KateSpade.com, Prada.com, JCrew.com, HarveyNichols.com, Photo Editing by Tanya Leigh WashingtonAs a kid, my family and I used to ride our bicycles around the neighborhoods of Fair Oaks collecting colorful leaves and enjoying the temporary reprieve from our sun-burning 110 degree days. "Just look at those colors!" My dad would say, in awe of the fiery oranges, yellows, and reds the trees had turned—a little piece of his own childhood memories from upstate New York right in California.
Now, the season is equally nostalgic for me: The smell of chimney smoke, the sting of cool air, the soft orange flesh of pumpkins, trailing behind my brothers on their bikes, brand new
pencils tucked into Velcro binders, and back-to-school outfits fresh off the racks of Mervyn's and JCPenney.
Fortunately, this season won't find me in the meandering adolescent search for a style identity. No skater graphic tees, no embroidered flares, no glittering tights, and no metallic sneakers (although, I adored those 7th grade Vans). This year, I hope to immerse myself in timeless pieces saturated in classic hues. Just look at those colors!
Peruse my picks for fall and tell me: Will any make your list?
1. Splendid's Washed-Crepe Red Shirt Dress
Nothing is quite as classic as a shirt dress—especially in a true rich red. Not only does Spendid's washed-crepe one look particularly soft and cozy, its subtle nod to the early '70s promises to not look dated come next fall or the fall after that.
2. DVF's Cashmere Branitta Dress
Did I mention I love soft and cozy? If your heart also aches for a soft oversize sweater on a brisk fall day, then this DVF dress needs no explanation. If I had the means, I'd be tempted to buy five and live in them during winter. Too much? I think not.3. Chloé's Checkered Wool Coat
I fell in love with Chloé's checkered jacket the moment I first saw it presented in the Pre-Fall 2012 collection. It's so '60s, so British, so Mod—conjuring up images of Mary Quant and Swinging London. Just picture this coat with a burgundy mini, opaque tights, and a pair of ballet flats. Perfection!
4. Prada's Brushed Calf Leather Tote
All right, so $2,000 may be extremely a bit crazy for a handbag—but can you put a price on Prada's classic tote in this glorious brushed leather? I genuinely can't decide which color I love best: tarnished red, olive green, burn orange or nude. One of each, pretty please!
5. Garance Doré for Kate Spade's Cocktail Iphone Case
If you know me, you know that I adore all things related to fashion illustration. Garancé Dore happens to be my favorite blogger and a personal hero of mine. So talented and so darn likable! This year she teamed up with Kate Spade to design a collection of covetable accessories stamped with her signature drawings. For $40, her Cocktail Iphone case is affordable and would add a little panache to that thing I have attached to my palm.
6. J.Crew's Icon Trench
Hands down the best purchase I made last year was my dove gray wool pea coat from J.Crew. This year, they're torturing me with this flawless Cabernet trench. With their impeccable petite sizing, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to resist this one much longer.
7. J.Crew's Cashmere Polka-Dot Sweater in Caramel Dusk
J.Crew struck again with this spotted cashmere sweater. Not fair—polka-dots are my weakness! After a bikini, three dresses, two tops, and one skirt in the motif, I've put myself on a dot fast. And really, I'm not sure I can ever justify anywhere near $300 for a top, but I can't help fantasizing about fitting this one into my wardrobe.
8. DKNY's Kori Runway Bootie with Tassels
Last but not least are DKNY's Kori Runway Booties. I first spotted them on the feet of the Fall 2012 models and had to track them down. I was immediately drawn to them because of their classic style with a twist. I mean, look at the tassels! The chunky heel! The platform! And, of course, the color.