• kathrinkim

They're forecasting 98 degrees this Friday, here in Minnesota. I'll most likely be sitting in a pool keeping cool. But today, I sit filing through the designer's 2021 Fall Ready-To-Wear look books searching for common threads and hints of the trends we'll see this Autumn. There are always new creative spins on classics and ... this Fall is no different. Let's take a look at several themes that keep appearing on many of the designer's runways.

Monochromatic Black Leather


Elisabetta Franchi

right: Chloe'

Black leather is classic. It never goes away but, it definitely has different styles and cuts that take center stage at different times. Looking at the Elisabetta Franchi look above, I could never pull off this Long A-line skirt, it would make me look a mile wide. But, I could trade out this skirt for a black leather pencil skirt and it would give a similar vibe.

Dress for YOUR shape; not the model's.

left: Gabriela Hearst

right: Hermes'

Winter-White Sweater Dress

left: Alice + Olivia

right: Etro

It was a bit of a surprise to me to see the winter white sweater dresses re-appearing in theme of many designer's Fall look books. Honestly, last week if you'd said I should get a sweater dress for this Fall, I'd laughed at you. But this week, I am suddenly on the search. (Notice they are all paired with tall black boots.)

left: Chloe'


Gabriela Hearst

Tans, Camel, and shades of Brown


Gabriela Hearst


Ermanno Scervino

Camel is another timeless Fall/Winter option. This Ermanno Scervino's look above is stunning, with shades of copper and rust. In 2010, Shades of brown were hard to find in retail clothing. The last few years, I'm glad to say, we have seen it coming back. Almost everyone can wear brown but, you have to find the right shade that makes your skin tone pop.

left: Chloe'


Elisabetta Franchi

These are just three trends that stood out to me but, looking at all three picture sections, we can get a few more hints of what's HOT on the horizon.

- Big leather bags

- Knee-high leather boots

- Wide belts

- Long formal Coats

- Over-sized poncho's

Link to the Etro fashion show

This week, I'll enjoy the sunshine and the pool. But, it won't be long and we'll be pulling out those layers for chilly Fall weather.

Twin Cities Wardrobe Consultant - Kathy Banta

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  • kathrinkim

As soon as the Fourth of July is over, the fireworks and picnic supplies are moved to the clearance racks, the displays for back-to-school take their place. It feels like whiplash every year when this happens. I don't want to see school supplies in July. It's like an insult to Summer and a reminder that we're counting down the days before we have to submit to a routine again. Please, don't remind me! Somewhere in mid-August I begin to get excited about the approach of Fall weather and the reality of a change in pace. K-12 starts after Labor day here in Minnesota. But, for those that are about to move to the dorm or get back to classes a little sooner than the elementary schools, these displays are right on time.

Today, I met with a young man that's in his third year of college who has already begun to work in the field he is aiming towards. He's a real go-getter! He's been just fine wearing casual attire to school and working remotely during Covid-19. But this Fall, although still taking online classes, he will no longer be working remotely; he'll be getting back to a business work space. We went shopping for his Back-to-Work wardrobe.

Where does one start?

I take inventory of what's needed and make a shopping list before we even go shopping.

Often, clients hire me to go through their closets with them to make sure what they have in fits correctly and is still relevant, and while I'm there, I give them ideas of how they could style outfits out of what they already own. While in client's closets, I can see if they are lacking in a woman's basic shell tops , for example, or a men's gray work pant. When I see the holes in the wardrobe, that is how we make our shopping list.

The gentleman that I shopped with today didn't need me to come to his closet because, he was truly at the beginning of building his work wardrobe. We created a basics list and shopped from that.

This is an example of a general "basics list" that I start from for a work casual look and tailor it to fit each client's needs and preferences.

Men's basics (work casual)

button up shirts (plaid, print, white)

polo shirt

chino pants (in gray, navy and olive)

pull over sweater (2)

brown work shoes

brown belt

Women's basics (work casual)

basic shell tops (solids, print, white/cream)

ankle pant (navy, black, olive)

cardigan (2)

slip on brown shoes

brown belt

This is basic. Every person has their own preferences. Maybe you don't like casual pants and would rather wear a skirt. Color preferences are different for every person, too. Fit is different. But, having this simple starting point gets us going and motivates to find what we need.

Are you going back to the office this Fall? Need a re-fresh? Overwhelmed on where to start? Reach out to me. I'd love to help you polish your look.

Twin Cities Wardrobe Consultant Kathy Banta




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  • kathrinkim

Thrifting is something that I've been doing since I was young. I grew up going thrifting with my mom, and throughout high school it became a great way to stretch a dollar when I needed a refresh in my wardrobe. The need is no longer there but, I still enjoy thrifting. I enjoy the hunt for that unique piece and I have found some treasures.

Last week I went to Savers in Woodbury. They told me it's the largest Savers in the U.S. and it's one of four that has self check out stations. Since Covid, Savers has removed their dressing rooms and I've heard rumors that they won't be coming back. This makes shopping there a bit more complicated. It becomes a gamble. You can make returns within a couple weeks time but, it is a bother. No matter, if you have a keen eye, there are deals to be found.

Here are my finds from shopping last week.

I found this bright coral Summer shift dress. This was a find for me because, I'm really picky about Summer dresses and I don't have very many that are versatile that can be dressed up like this one with a sandal heel and beads or dressed down with flip flops and a straw beach bag.

The brand: Loft

Price: $9.49

2. I found this Kelly Green floral pencil skirt and instantly loved it. It looked like it had never been worn. I know my size in different brands so when I saw that it was a size 8 and the brand was JCrew, I knew it would fit. The lining of the skirt is aqua. I don't have aqua in my closet but, this dark teal is just up a couple shades, making this a vibrant pairing. My white WHBM blazer finishes it off for a Summer business look.

This is a look I'd put on one of my banker clients or my marketing executive clients.

The brand: JCrew

Price: $10.99

3. Lastly, I found this flaxen yellow jacket. Interestingly, it has a size 18 tag in it but, it's not a size 18; I think it may have been shrunk. That's a nuance about thrifting; you have to keep your eyes open, items may have been washed incorrectly and are not truly the size marked. This item I carried to a standing mirror at the end of an isle and tried on so, I knew it would work.

I paired it with the same teal shell top (that I've had forever) as with the outfit above and my NYDJ jeans, white BP sneakers and a cobalt blue necklace from Banana Republic. This week, this outfit would be too hot to wear but, come September, it will be a fun energetic look before the seasons change.

The brand: Coldwater Creek

Price: $13.99

Thrifting is not for everyone. I get it. You have to search to find what you like and fits you and follow it up with cleaning the items. I often have items tailored, too.

Some of my favorite finds are my chocolate colored Theory suit, my gold beaded ST JOHNS knit pencil skirt, yellow Vintage Lilli Ann shift dress and matching dress jacket (an apprentice designer under Chanel) and my faux leopard print coat. There ARE treasures to be found.

Happy Hunting!

Wardrobe Consultant Kathy Banta

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