FMC member Suze Solari is the founder of Suze Solari Style, and author of the Stylish Upgrades series books: The T-Shirt & Jeans Handbook, The Blouse & Skirt Handbook, and the newest Curvy Girl’s Style Handbook. She is a personal style expert known for helping clients align their style with their brand and lifestyle, and shows them how to maximize their wardrobe investment by wearing the right pieces to achieve their goals. Here, she helps Founding Moms transition wardrobes from summer to fall, stress-free.
Fall is the best time to refresh your mindset and wardrobe so that you can transition wardrobes from summer to fall. With the changing weather, October is the ideal month to take inventory and give yourself the opportunity to review your personal and professional goals. Whether you know it or not, your wardrobe plays an important role.
Most of my clients start to panic about what to wear in this time of transition. Fear not! After nine years in my business helping people look and feel fabulous in their clothes, I have developed four strategies for achieving a functioning and empowering wardrobe for fall. I am excited to share these steps with Founding Moms and help you implement them in your own closet.
As this new season arrives, let’s take a look at your wardrobe and make sure that it’s ready for the cooler months ahead. To avoid overwhelm by this approach, note your habits. Like to get things done? Choose a weekend and have at it. If not, take one task and let yourself complete it slowly over one week.
Working right to left, or clockwise, sort through key areas of your closet. Identify items that do not flatter, fit or enhance your body shape. Develop an understanding of what fit and silhouette is best suited to your body shape, so you feel chic and comfortable in every garment.
One way to curate your wardrobe on a continuous basis is a method I recommend to my more-fastidious clients. At the beginning of the season, place a colored hanger on the left-hand side of each section. Anything you have worn goes to the left side of that hanger when you return it. Next season’s edit will be easier because anything to the right was never worn.
Consider the items that go unworn. Try my “two tries” rule: if you put on a garment and then immediately take it off to wear something else two or more times, let it go.
Anything more than six months old that still has price tags on it was probably a mistake. If it doesn’t excite you and/or it doesn’t work with your other pieces, assess what doesn’t work about it, and let it go.
Remove and itemize items that don’t fit, or are in need of repair or cleaning and make a staging area for action to be taken. I like to put a bin by the door: When I leave the house knowing I’m going near the consignment shop or shoe cobbler, I can grab the item and get the task completed.
Confidently keep only those versatile garments that are a true expression of yourself, that you feel good in, and that presents you in the manner and style aesthetic you wish to be perceived.
Make getting dressed every day joyful, timely, and productive by using these and tools and processes:
- Space is a key component in how you plan a closet layout. If you are fortunate to have linear square footage, and deep shelving for shoes, now is the time to rotate sandals to the rear and boots to the front of your closet. Swap lightweight silky items out for woolen and furry garments.
- Organize by color, then garment type: This is the best way for me to find everything. The more you can see the things you have, the more creative you can be with your ensembles.
- Invest in useful and time-saving tools: a valet hook for staging outfits, jewelry racks or trays for keeping categories separated and untangled.
Build your outfits around pieces that feel core to your personal sense of style that you’ll feel good about wearing years down the road, but also mix in a few trend-forward items to keep them modern.
Beyond the key basics you should have year-round, there are certain pieces needed when transitioning into cooler temperatures. These will allow you to create a multitude of fabulous outfits. Work with what you have, and invest in these quality items on my fall wardrobe checklist.
Top 5 Essential Garments
- Dark rinse, wide leg trouser jean
- Fitted navy blazer
- Classic trench coat
- Brown leather jacket
- Luxurious white or cream top
Top Five Accessories for Fall
- Bold necklace, in silver or gold
- Menswear watch
- Chunk heel ankle boot
- Thin belt, in metallic leather
- Satchel handbag
Extend summer just a little.
Yes, we want to transition wardrobes from summer to fall, but you can hold on just a bit longer. I am loath to give up my summer clothes and sandals. Living in Chicago, I want the few warm months that we have to linger and to stave off the idea of winter as long as possible. Here are two ways to extend summer a little and take these two warm-weather staples into fall by layering.
- White Jeans: these can be worn well into cooler months by combining them with a long sleeve print top. Make sure white is in the pattern, and pair it with a woolen or knit vest. Add grey suede booties and accessories with these colors and tones to complete the look.
- Summer dress: add a thick legging, a thin belt and wear the dress as a tunic. Top with a fuzzy cardigan or leather jacket, riding boots, and voilà – you have a “new” fall outfit!
Get the most out of your wardrobe.
Consider these additional mindful tactics to get the most out of your wardrobe.
- Value your time. What is your time worth? Are you regularly staring at your closet, putting on, then taking off clothing, and hanging up the piles when you get home? Perhaps showing up to work in a bad mood, online shopping without buying anything, trying things on in dressing rooms to not buy, or to return them? How could you make more or add more value to the world if you had that time back?
- Make more money. When you look like a million bucks, and then feel like it, you are more likely to raise your prices, get the promotion, land the dream job or ideal client.
- Give more. Want to make more of an impact for good? Have more money to invest in your children, hobbies, travel? Save money on your own clothes every year and turn that into good. Who could you help if you saved $5K in the next 5 years?
- Reflect more. Fall is the best time to decide whether your goals are still a good fit and evaluate how we are showing up in the world. Using the changing seasons as a physical reminder of growth allows us to go with the rhythm of our bodies and nature.
If you would like more useful style tips and resources, sign up for Suze’s monthly newsletter, and receive a free digital copy of her first book!