It’s finally time.
I’ve been in a holding pattern with Fall because I’m still so in love with Summer and all it brings in the way of fashion: bright colors, beautiful patterns, and feminine fabrics all strategically draping tan limbs and fresh faces. I wasn’t ready to think about knitwear. But spending an hour each day of this last week trying on, discarding, trying on something else and generally making a mess of my closet has shown me, without a doubt, that I am over my summer clothes- a sentiment echoed by many of you. So in that vein, here are some helpful tips for transitioning into Fall.
Take stock and organize: between the newest fashion ads and editorials, a fever of ‘I want’ spreads: I want a camel coat, a pair of leopard print flats, a sherling-lined jacket, a chunky cashmere sweater, motorcycle boots… before you commit to any new items, you must take stock of the old. These items haven’t occupied prime closet real estate in 6 months and we forget what we have. I literally have stumbled upon items, still in dry cleaner plastic and hiding in the back of my closet, that I completely forgot I owned. And this has happened many times. When the temperature is no longer conducive to tank tops, move your warm weather clothes to the back, to the bins, and shake out your sweaters, trousers and coats to get a true sense of what you really have.
When you’ve taken stock of your bounty (and performed an impromptu closet dance party upon re-discovering that perfect item you thought had disappeared forever) and made a list of what’s to come, it’s time to accept one hard, cold truth: it’s time to inve$t. As a general rule, cold weather clothing and accessories are substantially more expensive than their warm weather counterparts. It’s part labor, part materials, and part quantity of materials, but to get good winter-wear, you’re gonna have to drop some coin. I advise planning this way- take whatever your budget is on each particular item (shoes, tops, non-denim pants) and add at least a third onto the price tag. Want to be realistic? double it. But the upside is this:
Fall and Winter wear is and always has been all about basics– neutral colors, classic silhouettes, quality fabrics- and basics are timeless. So the camel coat that is such a staple for this upcoming season has really always been a staple and will never go out of style. Rest assured, if you’re buying quality, it’s very hard to waste money this season.
My final advice is something I preach any chance I get: screw the rules. If you want to wear shorts or peep toes in October and it’s weather permitting, then wear them. Wear white, or tank tops or anything else you think looks and makes you feel fabulous. And use your imagination! If a great coat comes with a belt you don’t love, replace the belt with one you do. Always look past the obvious and toward the potential.
Though probably not known for our shopping, there are some undeniably fabulous spots in our city.
Chelsea typifies the boutique shopping experience with a staff of girls who know not only all the clothes, but also all the customers. You get a ton of individual attention in a sunny and beautiful space. As far as the clothing goes, Chelsea merchandise is casual, feminine, and a little preppy and their jewelry, especially from Denver designer Christy Lea Payne, makes a real statement and provides an earthy contrast against the ethereal feel of the clothing.
Did you know? though maybe not known for their denim, Chelsea regularly stocks some of the best denim, notably Genetic Jeans. If you are in the market for a lightweight, comfortable skinny jean, I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Mile High Style Tip:please note that Jess (the owner) and Britt (the salesgirl) look a lot alike and are often mistaken for each other. So you too don’t make this mistake, Jess is taller (at 6 feet) and Britt is at the store more frequently (since Jess just had her baby).
Also located in downtown Boulder, this store carries more high-end clothing from designers you probably know (PRADA, Diane Von Furstenberg) and some you might not (Isabel Marant, Dries Van Noten). The look of the merchandise leans toward a sleeker, edgier modern while mainstays like James Perse tops and great jeans are also available.
Did you know? MAX has incredible jewelry that is very reasonably priced for the quality. Specifically, I would recommend the rosegold lace cuff bracelet.
Migh High Style Tip:if you can afford to break the bank on a bag, MAX is the place to do it. They carry Givenchy which, in our opinion, is as good as it gets anywhere.
#3 COMMON THREADS:
This is, quite simply, the best it gets for clothing consignment anywhere. Designers range from the highest end (Chanel, Stella McCartney, Marni) to middle of the road (Calypso, Milly, Marc by Marc Jacobs) to the cutest of the mainstream (JCREW, Banana Republic, H&M.) The only thing better than the incredible selection are the prices: criminally low.
Did you know? their selection of jeans is extensive, and all denim looks a little better with some wear.
Mile High Style Tip:get in good with Libby, the owner, who gives her dedicated following a heads up when amazing pieces come into the store.
Generally, this store can be a bit of a mixed bag, with some items (generally tops) lacking in quality construction. However, there are incredible gems to be found if you survey the entire store. What we like about Anthropologie is their style identity: bohemian feminine. A few of their pieces, mixed with some of a different style, make for a distinct and very stylish look.
Did you know? Anthropologie furniture (mainly sold online) is pretty high-end stuff and, if it’s in your budget, is worth the money.
Mile High Style Tip:the costume jewelry is amazing and incredibly affordable. Hair pieces, necklaces and cuff bracelets all make a big impression when paired with a clean and modern outfit, or juxtaposed with any fine jewelry pieces already in your closet.
#5 HW HOME:
When searching online, I always seem to confuse this store with wshome.com (which is Williams Sonoma’s home collection), an apt mistake considering how similar I find these two stores. However, the difference between them is in the details. HW has everything you could possibly need to furnish your home, but each piece has real personality, flair and elegance. The sales staff is lovely and pets are encouraged (which, considering the price point of their merchandise, is something special.)
Did you know? you can find some of the best candles at this store. What Geodesis candles may lack in mainstream brand recognition, they more than make up for in quality.
Mile High Style Tip:the sheets and bedding accoutrements are stylish, modern, and often on sale.
#6 8th AND PEARL ANTIQUES:
Nestled inconspicuously in West Pearl, this antique store has some quality finds: tavern style leather and wood dining room chairs, Spanish chandeliers, antiqued mirrors, and a 1920’s Maytag washer that I am always hoping someone will throw a piece of glass over and make into a table.
Did you know? if you don’t find anything on your first few trips in, keep coming back. With stores like this, quality pieces sell fast and getting the good stuff can be as simple as being there at the right time.
Mile High Style Tip:if you are looking for decorative vintage kitchenware and tools, this is the place to find them.
Newer to the Boulder retail scene, this consignment boutique stocks gently used home furnishings that, with a little imagination, can become masterpieces. While some of the pieces are living room ready, others need a creative mind to see the potential. I bought an outdated Victorian sofa with amazing bones and a very reasonable price, had the wood stripped and bleached and the upholstery redone; Now it is the statement piece of my living room, its value substantially increased.
Did you know? the staff is very knowledgeable about local talent who can fix, change, help transform old into new, tired into inspired.
Mile High Style Tip:if you see a piece that is great except for one or two details, ask yourself if those are things that can be altered. Most can, and I have literally amazing transformations. Since Clutter’s merchandise is priced so reasonably, having the work done is really worth the investment.
Tucked away under the Pearl Street mall, down the hall from a radical bookstore, this store will change your life if you love chandeliers. The size of a large walk-in closet and stocked floor to ceiling with the most amazing pieces of all sizes and styles, Mike the owner and his wife bring all their stock from trips to Europe. Better still, the prices are seriously reasonable when you do a little comparison shopping.
Did you know? Tony knows all about the excessive mark-ups most home furnishing stores place on their chandeliers, as well as the shortcuts they take in regional branding (i.e. Murano), allowing them to further gauge you on the sale price. Ask him about it.
Mile High Style Tip: I personally love his small chandeliers best. Place them in a bedroom or master bathroom to create instant elegance, ambience and chic.
Honorable Mention: Arhaus Furniture, Design Within Reach, Two Sole Sisters