News Column

Fall Fashion Offers Unique Opportunities to Wear Multipurpose Garments

Oct. 2, 2012

Bravetta Hassell

Elizabeth Mayhew thinks of fall as a "homier" time. When people turn back to cooking and the fireplace.

"Summer's about escape," Mayhew said. "I feel like fall is about coming home."

It's a season for nesting, and with fall comes the opportunity to layer -- stretching those clothes that function year-round and coordinating them in new and creative ways, she said.

Her love of the season made Mayhew, an NBC "Today" show lifestyle contributor and author, a natural to talk to us about her favorite fashion themes for the season.

Burgundy. Black and white.

Wedges, boots and animal print.

And, of course, who wouldn't feel better in some simple seasonal staples -- a great fall coat and comfortable shoes?

Mayhew always shops for utility as well as fashion -- especially for work.

Whether decorating, cooking or anything else on TV, her look is a conscientious one.

"It's important that I look like I do that. I don't like when people are in kind of a black-tie outfit cooking, dressed up -- it doesn't make sense," Mayhew said.

To make sure her appearance fits with whatever activities she's doing, Mayhew has some favorite outfits that are fashionable enough to go on TV and practical enough for a day spent on her feet moving around.

A tunic, a pair of jeans and a pair of plum Dansko clogs is all Mayhew needs.

The tunic blouse is very feminine, Mayhew said. It's loose enough to add layers underneath but cut in a manner that is flattering on many body types.

The blouses come in a variety of colors, and the tunic is a garment you can get four seasons out of, which is a plus.

"On top of that, they hang outside my jeans -- so they cover everything up, which I love and I think most women do," Mayhew said of not having to be concerned about whether her back is showing when she's bending down or reaching up for something.

And many tunics feature an embroidered neckline, which means you don't have to worry about pairing the top with jewelry.

"It's just a really easy thing to wear," Mayhew said.

With a nice pair of boot-cut jeans that have a little bit of a stretch to them and some of Mayhew's favorite shoes, the look is almost complete.

A chic silk scarf can be worn for both fashion and warmth in the morning when the days are starting off markedly cooler. By the time the afternoon warms up, the scarf can be tied on the side of your bag for a different type of accessory.

Mayhew says military style is extremely popular this season, but she prefers her Barbour Liberty Beadnell jacket right now -- especially for weekends and trips away from the city. She calls it the consummate fall piece.

"It just says fall in such an English country way, and it's the perfect layer because it's waterproof -- also it blocks the wind, yet it's not too heavy."

Another favorite is the neutral-colored wool coat from Zara International with gathered sleeves that is very Jackie Kennedy.

Fall has so many interesting pieces, Mayhew said.

"And unlike winter, where there's so much bulk, fall can be lots of light layers."

It's easy and simple, which is what Mayhew calls her style.

"And you get to be more creative in a way," she said.

Source: (c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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