Fall!


I am a hustler.  Like the aptly named Ginger in Casino, I want my end.   So when the Christmas season takes a full 21 days off my beloved Autumn, I look out for me.  No it isn’t really Fall yet, but I snagged 16 days from Summer.  Post-Labor day is Betsy Autumn.  I am sipping a pumpkin spice latte as I write this.  My year goes something like this: Autumn is Post Labor Day through November 30.  Christmas is December 1 through December 29 or 30.  Winter is December 31 through April 1.  Spring is April 1 through May 31.  Summer is June 1 through Labor Day.  I used to try to adhere to the actual seasons.  But tell Chicago it’s spring on March 21.  When I lived in Oxford, Ohio perched so very close to the American South, it was quite easy to respect the seasons and their dates.  I now reside near a giant inland sea that makes it’s own weather decisions.   So I had to start interpreting them for myself.  If Chicago had it’s way the seasons would look something like this: October 10 through  June 25 = Winter.  June 26-30 = Spring.  July through September = Summer.  October 1-10 = Fall.  I cannot abide this.

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  We live in America.  There are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Christmas.  I begrudge none of them, save for their respective pollen counts and shoveling requirements.  Each have their own delights.  Still root vegetables, squashes, spices, sweaters, beautiful leaves, crispy air, cider and myriad other seasonal delights are more than a few of my favorite things.

I let fall take right over in every area of my life.  I change my wardrobe, my cooking, my reading, my movies, and even the way I approach my career.  In lieu of Back to School, since I no longer attend one, I sort of make my own.  I buckle down to the basics (new monologues, songs).  I try to pick up a class.  It gives me a back to school feeling without actually pursuing another degree.

Here are the ways in which I celebrate Fall:

Household:

  • I switch the bathroom and kitchen handsoaps to a fall scent.  This year, I picked up the Bath and Body works selections.  Last year, I grabbed a pretty one from Marshalls called “Autumn.”
  • I grab the seasonal shower gels from either Ulta, Bath and Body or something similar.
  • I pick up fall scented candles and pull out the fall decorations.  Usually I make a trip to Jo-Anns for more puttering.
  • I put away my summer aprons, and hang up my autumn ones.
  • I do a big seasonal scrub to clean up the sand and pollen of summer and make way for the coziness of the season.
  • I make lots of teas, chais, hot ciders, toddies, and autumn-themed cocktails.
  • I start out the season with a big batch of Three Sisters Soup and usually close it with my Fall Stew and/or some cassoulet.
  • I pick up the October/November issues of Cooking Light, and sometimes Martha Stewart.
  • I change the table linens to an autumn theme.
  • I put autumny throw pillows on the couch.

Fashion

Cue Nancy Sinatra.

  • See previous posts.  I put away my summer wardrobe and pull out the fall/winter wardrobe.
  • I search through the September issues of fashion magazines and make a big shopping list for trends and classics.
  • I wean myself off of flipflops.  But first I do a deeper colored pedicure.
  • I get a haircut, and often deepen the color a bit.

Crafts

  • Autumn is knitting season.  I usually pick out a pattern to trudge through.
  • I like to sew this time of year.  This year I have three aprons to make for various people.

My Fall Face. Not attractive. But so enthusiastic.

Activities

  • Having grown up in the country, picking apples just sounds like (and is) work to me.  Instead, I go to the library and pick up a bunch of cozy and spooky books.
  • I like to stock up my pantry for those cold rainy nights.
  • I try to go to Ohio because the leaves are so beautiful.
  • I stop by Starbucks for a pumpkin latte.
  • Usually I make my yearly pilgrimage to IKEA.  They have great candles and it’s this time of year I like to do a lot of home improvement.
  • While I am not a fan of picking produce for “fun,” I do like to grab a pumpkin or two.
  • I like to visit places in the area that are rumored to be haunted.
  • Pumpkin ales and spicy brews are so much fun this time of year.
  • I like to visit my favorite speak easy, The Violet Hour, for their seasonal selections.
  • Shopping for new clothes, and maybe even a school supply or two for old time’s sake.
  • I have a list of movies I watch every year.
  • Halloween planning!
  • I love a fall get together with warm appetizers and autumnal cocktails, and mulled cider.

I’m not big on missing my junior high and high school years.  And I CERTAINLY don’t miss church youth group.  But with youth group, you had a guaranteed hay ride every year.  Living in the third biggest metropolis in the United States, hayrides are few and far between.  Sure I live in the Prairie State, but I wouldn’t even know where to start.  At home, you have to narrow down the damn options.  I also wish someone would put Disney’s Halloween Treat on DVD so I didn’t have to pathetically huddle in front of  You Tube to watch it in 10 minute segments.  I absolutely still dress up for Halloween should the right party come along, but I miss that in-school-and-in-costume feeling.  I don’t work in a workplace that encourages any sort of holiday festivity.  And I’ve never been a dress up for an office job kind of person.  You see, my night job requires I dress in costume.  It just feels creepy in an office.  No, that elementary school costume joy is long past.  Something else I miss with a vengeance is the annual field trip to The Garden Patch.  The Garden Patch was a gardening center on State Route 66 in between Defiance and Archbold, Ohio.  Every year, my class would hop the school busses for a field trip.  We would pick pumpkins, go on hay rides, have apple cider and donuts, walk amidst gorgeous chrysanthemums and play in the leaves.  It was grand.  There was also the Apple Butter Festival at Sauder’s Village in Archbold.  You could watch them press cider, make apple butter, pet the Clydesdale horses, ride the miniature train, buy candy at the General Store and generally have a grand old time.  Nobody is stopping me from going to the Festival, per se, it’s just that “kid” feeling is a bit lost.  Still, that “kid” did not enjoy trips to places like Jo-Anns and Homegoods.  Now, she delights in it.  I try not to dwell on the past.  Especially since I turned 21.  Heh.  No childhood joy can beat the ability to legally buy liquor.

Pretty sure this is how I look from September to November.

So off I go into Autumn sprinkling cinnamon-scented fairy dust in my wake!

 

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My So Called Style – Fall Wishlist 2011


Angela Chase

Flannel shirt. Check. Ripped jeans. Check. And you guys, I totally married Jordan Catalano.

Or Dillon (90210). I don’t know for sure, but I bet he’d prefer Catalano.

I officially can’t wait for Fall.

Yesterday I posted my inspiration for Fall fashion this year. Never has it been more near and dear to my heart.

The key to a, shall we say….nostalgic look is to have the spirit of the era and yet not so authentic as to the point of costume. Part of the many reasons I count myself a Johnny Depp fan is that he embodies the spirit of the kind of fashion I like. Weird. Slouchy but not sloppy. Sexy. With a sense of humor. And a product of the 90’s. In the best way. He also knows how to rock an arm party (I will detail below). That’s the thing about the 90’s. So much of it isn’t gender specific which is not usually my style. But certain elements rise to the top. The white tshirt. Jeans. A leather jacket. Boots. These are human items of clothing. They are inherently cool. They are also a blank slate. Built for customization, and it is the accessories that define the person and the outfit.

The Spirit of the Season

I would wear this.

Yesterday, I established that Alicia Silverstone/Cher Horowitz is very much a fashion icon for me. As is Johnny Depp, as I said above. Other 90’s style icons include Eddie Vedder. Fairuza Balk. Linda Evangelista. Meg Ryan. Karen Elson. Kate Moss. Lisa Loeb. My So Called Life. Drew Barrymore. 90210.

Love Angela’s layering. Hipster’s dare to dream of Rayanne’s style.

I adore this top. I’m not usually into crochet, but the fit is great.

When I was 11, I thought Jennie Garth was the prettiest girl in the world with the best hair I had ever seen. I continually strived for and failed to achieve this style. The jacket, however, would totally work this year.

While I love Seinfeld, I never got into Elaine’s style. It was a bit too Amish for me. Jennifer Aniston’s look on Friends was a bit too “done,” however I always loved her way with a white tshirt, and her coffee shop outfit, with the black mini and the black tights was adorable. This is another of my fave’s:

This is summery, but I dig it.

The hip hop United Colors of Bennetton thing was also a bit too bright for my palette. It’s funny. While the clothing of the nineties was relaxed, often the hair and makeup was intense, if not severe. Dark lips. Pale matte skin. Thin but dark brows. Slicked back hair. It was the era of grunge. But it was also the era of high glam and the supermodel. Cindy Crawford had the big hair, the perfect makeup.

But let me also say that my 2011 Fall wishlist is not entirely circa 1993. What I am focusing on is iconic, quality items, with some cozy autumn in between. I stopped short of Birkenstocks. 1. More of a summer shoe. 2. I don’t know if I’m THAT nostalgic. Still, having graduated in 1999, you would assume (and would be correct) that a lot of my present wardrobe is already apropos for this fashion season. I did pick up a flannel last year. It was like coming home. My Dad is probably glad I bought this one rather than raiding one from his closet. I have something else I plan on raiding from his closet this year. I’ll let you know when I’ve secured it. Anyway, I have several pairs of ripped jeans, and dammit I love them. Lots of white tshirts, although it’s time for a new one. Such a classic item, but you have to refresh your supply. A denim jacket. Sweater vest. Button downs. Plaid school girl skirt. I am heavily editing my 90’s style for this year. Anything post ’96 feels not right. No ringer tees. No huge jeans (I was never into that in the first place). No baby hair clippies. Oversized is not going to be the fit I’m looking for. Rather, I want to mix proportions.

Aside from the 90’s, the runways were packed with 60’s style. I have cute little kitten heel slingbacks that will do the trick. Lots of shift-ish dresses, a plaid jumper. My black turtleneck. I picked up a pair of perfect black mary janes I can’t wait to wear with fun tights. I also have a pair of Marcia Bradyish plum t-straps. More of an early 70’s look, but it applies. One thing I adore about 60’s style is the fantastic, and highly linear tailoring. So flattering. So chic and dressed up and so very easy! If you throw on a cute a-line shift, and slingbacks, you’re done and you look polished. Being such a child of the 90’s, I very often could use a 60’s spit shine.

Plaid is big this year, with both a 60’s and a 90’s feel. I’m Scottish (and other things) by way of ancestry AND I love the early 90’s. Trust me. I dig some plaid.

The way I come up with my wishlist is a combination of items that really reflect the look I am going for, and also items that I could really use in my wardrobe. My lifestyle calls for lots of different types of outfits. I’m an actor, so I audition a lot. I feel like personal style is a major part of showing who I am. I also work 8-5 in an office in a business dress environment. I see a lot of theatre. I go to Ohio a lot. These are all situations that dictate what I wear. My list is much more unisex than past years. I expect next year it will be lots of feathers and bows and sky high heels. But this year…. without further ado – Here are my edited wishlist/shopping list items for Fall 2011!*

1. Leggings – black full length leggings. Perhaps a heather gray or a navy. Maybe even an olive green.

2. Slouchy sweaters/perhaps a tunic. I am not a tunic fan, in reference to myself, really. However, certain forms of the tunic appeal to me. One in particular is a collared version. It looks like a button down, except it isn’t. I love this shape because it does actually have a shape.  I’ve heard it called a Popover.  I like this. With leggings and maybe riding boots, I think this could be a comfy and cute Saturday outfit. Slouchy sweaters, on the other hand, are all about proportion. I’m looking for very thin knit, with slim arms, and probably and off-shoulder or boat neck neckline. No bulky knits, for the most part. I would even consider a cheery henley neckline. (Makes my boobs look fantastic. Not gonna lie.)

3. Black leather jacket – This was on my list last year. Will has one. I may just borrow. Although a super soft girly one would be awesome.

4. Varsity jacket – I never got one in high school. I will have you know I lettered twice, too. Cheerleading and choir. Guess who majored in theatre?! I didn’t buy one for many reasons, the main being I was too busy dressing like Angela Chase. Also I had recently moved from another school district and old alliances are hard to beat. Anyway. It only took me 16 years since my freshman year to finally give in. I want the Buffy look. Varsity jacket. Leggings. And a ponytail.

5. Doc Marten’s – I never actually owned a pair. My huz has a pair of really kick ass ones I bought for him one of our first Christmases as a couple. Nearly knee high. I can’t decide if I want the boot or the oxford. Probably the boot.

6. Hoops – Hoop earrings are kind of my signature. I get made fun of all the time. You should know they were also Brigitte Bardot’s signature jewelry. You just couldn’t see them under all that hair. They are on the list this year because I would like to shell out for a nicer pair than the Target multipacks I buy every year.

7. Cropped sweater/vest. Per yesterday’s post, I want to mess with proportions this season. Long shirts topped with cropped sweaters feels so dancery and cozy.

8. White shirt – This has been rotting on my list for years now. It’s no fun shopping for this staple. Particularly with my chest. Finding the right top can take forever, and you have to try it on. You can’t order this one. Still, once I secure the wardrobe holy grail, playing with it will make up for the drudgery of finding it. I want an oxford style, regular cuff, white shirt. Broadcloth, or something similar that is slightly thicker than the average blouse. I may peruse the menswear department and then have it tailored on the sides.

9. Straight leg jeans – versatile, cuffable. Ever so slightly slouchy. Dark but not indigo.

10. Ribbed tights – fall colors and jewel tones. Maybe a pair of cream. Only for my brown riding boots, though. I’m going for equestrian, not little girl.

11. Mod A-line dress – I’m picturing short or long sleeved. With tights. Probably solid color.

12. Red or grey low chuck taylors

13. Red Minnetonka moccasins – I have a pair of the classic that I use around the house. I need a pair to wear outside. They are too cute and comfy. Very bombshell in the woods.

14. Bibs – I miss them. I can’t help it. I think they look sexy, if done right. Fortunately for everyone groaning right now, outside the local Tractor Supply in Ohio, I think they are going to be hard to come by.

15. Madewell Plaid Coat – It’s not even available yet. I saw it in a magazine. To quote 90’s icon Wayne Campbell, “It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.”

16. Mad about plaid dress – Donna Ricco is a genius. She does one thing and she does it really well. That thing she does is dresses. And this is one from her line this year.

17. Jersey long sleeved maxi dress – Another item to wear with a cropped sweater. Such a dramatic sillhouette.

18. Maybe a slouchy harness boot or Frye Campus boots – Frye Campus boots in Banana have been on my radar for many a year. Will has harness boots. I’m not looking for a true harness, rather a slouchy piratey looking pair.

19. Arm party. I love tattoos. Just not on me. Rather, I dig an arm party. I have always been a fan of bracelets. Necklaces aren’t really my style, minus a couple special ones. An army party is the equivalent of one bracelet inviting all it’s friends over to play. The key is mix of textures, widths, and metals. I am looking for fun invitees to my fall arm party. I’m thinking hammered metals, bangles, and friendship bracelets. If you look at Rayanne in the above photo, she’s got a tape measure as part of her arm party. Creativity is key, and there are no rules. It’s a party!

20. Chambray shirt. – Fairly deep in color. I like the versions that are available right now. I’m picturing with leggings and also with my plaid kilty skirt.

21. Another flannel – I have one that is yellow and blue. I need one in the red/black/green area. I’m thinking with leggings.

22. Raglan sleeve grey crewneck sweatshirt

23. Brown High Heeled Boots

24. Black ballet flats

25. Day/Play dress(es) – Think Alicia Silverstone in the Amazin’ video. Not tooo hippy dippy. I already have the floral one. Could be worn with leggings?

* I won’t be purchasing all these items. This is just a list of items that would be welcome in my wardrobe.

* The total list has about 50 items on it.  That is true.

Fall Wishlist 2011

All Saints long sleeve dress
$44 – allsaints.com

Ted Baker tee dress
49 – johnlewis.com

Carven long sleeve sweater
58 – theoutnet.com

Reiss shirts blouse
110 – johnlewis.com

James Perse white short sleeve shirt
$50 – jamesperse.com

Aryn Glasser hoody
€179 – conleys.de

J Crew vintage chambray shirt
$98 – jcrew.com

H M studded jacket
30 – hm.com

Levi s romper
$55 – macys.com

Madewell knit legging
$22 – madewell.com

Ribbed stocking
$20 – topshop.com

Madewell knee high heels
$325 – madewell.com

Repetto ballerina shoes
$280 – ssense.com

Steve Madden black heels
$85 – heels.com

POL gold silver earrings
$17 – target.com

G by Guess post earrings
$15 – gbyguess.com

Rhinestone jewelry
$5.99 – tillys.com

Dr. Martens 1460
$120 – zappos.com

Converse All Star Oxfords Shoes
$30 – piperlime.gap.com

SO Striped Varsity Jacket
$20 – kohls.com

Minnetonka Thunderbird Ii
$39 – zappos.com