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Hello! Welcome back to THEME WEEK!

It is day two of The September Issue: Blog Edition. All this week I am recreating looks inspired by fall fashion spreads in my favorite September fashion magazines. I’ve pulled my favorite images and I’ll be using them to create my own outfits, albeit on a much tighter budget.

Already this week has given me pause to think about the price of garments. I definitely see fashion as art. Obviously, I’ve never owned a real couture garment, but I imagine the craftsmanship informs the price these pieces command. I have nothing but respect for the designers and the right to put a price on their trade. But I question the practicality of paying thousands of dollars for one item. Even if you wore it every day for a year, would you ever get your money’s worth? Some day maybe I will rob a bank shell out a pretty penny for something off the runway, and get back to you. In the meantime I do believe that it’s possible to look put-together and polished at a lesser cost. So let’s take a look at today’s challenge.

This Ralph Lauren advertisement can be found in most of the fashion mags, circulating this month. It immediately caught my eye, because I love how autumnal it is. Ralph Lauren is actually one of my favorite classic designers because the aesthetic is always so crisp and clean. Collegiate in its simplicity but always with an air of sophistication that’s almost untouchable. This look is obviously no exception, but I was impressed with the meld of colors going on. (Prices were not listed in the print ad, but I was able to find all of the items on the Ralph Lauren website.)

The Original:
Julien Blouse – $1,998
Allover Lace Silk Crew Neck – $1,698
Handmade Lace Hat – $498
Semi-Precious Long Necklace – $1,995
Clemence Tweed Pants – $998

Closet365 Version:
Black Long Sleeve – Work ($5)
Autumn Paisley Top – Work ($12)
Pants – Thrifted (Delia’s) ($10)
Necklace – Wet Seal ($6)
Hat – Work ($4)
Shoes – Old Navy ($5)

As you can see, this is a slightly loose interpretation of the original. Since the pieces are all fairly unique, I had to rely on taking the elements that I liked about this image and working with them from there. I had a hard time happening across the a similar fabric and cut for the top, but since my autumn print top was similar in color, I decided to use it. I loved the layering of the long-sleeve underneath, so I kept that as well.

I’m not a big hat person, so it was pure miracle that I actually had a black cap and was able to style it similarly. And since the bottom of the outfit is left out in the ad, I had a little creative freedom. I chose pants that were close in color, but upon further digging at the RL site, it looks like my silhouette is quite a bit different. I’m okay with that. I think my version is a bit more bohemian than the original, but I like it quite a bit. Not to mention it’s a bit of a departure from my own typical style, so I enjoyed branching out.

I should add that I’m almost embarrassed revealing how little I pay for clothes. I am definitely a quantity over quality shopper and it has only worsened given the nature of this experiment.  It would also explain why the walk-in closet (which I have all to myself) is completely at capacity right now. But after this year is up, I should be all stocked on disposable pieces and I’m looking to invest in higher-quality classics. In the interim, I figure a little frivolity never hurt anyone.

Title courtesy of Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Scar Tissue”