welcome to fall. now, let's play dress-up.

it's officially fall as of 5:04am today! happy happy happy day! the solstice, cooler temps and the leaves may be right on time, but i'm still a little behind on my fall home decorating and supplementing my wardrobe. my kitchen table is scattered with my box of fall decor and my closet is still full of summer. as i'm still unemployed (gah), my list of things-to-buy for autumn is pretty abbreviated. i honestly have a pretty huge selection of fall goodness stuffed in the back of my closet already, so i really only need a few fun updates to be right on target. here are my top ten must-haves in no particular order:

1. cable knee (preferably over-the-knee) socks in ivory, brown and gray: i love this look and rocked it yesterday, actually, with my one pair of not-very-cool tall socks. i definitely want to make it a more regular occurence. it's surprisingly flattering.

2. sage/olive green textured tights: i'm not personally in to the bright HI I'M WEARING COLORED TIGHTS! look. this, instead, is subtle and extremely cool.

3. mustard a-line skirt: i haven't been able to find a reasonable skirt that fits my specifications, which means that i will probably be sewing one very soon. unfortunately it will not have these pretty modcloth pleats, but it will still look excellent with virtually my entire fall wardrobe.

4. neutral booties: we all know how this search is going. not well.

5. black cigarette pants: forever 21 used to have the best fitting pair for like $12. where did they go!? i also want a few pairs of the minnie pant, or a similar (cheaper) replacement.

6. target striped shirt: every time i've been to target lately, i've picked up this shirt. i don't need another striped shirt. i have no job. but lordy if i don't want it. i love the color and the little gold sprinkle of sequins on the shoulders hints that you've just been to a fabulous party with lots of confetti. i see a lot of great outfit options here, many of which include a skinny belt. 

7. long black winter gloves: this summer, i bought two coats at the goodwill. one, a fantastic vintage black swing coat with tortoiseshell buttons and a mink collar. the second, an eggplant-colored car coat with a faux fur collar and black jeweled buttons. both need an excellent pair of black elbow-length winter gloves.

8. tribal-inspired bone necklace: love this one from la garconne, but, you know. it's $246. no, thank you. i will find a cheaper one sooner or later.

9. red trousers: i find it interesting that i like these pants so much. i don't really do a lot of bright colors and i don't really love red anywhere but my lips or my fingernails. but every time i walk by express lately, i stop to admire these trousers. i want to wear them with a wrinkled white button down, some major leopard pumps, a whole mess of gold bracelets and some bold black liquid eyeliner.

10. navy checked button down shirt: this kills me. in college, i had this shirt. but then i got rid of it. this is why i don't clean out my closet. because i always end up wanting things again. i will continue to scour the goodwill racks until i find a sufficient replacement. it will look super tucked in with my skinnys, some over-the-knee boots and aforementioned socks, a wide belt and a bunch of messy chunky jewelry.

in addition to what i want, i have already acquired and/or rediscovered quite a few things that have strongly influenced my fall outfit plans. you're dying to know, right? i know.

1. slouchy gray cardigans: i have two. they resemble the one above and literally go with everything, including my pajamas.

2. poncho: is it a sweater? is it a blanket? who's to say? i've decided that these are cool again. i have two, neither of which i have worn yet, and one of which i plan to dye a cool color. i love them and their slouchy-ness. i'm also seriously considering picking this ruana (which i lump in the poncho category) up at target.

3. feather earrings: honestly, i think the feather hair extensions are getting a bit out of control. every other eight year old has a pink or a blue one; and for those of us that are on the job hunt, somehow a feather just doesn't really say "hi, i'm a professional".  unless you are interviewing for a job as pocahontas, in which case i highly recommend the poncho as well. the solution? feather earrings. they aren't permanent and somehow i like them better. i picked up two very subtle, yet very cool pairs at the mighty dollar this past weekend. meaning each pair only cost $1. i have already gotten my money's worth out of them and i am just getting started.

4. oatmeal suede over-the-knee boots: these have already received their own blog post, and i think it's clear how much i love them. lucky's fall shoe guide also said stacked heel boots are in. holler.

5. stacked bracelets: my bracelets lately have been out. of. control. i used to be a jewelry minimalist aside from my giant men's watch, but lately, the more of everything the better. i'm pretty sure this is a man-repeller trend, as at least four that i can think of have ridiculed my bangled wrists within the last month, but i love them and i can't stop buying or layering.

6. cross-body bags: a few months ago, my friend ashley saw that i was scoping out the vintage coach bags while antique shopping, was kind enough to acquire her mom's old coach bags that were no longer wanted, and gave me an excellent navy willis bag (above) with a cross-body strap. i was instantly in love and then even more so when i discovered that the exact same bag had recently been re-released with coach's classics collection. i'm so fortunate to have such thoughtful, stylish friends with stylish mothers who like to keep their coach collection up to date. i've also recently discovered that two of my more slouchy shoulder bags can easily be converted to cross-body. i love it when that happens.

and, finally, the onset of cooler temperatures makes me excited to wear make-up and style my hair again. it hasn't been too pretty this summer, but i'm really excited about some of my current beauty obsessions and i think they're definitely shaping my overall fall look...

1. liquid eyeliner: ive been wanting to try this ever since i saw these models in the banana republic mad men collection, but i'll admit, i was scared. i'd never used liquid. that is, until blair demonstrated how awesome and easy it really is. i grabbed a $1 elf tube at target for practice and i am completely hooked. i thought a bold black line might look harsh on my fair features, but my eyes have never looked so bright or defined. i'm completely hooked and i can't wait to check out some other colors.

2. red and gray nails: in the past, i've been a neutral nail gal, but lately i'm really loving reds, deep purpley reds and most recently, gray nails. i always swore i'd never wear anything that wasn't in the pink or red family, but lacey bought me a bottle and gray is actually really cool, sophisticated and surprisingly flattering on my skin tone.

3. dark lipstick (deep red and plum): again, aside from dance recitals, i've always shied away from bold lips, scared that i would look overdone or, worse, like a character from twilight. and again, i was wrong. i can't stop wearing deep red and a dark, brownish-plum color. they brighten up my entire face and i can minimalize the rest of my make-up, therefore streamlining the process and saving precious minutes. i'm also surprised at how sophisticated and pretty i feel with such dark lips.

4. hot rollers: remember when i hot rolled my hair in the eighth grade for school pictures? oh, wait. you wouldn't remember that because i've hidden every possible photo in hopes that no one would see my out-of-control tresses or my sunflower jumper. back then, before i discovered a blow dryer and smoothing creme, it was not cute. but i have lately rediscovered my same set of rollers from the eighth grade and am loving it. my hair holds the curl well, preventing me from having to wash it for days on end, and it's just the perfect amount of undone tousle that no longer resembles the contestants on toddlers in tiaras.

i think the best part about the cooler months for me is feeling inspired again. it is so much fun to play with my clothes, make-up and hair and actually feel pretty when i leave the house; which is something that never happens in the summer when i'm sweaty, stinky, and generally angry. reading blogs, magazines and observing stylish women pushes me to try new things and take a step out of my comfort zone, which is something that i never used to do when i was less confident prior to my twenties. i love that my look is constantly evolving and that taking risks beauty and fashion-wise often gives me more confidence and opens the door to new things that i had no idea i'd like so much. it's fun being surprised like that and of course, it's fun finding a look that is my own and staying true to what makes me feel wonderful. now, go buy something new for yourself and celebrate fall!

images: 1.weheartit 2.threadsence 3.peruvianconnection 4.modcloth 5.target 6.lagarconne 7.express 8.jcrew 9.kendieveryday 10.smartset 11.carolinesmode 12.threadsence 13.atlantic-pacific 14.coach
15.sea-change 16.google 17.pinterest 18.brooklynblonde

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