FASHION EVOLUTION

I WAS A COLUMNIST FOR THIS FASHION WEBSITE IN 2009, FOCUSING ON SEASONAL TRENDS.

Fall Into Nostalgia and New Favorites
09/11/09

As summer fades into fall and neon colors fade into jewel tones, I am always inspired to dig some of the cozy favorites out of my closet. One item I just can’t seem to let go of is a ridiculously old plaid flannel button-down that actually used to be my father’s. While I definitely wouldn’t categorize this shirt as a fashionable piece, its sentimentality and vintage-y appeal certainly outweigh any pride I have in my appearance. While I’m not going to be wearing this shirt to any black-tie affairs, I know it will always have a place in my wardrobe, a soothing presence ready whenever I want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a book or take a solitary evening stroll around the neighborhood in the autumn twilight.

Just as many people revert to home cooking and comfort foods as the months grow colder, I find myself and my fashion-forward friends turning towards comfort clothing. Almost everyone I know has an old, beloved article of clothing in their closet that somehow seems appropriate to hang onto - an old college sweatshirt, flannel pajama pants, thick woolen socks - truly the “mom’s homemade casseroles” of the fashion world. It’s always a signal that the seasons are changing when a certain trend-obsessed friend turns up on my doorstep wearing a hoodie I know for a fact she’s had since high school!  There’s comfort in tradition, and I think it’s perfectly acceptable to sacrifice looking stylish sometimes.

That said, there are ways to take the spirit of an old, shabby standby and incorporate its cozy familiarity into a more presentable trend! Going back to my old plaid shirt, for instance - plaid rears its head practically every autumn, it seems, and this year is no exception. I am seeing plaid everywhere, from dresses to shirts to jackets. More power to it, I say. The print has a great deal of versatility and almost anyone can pull off a plaid piece in a classy and modern way. Many exciting offerings provide a welcome change from the Cobain-esque (and my-father-esque!) flannel button-down of yore. Marc Jacobs, one of my perpetual go-to favorites for fall, is once again providing us with an array of refreshing options to show off some plaid-patterned style.

Thankfully, the fashion world offers us an abundance of ways to marry old favorites with new trends. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, but with a bit of effort we can have the best of both worlds. I recently purchased a cute plaid shirtdress that I can’t wait to wear out and about this season, but I have no doubt that there will be a couple particularly dreary mornings when I will know the only clothing choice that will do the trick is dad’s old flannel… because, let’s face it, in the fashion world and our own personal lives, some things will never change.