And just like that … it’s fall. Every, every year, September catches me out. Either I’m not ready for fall, still wearing my sandals and tee shirts when it turns cool. Which can be a big pain especially when one is travelling. I’m thinking of 2019 when we were in Croatia, and upon arriving in Zagreb, I noticed that all of a sudden I was totally out of season. Or I’m too ready. I’ve packed all my warm weather gear away, and I get caught downtown one warm afternoon sweating in a cashmere sweater and boots. I think I’m much more of an October person, actually.

The crisp fall nights have begun here now. Even if the days are still warm. I won’t be hauling out my tweeds and heavy cashmere just yet. But I need to plan some comfortable transition outfits. Easy to wear pieces, which combine my summer wardrobe with my fall. Pieces that will work together, be seasonably appropriate, and will get me through to October when I can do a full closet turnover.

This morning I unpacked a few fall pieces from my storage drawers and closet. Including my old favourite black faux leather pants. These pants are on their last legs. Pun intended. I’m keeping my eye out for a replacement pair. In the meantime, this morning I wore them with my Everlane light cashmere crew-neck sweater, my Birkenstock-style sandals (similar), and an old black and grey camo reversible windbreaker from Theory. I really like this outfit. Especially my leather pants with the sandals. I’ve only ever worn them with loafers or boots. But the sandals are chunky enough to work well with the heavier pants. And this Everlane sweater has done yeoman service since I bought it. So even though I’m in sandals, I still feel seasonably appropriate in this outfit.

Transition to fall outfit. Black leather pants, black Birkenstock sandals, black Everlane cashmere sweater, Theory windbreaker, beside a red car.
Shiny pants, shiny sandals, shiny lip.

I just checked and the cashmere crew from Everlane that I own is no longer available. But the men’s cashmere crew has several colours in stock and the style looks similar to mine. I’ve noticed that a couple of the young YouTubers I follow buy men’s cashmere sweaters. It’s a good idea, I think, especially if you prefer a roomy style.

I spied this sweater, below, when I was digging through my storage drawers. I bought it at J Crew in 2014 and I’ve rarely worn it. Every year I think about donating it. And every year I don’t. I thought I would give it one more chance since the lace applique matches my cargo pants so perfectly. And the loose, but not too loose, fit works well with the pants. Still… that tan colour does me no favours now that my hair is white. It’s time for this sweater to go to a new home, don’t you think?

J Crew sweater, Aritzia cargo pants, Paul Green boots. Fall outfit.
Not too sure about this old J. Crew sweater. Should it go or stay?

And I may send these Paul Green boots with it. Bloody heck. They hurt just walking around the yard today. I suppose it might have been a good idea to wear socks in them. Ha.

Wearing a fall outfit on the deck, lawn and flowers in background. J Crew sweater, Aritzia cargo pants, Paul Green boots.
Ouch. These boots certainly pinch on their first outing.

The third outfit I tried this morning worked… okay. My white Frame straight-leg jeans, the black Everlane sweater, my old Max Mara jacket, and my Stuart Weitzman patent loafers. I love the MM jacket with the sweater. I’m so glad I hung onto this jacket all these years. And so thankful to Emma Hill for reminding me that I owned it. But I found that the neat loafers and the slim-fitting jeans were just a little too… something. The outfit looks good, but is maybe a bit too old school. I can’t put my finger on why this look doesn’t feel like me anymore. It just doesn’t. If you can figure it out, do let me know.

Livingroom selfie. Black Max Mara jacket, Everlane sweater, Frame white jeans, Stuart Weitzman loafers, burgundy rug, cream chairs.
Desperately resorting to old school selfie.

And speaking of old school. My phone decided it was going to stop talking to my little camera remote today. Try as I might I could not get the Bluetooth connection to work again. So I had to resort to a mirror selfie. Not the best photo, but you get the idea, anyway.

You know, I’ve been dreaming of fall outfits for a while now. Since before we left to go to New Brunswick. So I don’t know why I am so disorganized. Maybe the hot, hot weather we had when we were down east made me forget about fall fashion. I don’t know. I just know I have no excuse for waking up one morning this week and suddenly realizing that … just like that… fall had arrived.

Usually by now, I’d have done at least a partial turn of my closet. Packed away my really summery pieces and unpacked selected fall items that I can wear now. I did that this morning, in a kind of way, when I was trying on outfits for this post. Pulled a few fall pieces out, hastily zipped a few summer pieces into garment bags to make room in my closet. I’ll have to go back and reorganize when I do my fall closet turnover. Maybe at the same time I will do a strict edit. Get rid of those pieces I’ve been waffling about for a couple of years. Like that J Crew sweater.

Transition to fall outfit. Black leather pants, black Birkenstock sandals, black Everlane cashmere sweater, Theory windbreaker, beside a red car.
I’m off for lunch with a friend in my transitional outfit.

But, you know, just because fall and the actual wearing of fall outfits took me a bit by surprise, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been planning my fall shopping list. Such as it is. I shopped at the mall with my friend Liz last week and didn’t really find anything on my list. Except a belt at Nordstrom. But I came home and ordered this sweater from Everlane. And this sleek black turtleneck from Vince. Now I just need a pair of black knee-high boots and I’ll be all set for the season. The stores were sorely lacking in boot stock on Friday. But hopefully October will resolve that.

Now, I really do have to go. Hubby is still away fishing and Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy await me. I’m planning to watch all five episodes of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series before the weekend is over. Sigh. I just wish Mum and I could have watched it together this year. But I will call her in the morning and regale her with all of our best moments. Including her personal favourite of Mrs. Bennet winking at Kitty. Oh… that is a good one.

Let’s hear about your transitional closet, my friends. What not-quite-summer but not-entirely-fall outfits are you cooking up? Do you wear heavier pants with sandals? Or fall sweaters with summery bottoms? How do your outfits straddle the seasonal changeover?

P.S. You can find my “And Just Like That… Fall” Pinterest board here, if you’re interested.

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission.


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From the archives


The Unscratched Travel Itch

Since the pandemic began our travel itch has remained unscratched. Now with the end of lockdown in sight, we are thinking about travel again.

Italy Prima Parte: Water, Water Everywhere

Despite the crowds and the flood (well, a small one) Venice was still wonderful.

Meanwhile… Back At The Ranch… Taking Stock

Let's have an update on our fall so far, shall we? Our painful adventures. Or should I say, our adventures in pain. Back at the ranch.

65 thoughts on “And Just Like That… Fall”

  1. I think that tan J. Crew sweater does suit you in a blending sort of way, since the tan is enough darker than your hair. Maybe you could wear it on days when you’re happy to just blend in, if you have those. 😊 It’s a beautiful, soft neutral sweater.

    1. But I would have to buy them… and it’s a no go for me to spend money to be able to wear a top that I don’t absolutely love. 🙂 I think that’s one reason I haven’t worn it much, I have no bottoms to go with it.

      1. That J Crew top would look great with black jeans…..surely you have black jeans? And then add those loafers….

  2. All those outfits are good but they are different . Perhaps your style is a little more funky casual now ? The blazer & loafers is a much sharper look than the leather trousers & birks , though it depends on the occasion I know . Post lockdowns everyone here seems to be so much more casual & many of my favourite outfits make me feel overdressed . I don’t want to get rid of good coats but I can’t see me wearing them very often this winter . I seem to feel more on trend in my dog walking clothes now ie combat jacket , loose jeans & big boots . I’d donate that jumper but not those lovely boots – get some thick socks on .
    PS Funky to me means bold & unconventional … not bad for an old lady 😎

    1. I think you are right, my wise friend. I don’t want to dress as neat and prim as I used to. My friend Barb always said I looked as if I had stepped “out of a bandbox.” She meant it as a compliment. But now I want to look a bit messy. And like you say, I do feel overdressed in that black and white outfit.

      1. If we take the “red car” outfit as a signpost to your evolving style, I think the JCrew sweater is always going to feel a little too “lady,” without being as sleek as I think you prefer. I also think you might like the white jeans outfit with a pair of low boots with some hardware, rather than the loafers, or a bomber jacket in place of the blazer. Just guessing! From someone who ventured pretty far down the “edgy” road;).

    2. I’m SO impressed that you can make those Birk-type sandals very credible with your leather pants and a windbreaker! Brava! That is definitely Advanced Class!
      Funny that after the longest, warmest summer we’ve ever had on the West Coast, I’m not particularly keen to haul out the Fall gear, although I have a light wool crepe dress I’m looking forward to wearing. I think the difference for me is that I’ve got so comfortable with the dress/skirt and sneakers combo. . . and I’m not ready to get into tights yet! Boots, sure; tights, not so much. . .
      Linked to you in my post this morning — we’re not quite synchronized, but close. Just wish I were half as organized as you when it comes to these wardrobe transitions. 😉

    3. Good observation about people dressing more casually now, post lockdown.
      I did want to say, about the loafers and white pants, I often like the look of light pants with light-colored shoes, creating a “column of color” that people sometimes talk about it. I think white pants go well in all seasons that way, for me anyway.
      I do so enjoy your columns. Just wish fall was closer for us here in Florida, but I just try to put things together in a way that says “autumn” to me. Slight color changes, and slightly more texture.
      I loved the leather pants with the shiny Birkenstocks. I never thought of that! And that could work here in Florida too.

  3. Well, thank you. Because you gave me the hint to go and check mens’ jumpers and now I have solved my autumn conundrum. I shall be buying chaps’ sweaters this year.

  4. On my screen the camel looks more taupe and looks good with your white hair. Maybe because the jeans are so skinny, suddenly skinny jeans outfits are looking dated to my eye – eek! How did that happen? 🙂

    1. The camel is kind of a pinky beige, not true camel. And I agree about the white pants in the other outfit. They are skinny, even though they are supposed to be straight-leg. They need something oversized and not as tailored on top, I think.

  5. Looking forward to sweater time, too. Regarding black/white outfit, might it seem “off” because of the silhouette of the pants? You look so great in a high waist, belted, trouser style of pant!
    Looking forward to bringing out my Everlane black cashmere crew I bought on sale at end of last season. Thanks for the tip, Sue!

    1. I am moving into baggier pants that is true. And “just like that” I don’t like my narrow silhouette pants anymore. Glad you liked the Everlane sweater, Charlene.

  6. Looks like I’m in the minority here: the JCrew sweater must go.
    The sweater and white jeans combo is fabulous, but I concur that the color does you no favors. And I say this as one who adores camel, tan and taupe and has had to come to the difficult realization that they look awful on me.
    Now, if they had that sweater in gray or heather blue I think it would be smashing!
    Happy Early Fall!

  7. Weather has yet to turn fall-like here–upper 80s and humid projected for this week so not wearing anything different yet. But I have been trying to decide on what to take for a two week solo overseas trip next month. Since travel will also involve long distance trains, I won’t be over-packing as I’ll be schlepping everything. Started a mix/match packing list. A black cashmere crew sweater is definitely in the mix, along with a lightweight red merino tunic and a silver-gray funnel-necked pullover (the latter, picked up in the NA sale). A couple of pairs of black pants. And scarves. Always scarves. Now I just have to keep an eye on the projected weather to see what stays, what gets added and what goes (esp. with regards to shoes). Have one special event to attend–not sure about wearing a dress or simply dressing up a pant outfit. Only taking a raincoat for outerwear.
    Just a tad excited. 🙂

    1. Ah…packing for overseas travel. Now that is a labour of love. I am so glad that I took a few lightweight but darker tops on our trip in 2019. Especially my light-weight burgundy down vest. It felt like summer but looked like fall. Hope you have a fabulous trip.

  8. Curious to know if your Everlane cashmere sweaters pill at all? I have frightfully expensive and less so cashmere sweaters but find that price doesn’t often avoid pilling.
    I have one that pills badly on the outside but not all on the inside so I cut the label out very carefully and wear it inside out! Mysterious yarn.

    1. Mine has been really good, Grace. The only pilling was caused by my straw shoulder bag rubbing against the side of the sweater. So I stopped carrying the bag when wearing a sweater.

    2. Cashmere no matter how good or how many plies to the yarn or how think or thin the sweater….will “pill”. Cashmere is what a Spinner (me) would call a “short staple length” fibre. What that mean is that before cashmere is spun into yarn each fibre is relatively short compared to many sheep breeds. Because it is so short and it is a very soft fibre it is easy for some of those fibres to come out at the least provocation (just your arm rubbing, etc.) Just pick off the pills or get one of those shaver things and carry on wearing your sweaters….pilling does NOT mean that something is wrong

  9. Lovet the red car! Put in mind of mental pic of our daughter in an all black outfit,blonde hair swinging,in her white Miatta- looked like one of CHALIE’S ANGELS (Lucy Lu)That’s a good look for you. Swinging Gamma! I also used to have a red car 87 Vette! Long gone now! Have a 04 Vette in the garage waiting for me to return to it. The only sports cars I drive now are the scooter cars in the grocery stores! I am one mean racer! Have only taken out one display of tomato cans! When fall comes o Florida,one can smell the change in the air-dryer. Ejoy yours

  10. You asked so I will tell, I believe the tone on tone looks great on you and your white hair. I’d keep it and wear and after this season, if you’ve worn it once or twice, then give it to someone who will wear it more!

    Question, and you may have answered this as I’m relatively new to your blog, but have your clothes colors changed with you going with your natural hair color? I stopped coloring my hair last year while in lockdown and then onward…why not. I was staying home, wore a mask and no one knew me, plus I’d been coloring for 40 years and enough already. I’m wondering if I need to change my clothing color choices due to the difference in hair color (blonde to salt and pepper). That might be a great blog idea (or repeat it/link it). Thanks in advance.

    1. I did have to change my clothing colours when I let my hair go white. I was the same as you. I decided that lockdown was the perfect opportunity to go au naturel. I realized that my warm camels etc only looked good because my hair was warm blonde and light brown. Now I look ill in a warm colour. I’ve gone to cool eye shadows, pinker blush, and all cool coloured clothing on top. I’m still wearing my camel jacket, though, but with a black turtleneck under it. My sister who has transitioned from warm blonde to salt and pepper has found the same. She has ditched her oranges and camels for greys and blues.

  11. Yes, you could wear that J. Crew sweater
    But why would you? Our game is to always look our best and that piece is not your color or your best by a long shot.
    You look current and chic in your black outfit.
    Thanks for your wonderful posts.

  12. I think it’s the heavy color jacket that spoils the frame Jean outfit. The jacket though is a current trend. I love love loafers but not a fan of the big contrast of black and white for myself. I can never bring myself to wear a black cashmere top with white jeans. Seems too top heavy to me. But you look polished and put together.

    I like the jcrew sweater and I think that’s a cute outfit but if it is sort of a meh to you then pitch it. Someone else will love it.

  13. I personally don’t care for a sweater with a lace panel, but the sweater looks very good on you – I don’t agree that your white hair makes it a no go. The color still looks great on you as does the outfit.

  14. Oh dear I am in the ( very small minority) who says out w it’s the JCrew. It does look taupe on the monitor but you say it’s tan. Is that lace really white or off white? If it’s white and your jeans are white then consider keeping it…but if it’s off white then ditch it. With white hair you need to up the contrast…even in your old hair colour can’t see you in this top. The black sweater, black top just looks off with the lighter bottoms but would have a different vibe with plaid or tweed trousers maybe with a wider leg. Maybe the total black look could be traded for a sweater with some colour under the jackets?

  15. LOVE outfit #1. Those sandals look great with the leather pants. Also really like outfit #2. Your hair is similar in color to the lighter color in the sweater and the color although not your best doesn’t look like it is washing you out. I vote keep. #3 don’t like the loafers. What about your sneakers instead?

  16. Thanks for including the link to the Everlane V- neck collared sweater. That combination of V-neck and collar is rare to find and something I really like. Unfortunately, I am allergic to wool 🙁.
    I have found that the Style Personality of an item and owner has to match , otherwise the item keeps going back in the closet never to be worn, no matter what the colour.
    I am seeing a lot of oversized shirts – also from the Men’s Dept.
    Enjoy your Pride & Prejudice. 😊

  17. I vote ‘keep it’ also. The lace addition is a nice surprise to add just a little pattern. As it appears on my screen it doesn’t contradict your hair color. Maybe a different pant with it? A good quiet look for a run to the quiet library? 🙂 I like outfits for days like that. Enough color on lips and blush/bronzer creates enough contrast between hair and skin but easy does it. It seems like you have adjusted that aspect as you have adapted to your white hair. Beautiful, Sue. Keep playing. I learn a lot.

    1. The lace is almost the same as my hair. But it’s that camel next to my skin I have trouble with. Maybe with a white tee peeking out from the neckline.

      1. Yes! For outfit #2, a white collar peeking out should really pop. I’m finding that off-white is just not very good at all. Like when I was younger and heard older women complaining that their white hair was “yellowish.”
        My gray seems not to be very white at all. And the gray is not very distinct either. Everything is just fading away, and this is not a good look. My stylist is talking about using a type of toner that brings up the whites.

  18. My opinion is that if you don’t love the sweater by now you will only keep putting it on and taking it off then putting it away to only take up space. I think of you as more of a classic sweater type regardless of the colour, even in high school.
    I actually gave up my Everlane oatmeal coloured cashmere crew neck last week. It’s too small now and my adult daughter came to visit after a year of separation due to the pandemic and as usual soon started rifling through my clothes. “Mom do you wear this?” I knew it was as good as gone.
    My favourite cashmere sweater/jumper is one my husband bought in Edinburgh while on his dream golf trip. He knew I wouldn’t like the colours available in the women’s section and there was a half price sale so they were probably short in colour selection. He instead bought a V neck men’s in camel for me and I love it but it’s beginning to show too much wear after many years. I was an ungrateful brat and said to him, “At half price for a cashmere sweater from Scotland, you only bought the one?” I apologized profusely as soon as I said it. Oh dear! We did laugh afterward.
    As far as the outfit with the blazer, it could be the loafers could be throwing it off. Maybe a new updated look in a low bootie would work better and you can wear them with jeans and skirts with winter weight tights.
    Now I’m heading to Everlane’s site to replace my sweater but this time I think a different colour will suit. I’ll take a look at the one you suggested as well. Thank you!

    1. I know. I think I will give it away. It’s just not me, and probably never was. That Maggie knows a good deal when she sees one…especially in Mum’s closet. Can you imagine us riffling through our mother’s closets and finding something as cool as that sweater? Ha.

  19. I love reading your articles and your pictures of outfits. I think the white pants look tight. No give. I think the brown sweater is not a match with your style as I see in you pictures of late. The boots look very nice but narrow. I envy you grace in dealing with getting older. My hair is trying to go gray and I am having trouble with the transition color wise. Love reading your articles.

    1. The boots are narrow… but so are my feet. Ha. I just need to train my feet to be in boots again, I think. I should have started off with my loafers and worked up to boots.

  20. I just love the all black outfit and with the sandals it is perfect. The sweater is not you anymore and the colour and the lace does nothing for you. The outfit with the white jeans seams off a little and I wonder if it is the jacket being too long? Not sure. I think your hair style is fabulous and of course the colour is to die for! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to critique.

  21. I love Emma Hill. As a matter of fact several post back you gave links to a few instagrammers and I have so enjoyed looking at them. They have a simple, grownup, modern style that I love. Bloggers my age generally have a busier style than I enjoy. Except you! Also,I love the Birk style shoes with your outfit. All your outfits are great too. I have to say I’m not a fan of the appliqué sweater. It’s not so much of the color, but you dress fresh and simple and the appliqué seems a little old and fussy for you.

    1. I hear you. There are not many Youtubers or bloggers my age whose style appeals to me. But Emma and Lydia Jane Tomlinson have that simple and classic but updated look I love.

  22. You might try tan accessories-belt/shoes/ and or 👜 with your cream jeans and black MM jacket. I think it would elevate the beautiful basics you already own.

  23. Well, I happen to think that that sweater really does suit you. The key is, I think, that it is a pinky/taupeish beige and that picks up the pink in your skin tone. If it were yellowish in tone then it would definitely have to go. JMO

  24. I really like the way that the black Birkenstock-style pants look with your first outfit. That seems to be a perfect transitional look. I also really like your blazer and top combo in outfit number three. I see what you mean about the loafers with the white pants. Perhaps your Birky black sandals again or an interesting pair of sneakers?
    I have no sense of summer > fall transitional style. I’m guilty of wearing bare feet in sandals too far into the fall, but I love the feel. I have some long sleeve cotton button downs that I plan to wear over short sleeves with jeans (or on their own with the sleeves rolled up). I have a dark jean jacket that I’m forward to throwing on if it is chilly.
    I’ve been wondering if I can get away with sage or copper colored light linen pants later this month (when it is officially fall). Maybe I can find an interesting cardigan to wear with them or one of my blazers – I have a Ralph Lauren military style denim blazer that might look tailored enough to go with relaxed linen. (Sigh, I need someone to style my outfits for me.)

  25. I’m going to join the vocal minority that says ditch the tan top. Interestingly, it looks better on you in the outdoor picture than inside. I feel really washed out in tans and taupes, so they’re never a color choice I make for myself.

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