Well, kids, it's time for my last Fall Shopping Guide post of the season, and while it might not be the best, it's my favorite this season. Perhaps you've noticed that I haven't been showing many dresses this time; after so many years of dress domination, there were strong rumblings of this season being a Return of Pants. As a pants lover, I am excited about this. This post is actually about foulard prints—think silk pocket squares—and while they can be found on everything from coats to, yes, dresses, I think they look really cool on pants. But printed pants are not for everyone, so here are many ways to wear it.
I remember the days when Miu Miu used to be the "affordable" younger sister to Prada (meaning I could afford it on double markdown at Saks). Now, of course, it's just as expensive. That said, I find it more accessible and approachable—it does still seem like a quirky-feminine sidekick to Prada's intellectual older sister. This jacquard coat, for example, is just fun.
This Barbara Bui jacket is a little more rock and roll—like if your grandpa's pocket square took acid and hung out on Carnaby Street. It's also not technically a scarf print (it's a jacquard, like the Miu Miu coat above), but close enough.
Also cheating the trend somewhat is this L'Agence scarf-print blouse—it's more Hermès scarf than Hermès tie, but I think the print is so pretty, I had to include it here. Plus, it's a great way to update your work wardrobe, whether you wear it under a suit or with jeans.
Ok, onto the pants! These Joie Olaya silk pants are relaxed, which is necessary when wearing printed bottoms, but they're still thin enough so as not to look like pajama pants. The contrasting print along the outseam adds a nice elongating effect.
Even slimmer (and more luxe) are J.Crew's café capri pants, featuring an archive pattern from Italy's Ratti house (meaning they're authentic!). I like how the contrast print is around the ankle—combined with the cropped inseam, the better to draw attention to whatever fabulous pair of shoes you're wearing.
Okay, if you're still not convinced about pants, here's a great dress: the Sulgi from Dolce Vita. (Pants may be on the rise, but don't worry, dress lovers—they'll still be around.) It seems like something Alexa Chung would wear, doesn't it?
Speaking of dresses, this foulard-print shirtdress from The Limited is on sale for $21, and if that's not a no-brainer, I don't know what is. It's a classic, work-friendly shape, but the contrast-print hem and slight sheen keep things interesting.
At Zara, always an excellent source for trends, I saw a bunch of scarf prints last weekend. I'll spare you another pair of pants, however, and talk about this blouse instead, which is a great layering piece. The shape and the sheerness are a nice feminine contrast to the traditional pattern.
Ok, I lied: Here's another pair of pants, this time in a palazzo silhouette. And they're obviously a hit, as there's only one size left. The contrasting side print helps tame the shape a bit, but I'd also recommend wearing with something very tailored on top. Still, they're kind of irresistible, aren't they? I knew you'd come around...