TSALT Sale, Part 2: Chaos Theory

While July is synonymous for 50-70 percent off savings on spring and summer merchandise, the reality is fall arrivals have already hit the doors of many boutiques. Pre-Fall and Fall I deliveries, which begin in early- to mid-July, are filled with enticing items that are sure to get ideas flowing as you think about your fall wardrobe. Subsequent fall deliveries occur throughout August and September, which leaves October earmarked for Holiday, just when the temperatures actually start to really cool down.

How does one live in the present with this onslaught of future fall knocking at our door? Stay with me as you reapply your sunscreen and shake the sand from the pages of your beach read and I’ll ease you into how to purchase for fall from TSALT’s current sale rack.

The other night over dinner, my mother was asking me what I felt the strong concepts would be for Fall ’17. Without hesitation, I went on record to anticipate eclectic mixes that express individuality. Has anyone seen the spread in the July issue of Vogue, Chaos Theory?  The takeaway: free your mind and let your wardrobe follow! In this sea of political turmoil we’ve been tolerating, there is bound to be a counter. Designers have understandably been reconciling their own viewpoints as media fatigue tempts us to tune out. With endless choices of where we choose to receive our news, designers are empowering us to find our own voice in fashion with encouragement to “make it our own.”

My mother’s takeaway was how this would impact someone like me, a wardrobe consultant. After all, if anything goes, does anyone really need any help? Seriously, my gut says emphatically YES! since there’s a fine line between knowing how to break rules and appearing like a rebel without a clue.

One question that comes to mind is how confident are women establishing their own philosophy of mixing prints, playing with scale and color, while simultaneously introducing a variety of textures? This definitely takes more than a little trial and error in front of a full-length mirror, however, a very valuable exercise in identifying what you have and how to wear it well. After all, out of chaos comes order…agreed?

Knowing how to put odd pieces together and have it look sophisticated and intentional is my specialty. It’s all I’ve ever done in my own wardrobe since my late teens, proving style requires more practice than money. The essential keys to this type of dressing are knowing how to use separates along with an ability to accessorize. While fall will no doubt provide some very familiar looks where your old formulas will suffice, this could be your season to free your mind. With this as your mantra, be prepared to take a few risks come September and forget the rules…even if you never knew them!

Another form of chaos resides in the end-of-season sale racks. Tackling the July sale racks can be defined as a labor of love. Upon the success of first finding something you actually like, you must then pause on bated breath as you check to see if it’s even your size. Here lies another exercise in tenacity and patience that can pay off when you know what you’re looking for.

Last week I posed a challenge to myself: to find outfits within the confines of the sale racks at TSALT! With a little stylist’s ingenuity and expertise in Chaos Theory, here are a few looks I came up with that are suitable for this upcoming fall, along with some statement items worthy of consideration.

If you take notice, most of these pieces have an element of interest which could be a stand alone piece in a simple formula, e.g., wearing a knife pleat skirt with a solid, silk blouse. Your goal is to start trying to bring a second statement piece into your equation — knife pleat skirt with a sheer, floral blouse — to create Chaos Theory looks.


Outfits To Transition into Fall

Click any image for more details.


If what I am proposing makes you at all nervous, there’s no harm in keeping it simple with some great basics as well…

Staples with Flare

Kensington Wide Leg Cropped Trouser, originally $375, now $187.50


Smythe Quilted Bomber, originally $595, now $357


Cecilie Jacket, originally $506, $303.60


Sierra Fitted Strapless Mid-Calf Dress, originally $425, now $212.50


Strand Pencil Skirt, originally $295, now $177


Living so close to the nation’s capital makes escaping the political chaos challenging at best, but take heart. Style is a personal platform and establishing your level of comfort without veering too far from your true north would be my goal for every one of you. Dressing offers a chance to share something about yourself without having to say anything at all. Grab the opportunity this fall to make a statement that’s all your own.


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Alicia was born and raised in Alexandria, and married a local boy. She is happily married and the mother of two amazing children and one adorable and terribly smart border terrier named Dixie. Alicia has always known she was a creative. She collected editions of Vogue from junior high on and has always loved clothing and design. She studied interior design at VCU and parlayed that degree into commercial interior design, the web design, and ultimately found herself managing a local boutique and serving as a stylist to many Alexandrian women. She now has a successful full-time styling business, The Tulle Box, and makes it her business to make her clients feel great about themselves and the way they look.

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