…and apparently our bodies too. 

I was looking for a hot pink suit but instead found this cute pair of pants ($29.00) that is incredibly flattering on, as well as a linen top in the same shade ($23.00) (both by Zara) that is roomy but cut shorter to hit at that point below my waist but above my hips, which for me is a silhouette I didn’t have in my wardrobe. A pair of old strappy shoes by Banana Republic pulls the look together, or I could even wear it with white chunky sneakers, or a pair of black loafers. 

This top is proving to be a power horse and SO versatile, both easily dressed up (with dressy pants or skirt) and dressed down (with jeans). I mentioned before that I finally found a couple of light colored denims that I really like by Rag and Bone ($89.00).

Whether I’m wearing the top with the pink pants, dark or light denim, or whatever else, on colder days I can wrap my favorite blue suede fringed wrap by Madison Blue (present from the designer several years ago) for warmth. 

LOOK 2 - The Loafers 

I have been on the lookout for a pair of loafers. Not just any pair, but something unique, comfortable, beautiful, elegant, mannish. So when my beau and I walked into the

Robert Clergerie outlet and found these babies on deep sale ($179 — a present from him), and better yet in my size, it was like striking gold. I literally got flushed and flustered, like meeting the perfect man; Amore said he never saw me react like that. The craftmanship on these babies…uuuuf; my libido came out of hibernation just to admire them, I’m fairly sure I came a little. 

I know the wider leg pant is in right now, but I feel pencil pants that hit above the ankle are such a classic look and are needed to show off the beauty of these great loafers (pants by Tahari - $29 from Century 21). Tailored jackets are all the rage right now, and this baby is by Etro (a RealReal find - $34) — I just adore the combination of colors that screams FALL. I know bigger silhouettes for blazers are in trend right now, but when one doesn’t have the height, I feel it’s more about balance to make pieces work…at least for me.

LOOK 3 - The Western Boot 

The western boot has been trending (again) for the last few years, and this season is seeing an interesting fusion of quirky heels with the western boot silhouette and other alternative takes on this classic. I tend to go for more classic styles (although I’ve been known to buck that rule…) because even when a trend dies, it inevitably comes back with the nadir of the classic style alongside “updated” versions to fit the era. There’s nothing more pitiful to me than seeing dated versions that betrays the year it came into a fast trend that’s waned, versus the admirable stubborn relevance of classic styles that stand the test of time. 

That said, I like to find something that’s not necessarily “standard” and has something that speaks to me, and when I saw these slightly rock-ish take on the western boots by Rag and Bone…well, they were whispering “come hither” for over year, and a Labor Day weekend sale finally seduced me ($79). The suppleness of the leather particularly in these natural creamy beige pair had me at “hello.” I was wearing my dark denim high waist wide-leg Derek Crosby jeans and summer pink patterned Warm top when I walked into the shop, and the boots looked A-Mazing with my ensemble. Then when I came home and realized how incredibly versatile they were within my wardrobe, it made me fall in love again…and again. 

Here I’m wearing them with my Tahari high-waisted pencil pants (once again, because I’m a one-trick pony…but also because the hem of the pants are high to show off as much of the boots as they deserve), with my Warm flower-pattern top with velvet trimming ($12 RealReal), a burgundy suede cross body bag that I’ve had for 20+ years by Tsumori Chisato (formerly with Issei Miyake), and topping the outfit for colder days

with my Jean-Paul Gaultier oversized black 3/4 length wool jacket which I’ve had since 1988 (because oversized clothing is so cool again). Again for me, it’s all about the balance. 

LOOK 4 - Voluminous (Palazzo??) Pants 

Since the trend particularly for pants started becoming more and more voluminous (which I started to notice in Japan for the last 6+ years), I’d been on the lookout for a pair with thinner material so that it would lay on my frame well, and was delighted to find a pair recently in black at Zara ($59.00). While the days are still warmish in the early days of Fall, I can tuck in my non-sleeve silk Rag and Bone burgundy top ($12 RealReal), and top it on cooler days with my orange knit and suede Keita Maruyama ‘70s vintage-influenced short jacket that I’ve had since 1998 which I like to crack out during the Fall because of the Japanese-maple suede cut outs in the front.

I love that vests are in, and I can wear my Madison Blue short black vest ($200, discounted by the designer) or the longer Rag and Bone loose vest ($20 RealReal) for a masculine look with these pants. Colder days just means bigger coats on top. Paired here with the black Coach heeled loafers (another Labor Day sale find and gift from amore $98.00). 

LOOK 5 - Long Boots 

Nothing announces the arrival of Fall fashion than boots for me, and after a few years of the Chelsea and other flat heeled boots, tall boots (knee high and even over-the-knee) are back baby, as well as heels! Which for shorties like me are a gift. I love mixing various shades of browns and burgundies so paired these lovely dark chocolate brown leather Chloe boots that hit just above the knee ($106 RealReal) with this Derek Lam brown shift dress in a cut-out fabric for warmer days ($41 RealReal), and for chilly days/nights topped with a vintage Romeo Gigli burgundy jacket ($52 RealReal). The burgundy Rag and Bone hat ($49) compliments the burgundy crossbody bag for a fall palette that I personally love.

LOOK 6 - The Maxi Dress 

I don’t know about you, but when I look for a dress, I want it to make me smile and for it to be statement making in some way, so when I saw this online at Zara’s summer sale, I snapped it up instantly ($59). The billowy sleeves, graphic pattern, flattering cut and fabric that skims over the body, and combination of Fall colors was just perfect for me. Here I paired it with vintage Prada brown platform heels (given to me after an album photo shoot in 1996), and for colder days/nights I can put on this brown wool long double breasted jacket by Kyohzon (bought in Japan from the designer in 1994). Conversely it could look great even with sneakers or boots, and the Romeo Gigli burgundy jacket from the previous look would look great with it, and so much more. As particular a style as this dress is, it’s surprisingly versatile. 

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Versatility and not being stuck with one look, one outfit, one situation, one era…this pretty much is what my style, and dare I say life philosophy is about. Bringing in a new piece to an already existing wardrobe is, to me, like introducing a new friend into a circle of old and trusted friends. And just like at Revel where the possibility of meeting new like-minded friends can widen our world and enrich our lives, a new piece of clothing can widen and enrich our wardrobe. 

So what’s on your Fall fashion radar?

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