Style files: Head to toe fashion updates

Fashion columnist Claire Boston on how to freshen up your fall wardrobe

Barely two months ago, I was waxing poetic about how excited I was for fall. Now that it’s here, I’m cold. Since Missouri weather decided to throw us a few nice days after a preview of winter, now is a great time to keep rocking your favorite fall outfits. But if you find yourself reaching for that go-to ensemble for what seems like the hundredth time this season, try refreshing your look with these small outfit updates.

You’re probably tired of the usual dark nail colors that come out each fall, but now that fancy nail art is having a major moment in the fashion world, trying out a funky new style is an excellent way to subtly upgrade your outfit. Try to pick out a base color that complements whatever you’re wearing, but feel free to go wild with patterns and designs. Stripes and polka dots are interesting and surprisingly easy to transfer to nails — for simple designs, the only extra material you’ll need is scotch tape. Check out YouTube tutorials for inspiration and easy how-to guides.

On chillier days, add some new life to your short-sleeved dresses by layering them over long-sleeve blouses. Layering won’t work for all dress styles, but many cap-sleeve and jumper style dresses pair well with long sleeves, and adding a collar to an outfit is a fun way to look just a tad more dressed up. For the easiest contrast, try layering a neutral-colored blouse, although some patterned shirts may work under solid colored dresses. This style can also be a way to get a little extra wear out of those sheer blouses from summer — the dress will keep you warm, but the light fabric of the blouse helps keep outfits from looking frumpy.

Alternatively, if any of the Oxfords in your closet are running just a bit big on you, leave the shirt unbuttoned and throw it over your outfit in place of a sweater or jacket. Chambray, denim and flannel fabrics work particularly well as over-layers, so if you don’t have the perfect oversized shirt hanging in your closet, try your luck with thrift stores or your boyfriend’s closet.

For an outfit update that will cost you almost nothing, head straight to the hosiery section of your favorite store. Let a pair of fun socks peek out from the tops of your boots (this is a particularly popular option for rain boots, but will work equally well with leather boots), or if you’re particularly daring — and willing to brave the chill — let a pair of bright tights be the focal point of an otherwise neutral outfit.

It may be hard to believe, but alternatives to jeans and yoga pants that will still keep you comfy do exist. To mix up your look, try out a pair of corduroys or khakis. I know any non-denim pant might remind you of unfortunate school uniform or job interview attire, but stick to skinny or narrow-leg styles, and these pants can be as on-trend as your favorite pair of jeans.

Seeing as it’s barely November, it’s a bit early to begin thinking about true winter clothes, but it’s definitely not a bad time to buy some cold weather accessories. On chilly mornings you’ll get use out of whatever hats, gloves or scarves you buy now, and your new purchases are still bound to go well with both your favorite fall leather jacket and your perfect winter wool peacoat.

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