By Marianne Schnell and the The Neat Sheet Team
The Neat Sheet
Portland blog on fashion, shopping
The onset of cold weather and depressing downpours may be saddening to some, but embracing Fall Fashion 2010 can soften the chilly blow. And let’s face it, Portland: We’re more at home in a hoodie and waders than a bikini anyway, so let’s fall forward gracefully and embrace some upcoming seasonal style.
On a global level, current fashion is all about the updated classics: camel overcoats, white button-ups, polished trousers, opulent sweaters, leather jackets and sturdy boots. This new style of bold minimalism features strong silhouettes, clean lines and durable materials. So what’s the modern twist on the local level?
“Leather and shearling are huge” declares Mercantile contemporary buyer Marc Murfitt of this season’s textural trend. The fashion-forward general manager of downtown Portland’s boutique department store cites one exceptional camel coat on order from Smythe (right) as his favorite of all for fall. “It fits like an amazing bathrobe,” he said. Luxury and comfort? We’re sold! What else can local shoppers expect to find around town?
Welcome military chic, ladylike contrasting, animal print accents, higher pant waists, lower skirt hems, kitten heels and an abundance of leather and fur. While you’re tossing summer out the closet and making room for fall’s greatest trends, be sure to clear a big space for some seriously in-your-face boots, too.
Fashionably speaking, fall is hitting PDX hard this season, yet it’s leaving a soft spot to mix in your most feminine pieces. Here at The Neat Sheet our team of five fashion-forward gals has already started shopping for our favorite fall must-haves. Check out our plans to brave any Portland storm in style from top to toe:
Early on I decided that my must-have pick for fall was a military/anorak style jacket. One day in late August I airlifted myself (okay, drove) on over to Northwest 23rd Avenue with a mission: To search out and capture my target. My recon operation was successful after I spied this Brooklyn Industries mid length utility jacket ($118, right). A perfect summer-to-fall transitional coat, the lightweight fabric is ideal for throwing on over shorts and a tank now, and to casually dress down a long skirt and boots combo later. The hood is practically mandatory ’round these parts, and the drawstring waist gives a nice flattering shape. You also can’t ignore capelets and camel for fall, but this is my top gun. Over and out. Brooklyn Industries, 735 N.W. 23rd Ave.; 503-241-4898. www.brooklynindustries.com
Now is the perfect time to fall in love with an opulent-yet-practical knit. Play with the season’s top looks by layering a feminine, silk blouse underneath (like the look featured above from Brooklyn Industries), and top it off with a more rugged military jacket. Or better yet, splurge on a luxurious, timeless sweater that fit likes a dream and is soft like buttah. Keep it classic by investing in a streamlined cut that is versatile enough to wear with trousers for the office and jeans on the weekend. Be it a cashmere cardi or a virgin wool V-neck, indulge in something so special it’s bound to put the rest of your ill-fitting and pilling sweater collection to shame. I’d break the bank and go for a modern day Jackie O. in this Vince Cable Yoke Sweater ($285 at Mercantile, right) paired with wide leg denim, a long military trench and leopard print flats. Now that’s deluxe. Mercantile, 729 S.W. Alder St.; 503-223-6649.
For fall, this skirt is super-fly times three trillion! The Gary Bigeni-Stam Long Wool Jersey Skirt ($148 at Frances May, right) is so simple yet stunningly versatile. It can be worn with a crop top, corset, sheer top or ’70s style silk blouse. It can be belted and worn with a trench coat (military or safari/camel colored), a cardigan, denim jacket or leather jacket. You can also pair it with black motorcycle boots or combat boots to channel a ’90s grunge/goth vibe, or up the look with kitten heels and a fur/shearling coat for a ’50s inspired look. More props also go to other long on style looks including wide-leg trousers, bellbottom jeans and soft, slouchy pants. Frances May, 1013 S.W. Washington St.; 503-227-3402. www.francesmay.com
Boots are always big news in PDX, and this year it’s the no-duh ankle bootie — whether lace-up combat style, clog bottom or Western inspired like my own top pick, these limited edition J Brand Oxblood Western Boots (anxiously awaiting arrival any day now at Moxie). I want to wear these with my lazy leggings-and-short skirt uniform, or peeping from beneath the new DL1691 jeans from Blake in that super-casual, unknowing, “What, I look hot?” kinda way. Beyond this perfect pair, I’m diggin’ the Martha Davis handmade booties in a goes-with-everything shade of smoke from Souchi, and perhaps if the night gets good enough these Inn Credible Bronx heeled boots from Solestruck. Oh, and P.S., Portland gals who’ve been tromping around for years in Hunter Wellington Waders and/or Frye campus cowboy boots can rest assured they’re both still in demand. Check out the amazing boot bonanza at Imelda’s and Louie’s Shoes for proof. Moxie, 2400 E. Burnside St.; 503-296-6943. www.moxiepdx.com
On my fall wish-list? A modern fall handbag that’s still timeless, functional and will look good with almost any outfit. It’s a no-brainer in the bag with this classic leather Hobo handbag ($274, Imeldas and Louie’s Shoes), perfectly in line with the season’s structured looks and available in four perfect neutrals — grey, black, brown and red. The chain link detail toughens its ladylike exterior, and the sophisticated shape will carry you from work to wine-down time in style. Imelda’s and Louie’s, 935 N.W. Everett St. and 53426 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-233-7476. www.imeldasandlouies.com