For some, it's that first whiff of a pumpkin-spice candle that signals summer is coming to an end. But for me, it’s the first sighting of a skinny-jeans outfit in the wild. Fall definitely looks a bit different this year than it has in the past, but just because I'm still WFH, it doesn’t mean I’ll be automatically swapping my biker shorts for sweats when the weather cools down. I’m looking forward to layering up some classic (but comfortable) looks, and I know where to turn for some style inspiration.
My boss here at Who What Wear, Natalie Cantell, has a serious knack for putting together an elevated jeans outfit, so I asked her to show me what she’ll be wearing IRL in the months ahead. When it comes to denim, I know for a fact she’s long been a fan of J Brand, and this season is no different thanks to the launch of their newest style, The Sophia Limitless Stretch. "It's perfect timing, considering this is the year we all finally decided that our clothes have to be comfortable if they're going to stand any chance of being worn," Cantell says. Remember early on in lockdown, when jeans were dubbed "hard pants"? Cantell promises, "These are the opposite of hard pants." See how she styles her new wear-on-repeat jeans below.
As far as Cantell's concerned, "Fall is that magical time of year when, for about three weeks, we get to wear skinny denim with open-toe slides and blazers with tucked-in racerback tanks." By no means is anyone asking you to wear a blazer all day whilst sitting in your makeshift workspace at home, but an outfit like this one is perfect for a virtual meeting when you actually have to turn your camera on. ("Yes," Cantell admits. "I'm a "camera on" person. Please don't @ me.")
It should be said that in the four-ish years we've worked together, I've seen her wear literally dozens of iterations of this classic look. Cantell reminds me that it's basically the fashion-editor uniform at this point and dares me to name a cooler, easier, and more timeless outfit. She's still waiting.
Cantell says of this timeless look, "This has been my go-to weekend outfit every fall for as long as I can remember, but what even is the weekend anymore?" She tells me it can handle the full spectrum of her weekend activities in the new normal––which admittedly only consists of masking up to walk her dog, a trip to the store, and the occasional sit-down coffee at one of the cafés in Williamsburg where she's deemed they've spaced their outdoor tables far enough apart.
I’m a sucker for trench coats and skinny jeans, and Cantell knows it. She notes pointedly, "This outfit goes out to anyone with a soft spot for French girl–inspired looks." For bonus points, pair those skinny blue jeans with a classic long-sleeve crewneck tee (another of her essentials) and accessorize with gum-soled tennis shoes, gold jewelry, and a big-buckle crossbody bag for some extra polish.