Playing with Patterns and Plaids

This past weekend we welcomed fall with open arms and open closets. There’s nothing in the world like pulling out under-bed bins filled with pretty prints, soft flannels, and cozy sweaters in anticipation of the chillier months ahead. Of course, here in the South, we won’t be getting cool weather anytime soon… but a girl can dream.

Inspired by the color palette of a late October morning I (after multiple last-minute changes and tweaks to the ole’ ensemble) donned an outfit that you will no doubt see on repeat over the next few months. Warm plaid mixed with caramel hues and suede textures sounds much more like an armchair than the perfect fall outfit, but I’m confident you’ll be inspired by the look just as much as I was.

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We set off to the lake with an apple in my purse and a backpack full of camera gear to capture the rarely seen changing of the wardrobe. It was a balmy 85 degrees so I opted for a summer skirt in a fall color to take the place of a corduroy jumper – I love showing you all new looks but what I don’t like is dying of a heat stroke.

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But all complaining aside, the next few moments were dedicated to capturing golden hour in the goldest hues. I made sure to emphasize all my favorite fall trends for this shoot: plaid, ruffles, boots, suede, tortoiseshell buttons, and a classic braided belt.

But let me let you in on a little secret: I do have a love/hate relationship with plaid. It might surprise you that all plaids are not created equal. Different patterns create different looks, and not all look good on everyone. I personally don’t love a buffalo plaid. The large, bold squares tend to diminish my already diminutive frame so I tend to steer my shopping cart in the direction of a classic tartan or Madras (as seen on my newly thrifted blouse).

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The key to pulling off a classic check without looking like you stepped out of Little House on the Prairie (no disrespect to Laura, Mary, and Ma) is getting the details spot-on. This particular shirt is a bit oversized, has a lovely ruffle detail down the front, and narrows at the wrists.

Without these unique details, I would have just drowned in a sea of pattern. And any true fashionista will tell you the key to a polished look is a good belt to cinch everything in. Top off the look with your favorite pair of boots. Fawn suede is my weakness so when my go-to pair got ruined in the rain in NYC I spent the summer hunting down a new pair.

This past week my new boots came in the mail so I popped them on and away I went, not a blister in sight and so far, so good! The real test will be seeing if they hold up in Seattle and Portland.

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And thus the lovely golden moment ended, just as all moments do, and the plaid was rehung in the closet ready to be packed up for our upcoming trip. And in true Emily fashion, I re-donned my leggings and sweatshirt, lit a Spiced Graham Cracker candle, and set the A/C a little chillier to finish out the first Sunday of fall.

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Emily Lewandowski @emilyjlewandowski