Here's an easy-to-wear outfit that keeps the spirit of summer alive even in the dead of winter!
Publish date:
September 28, 2012
shoppables, fashion, style, summer in the winter

When I was a hopelessly unfashionable teenager, (I know, can you believe it?!) my mom took me to a Color Me Beautiful party to "find my season." The "beauty advisor" insisted that I was an autumn, and as such, should exclusively wear shades of moss, rust and terra cotta. I of course promptly ignored her advice, because I knew in my bones that I was and always will be a summer!

I don't really see why fall clothes even have to exist. I'm pretty uninterested in hearing about "jewel tones" and other fall trends. Can't we just always live in Margaritaville? I've been hoping that the silver lining of global warming would turn out to be permanent, endless summer.

When the weather starts to turn cooler, I instantly think back to my dull, drab, dreary private school wardrobe and get a little sad. I surely don’t think of “Sunny Baja, California” for fall, but maybe I should start.

Ensenada Grande beach, Isla Partida, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico via Wikipedia Commons.

I would have never considered beach fashions for fall if I weren’t on the Swell mailing list due to a show I designed recently that was all about surfers. I opened their fall 2012 catalog the other day and this was the first thing I saw:

From left: Pink printed pant, $39.50. Silk printed, $128.00. Mini print silk, $130.00. Turquoise print silk, $79.99. B&W printed, $34.50

BEACH PANTS? FOR FALL? I scratched my head over it for a full minute, wondering who would wear something so summery when it's cold out. Obviously people in California, Florida and parts of Texas could, but what about the rest of the country, who will be knee deep in snow within 2 months?

Then I realized how kind of perfect it actually was. Maybe it’s just because I love the unexpected, but I mean, why can’t the spirit of summer follow everyone into fall?! Colorful prints in the winter are a perfect antidote to freezing drudgery.

From left: Blue silk pant, $168.00. Boho print, $47.00. Red cotton, $54.50. Red/black print, $49.00.

All these colorful, flowy beach pants could so easily work for colder weather with some warm tights and tall boots underneath.

From left: Studded boot, $199.00. Tall buckle, $149.00. Harness boot, $378.00. Black leather riding boot, $179.00. Heeled boot, $189.00.

Add a slouchy cardigan and a denim shirt to the mix and you've got a slightly bohemian, comfy cozy outfit that isn't drab and boring. It's the essence of summer, just winterized!

From left: Black cardigan, $90.00. Cream woven, $168.00. Olive studded, $84.00. Grey v-neck sweater, $285.00.

From left: Target, $17.99. Madewell, $88.00. JC Penney, $25.00. Tilly's, $26.99.

The great part of this formula is that you can also just wear a simple tank or plain T-shirt, as the pants are really doing all the work for you.

Another way to bring a bit of the warm Baja beach dream into your real dead of winter life is to trade your dreary day bag in for a colorful woven tote. I just bought the FEED tote below for myself last week, and I love it.

From left: Woven backpack, $18.99. Feed tote, $50.00. Indigenous bag, $160.00.

What stuff from your summer wardrobe do you carry over into fall? I'm so down with working classic summer prints, colors and pieces into my fall look. But maybe you are one of those who actually looks forward to cooler weather and the chance to wear proper fall clothes. Which is totally cool -- we can still be friends, right? (I'll even make you a summer camp-approved friendship bracelet.)

Friendship bracelet with floral crystals, $255.00.

(I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison)