Late August and Early September are when my Fall wardrobe is in 'beta'... you know... the testing phase. I pull out my old jeans and shoes, try them on with new purchases for a sense of what still works and what should be replaced, then viciously edit and upgrade as needed. (Then sell the discarded on eBay for some extra loot.) No better place to start the beta testing than on basic skinnies, nude shoes, and a nude bag.
I've been a loyal lover of J Crew jeans for a very long time. Pictured are last year's J Crew 'Lookout High-Rise' skinnies and although they're comfortable and fit pretty well, I don't think they're as flattering as my best skinnies should be. High-rise jeans are tricky for me (especially if I've eaten that day) so I'm replacing them with the Seven for All Mankind 'Gwenevere' that features clingier denim and a slightly lower rise.
Nude shoes are an absolute obsession of mine and I've often been in favor of sacrificing comfort for style when it comes to a sexy little pump. But, I'm aging, and have less and less tolerance for aching feet. My game plan is save the Steve Madden 'Varcity' pump for special occasions and give my feet some daily love in casual-cool suede ankle boots. The same day I found my new jeans I stumbled across the Dolce Vita 'Jari' bootie and fell in love with the anthracite color. Though dark grey is not typically considered a 'nude', the natural colored sole and block heel help them to work with every color of denim I own from black to white and faded to saturated. BONUS: they're a nice compliment to my latest handbag purchase.
My existing handbag collection is stacked with rustic leather neutrals that can stand up to daily beatings. I love leather goods that last for years and look better as they age. Madewell consistently offers bags that work perfectly for my lifestyle (like this tote, this saddlebag, and this satchel) so I feel really good about adding the Lisbon O-Ring Bucket Bag in Industrial Grey to my collection. The taupe color pairs endlessly with the things already in my closet. It takes the edge of lots of black, blends with my camels and rusts, and is a great contrast to white and navy. And everything fits!
Parting thoughts on the beta test? Ditch the old jeans, save the old shoes, and build around a great new handbag!