Of Recent Note

Fall Fashion

You’ve heard from Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, and Chloe Sevigny on what to wear this season. Now it’s our turn. The monthly round-up from the writers on what appeals, this time from their closets.

It’s autumn, which means in New York they’re showing the new fashions for Spring 2008. But in the real world, it’s back-to-school shopping time: new sneakers, new jackets, new fish-covered T-shirts to cook in. Here are TMN’s new fashion staples for fall.


To my fiancée I said, “Why do I need more than two pairs of shoes?” She said, “Just for God’s sake, come on.” When they arrived, I tore open the package and said, “Whoa.” Dark but curved, they are amiable in appearance and demeanor. And they made friends with my feet right away. Friends said, “Hey, are those those shoes?” “Indeed,” I said, “these are they.” I am straight-laced and clogged up, and could not be happier; now I stroll the boulevards like a Robert Crumb “keep on trucking” character, twirling by with giant feet. Wave if you see me. —Paul Ford


Frankly, I’m in a fashion funk. I’m a mother, a writer, a new New Yorker—and I have no idea what to wear. If I dress comfortably for the playground (in a wardrobe that is largely vintage Virginia circa 2004), I can’t go to the Washington Square Hotel for an impromptu drink with a friend. If I dress up, I can hold my own on Broadway (at least as far as Soho), but then going down the slide with my one-year-old is a drag. So I’ve tried to merge playground and fashion this fall with a new bag. It’s made of gorgeous, funky fabrics in browns and blues and greens. It’s got stripes and starbursts. Nothing about it says “diaper bag,” but it fits a diaper. And a notebook. And a sippy cup. And I swear it’s turned a few heads in Soho. The best part is: I found it at a farmer’s market in Old Lyme, Connecticut. It’s my It bag, and no one knows where to get it, although they should: Lee Lee Bags, Leonore D’Onfri, 860-434-4032. —Jessica Francis Kane


There are a lot of reasons to love Target, not the least of which is its seemingly endless supply of cheap, cute (or at least trendy) footwear. It’s like methadone for a shoe addict—not quite the real thing, but at least you don’t have to hustle bus station bathrooms to fund your next hit. And, the discount pricing lets you indulge in fashion impulses you wouldn’t ordinarily gratify. Case in point: If I were really punk-rock, I would own a pair of skinny red plaid trousers, but since I am only slightly punk-rock, I’m settling for these red plaid sneaker flats. I might never wear them, but they only cost $15. Just looking at them when I’m dragging yet another Ann Taylor twinset out of my closet for work in the morning is enough to brighten my day. —Liz Entman


I still feel like an 80-year-old man every time I step into a department store to buy clothes and see aisles and aisles of pre-stressed, extra-loose spats called “blue jeans” and sold at exorbitant prices surrounded by walls and walls of TVs blaring techno videos. Maybe I don’t understand the whims of the hive mind so much. Back in my day, we worked hard to buy clothes that weren’t torn up and sagging around our ankles. Since the campaign for “Hard Jeans” back in the ’90s failed because people couldn’t resist giggling at the name, there’s no other choice. I would easily buy “throbbing stiff” jeans if it meant they were made from something more substantial than worn terry cloth (and maybe didn’t have the words written up and down the pant leg), but for now my only options are eBay or lots of starch. —Llewellyn Hinkes


My friend Melissa knit me a scarf. It was striped black and white. I tried it on. It fit pretty good, or whatever. “Look down,” said Melissa. I did. My mind was fucking blown. From a certain angle, the plain black and white stripes of this scarf turned into skulls and crossbones. And then you’d go back to the other angle and they’d be stripes again. Stripes. Skulls. Stripes. Skulls. Don’t believe me? Check this out. Melissa will make you one, too, for like a million dollars. Ysolda Teague developed the pattern; if you are a knitter, you can get the instructions here. —Pasha Malla


Dresses are great. You don a single article of clothing and you’re ready to leave the house and conduct business as usual. This red French Connection number was deeply, deeply on sale, and I recommend the purchase of anything that feels like pajamas but looks like eveningwear. It’s casual, it’s classy, and there are two pockets—pockets! in a dress!—that are made of the same stretchy fabric, thereby taking on the ability to hold anything you will ever need, within reason. One of the pockets in my dress has a hole in it, I’ve discovered, but if that’s the reason it was marked down about a bajillion percent, then I happily accept the sacrifice. —Bridget Fitzgerald


It’s not exactly a pretty sight, but when I entertain, I often go shirtless in the kitchen—with just an apron over—to avoid the inevitable drip and splatter that ends up on my clothes. This has, understandably, resulted in a few terribly unfortunate instances, as when I screamed like a six-year-old girl when a guest wandered in curious about the next course. Normally I hang my dress shirt on the intercom, cook, slip back into it just after plating, and then zip out of our Donna-Reed-style swinging kitchen door. Imagine my surprise when I saw these elegant, heavyweight T-shirts worn by the waiters at Bica do Sapato, in Lisbon. They’d be perfect under an apron in the kitchen, and I could carry the leitmotif of cooking into the dining room without the need to change. So why aren’t I stocking up? Unless I were a prepubescent American boy, none of them would fit me. —David Leite


I am a woman who wears flats. That’s because I like my shoes to vaguely resemble the shape of a foot. While I recognize that attaching a stick to the bottom of my heel makes me more attractive in the eyes of many, I rarely do it. Not just because of politics, but also because of pain. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: even the best heels cause it , although I am willing to endure manageable amounts of said pain at weddings and fancy dinners where someone serves me port for dessert. This fall, I’m going to so many weddings you’d think the whole population of the U.S. was not only getting married but also taking on multiple spouses. So I bought me a few pairs of these high heels. Round-toed ones with sling backs and T-straps and tiny, shiny buckles. Call me Hypie McCriterson, but I already feel like the belle of the ball. —Lauren Frey


In the land of Nicole, last fall was about things with crowns on them. This fall is about animal prints—and particularly all about one very cozy, pashmina-ish, leopard print scarf. When I say “all about,” I mean all day, every day, even on the weekends. As in, it doesn’t come off just because I’m in the house, or in bed, or in the shower. Even better, this scarf: Marshalls, $12.99. Real bougie-ass pashmina: at least 70 bucks. I am not a Madison Avenue housewife in this scarf. I am a fucking rock star in this scarf. —Nicole Pasulka


Three years ago I bought a pair of wingtips and didn’t spend enough money on them. Where the corners were cut: comfort. I wore them every day for a week, trying to break them in, and each morning I was in agony by the time I got on the subway. I pleaded with pregnant women to let me have their seats. If clothes make the man—and shoes more so—then tacky shoes will ruin you. Two weeks ago I picked up a pair of distressed wingtips from Barney’s; they ride like moccasins with arch support. —Andrew Womack


I should probably stop reading Graham Greene. For years, besides wanting someome to recreate the robe for me that Jeremy Brett wears in his Baker Street scenes for Granada Television's Sherlock series, I’ve wanted a proper raincoat. A real mac, all rubber. Alan Furst, Bogart on an airstrip, Jonathan Rhys Meyers sprinting to kill Scarlett Johansson in Match Point. Of course, the real thing is available, but not for cheap. Instead, I traded a little less rubbery stiffness for a little less sticker shock. Not exactly waterproof, but it will do. —Rosecrans Baldwin

TMN’s Contributing Writers know where to find the purple couch. Long live the pan flute, mini mafia, and Michael Jackson. More by The Writers