Friday, September 6, 2013

The Textures and Colors of Fall Clothes (Repost from September, 2011)


There is a joy to welcoming fall.  While the illusion of carefree Ivy League students blithely shuffling through a dusting of leaves en route to the football game arm-in-arm with a cadre of wisecracking but sincere chums may be the stuff of cynical advertisements (real Ivy League students are seldom carefree, and any jaunt out is accompanied by both a hyper self-consciousness and a hobbling guilt at not tackling imminently due assignments), nevertheless the reference textures and colors can be legitimately wonderful.


37 comments:

Joy said...

you've captured the sentiments of the current crop of college students so well. i love the variety of sweaters you have!

Susan R said...

I definitely feel an excitement when I pull out the Fall sweaters. I feel that same excitement when I pull out the madras shorts and skirts for the Summer holidays, but in a different way and with a different objective. I think that's why we have the four seasons. Each one brings a different feeling of happiness and excitement for what's to come...a feeling of comfort and familiarity.
I enjoy being able to experience all four seasons, but I have come to realize I'm happiest when Fall rolls around.

Anonymous said...

The feelings evoked by the change of light in early fall are beautifully captured in these 2 photos.

Regards,
Bitsy

Anonymous said...

I love fall, both for the clothes and the opportunity to visit a farmstand replete with pumpkins, apples, gourds, and other bounty, on a cool, dry, breezy, sunny afternoon, as I did yesterday at Whittles farm in Mystic.

Also, thanks for acknowledging the romanticization of university style. I work at Yale and only wish I regularly saw the great cashmere (?) cable knits, chunky wools, tweeds, flannels, corduroys etc. that you've shown us today.

Raulston said...

Muffy you ma cheri are superbly exceptional! The wears you showcase are always the highlight of following your website (with the exception of your immeasurable wisdom).

If one articulates that the the Ivy air is ripe with carefree chumming then they have yet to experience it as a student. Walk through any of the ancient 8's campuses and you will hear the chatter of students spouting off lists such as: I got 2 hours of sleep last night, I have not eaten yet today(too busy studying), It's only my second year and I have to study for the GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, GRE, and the classic-I feel like a hermit because I am always in my dorm or the library and have not seen my friends in two weeks.

It does not matter the demographic or socioeconomic status of the student because every one of them has the same goal (make the grade) and with steep grade curves and anti-grade inflation measures always in place it is certainly no easy task to make the intended grade. Make no mistake every student at an ivy wants to be there and they make sure they do just that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the link to Vickers & Patrick!

Greenfield said...

The very first crispy 3-layer morning. One of those very best days of the year. Horses sprouting tennis-ball-fuzzy coats overnight, and deerflies all gone from the woods. . .

Grace said...

I actually love the fall textures of herringbone, tweed, and wool! And of course, I've always preferred the color palette. I'm already living in my huge RL cable knit crewneck!

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

2nd sentence is hilarious. Don't forget the contrived playful flirty leaf-fight ubiquitous in those same ads.

Sartre said...

"real students are never carefree, and any jaunt out is accompanied by both a hyper self-consciousness and a hobbling guilt at not tackling imminently due assignments"

Nice observation. Read the first half dozen pages of Franny & Zooey to see this in action.

In my own case, we conquered this problem with strategic quantities of alcohol, administered via hip flask, another casualty of this Puritan century.

j.mosby said...

Like your fall color palette! very similar to what's in my closets! Look forward to wearing the old Barbour jacket! Have a nice forest green Patagonia fleece to wear for the start of Beagling season come October!

Tally Ho!

sailormadras said...

we are a far cry from fall here in Stuart Fl. though this AM. was 71 degrees, won't be long till we see 60! I prefer the colors of fall, in my clothing , though it doesn't really work here unless it's in the 50's and chilly. It is odd growing up in Ct. and going to school in Ma. and College in N.H.and now living here 24 years my mind knows it is fall, but walk out the door and your hit in the face with humidity and heat , so it is poplin bermudas and a J Press ss oxford bd today and probabaly the same tomorrow too!
I miss fall badly ..... Hmm, as far a collge I can't remember the details I know I did not challenge myself enough with my studies, but nestled in the foot hills of the white mountains with a bunch of other prepschool castoffs was a recipe for cocktails and laughter so it wasn't all bad......

sarah said...

After switching over my clothes today (which will guarantee 85 degree temperatures will return shortly), I realized I've reached another "old age" milestone.

I'd rather wear dated clothes made from good quality material than to try to replace them at 4 or 5 times the original cost. This is good news because I basically dislike shopping but depressing for all the reasons discussed in your previous posts.

It is wonderful to pull out all the winter clothes which smell like cedar and the "Fresh Linen" sachets from Hillhouse Naturals.

Anonymous said...

I feel that prep school is romanticized as well. I don't know about others' experiences, but my friends and I are rarely seen anywhere but in the library, in class, or at a sports practice. There is no time for frolicking in the leaves or going for jaunts along the river. We are constantly in the middle of an action, whether that be slaving over textbooks and notes, quickly grabbing a sandwich in between classes, or pushing ourselves to work as hard as possible out on the fields and in the boats. There are no people rolling around in the grass (unless they have a copy of their latest English book on hand) who are sporting blazers and sperrys. We are bleary-eyed, constantly on edge, and lucky to be wearing a sweater/jeans combination that actually matches.

Anonymous said...

Muffy - would love to see what preparations you and your family are doing in your garden at this time of year. I'm taking what steps I can to ensure a good base for next year (composting, etc.... great time for gathering the "browns" for the compost pile.)

Pete said...

(real students are never carefree, and any jaunt out is accompanied by both a hyper self-consciousness and a hobbling guilt at not tackling imminently due assignments)

Thank you.

Zeta Ridge said...

I am amazed by your description of the college student. You hit the nail on the head. As a current student, I can relate to those feelings you wrote that real students experience.

Currently, I am starting my semester abroad at University of St. Andrews, in Scotland. Fall comes a bit earlier here, so many of the fall sweaters have been awakened from their hibernation. The style here is very interesting. Many students take a page or two out of classic prep style, but add a modern european twist to it. This results in more slim fitting clothing, but there are still students that look straight out of New England (and probably are!).

Raulston said...

@Zeta Ridge: Best of luck on your studies at St. Andrews. I will be studying abroad at Oxford this next semester and look foreward to taking up tempory residence in the UK.

Stu said...

Jealous!!!

Michael Rowe said...

I aspire to a twinge of sadness at letting go of summer, but the older I get, the more cold blooded I get.

Casey said...

Perfect post for this Connecticut morning. Today I had to don a sweater when I took the dog for his walk.

BlueTrain said...

I had my carefree moments in college, which may explain a few things. However, it was also a time of a great change in styles. The different subcultures around campus could be identified by the way they dressed. There was a big Greek presence there and they were the best dressed and had cars. Those in law school wore suits. There were hippies and you know how they looked. Everyone else wore normal clothes, though wearing jeans to class was not so common, unless my memory is faulty. There were still small shops where nice clothes could be found but they disappeared within ten years, I'm told, and I'm certain that's a sign of the end times.

I have lingering memories of little details from those years, like short sleeved sweaters, sweatshirts with the school emblem (never did own one), and a curious fad of wearing sweatshirts with shortened sleeves (just hacked off). I don't remember anyone wearing sweatpants but they must have existed. There were, however, cut-off blue jeans, which I suppose were a little bizarre. And finally, there were students from the U.K. who would stop and ask me about my "estate car," which was a short-wheel base 1965 Land-Rover. I liked the way they dressed but I always had to ask them to repeat themselves. After all, I am not a native English speaker. I'm from West Virginia.

mary anne said...

56 degrees here in Idaho this morning. Lovely blue skies, some leaves already turning and that wonderful clean sense one gets after a severe thunderstorm with lots of rain. Your post is perfect for me today!

John (hot in Texas) said...

On my way to a football game in a few hours. Supposed to be 98 at game time. 98. Should be down to about 90 by the time the game ends. All this talk about fall weather and 50 degree mornings is like waiving a cool glass of water in front of someone who just crawled out of the desert.

Anonymous said...

Someone (non-prep) who teases me relentlessly about the way I dress and my prep/Ivy background said today that the preppies who run our government are about to get us into yet another war. I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything. But I'm afraid he might be right. I wonder if John Kerry reads this blog.

KMG said...

I heartily approve of Fall's arrival. If only because I can pull out my well-worn (but still intact!) army-issue "waffle top" fleece. I swear, that thing is bulletproof.
...

Also, the season is great because my Lab will stop shedding so damn much.

Anonymous said...

There was a wonderful shop in East Gloucester, Massachusetts called the Sacred Cod that sold sweaters dyed in the subtle hues of the Scottish countryside: muted tans and browns, heathers and gorse. Their collection was the finest west of the Hebrides; even the old Brooks Brothers couldn’t compete, as the Sacred Cod buyer had a much better eye for quality and color.

At the first hint of autumn, we’d head down, usually on a late Saturday afternoon so we could end up at one of the many seafood restaurants along the coast. Alas, the store eventually closed, as it was off the beaten path and could not compete with the frantic commercialism of Rockport’s Bearskin Neck.

In those days, we lived across the road from Clara Winthrop, the great aunt of John Kerry (she paid for much of his education). During the summer months, she’d walk to Singing Beach, swim out to the float and back, then head home on foot ( a three-mile round trip). She never missed a day, even into her early eighties, and swam with no regard to the water temperature, which is warmer than Maine, but that’s not saying much.

I remember inadvertently looking out the window one cold, rainy afternoon. There she was, headed down the sidewalk, both hands gripping her umbrella so it wouldn’t blow away. I saw her return at last light, umbrella now furled and raincoat tucked into the tiny backpack she always wore.

I can assure Anonymous 4:49PM that thanks to Clara Winthrop, John Kerry knows how to read, although I doubt he has time for TDP, or any fall shopping for that matter.

MGC

Flo said...

Call me sick, but I started switching out some of my clothing about two weeks ago, I love fall. Great post, love the photos.

Paul Connors said...

Once again, your Canon digital SLR completely captures the colors and the TEXTURES of the clothes in the pictures you posted.

I was just wondering, did you or your husband use flash on the closet photos? I ask because it seems as if you did not and if not, I think that speaks volumes as to quality of the digital sensor that it recreated the colors and textures so accurately.

Just my two cents as a fellow photographer.

Paul Connors

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Paul, We very seldom use a flash for any of the pictures on this blog, and did not for either of these.

Anonymous said...

I felt positively giddy looking a those delicious stacks of fall clothing!! In our house, we do fall/winter clothes from Oct 1 to April 30. We had quite the chilly morning today, mid 50's. I love it. We love summer, even though we spent the very hot days hiding in the house. Our dogs like these cooler days much better, too! I love Susan R's post, sums it up nicely. --Holly in PA

Flo said...

@Paul Connors--as someone who owns the same camera as Muffy, I can attest to it's fantastic abilities in natural and low light conditions. The sensor on it is phenomenal, I had upgraded from a Canon Xti and was completely blown away by the improvements. Best money I've ever spent on a piece of photography equipment.

Anonymous said...

Muffy's post brought back a flood of memories of starting school in the fall. I usually started mid-September, and while I loved the idea of college students enjoying crisp autumn weather and being carefree, I was anything but that! It was very difficult to enjoy doing something "carefree" when there were pages and pages to be read and papers to be typed on my IBM Selectric. In retrospect, I am actually glad that the internet was not around back then.

Julia

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to wear my fall things and hearing that Clara Winthrop story was a treat!

Anonymous said...

I feel that just being at college and being of a certain age implies that you are "more" carefree than the average person. I had wonderfully, fun days while at college, made range of good grades and I've graduated with 2 degrees. I'm currently teaching at a prep school in the South and I've managed all this on my carefree days as a student. I, of course, stressed here and there over more difficult courses, but usually didn't. If you didn't have any fun...believe me it was your own fault as the vast majority of employers could care less if you made all A's or mostly C's. The degree is what counts in the end...;-) I prefer the students that do well, but don't stress over silly things like perfect GPA's.

Here's to the actuality in the "romanticizing" of the Prep & Ivy League ads. I had it. Cheers.

lSc

NEW Communications said...

I guess college was fairly carefree for me, and my closet looked and still looks pretty much like the closets in the photos. Being at the wonderful and diverse University of Wisconsin meant I could pretty much wear whatever I wanted and escape unnoticed. It was a time when jeans and sweatshirts were giving way to preppy clothing and living on Langdon Street meant living amidst a sea of bright green and pink. I don't see those as fall colors, though, and identify more with the blues, olives and earth tones of the photos.

suzi said...

I can't wait to bring out the fall sweaters, right now it's still in the upper nineties here.