I'd like to talk to you about something very important. No, not Jesus. It's fall fashion. I don't care that it is still August, which sort of implies that we are still in summer season. School is back in session, and Labor Day is a skip away, which signifies to me that summer is sayonara.
All good fashion is not necessarily trendy fashion. There are plenty of fall trends, a few of which I'll hint at, but the great thing about fall trends is their ability to work each fall. There are textures, textiles, colors, structures and combinations that work well fall after fall. By stocking up on good quality pieces, you're guaranteeing yourself a few years of solid wear.
You still may want to purchase one or two of the season's trends, but it won't be necessary. Those looking for quality pieces that will last years can find such clothes in Utica Square. Nestled in Utica Square is Flirt. Nestled inside Flirt are the beginnings of a fall collection that could begin your fall collection.
Owner Sara Bost can appreciate what fall brings. Three years ago, all was the time of year she opened Flirt. While Flirt began as a niche boutique for the younger crowd, it took one purchase from Bost's 97-year-old great aunt to convince her that the items she was choosing at New York markets truly were for everyone.
Many items featured in Flirt's fall collection come from a handful of designers. Carrying multiple items from one label allows for easy mixing and matching, which is a vital component of fall fashion when layering is the word. The color palettes throughout the store are also consistent, allowing for similar mixing and matching ease from one label to the next.
One of the featured lines at Flirt is Splendid. A table in Flirt displays Splendid long-sleeved waffle tees in an array of colors: cornflower blue, dusty pink, red, lime green, light and dark blue stripe and light and dark brown stripe. Some feature buttons; others are scoop-neck. Hanging with other lines is a Splendid fuchsia waffle-knit hoodie with scoop-neck and drawstring. Similar in the easy-to-wear fall gear are the Splendid deep v-neck t-shirts. Made from stretchy, thin, rayon fabric and constructed in a burnt orange and brown stripe, this piece has the colors of fall and ability to layer well.
The key to layering is choosing pieces made from thin fabric. Whether you're wearing multiple t-shirts or something under bulky knit or a dress, it is important that the piece closet to your skin allows for easy movement, that it doesn't add bulk to your frame or lay strangely under clothing. Additionally, it is still just fall. There is no real need for heavy items to increase warmth. Light layers are a fall staple because they translate well from cool weather outside to the heated indoors. That's also why items like cardigans and hoodies are important--they are removable layers.
While technically not a hoodie, one casual item that attracts attention is a sweater from 22. The gray or black tunic, made from sweatshirt material, has a large cowl neck. The regular loose sleeves, similar to a typical sweatshirt, taper off at the elbow to very form-fitting sleeves. There is a tie at the waist and there are two large ornamental buttons on one of the shoulders. While great for layering, this may be one piece that does not withstand the test of time's trends, but it's always good to indulge in a fad here or there.
It's also always good to indulge in cashmere. One doesn't necessarily hear the word hoodie and think high quality, but the Michael Stars black cashmere blend hoodie seems to do it. Maybe it's the addition of cashmere, but this full-zip, drawstring hoodie with front pockets seems constructed, not dumpy as many hoodies can look. Cashmere is also what makes a Splendid gray open cardigan. With its simple, long, no-closure shape, neutral color and high-quality material, it's a fall piece worth the investment.
Mock turtlenecks are certainly no surprise, but what did surprise me was a section of actual turtlenecks. While an important part to the layering family, they have not been actively used in several years. Flirt's basic turtleneck, these by Splendid, in dark brown, black and black and dark gray stripe, are there because, Bost said, they are back this fall for layering, meant to be paired with the sweater shift dress and opaque tights. To get two trends in one, you may opt for the Laurie B. dress--a turtleneck mini sweater dress that is ribbed to the waist and then floats away from the body in regular knit. In black or gray-blue, that outfit would only require the tights.
Those less inclined to wear a sweater dress can find thinner fabrics and more body conscious dresses as well. Flirt has a handful of dresses by Sweetness that all provide great shapes and good detailing: a black sleeveless dress that criss-crosses in the back while the front's neckline features three rows of gold square grommets; a teal tencel (stretchy fabric similar to jersey), sleeveless dress with a mock-halter top neckline and a peek-a-boo cut out. For a dress that's got an amazing amount of oomph, the silk Alysha Levine empire-waist, sleeveless dress provides everything a little black dress should, no matter what season.
Because fall is still not 100 percent here, neither is the full fall collection. Bost promises more varieties of sweater dresses and more cashmere sweaters.
And while they may be slightly more winter inclined, there are also an assortment of coats and jackets in bright eye-catching colors and flattering shapes. From a plaid coat in blacks, grays and reds with a high waist and a long shape, to cropped modern pea coats in bright pink, or a winter coat in bright pink and orange plaid, they still have the shapes of fall essentials. It's not necessary for something to be neutral or simplistic in order for it to work year after year because, as Bost says, these are "statement-making coats."
Fall into Flirt at 2048 Utica Square Mondays through Saturdays from 10am-6pm.
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