There comes a point in late August when you think to yourself, "I cannot wait for sweaters and corduroy and scarves and boots... is it fall yet?" But no, you're still a good month or so (or three months if you're in Arizona) away from chilly weather, and if you try to wear an argyle cardigan now, you'll probably die of heatstroke. But there is a bright side! All those light, airy, skimpy summer clothes are now on sale, and if you go for pieces aren't overly trendy (aka: no rompers), you'll be able to wear these next summer, too.
A loose jersey dress is one of those wardrobe workhorses that you can always count on, and J.Crew makes some of the best out there. Unfortunately, J.Crew tends to price them inappropriately high...until sale time comes around, that is. This jersey tank belted dress, $39.99, could transform into a bikini cover-up, date night frock, or casual Friday office dress, with the right accessories. For the first, big sunglasses, gold necklaces, great tan. For the second, switch out the jersey waist-tie for a leather belt in a contrasting color, and maybe match it to your pumps. For the later, throw a slip underneath and a buttoned-up navy blazer on top, with maybe thick tights and boots when it gets chilly. This dress also comes in heather grey and navy, but mango is the perfect color for an Indian summer.
Speaking of multi-tasking, this is the perfect top for when you're going straight from work to happy hour. From Old Navy, the embroidered border top, $20, will hide demurely under a cardigan or suit jacket from 9-5, with only the bottom edge suggesting that you're more stylish than your fellow office drones. As soon as you're done for the day, whip off the extra layer and get ready to have 15 guys lining up to buy you drinks, because your shoulders are just that hot. Just be careful to wear the appropriate undergarments; this top would be absolutely ruined by an errant bra strap poking out top.
I've been craving this American Eagle bustier dress all summer, and now that it's more than 50% off at $19.95, I think it's time to go for it. How to wear it into fall? Tough to say, since the big sash makes layering a little more difficult. I would try wearing a loose, sheer grey t-shirt underneath, and maybe undoing some of the buttons on the bodice. Anyone have better suggestions?
I can't officially include this AE Belted Party dress, $44.50, since it's not on end-of-summer sale and because it's only available in size 16 and 18. But wow, it looks really adorable on the model, right? It's the perfect mix of sexy and cute--very Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights.
Confession time: I've always wanted an I Heart NY shirt, but am too embarrassed to buy one for myself. I've put a lot of thought into scenarios where it would be acceptable for me (my 4 year NYC anniversary was last week!) to own one of those shirts, and here's what I've come up with: I won it in some sort of contest on NY trivia ("The answer is...New Amsterdam!"); it was a gift from my friends when I decided to go to NYU in 2005; I saw it in a thrift shop in Prague and bought it because it made me homesick; my boyfriend got one ironically and I stole it because it looked better on me. But since I have never entered a trivia contest, can't travel back in time, am not going abroad anytime soon, and don't have a boyfriend, it appears I'm out of luck. But wait! Forever 21 is selling this I Love My City tee for $8.72! That's so cheap that I can buy it with no crazy justfications or doubts! And since it's probably made out of tissue paper, when it inevitably starts to fall apart it will look that much more "I'm so hip without trying." I'm going to get so many compliments on the L train! I just need to buy it quickly, before a well-justified copyright infringement lawsuit ensues.
On a semi-related note, I once saw a family of five walking around a particularly trendy part of Nolita, and every single one of them was wearing an I Heart NY shirt, albeit in different colors. I got so much secondhand embarrassment that I had to cross the street. I know I sound like a snob, but seriously: take your matching t-shirts and fanny packs to Applebee's, because in NYC you need to try a little harder.
Today, you can wear this Anthropologie Bloemist Cardigan, $39.99, when you go see Inglourious Basterds, because it's a law of nature that the hotter it is outside, the colder it will be in a movie theater. In a month, you can wear it for long strolls in the park, and feel perfectly cozy and stylish. I love how the fabric flowers appliques look a little bit ragged, as if you dug this sweater out from under a pile of your great-aunt's wool skirts and fur muffs (oh, how I wished I'd been alive when women wore fur muffs to keep their hands warm. Basically, I wish I could dress like Samantha the American Girl doll--especially the pinafore she wore in the summer). But the voluminous sleeves and artful draping is very current, and I love the detail of the button on the shoulder, so you can fasten one end up and wear it shawl-style.