Timeless Pieces for a Southern California Fall
Don’t get me wrong: summer is my prime. But after months of hot weather, I’m ready for the seasons to change, wear hoodies to school, and for the clouds to move in. In SoCal though, the start of fall really means temperatures averaging at 70 degrees and carrying around a light sweater in case you get cold.
Most fall fashion articles involve a lot of layering and puffer coats. However, that only applies to the east coast. So, what is fall fashion in California? Although the weather doesn't necessarily permit layering or any sort of big shift in wardrobe, here are a few fall fashion must-haves for the 70-degrees-and-sunny type of season.
To be honest, I actually used to be a loafer-hater. However, I realized that they are such a timeless shoe that, no matter how many changes you make to them, they will never really fall out of style. Personally, I would style loafers with a skirt, an oversized sweater, and gold jewelry. They also go great with any type of dress, a pair of trousers, and baby-tees.
Basic Longer Tops
What really marks the difference between summer and fall, for me, is the transition from cropped tops to longer tops. I love styling them with low-rise pants, sweat pants, or even just regular jeans for a sleek and flattering look. Long tops are such a staple in any closet– they work for any season, can be paired with so many combinations, and are a great layering piece for when the weather drops below that 70 degree range.
Low-rise Cargo Pants
Cargo pants blend a ton of recent trends— including parachute pants, low rise jeans, and this sort of grunge, Y2K style. Not only are they stylish, but they’re also super practical and comfortable. I was listening to Anything Goes, Emma Chamberlain's podcast, and she brought up that cargo pants are so incredibly timeless– really, they have just morphed from military to streetwear.
If I could endorse one fall trend, it would be puffer vests. Until around January, full fledge puffer jackets are not the most practical for any Californian. This is why puffer vests are superior. They give us the layering opportunity we so badly want, while also having so much variety– from cropped, to oversized, to even fur-lined.
I’ll admit that this is a little outside the realm of California fall. But they are definitely a great transition piece when the temperatures actually start to drop. If you haven’t heard of it, a balaclava is basically a beanie that extends to partially cover your face and neck. There are many people that are crocheting or knitting balaclavas– presenting a great opportunity to support a small business.
When I first started seeing people wear onesies, I was pretty caught off guard. This trend really came out of nowhere, but I think it’s here to stay. Here in SoCal, we’re all about practicality and athleisure– making onesies the perfect combination of both. However, one-pieces are expanding their horizons as many people are starting to style them for just an everyday look. I would style one with a casual blazer or zip up jacket, black boots, scrunched socks, and a bag of some sort.
I think we’re past the 2016 halterneck sort of vibe, but this type of neckline still gives us that more modest, classy look. What is great about these tops is that they go great under a sweater or zip up, and can be dressed up with a midi skirt or down with a pair of jeans. Recently, Jules Leblanc launched her clothing line, Velanche, that features this style.
Along with the larger components of a California fall wardrobe comes the smaller details. Oddly enough, socks are a great place to start. Scrunched up socks add a cozy feeling to any outfit while also not being too warm or layered. I love pairing longer socks with high top shoes, boots, and loafers.
Aside from the basic cable-knit sweater, varsity sweaters are a great style for anyone going for a more preppy look. Typically, they have some sort of accentuated v-neckline, but vary greatly material wise. For the cool days, there are ones made of a sweatshirt or soft knit material. And for the colder days, you can find some great heavy knit options.
Tight Plaid Blazers
Plaid just screams fall. Ff you are looking for a way to incorporate fall into your wardrobe, this one's for you. Blazers can be dressed up or down and still offer some warmth when the temperature drops. When you combine that with a tighter plaid, usually in warm neutral colors, you have the perfect fall statement piece.
Cross-body Messenger Bags
Speaking of practicality, have you considered a messenger bag? Over the summer, I found this amazing vintage black, leather, cross body bag. Safe to say I’m obsessed. They hold so much more than a mini purse, so you can actually bring your seasonal allergy medicine on the go. I love styling them with a sweater and jeans or mini shirt for the perfect cozy, on the go fall outfit.
An Important Reminder:
Although getting new clothes for the season can be super exciting, it’s also incredibly important to stay sustainable. Textile waste is a huge problem in the U.S. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 66% of all textile waste was landfilled in 2018. This accounts for 7.7% of all municipal solid waste in the U.S.
For a lot of these styles, I used the word timeless. Therefore, they have been part of popular fashion for a long time or have resurfaced from an earlier decade. You can find a ton of these items at local thrift stores or reselling apps like Depop and Poshmark. This gives you an opportunity to not only build a California fall wardrobe, but also limit our textile waste.
All photos credited to Pinterest