We're lucky in San Francisco to have natural air conditioning breezes off the bay, so it is never too warm nor too cold. With weather that's ideal for layering, and where fall weather arrives in June, comes inspiration for fall fashion tips. I stopped in to the shop to review these five fall tips with Sarah Shaw, owner of a designer fashion store in beautiful Pacific Heights.
Fashion Foot Notes
Everyone knows that we have loads of steep grade hills in San Francisco. If you live in a walkable town or city, fall is a good time of year to put down the car keys and get where you're going on foot. While we're happy to say goodbye to the business suit-with-sneakers look that Wall Street women sported in the late 80s, putting on mileage in five-inch heel Louboutins is not at all practical.
Fashion tip number one: Wedges both give you a long leg look and added height, while still being very comfortable. Did you notice the L.K. Bennett wedges the Duchess of Cambridge wore the morning after her wedding? Check out her Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon wedges, others from Ann Taylor, and Asos.com at $49.71.
Statement styleMarilyn Monroe loved tight sweater sets, Jackie O had her oversized sunglasses and sheath dresses, Princess Diana relaxed in ballerina flats with jeans. What's your personal style, your signature look, something you won't see coming and going on everyone? Go for shoes that are different and comfy, yet reasonably priced, especially for a chic designer brand.
Fashion tip number two: Check out New York-based French shoe designer, Jean-Michel Cazabat, where rich fall colors are inspired by 60s rock-and-roll. Recently worn by Katie Holmes, Megan Fox, Chelsea Handler, Kyra Sedgwick, and Cat Deeley, as seen on the designer's Facebook page.
Simple problem solverFor some women, red carpet appearances or performances at the Olympics require perfection. For the rest of us, it's about avoiding fashion mishaps at the office water cooler or when out on a date. You don't want to lean over a buffet table without it. Models and brides swear by it.
Fashion tip number three:
It's double-sided fashion tape. Easy to use, it leaves no residue on skin or clothing. Sarah Shaw says it flies out the door at $18 at her boutique. Use it for revealing necklines and wrap-style tops, to repair a hem or button, to keep lapels and pocket flaps flat, to adjust swimwear and gym gear (it's waterproof), or even to secure a pendant, bracelet or watch in place. An important secret weapon!
Splurge or save
You've probably seen fashion magazine features on splurge or save. What a terrific way to identify beyond-the-budget runway looks and make them your own in an affordable way.
Fashion tip number four: Sarah Shaw and a few boutique owners know that Lela Rose has a hand-finished collection of elegant, yet whimsical, daytime dresses which run $1,000 to $2,000. Lela
Rose collaborated with Ann Taylor recently and her inspiration is seen in city sheath dresses from $138. H&M has announced their next big collaboration will be with Maison Martin Margiela, launching November 15, 2012.
Copy the KatesMiddleton, Moss, WInslet, Beckinsale. While it's hardly new, not a secret, and may have been a staple of their school uniforms growing up in England, the Kates assure us that the navy blazer is as versatile and stylish as ever. And, Mary-Kate Olsen agrees.
Fashion tip number five: Get out your old navy blazer. Update it with new gold buttons. The British press called this Kate Middleton's Olympics-watching uniform as she wore the blazer more than once; Kate Moss went with the nautical look; Kate Winslet pairs hers with boyfriend jeans; Kate Beckinsale went for a monotone look and tight leather trousers. They all look great in a timeless, traditional, and versatile fashion basic that can be anything but boring.