The fashion cycle is speeding up. It seems that the seasons are getting shorter, which means most of us are sick of our summer wardrobe by early August. But really, it’s not our fault â€” the runway shows for fall/winter occur in February of the previous year, and the spring/summer shows happen in September. These whet our appetite for the next season practically before the current one has begun. Of course, designers and retailers do have to be a few steps ahead simply to get the clothes in stores, but do we really need to see spring previews for 2007 right now?
Most fashion magazines recommend early August as the perfect time to begin shopping for fall. The stores (especially the big department stores and national chains) have already received their first fall shipments and will get more in the next few weeks. However, do you really want to try on wool and cashmere when the mercury is hitting one hundred degrees?
If you go by Nordstrom’s schedule, you’re already a month behind on your fall shopping. Their half-yearly sale started in June, and it’s essentially a pre-sale on fall pieces. Check out Neimans and Saks for leather jackets, fur trim, and suede boots â€” they’ve been available for weeks. Despite their gorgeousness, most of these clothes will make you boil from the mere sight of them, such as this heavy wool houndstooth Robert Rodriguez jacket or these Rebecca Taylor wide leg wool pants.
So what’s a stylish girl to do? By now, we’re all sick of our summer wardrobes, but the weather is definitely not going to cooperate. Well, one option is to go cold turkey on the shopping until September. You’ll still be sick of your summer clothes, but at least you won’t be driven crazy by fashion’s crazy cycles. However, you’ll be stuck with picked-over racks when it’s time to choose your fall wardrobe. Clearly, this is not the best alternative.
Another option is just to forge ahead and shop for the warm clothes that you won’t be able to wear for months. Buy what’s new in the stores and be the first one on your block to have the latest Prada bag. This is an expensive choice, though, and may eliminate your fall shopping budget in one fell swoop â€” after all, practically everything is still at full price.
The third option is probably the best. Shop the summer sales, when everything is half off or more, and get a few (or more) new pieces to tide you over. Maybe there’s a new pair of sexy sandals and a fun woven bag that you can easily put away for next year; or you can pick up a few new dresses that could be taken into fall by adding tights and a cardigan.
The key is to stick to neutral colors like black, browns, grays, etc. and prints that are not too summery (no tropical flowers) or too trendy. Check out Saks’ end of season sale and Neiman Marcus’s last call sale for major discounts on spring and summer merchandise. Some of my favorites include this Cynthia Steffe dress and crocheted cardigan, these Yves St Laurent metallic Mary Janes, and this Mulberry shoulder bag â€” all these goodies, and more, are almost half price!