Then I moved to Arizona.
It may be mid-August but fall is still lightyears away. Our highs are still in or near triple digits (it's upper 90s right now, we're having a cold spell) and it's just too hot to think about lovely things like boots, cozy sweaters, coats and mittens. A recent trip to the mall was nearly torturous as all the stores were showcasing wonderful fall and winter items that it will still be at least 4 months before those of us in Arizona can wear them. Most of the fall semester is spent wearing summer clothes because ASU is an oven and if you try walking around campus in anything heavier than a t-shirt you will die.
Ok, maybe you won't die, but you will show up to class a hot, sweaty mess, and that's not pretty. At all.
So how do we Arizonan's stay keep up with the changing fall trends while not dying of heat exhaustion in the middle of October? Accessories. Here are my favorite ways to try to look like I'm acknowledging the changing seasons while still staying cool in the never ending heat:
1) Color palette - I always try to keep an eye open for lightweight clothing in nice fall colors. T-shirts, lightweight cardigans for layering (AC keeps it cool inside so laying is good even in the middle of summer), cotton or linen button down shirts, skirts, etc. can all be found in great colors right now that match the season but still allow me to stay as cool and comfortable as possible.
2) Scarves/Shawls - Even in the middle of summer I'm never without a large scarf or shawl I can wrap around my neck and shoulders if the AC gets a little too frigid. Movie theatres, restaurants, and ASU classrooms are notorious for being quite chilly, even when it's 110*+ outside. I have shawls in just about every color so that I can try to match the season. When I'm outside and it's too hot to wear it, I can loop it through the handle of my handbag.
3) Handbags and Shoes - Texture is key, there's something about suede, velvet, corduroy, etc that says fall/winter. Prints are good too, plaid especially. These materials are too heavy to carry off in clothing until around December, but can be worn easily in shoes and handbags. Closed-toed shoes or boots are still a bit warm to wear right now, but shoes with straps that let my feet breath a bit in great materials or colors are perfect, and a suede or plaid bag is wonderful.
4) Accessories - Jewelry, hair accessories, nail polish, makeup, etc. are great and simple ways to incorporate the feel of fall without killing yourself. This is the time of year when I start switching from light shades on my nails to something darker, pull out more of my gold-toned and/or heavier pieces of jewelry, or add a little something extra to my hair like a headband or a decorative hair pin.
Overall, with all of these ideas I can stick to a pretty basic uniform of jeans or a skirt, with a plain t-shirt but still look like I've put "some effort" into my outfit and stay as cool as possible, while also taking minimal time to get ready in the morning, which is great when I have to be out of my house by 8am to make it to my 9am class. Even though the school where I teach is not so formal, I don't want to come dressed looking like me students, so I like to look at least a little bit "pulled together" if you know what I mean. But I'm so not a morning person, so if I can get ready in 30 mins or less so that I can sleep a little bit longer, I'm all for that!
In the mean time, I can at least dream of when the temperatures finally dip low enough that I can get away with wearing warmer clothing and start planning my wardrobe for my trip to London this winter. Here are a few things I'm currently dreaming of:
To see more of my fall faves check out my "My Style" board on Pinterest here.
Photo credits: all photos from Pinterest.