Transition to fall with “What I Wore” blogger Jessica Quirk

Jessica Quirk, founder of “What I Wore” and author of “What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style.”

Transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall can be a daunting task. Thankfully, Jessica Quirk, founder of the popular fashion blog “What I Wore” took the time to chat about fall trends and how to update your closet without going crazy. Here’s what she had to say:

“When I think of whatever is trendy, I try to boil it down to my everyday life because I don’t live in a fashion capital, like New York,” said Quirk, who is from Bloomington, Ind. “It has to be something that doesn’t look totally out of place when I’m walking down the streets of my small town.”

With that in mind, she shared that color is one thing to keep your eye out for. Not the crazy, neon, bright colors of the summer, but some more toned down, harvest-type colors to help us bring in the new season.

“That sounds like its very simple, but the colors that are out right now are really great.  Think of a really rich gold/yellow or a pretty crimson red and then a bright violet blue, which I think is the most universally flattering color on any woman,” she said. “I added a nice violet blue silk blouse to my closet recently and I got a great pair of red, ripped, intense, saturated jeans. I think [color] is a great trend that can apply easily to everyone. Buying one new T-shirt in a fun color all of a sudden makes your jacket look new and your jeans look new!”

She also advocates for black and white dresses and prints. Black and white, Quirk said, are great colors to wear right now, and then later on when the weather gets chillier.

“It works now when it’s really hot out, if the cut is right and then it’ll look great later layered with your fall coat and black tights later,” she said. That kind of versatility plays a big role in Quirk’s style, especially when she is transitioning from summer to fall.

For many of us, that transition is daunting. It can be difficult to find everything that we have, and determine what we actually need. In response to this dilemma Quirk shared a tip to help us clean out our closets, fall in love with our own clothes again, and not break the bank.

“I like to do a big closet switch out between seasons so I don’t get frustrated. For example, you might want to start packing away very obviously summer things. I mean, gauzy white dresses, straw belts or straw shoes, linen, really anything that screams summer. If you can pack that away it can be easier to transition,” Quirk said.

She made sure to mention that not everything we wear in the summer has to go away — some of our clothes can transition from season to season with a couple of quick tweaks. Quirk said that anything that has a darker print could work for fall, especially if you pair it with a fall jacket and boots.

She also mentioned that she goes by the colors in nature to help her dress accordingly, drawing inspiration from the foods she eats and the leaves changing around her.  But, Quirk is quick to point out that these inspirations and styles don’t necessarily change every year.

“I don’t think you need to go out and buy all new clothes every year and every season,” she said. “I like to shop my own closet. I get to open up all my bins with all my fall stuff, and I feel like I just went shopping, but I didn’t spend a dime.”

After we’ve followed Quirk’s advice and gone through our closets, it’s time to rid ourselves of anything we don’t wear anymore. By filtering out the clothes that are never worn, we get rid of clutter and make room for new pieces.

“I kind of filter out the stuff I got when I was just starting my career and I’m trying to replace it. I’m really getting better at knowing what I like,” she said. “I’m finding that I’m a lot more classic than I ever thought I was.”

The things she likes to splurge on are those that never go out of style, such as pencil skirts and leather or jeans jackets. It’s these kind of purchases that Quirk doesn’t mind paying a little more for certain designer pieces, not just for their trendiness but mostly for their “quality and longevity.”

As far as fall trends are concerned, Quirk clued me in to some styles we should keep our eyes on.

“I think leather is going to be really big. Not just your leather jacket or your leather boots, but like leather T-shirts and leather peplum tops and leather skirts, or even leather trim,” she said. “I’m still trying to hunt down the right leather addition. I’m just not sure what it is yet.”

Quirk is also a big fan of the varsity look, which has been picked up by designers like Ralph Lauren.

“I found my old letterman jacket from when I was in middle school. I think I’m going to wear it for fall,” she said. “I think that old heritage, varsity feel looks really cool.”

Another trend that she recommended is peplum. Just a nice peplum top or jacket with a bit of peplum is an easy way to achieve a trendier silhouette. Even though peplum isn’t an entirely new trend, it’s still a leading look in fashion.

“I think the fashion cycle has sort of sped and slowed so much that things aren’t in and out of fashion,” she said. “I think wearing leather will be popular next winter. I can think of some of the things I wore last fall that I think are still in. It’s not that you’re wearing last year’s’ outfit, I don’t think there’s any of that.”

Quirk’s final, and most important tip, only wear the things that you’re comfortable in and the things that make you feel great.

“My main, go-to philosophy is that you should wear things that make you look and feel good.” Quirk said. “It’s not frivolous and silly to care about what you wear. What you wear does matter. I like the fashion angle and it excites me. I love clothing, but I also love the idea that everyone can benefit from wearing something that makes them feel good.”

A big thank you to Jessica Quirk for letting me pick her brain! For more fashion tips, check out Quirk’s blog “What I Wore ” at whatiwore.tumblr.com or her book “What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style.”