How can you embrace cold-weather trends when temps are still topping 85 degrees? A fashion insider shares tips on dressing for a subtropical fall.
Kelly Talamas in a Rixo London dress at PAMM
The concept of fall dressing eludes most native South Floridians. And rightfully so. After all, why would one invest in a wardrobe of leather pants and wool blazers when high temperatures and oppressive humidity are still a part of our daily existence? As a Miami resident, born and raised, I am both embarrassed and proud to admit that I did not personally own a proper coat until I moved to another city at the age of 26. But yet when I see cotton eyelet and flip-flops in October, it looks so... wrong.
Boots by Toga Pulla and bag by Hunting Season
And so we find ourselves with that sartorial challenge of dressing for a subtropical fall and winter. Or, as I like to think of it, an eternal state of transitional-season weather until the summer months creep up again.
Thanks to globalization, designers are now cognizant of our sticky reality. Fall/winter collections have not only become more inclusive, with warm-weather-friendly pieces mixed into the lineup of fur, chunky knits and heavy coats, but also midseason collections such as pre-fall and resort, created precisely for our type of market, are increasingly prevalent.
Velvet bow barrette by Jennifer Behr
The trick, I’ve discovered throughout years of working in fashion while living in Miami and Mexico City, is investing in staples and exercising creativity in styling. Year-round outerwear go-tos should include a leather jacket and a jean jacket, useful even for summer, when indoor A/C is blasting. Footwear is key. Aside from sleek pumps or mules, I love ankle boots that work well with dresses when the heat is unbearable, but look chic enough with tights should temperatures drastically drop. Saint Laurent’s Blake boots are a personal favorite, along with this season’s cowboy boots from Calvin Klein, Fendi and contemporary cult labels like Ganni. As far as clothing, fall floral dresses (see: Zimmermann, Isabel Marant, Rixo London) are incredibly versatile, on trend and transition well into spring. For cold days, consider layering paper-thin turtlenecks underneath. Labels such as Dôen or LoveShackFancy are mastering the art of lightweight fall pieces, with bohemian prairie dresses and cardigans, for both day and night. A weekday go-to is the high-waist flared midi skirts, a style frequently present in Proenza Schouler’s collections, which work with both a T-shirt for hotter days or a light pullover for cooler ones. And if you love the feel of fall fabrics like velvet as much as I do, finish off your look with a velvet ribbon for your hair. It’s a cool way to get your hair off your neck when it’s stifling hot. And believe me, it will be.