I once read a quote that was about how our environment can inspire us. The colors, textures, patterns, smell—you name it. At the time, I thought it was silly. But then, I paid attention to how our surroundings really do influence us—especially when it comes to fashion.
For that reason, I think one of the most beautiful seasons, in fashion and nature, is fall.
When we step outside in autumn, we can experience the weather calming down, the air breathing fresher, and the colors of the leaves altering. When we step into a store or mall in the same season, we are able to experience a very different type of change that feels similar at the same time. This is because our surroundings are influencing us, especially when it comes to trends.
I was shopping at Orland Square mall this week to pick up some new pieces for my fall wardrobe. I basically ended up walking out with a whole new wardrobe, but that’s besides the point.
While I was shopping, I noticed a few trends. Some of them I recognized from fashion week. Some were from the colors of leaves outside. The trends that I loved the most—and were able to find in just about every store I went in—were ruffles, suede, floral prints, and the color burgundy.
I’ve been quite busy lately, so my shopping trip was only just under two hours long and consisted of just a handful of stores: Akira, Francesca’s Collections, Dry Goods, Windsor, and Macy’s. I stopped at Starbuck’s about halfway through too because, well you know, a girl has to stay caffeinated. Luckily all the stores I was hoping to visit are all at the same mall, so it made my shopping experience painless and relaxing.
My shopping trip began at Akira. Akira, for those of you who may not know, is a Chicago-based boutique chain. Akira is a very special company and is actually one of my favorites for a few reasons. One of the reasons is because their merchandise and store environments vary from each location to reflect the style in that area—so each store is unique. Personally, I really like the Orland Park location the best because I feel like they have more lifestyle pieces that are still distinct. However, when I lived in the city, I preferred that location because it seemed to have more nightlife trends.
Another thing I love about Akira is that they take runway trends and make them wearable. The pieces they have can be considered high fashion, but are still suitable for real life occasions. For example, big ruffled sleeves can look outstanding on a runway, but we all know that's not appropriate for everyday wear. What Akira does have though are inspired pieces, like a beige sweater with long sleeves and delicate, feminine ruffle details on the shoulders.
Lauretta, who works at Akira, was so helpful during my mini shopping spree. While I tried on the items I picked out, she grabbed a few more individual pieces and outfits for me. I had three favorite items while I was in the dressing room which also aligned with the key trends I’m loving this season.
The first was a grunge-look oversized grey tee shirt that had black feather details on the sleeve. It paired really nicely with my black faux leather leggings and black wedge booties I had chosen to wear for the day. It was very edgy and chic at the same time.
The second was a flirty deep burgundy romper with a neutral floral print all over. It had kimono-like sleeves, a low v neckline, and tied at the waist. I really liked this romper because it showed off my legs, but wasn’t too short as I sometimes find rompers to be. It would look so cute with sheer black tights, black heels, and a vegan leather jacket for cooler nights.
The final item was this gorgeous mustard-yellow faux suede skirt. It was a mini skirt, but had an asymmetrical wrapped hem. It was a surprisingly flattering shade that literally looked like a golden leaf that you’d see on a tree in autumn. It was so cozy and I just thought it would look amazing with a long sleeve, cream-colored bodysuit underneath. It would be the perfect Thanksgiving outfit!
The next store I ventured into was Francesca’s Collections. Francesca’s is a Houston-based company that is just under 20 years old. I have a special place for this store in my heart because it was the first boutique I ever worked at. I used to work at the location that is about five minutes away from the mall. However, when the location in Orland Square opened up, I moved over.
Anyway, between talking to the sweetest stylists there and looking at all the brand new jewelry pieces, I managed to find two tops that I absolutely fell in love with.
The first top was a red faux suede loose fitting top that had an open back and a scallop hem all around the shirt. It was super soft and would look great with anything from basic skinny jeans to a pencil skirt.
An olive off the shoulder top with little ties on the sleeves had me standing in the dressing room obsessing over how cute it was in the mirror. As soon as I put it on, I was completely sold on it. It is so feminine and comfortable that there was no way I could go home without it. Off the shoulder tops have been making a comeback since early summer, and this top was a perfect example of why. Everyone from the stylist in the store to my grandma—and even my date—seemed to have liked the top on me. I may or may not have gotten really chic earrings to match it too (…I totally did).
After getting my items at Francesca’s wrapped up, I headed off to Macy’s and Dry Goods. In both of the stores, I found trendy pieces that had the features I was looking for—fur details, ruffles, and fall florals. Dry Goods had this entire rack of that stunning burgundy color that will give you autumn fever. Anything you want in burgundy, Dry Goods probably has. Pants, shirts, jackets, dresses—it’s all there waiting for you!
Macy’s had timeless pieces with the most delicate and alluring ruffles you could imagine. For my working ladies that need office appropriate attire, make sure you check out Macy’s for some of fall’s trends. You’ll find subtle fur details and sweaters with blooming floral prints that will make your office attire very au courant.
For me, one of my favorite stores in the mall is Windsor. I find myself needing dresses for more and more occasions as I get older, and Windsor is one of the few stores that I don’t need to get dresses altered from. Windsor is very inexpensive, but has merchandise that fits well and is good quality.
I remember my first time in Windsor was in the Chicago Ridge location. I was in junior high school and was looking for a dress for my eighth grade graduation pictures. When we finally got Windsor into Orland Square, I was thrilled! I can’t remember exactly when it came into Orland, but I think I was out of high school at that point. However, when I was in college, I would always come home to pick up a dress or two there for my sorority events or parties I was attending. What I find many people don’t know about Windsor is that it actually has clothing for everyday wear too!
In Windsor, I found two tops and one pair of pants that I needed to add to my wardrobe. The first top goes along with the grudge and suede trends. It’s a dusty olive green suede oversized tee shirt, with a black laces up the top half of the shirt. It is exactly what you’d want for a Friday night when it’s chilly out and you’re not sure if you’ll be staying in or heading out with some friends. You can dress it up with a pair of strappy pumps, or down with a pair of combat boots.
The second top was in that burgundy color you keep hearing me obsess about. It is a knit crop top with laces up the middle and flounce ruffle-like long sleeves. Personally I would wear it with high waisted heather grey pants and some booties, but really the possibilities are endless.
The olive green faux suede leggings were my favorite pants that I found throughout my entire shopping trip. They were warm, silky soft, and in the most remarkable shade of green you could imagine. The high-waist on the leggings also made it possible to pair with a crop top if you wanted. I think these pants would look cute with a cream colored tank and a bomber jacket, but that’s just me!
After I finished up at Windsor, I left the mall with my new fall attire. I was able to pick up a few items from each of my favorite fall trends—mostly suede, ruffles, and burgundy—without having to travel far or wait for my clothes to arrive in the mall. I was super happy that I was able to find so many adorable new pieces that I can mix and match with my current wardrobe at home.
I would totally love to see what you guys find at the mall this season! I found all of my pieces at a Simon mall, and I know you can find yours too! I’m always on Instagram scrolling through to see everyone’s unique style and different people put outfits together, and I especially love seeing my followers’ styles. Hashtag #FounditatSimon on Twitter and Instagram so I can see what you find!
To follow me and my wonderful friends at Orland Square mall on social media, click the links below!