If you’re like me, you’re “over” summer, chomping at the bit eagerly awaiting the arrival of fall, and you can’t wait to get into the new season – fashion wise. In addition to the perfect white shirt, (if you don’t have that, forget about it!), there are four items that not only symbolize the season, but are wardrobe game changers. And they are perfectly seasonless, timeless, and can be easily integrated into one’s closet right now.

Celine rectangle oversized belt in black calfskin

1- Glistening Sculptural Hardware: I love the flash of glistening hardware (in silver, or especially gold,
metal), when used prominently on belts, bags, shoes, and boots. It is not only
eye catching, but exceedingly modern, because it mixes form and function,
and obliterates the need to wear any other accessories or jewelry. I mean
really, what more effectively revs up our favorite black in a nanosecond? As I
say, “Black, white, gold, never gets old”: it’s seasonless, timeless, and
ageless, as exemplified by Phoebe Philo in her pre fall 2013 collection. I love
the way she used crisp white shirts beneath her sculptural black leather pieces,
and added a flash of gold: utter simplicity yet highly impactful. FYI, her
statement making black calfskin belt with an enormous 7 inch square rectangular
gold metal buckle, $1250, is almost completely sold out at the Celine Boutique
at 870 Madison Avenue, 212 535 3703. Along those same lines, Calvin Klein’s
Francisco Costa used pronounced military inspired gold buckles on belts and
gleaming black patent leather pumps, and he used touches of gold metal on his
stretch black patent leather knee high boots. In a completely different vein,
but as highly effective, for fall 2013, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz layered gold chains
in varying sizes, with bold gold slogan necklaces, each foretelling a different
mood or feeling: among them “hot”, “cool”, “love”,
“happy”, “you”, “me”. The effect was personal, expressive, and zany.

Stuart Weitzman 5050 over the knee boot

2- Over the Knee Boots instantly change proportion, line, and silhouette. The best versions are so soft, supple, and lightweight, they can be considered as an alternative to opaque tights or leggings, and their streamlined fit is perfect for teaming with the season’s trim skirts, or worn over skinny jeans, or narrow leather pants. While there are dizzying choices available, my preference is for flat or low block heeled versions (I think that when you’re adding a high heeled stiletto to an over the knee boot, the result is, well, a little too Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”, for my taste). Three of my favorites are Stuart Weitzman’s 5050 over the knee stretch boots which are available in brown, black, navy, and burgundy suede; black leather; and black patent, $595, ( ; Robert Clergerie’s Fuji boot made of black velveteen stretch suede, $795,; and Miu Miu’s pointy toed over the knee boot in brown or black suede or leather,, $1200.

Smythe Boucle tweed jacket

3- Tweed, Indeed! There is almost no material or fabric as enduring as tweed, and it has a storied and long standing history in the fashion industry. Like leopard, tweed is not subject to the vagaries of the ins and outs of fashion, but it is undeniably having it’s ‘moment’ once again and has been revived with a vengeance as of late. While Karl Lagerfeld is hardly alone, almost nobody did it better or more authoritatively than he for did for Chanel (well, it IS a symbol of the house, after all). Tweed was prominent in both his fall winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection, and Haute Couture, which was presented in Paris in July. But while admittedly, many of the most standout examples are dramatic long coats and hefty outerwear pieces better suited for the tundra, the good news is that tweed is easy to enjoy in small doses right now, and nothing looks better with denim (white, dark, distressed); it imparts a boy meets girl, formal/informal duality that seems so right at the moment.

Chanel fringe trim tweed
There are many great jackets (from classic blazers to cropped collarless cardigan jackets a la Coco) made of lighter weight weaves, that will take the chill out of a cool summer night, AND look terrific in the fall and winter. Because I always gravitate to vintage pieces (they are unique and one of a kind), I must mention the vintage black & white tweed Chanel jacket with fringe trim, $4836, available on Michael Kors, is offering several lightweight tweed jackets, including one that zips up the front in gunmetal tweed by Michael Michael Kors, $195; Smythe, a favorite label of Kate Middleton, has a peak lapel blazer in a salt and pepper tweed, $595,, and a collarless three quarter sleeve jacket in a cotton/rayon/metallic boucle multi colored tweed trimmed in black leather with four patch pockets,, $795; and at J.Crew, a black and white stretch tweed boucle cardigan jacket won’t set you back more than $148,
Kate Spade New York Studio City Christy

And let’s not forget about tweed accessories: what better or easier way to add a touch of tweed to any outfit, than with a tweed bag or shoe? Of course, topping my list is the CHANEL 2011 Limited Edition Paris/Lesage Tweed Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag With Stones And Chain, $10,000 (click here to see photo)  , or go to But at a more friendly price point, there is Kate Spade New York’s Little Nadine bag with a fold over flap and turn lock closure, $498, and the Studio City Christy shoulder bag, $398, both made of black, cream, dark silver tweed with glazed leather trim,
Sam Edelman Baxton black and gold tweed ballerina flat

As for shoes, the choices range from flats and kitten heeled pumps, to high heeled stilettos. Notable examples: Sam Edelman’s Baxton 2 black and gold tweed ballerina flat, $109.99,; Dolce & Gabbana’s tweed pointed toe ballet flat detailed with faceted crystal embellishments at the vamp, $698,; Dolce & Gabbana’s crystal embellished kitten heeled tweed pumps, $670,; Giambattista Valli’s stiletto heeled glittery tweed pumps, $628,

Vince leather v-neck dress

4- Black Leather: Yes, this is a no brainer but finding well priced minimal pieces that can be worn almost year round, is often not that easy. Three good examples (I am not including pants or biker jackets because they are so ubiquitous at this point) are by Vince, The Hi Lo Tee, $595, is a simple short sleeved t shirt made of lamb leather; the V-Neck Dress, $995, is sleeveless and just above the length; and the Mixed Media Leather Front Top, $385, has the simplicity of a pullover but combines a black lamb leather front with black merino wool sleeves and back.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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