In Fashion – Gearing Up for Fall: Fashion, Function & Fibres

by Devon Bird, MODEN – 

With the last vestiges of summer disappearing into our collective rear-view, us West Coasters now must maneuver through our daily lives, but with the added task of gearing up to protect us from the wet, the muck, and all manner of sloshy substances kicked up off dreary rain-soaked streets. Not only must we consider whether our outerwear is wet proof, but it also has to be properly insulated and appropriately layered as we can traverse several seasons all within one afternoon.

It is a general rule of thumb in fashion that outfits become more dynamic and interesting the more depth they have. Whether it be mixing textures, colours or patterns, the added dimension creates what we have come to refer to as “style.” I love to layer as it allows me to introduce elements to an outfit that are unexpected, unique to me, or offer a new appearance to an old favourite. But layering can come at the expense of comfort if not deftly executed, as the risk of overheating is a constant consideration during this transition time.

If you’re someone who tends to run hot or is as committed to a layered look as I am, I encourage you to acquaint yourself with fibres that breath. One such fabric I always keep front and centre in my closet is organic cotton, or cotton blended with a cellulose-based pulp fibre such as modal or viscose. Modal specifically is a beautifully soft, resilient fabric that stays cool to the hand. Its silky texture feels great on the skin and can be layered easily without adding too much bulk and heat.

The same tenets apply for a fine wool such as merino. Unlike heavier wools, merino is incredibly breathable. It can release warmth from the body, allowing you to regulate your temperature more easily. This is a great quality should you want to add a cardigan or sweater over a dress shirt or under a jacket without running the risk of overheating.

If you want to add visual interest to an outfit but mobility is a consideration, try a vest in place of a jacket. Not only have sweater vests made a screaming comeback this season, but they provide depth and texture to a look without the weight and warmth of a cardigan or jacket. If knits aren’t your thing, there is nothing more quintessentially West Coast than a chic quilted vest over a cable-knit sweater.

Should you find yourself on the opposite side of the spectrum and heat retention is more of a concern, embrace styles that have a cozier hand-feel such as corduroy as a replacement for denim during the cooler months. Corduroy, much like the sweater vest, is having a fashion renaissance and is offered in many different options from trousers and skirts to dresses and shirts. Not only does it add warmth, but also an interesting texture that can liven up an outfit with just a touch of nostalgia!

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