Mild fall days are a challenge for clothes, always falling into the trappings of overdressed or underdressed. On a (miraculously) sundrenched day in Chicago, I finally struck the right balance of layers in a way that felt appropriate for October. With a short skirt with long, thin socks, I was sufficiently warm in the morning, with the option of shedding the trench coat in the afternoon sun.
I mentioned before in my old Saks catalogs post that sometimes I'll have a visual reference for a certain outfit that I can't always place right away. After a little mental digging, I realized that this flared black trench coat and knee socks combination was inspired by two sources. One was, wouldn't you guess, an old Saks catalog, this time showcasing a Jean-Paul Gaultier coat. The other was an image in Paris Match of the late actress Lucy Gordon, dressed for her role as Jane Birkin in a Serge Gainsbourg biopic.
Looking back, I notice that this vintage/prep school student aesthetic isn't very "in style." The cinched-waist silhouette is one we haven't seen in a while, and at a time when women's fashion is obsessed with "athleisure" and casualwear, there's something rebellious about wearing a flared skirt and heels. I'm a big believer in wearing the clothes that you like, and not exclusively ones that fit into the current norm - and when the standards all change in six months, you can say you were ahead of the game! Still, I like the contrast against Julia's white sneakers and tailored-yet-casual pants, one look that's very now, and one look that's (hopefully) timeless.
Seen in its best light, the University of Chicago campus has such a wholesome, collegiate look to it. Don't let yourself be too deceived, but enjoy it while it lasts.