Dressing in the dark (and other joys of fall)

Post-harvest hijinks at a local farm

We are entering the time, my friends, when leaving the house with one black shoe and one navy blue shoe is a very real danger.  While I’ve never done this myself, I’ve seen it happen.  Lack of natural light in the morning can make a difference.

The easy answer would be to assemble your outfits the day before, shortly after arriving home from work.  Oh, wait.  It’s dark then, too, isn’t it?

So that leaves the weekend for clothing experimentation and outfit planning.  Just fit that in between buying food for the week, catching up on laundry, and doing your weekly housecleaning and cooking, if you’re so inclined.  Oh, yeah, and any leisure activities that you might hope to do.  And did I mention that you’re squeezing all of this into a shorter day?

After all, some of us like to sleep until 9 or 10 on weekends.  Then it’s time to sit in bed drinking coffee and reading blogs for a couple of hours.   If all goes well, we might be ready to venture out by 2 pm.  Here in the upper quadrant of the Northern Hemisphere, that’s a mere 2-4 hours before it gets dark again.

Let’s just say this time of year can be challenging.

Personally, once the waning light sets in, I’m ready to crawl into bed with a 20 pound bag of Doritos and a nice Cabernet.  (Yes, I know this is a hideous food/wine pairing, but I don’t care).  I’d bring some suitable TV programming with me – something soothing and fashion-centric but not too intellectually challenging.  An endless loop of What Not to Wear might fit the bill, or perhaps the first season of  The Rachel Zoe Project (Pretty, shiny dresses!  No real-life issues, please).

But if you press me, I have to acknowledge that fall and winter do provide fashion joys of their own.  So what if I feel like fuzz is growing on my brain?  There is still Fashion Fun to be had by all.  In the spirit of replacing whining with gratitude, let’s itemize the Dark Season’s silver lining.

The Frump Factor’s Big List of Fall’s Simple Pleasures (Style Edition):

Boots.  (Cue heavenly chorus).  Boots are probably the only reason I don’t actively mourn the end of sandal season (and thus, summer pedicure season).  Ankle boots, knee-high boots, snow boots, rain boots, just-because boots.  Welcome home, my long-lost friends.

Cute tights.   Patterned and/or plain; neutral and/or brightly colored – I love them all.  Is it just me, or do they make my legs look 100 times slimmer, sleeker and more muscular?

No dreaded thigh-stick.  You know how, in the summer, your thighs stick together when you wear short skirts? Consider that a thing of the past. (See also cute tights, above).

Scarves.  Instant style!  Instant color!  Cheaper than jewelry!

My favorite suede jacket.  Come to mama, baby!  Oh, how I’ve yearned for you.

Colorful flannel pajama bottoms.  To be worn at home only, please.  Seriously, people.  If you abuse your pajama privileges, I’m going to revoke them.

Less hair frizz.  True, the reduction in curl is a drag for me.  But I sure don’t miss the frizz!  Now I only look 65% insane at the end of a workday, rather than 99%.

Three words:  leopard print gloves.  I’ve long mourned the loss of my last pair of these, along with their siblings, the zebra print gloves.  But guess what I just found at Target yesterday?  Leopard gloves live!  Whoo-eee!

Fuzzy warm socks.  Here are my two favorite pairs:

 Do you sense a theme developing here?  I guess fall is officially Season of the Leopard.  Rowr!

What are your favorite fall fashion pleasures?  

About Anne @ The Frump Factor

Reflections on beauty and style, for women who weren't born yesterday. Bring your sense of humor and "Fight the Frump" with me!
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30 Responses to Dressing in the dark (and other joys of fall)

  1. Oh, Anne, I once went to work with 2 different colored shoes on. Walked in right past the VP of the dept. Worse than black and brown, mine were navy and tan. The shoes were identical, but different colors. I never did live that one down.
    I love boots, pretty winter coats (which I hate carrying around to shop) and the lovely colors of fall. The darkness of the evenings I don’t like. I love having 12 hours of sunlight. I also intensely dislike the change of daylight savings time. Now, it won’t be so bad, but when I worked, UGH!

  2. Funny and true. Right now I am jealous of your cool weather, but ask me again in February : > I agree about boots and tights, they have magical powers to make us look and feel cuter. Oh, and Cheetos go with any wine, it is well known.

  3. Cynthia says:

    Psst. I know the solution to the dreaded thigh-stick. And it’s not Spanx. Under every bare-legged BeFabDaily outfit there is a layer of (fully summer-friendly) underwear that would make the Victorians proud.

    Also, these dark days are definitely my least favorite time of the year. Because of where Charlotte sits in the time zone and the new DST dates, it’s dark until almost 8 a.m. sometimes.

  4. Paula says:

    Ahh Anne you always make me laugh.
    Wine goes with anything. Cupcakes and brownies for me.
    All the things that make me fall happy, like clogs and my new clog boots, I will hate in January. But for now–we can anticipate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anne, that corn husk works for you! Very cute.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t leave the house before 2 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s a great day to catch up on magazine reading–like the New Yorker article about IKEA that I finally read this morning. The only problem is that now I’m craving a new sofa.

    I wore the threadbare capri pants that have gotten me through the summer for the last time today, I think–it was actually a little too cold for them, but I had to go to the laundromat and all my long pants were in the basket. There is something thrilling about the prospect of corduroys and sweaters as the weather turns colder. And I have a pair of fleece socks like the ones in your photos that I’m looking forward to wearing again, too.

    Thanks for another very enjoyable post!

  6. I’ve got my boots lined up already but think I need to add a pair of leopard print gloves to my winter wardrobe. And, it’s cheese and wine for me!

  7. GingerR says:

    Do you wear your socks with your Tevas until the snow gets higher than the sole?

  8. Beryl says:

    This is the cutest post, starting out with the Ear of Corn costume and ending with the fuzzy socks. Living in Seattle, I had never experienced much seasonal change, so I’m a bit excited about my first Winter in Tulsa. You make it sound like fun, at least the part about dressing for it.
    PS: I’m pretty sure it was Helena Bonham Carter who wore a very expensive pair of color mismatched shoes to the Oscars.
    PPS: The only thing intriguing about retiring to Arizona is not having the Daylight Savings thing to deal with.

  9. jofrances40 says:

    I was dreading the return of winter weather but your post has reminded me that there are some things to look forward to!

  10. Gail says:

    Jumpers (sweaters) are definitely a winter pleasure for me – they hide a multitude of sins!

  11. denise:) says:

    Yup yup yup! YUP to all of it- boots, scarves, sweaters, wine & doritos….oh how much i can’t wait!!

  12. BigD says:

    Amen, Sister!
    Love your list.
    I, personally, have done the blue/black shoe AT LEAST 3 times (that I, unfortunately, have not yet blocked from my memory). My problem is: I find shoes I love and buy multiple pairs. A recipe for disaster.
    I been truly missing my boots.
    But not my fuzzy socks. My cold nature drives me to get them out when the AC is on all summer! (And I don’t care if my husband makes fun of me.)

  13. notquiteold says:

    I love light summer clothes. And sandals! But I love those gloves!

  14. Cabernet and Doritos? You’re a girl after my own heart!
    I too am looking forward to fall over here on the West Coast, but I have to wait until it cools off. Until then I can wear my boots in the morning before I have to switch back to sandals, sigh. Still, it gets dark here early too, and I do mourn the long days of summer!


  15. This post is so entertaining and relevant for this season. Like you, what I love about the coldy weather are boots. And I love that leopard print gloves you have. I need to get one for me too. 🙂

  16. ariane says:

    Hi Ann, first about NY, my daughter went a couple of times to NY, she knows where to go, let me know, i will give you some good addresses! and about your you post –
    1- i do wear colorful, crazy pattern pyjama bottoms, at home of course
    2- I eat chips with good wine- yup me too!
    3- I do watch with Mr.D. brainless tv shows in the fall and winter
    4- By 9pm i am ready for bed too!
    5- Yes it is hard for me sometimes to squeeze a session of what to wear for the week during the weekend especially when you have a million things to do

    Thank you Ann for your comment on my blog – and i always enjoy reading you –

    Ariane xxxxx

  17. Angie says:

    I too stay in bed reading blogs till late and I also do my outfit planning during the weekend.And i love sipping wine and go to bed not so late.Great way to spend the weekend even if it gets dark earlier.

  18. Ann Marie says:

    Loved your insight and after reading this, I am humming that Bruce Springsteen song, “Dressing in the Dark”…..!

  19. b says:

    I love big coats…long pants and scarves. Anything to cover up all those mistakes I am bound to make dressing in the dark. But I will have to admit that I spend my winters in Tucson AZ in a very small park model. I occasionally venture out looking like a clown because I run out of clean clothes. (I have to use a coin operated laundry at the rec center). Funny yes…frumpy probably!

    Loved your comments on the Grandchildren Tattling. Be well.



  20. MMH says:

    I’ve done the one blue, one black shoe, but, worse, I’ve even done the one red, one navy shoe. I was meeting a friend at Talbots after work, and drove in old navy loafers, which were my driving shoes. As you’ll have guessed, I remembered to change only one shoe. I arrived early, and wandered around Talbots, wondering why people kept looking at me. When my friend arrived, she did not leave me long in doubt.
    Nice suede jacket, by the way.

  21. Lorena says:

    Although there is no “winter” where I live – i actually look forward to traveling to places where there IS because I get to wear stuff I normally don´t.
    Jackets, boots and specially scarves and hats are just a treat to wear 🙂
    But then it gets so cold I just want to go back home and sit in the sun.

  22. Kari. says:

    hahahaha … oh man, I really do think that we are twins (our mother probably lost us in the dark :-). I too love boots, wearing tights, fuzzy socks, pj bottoms … less hair frizz, and NO chub rub!

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