Besides grabbing pumpkin guts by the handful and stomping nature’s bubble wrap (a.k.a. crunchy leaves) like I’m playing a foot piano to save my life, fall makes me think of denim. Crispy, comfy, wonderful denim. On September 21st, at 12:01 a.m., I hugged the unworn stack of jeans in my closet because I missed them so much.
But! Fall is about so much more than denim. It’s about transitioning your wardrobe — making slinky slips last into November, at least, by layering pretty blouses underneath. It’s about corduroy and knit tees and lightweight jackets and trouser-ish pants — remember pants? — and my favorite thing in the whole wide world: classic white shirts. It’s about wearing clothes that you can hang outside in without getting too hot, or too cold, that work just as well when you run indoors to, oh, I don’t know, carve a pumpkin. Or eat pie, or work a proper day indoors without playing hooky for the beach.
To show that there’s more to autumnal dressing than denim, I styled three fall outfits from AG — our partner on this story — using pieces from their current collection which, while ripe with good jeans, is also about more than denim. And I did so on a moody Brooklyn morning atop a veggie-producing roof garden, which felt more “fall” than I’d felt in a year, probably. Even if there were peppers in abundance, not pumpkins! I guess you could carve a pepper? Certainly you could scoop it out and dip it into some sort of creamy dressing… I’m off topic.
Below, three fall outfit heroes that go beyond the well-worn habit of denim — each one ready to help you transition out of any lingering summer longing, right into autumn.
A Corduroy Jacket That Does All the Talking
Denim jackets feel quintessentially fall to me, but a corduroy jacket, man: That’s next-level leaf-stomping outdoors-wear, particularly when it’s hunter green, like this one from AG.
I slipped a leopard belt between the pocket flaps and under the buttons to add a little pizzazz. It’s optional. What may not be — and I know this isn’t a denim-first story — are the cropped AG flares with a faux-cuff. Everyone ooh’d and ahh’d over them on set. Finally, I added a knit navy tee. It’s the kind of wanna-wear-every-day autumn staple that requires a sticky note somewhere visible, reminding you to give the shirt a break just long enough to let you wash it.
A Navy Slip Dress That Can Hang Year-Round
A navy slip dress like this one has more flexibility than a baby in that super stretchy phase. You can wear it solo when it’s warm, to a holiday cocktail party, with knee-high boots and a thick sweater to over come November, or, as you see here, with a blouse underneath that allows you to be an indoor and outdoor cat amid mild-to-chilly weather. Now, if I were you, I would find some costume pearls to wrap around your ankle and find a pair of shoes that makes you want to tap dance on the inside. And I’d add a cozy-collared jacket in case it gets brisk-brisk (see the slideshow). But more than anything, I think it’s important you find somewhere to wear this outfit asap, even/especially if it’s to a rooftop gardening party.
The Fancy Pants
Do you know what I don’t have, and it angers me at least once a week? A pair of fancy pants that can be worn every day when I need to feel adult, put-together, and/or gussied up, but also that can swing casual for hanging out purposes. I need them to be the following: navy, very high-waisted, cropped (to allow for all sorts of shoe options), pocketed and rendered in fall-to-winter fabric. Well ta-freaking-da: look what AG made!
Because getting dressed doesn’t always have to be so complicated if you have the right ingredients, I paired these pants with a classic white shirt, and equally classic kitten mules (meow). For the shoulders — or, you know, your arms, should that feel right to you — another fall classic: the leather jacket, since it’s a topper you can’t go wrong with. Also, and don’t get mad at me for saying this given that we’ve just gotten over August: It’s not just great for autumn. It’s exactly the kind of layering piece that is ready to take you from now, through winter, all the way into spring.
But one thing at a time! Right now, it’s pumpkin guts season.