Western, Retro and Layered Simplicity

A fall preview of mom-approved styles
Fea Shopbopframeextremeginghamshirt
Photo courtesy of ShopBop
FRAME’s Extreme Gingham Shirt

It’s that time of year again. What to buy? What not to buy? What’s in? What’s out? Every major fashion publication, online and offline retailer, style influencer and blogger have shared their take on the subject.

It’s encouraging — and liberating — that 21st century fashion continues to debunk the importance and relevance of trends. It’s also inspiring to see a real shift in fashion consciousness.

A growing number of consumers want to know where their clothes come from, what they are made of and other details they previously didn’t worry about. These consumers often support designers and companies that place importance on socio-economics, environmental footprints and giving back to their communities. DÔEN, SVILU, Brother Vellies, Christy Dawn, Beatrice Valenzuela, Khokho, Pansy, Alabama Chanin and local Raleigh Denim Workshop are a few designers who value these principles. They are a part of the “slow fashion” movement, which prioritizes quality manufacturing to lengthen the life of a garment. These pieces often carry higher price tags, but — as with just about everything — you get what you pay for.

I was first introduced to slow fashion a few years ago during a New York City fashion and food retreat, during which I had the chance to meet womenswear designer Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin. She helped awaken me to the idea that a slight shift in mindset can lead to major change.

But the best fashion advice for busy moms remains the same: Keep it simple and wear clothing that flatters your heart, mood, shape, personality and, sometimes, alter ego. Wear what makes you happy and makes you feel good.

Also, don’t think about following rules so much, but do educate yourself and others so you can understand your designer’s ecological footprints and the industry’s environmental impact. Make your shopping process a thoughtful one by investing in pieces that stand the test of time.

Cheers to a new generation of consumers who continue to decide for themselves what’s in and what’s out. Here’s a roundup of what’s on the 2018 autumn and winter fashion frontier. (Price-conscious alternatives are provided for some of the more expensive pieces.)

Home on the Range

Try a dose of sweet and easy prairie-inspired style with DÔEN’s Billie Top, which pairs well with high-waisted bottoms; shopdoen.com, $125.

Feel feminine in New York Label Batsheva’s Gingham and Ruffle-Trimmed Cotton Skirt; matchesfashion.com, $286. Price-conscious alternative: Zara Cotton-Pleated Skirt in brick; zara.com, $49.90.

The season’s must-have Western-inspired footwear is Isabel Marant’s Derlyn Boot; shop.nordstrom.com, $655. Price-conscious alternative: Marc Fisher Yohanti Bootie; shop.nordstrom.com, $189.95.

Add comfort and color to your wardrobe with Zara’s Patchwork Print Dress with pockets; zara.com, $69.90.

FRAME’s Extreme Gingham Shirt also offers updated prairie style; shopbop.com, $275.

Retro Rewind

Helmut Lang’s Frayed Trim Sheer Knit Sweater

Photo courtesy of MatchesFashion.com

Add an ’80s flashback to your fall wardrobe with A.L.C. Cotton Corduroy Trousers; barneys.com, $295.

H&M’s Knee-Length Denim Skirt also takes a retro turn back in time; hm.com, $34.99.

Isabel Marant Étoile’s Aliff Jeans feature a striped ’80s-like pattern; shopbop.com, $330.

Add a pop of ’80s neon with Helmut Lang’s Frayed Trim Sheer Knit Sweater; lyst.com, $399. Price-conscious alternative: Zara Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater; zara.com, $35.90.

Amanda Uprichard’s Jilly Top works well with jeans or a high-waisted skirt; shopbop.com, $172.

Silk, Satin and Sequins

Seek inspiration from your mother’s or grandmother’s silk scarf collection. Mix and match color and print with strategic draping and asymmetrical hemlines, as you can with Preen Line Blossom’s Floral-Print Asymmetric Tiered Skirt; lyst.com, $283.  

Get creative by draping and wrapping an oversized scarf on your head or across your neck to achieve a pulled-together style that also combats chilly temperatures.

Steal the night in FRAME’s simple Satin Lounge Dress; shopbop.com, $450.

Don Theia’s Scarlet Sequin Gown at your next holiday party; shopbop.com, $295.

Keep your eyes open for embellished pieces featuring three-dimensional sequined and metal detailing, such as Zara’s Knit Top With Rings; zara.com, $49.90.

Cozy Up

Warm up in H&M’s Hooded Faux Fur Coat; hm.com, $129.

Go totally luxe in MSGM’s Faux Fur Short Jacket; shopbop.com, $950.

Denim Dreams

Don’t forget to pick up a pair of the season’s must-have straight-leg jeans. Try Madewell’s Slim Straight Jeans in Hammond Wash for a tailored but casual look; madewell.com, $128.

The Madison: Raw Jean in Indigo from Raleigh Denim Workshop offers a darker jean alternative; raleighdenimworkshop.com, $225.

Eve Denim’s Juliette Jean Tribeca Wash presents pure denim perfection in a basic style; evedenim.com, $310. 

24/7 Fashion

Ganni’s Dainty Georgette Dress

Photo courtesy of MATCHESFASHION.com

Go casual or dressy with Zara’s one-piece Animal Print Dress; zara.com, $69.90.

Head straight from the office to predinner drinks in SMYTHE’s Portrait Neck Blazer; shopbop.com, $695.

Ganni’s Dainty Georgette Dress offers simple, feminine comfort for the weekend; ganni.com, $235.

Style your weekend right in IRO.JEANS Kunky Plaid Jacket; shopbop.com, $462.

IRO.JEANS Kunky Plaid Jacket

Photo courtesy of ShopBop.com

Extend Your Wardrobe

Top breezy, silhouette summer dresses already hanging in your closet with sweaters and oversized cardigans. Many pre-fall 2018 collections look like an extension of spring.

Lovely Locks

Snazz up your hair this season with:

Note: Prices may have changed since press time. Check websites for updates.

Helen Banzet Wallace is a freelance writer, fashion blogger and mom. Her work has appeared in local and regional publications.


Categories: Lifestyle, Stuff We Love, Style