Alison's Five Fall Must Haves

Seasons change, but my love of 70s collegiate sportswear is everlasting. I really should sacrifice something to the fashion gods for giving me their blessings this fall.

I mentioned in my application profile that I consider Ali MacGraw a personal fashion icon, but rarely is the inspiration this literal. This fall, I want to dress just like Jennifer Cavalleri and my mother, Sally, Smith ’76: a little preppy, a little androgynous, a little utilitarian, but always stylish.

Aqua Faux Shearling Motorcycle Jacket (Bloomingdales, $198)

Shearling is huge this fall, and I love the motorcycle cut on this jacket.

Engineer 12 R (Frye, $208)

This Frye engineer boot is a definite classic, and I can’t help but kick myself for not purchasing a pair years ago. I’m a huge fan of the brand, but if you don’t care to invest at this price point, Target makes a killer knock off that’s still up for sale on their website.

Vintage Dooney and Bourke Fir Green Large Horseshoe Bag (Horsekeeping, $350)

Just looking at this bag makes me happy: my mother used to always carry a Dooney and Bourke bag when I was a wee tot, full of cinnamon Trident and one of the yellow pots of Blistex. Good call, Ma; looks like they’re pretty cool again. The company has been around since the mid-70s, really hitting their heyday in the late 80s, and now going the Coach route of abandoning quality for inflated prices and pastel grafiti. Luckily, we can still find vintage bags in tip-top shape

Free People ‘Fuzzy Peach’ Sweater (Nordstrom, $98)

Chunky sweaters are a must for me every fall, but this year they’re pretty stylish, too. I love the detailing on this one – not as overwhelming as an allover fisherman pattern – and the off-the-shoulder cut makes it a little more modern than my L.L. Bean staples. 

 J Brand 9″ Midrise 18″ Bootcut Jeans (Shopbop, $159)

I know jeans are boring for a post, but with the past couple of years domianted by skinny jeans and jeggings, a pair of higher-rise, straight leg or bootcut jeans are a serious must buy for me.

Fall, I find, is about warmth and comfort, and the keys for my ultimate fall 2010 wardrobe are chunky knits, heritage fabrics, and retro silhouettes. While these five pieces may not cover all of your professional and social obligations this autumn, they create a classic base of sportswear that fits swimmingly with fall’s trends.


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  1. Rachel says:

    I love that bag! That's one of those things you can find digging through the crates at a vintage/consignment store and buy for a great price.

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  2. Shannon says:

    I just watched “Love Story” last night. Spooky! The movie was terrible, and truly hasn't held up over the decades, but the fashion has held up pretty well.

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  3. KLo says:

    I adore 70s collegiate fashion. Currently saving up for that leather jacket…

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  4. Nicole says:

    Hi Ladies!!
    I own those boots and find that they are a little narrow. Do you have any ideas how I can stretch them out?
    ps – I by no means have large feet, 6.5 regular.


    August 24, 2010/Reply
  5. Erin says:

    Allison, I love this post! Belle, is CJ still an intern?

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  6. ndw says:

    the free cheap way – put your boots on, mix 1/2 white vinger 1/2 water, dab the mixture on the boots with a towel (you can get it pretty wet, the leather will darken while it's moist, but you won't want it completely saturated, i'd just start a little bit at a time time, walk around a bit, add a little more until you notice it stretch.) wear the boots around your house. the water/vinger loosens up the leather, your foot stretches and the vinager keeps the water from making perminent spots or darkening the leather. I used to wear a lot of boots when i was showing horses, i had a really nice pair of lighter colored boots i would have to do this too if i wasn't wearing them regularly. worked like a charm, never any troubles.

    if you're worried about making a mistake (although the above is pretty fool proof) – take them to your cobbler. they'll usually stretch boots (or heels) for cheap.

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  7. Nicole says:

    Awesome!! Thanks for sharing the love!!

    August 24, 2010/Reply
  8. Rory says:

    I have a couple of vintage Dooney and Coaches that I adore. They're beautiful, classic, and much better made than the colorful, sparkly crap they sell now. However, you can find them on eBay in amazing condition for $50 or less, and not pay $350.

    August 25, 2010/Reply