Early September marks a shift from lazy summer days to the sound of school bells, the rush of jammed freeways and a get-down-to-business mind-set. It’s a time for fresh starts, hitting the books and the perfect first-impression outfit.
Even women beyond school age are experiencing first-day-of-school jitters as they plan their fall wardrobes. Finding a fabulous everyday outfit is difficult enough, but if you’re on a budget, it can be especially daunting.
Not to fret. Some closet staples will have you looking your best through winter into spring and beyond.
At the recent Venice Film Festival in Italy, Evan Rachel Wood made an appearance at the “Mildred Pierce” photo call in what could be the quintessential back-to-school or start-of-fall outfit. She wore a white ruffled blouse, Dolce & Gabbana black vest with leopard back, black cigarette leg trousers and Christian Louboutin Bibi 140 Kid Pumps. Her menswear ensemble looked sophisticated and, most important for this busy time of year, comfortable.
Each element of Wood’s look can be a back-to-school or fall work staple, worn together or paired with any number of items you might already own.
For a similar ruffled blouse, get the Eryn Brinie ivory gauze ruffle blouse for $58 from Bluefly.com or the women’s raw-edged ruffle top from Old Navy for $16. Pair the blouse with pants for fall, a maxi for spring or shorts in the summer.
Wood’s vest adds a menswear twist to her ensemble but can be a fun addition to any look. For a classic, get the slim vest from the Gap for $59.95, or for something a little funky, the BCBGeneration vest for $39.99 from Macys.com. Kohl’s also carries a fun, lightweight version, the LC Conrad pintuck ruffle vest for $28. All can be worn with trousers like Wood’s, with a pair of jeans and white T-shirt or over a dress.
Cigarette leg trousers are must-haves that will take you through the seasons. For a pair similar to Wood’s trousers, get the Ponte cigarette trousers from Topshop for $40 or the Warehouse cigarette pant from Asos for $87.82. Wear with a sleeveless top and heels for a night out or a T-shirt and flats for more casual occasions.
Grab some comfortable shoes, and you’re ready for a fashionable fall day.