Fall-worthy Ella Moss pieces for $25 and under

I haven't really gotten into the whole designer fashion thing until the last year or so. Before that, I would just buy what I can find off the sales racks of the Gap, BR, department stores, Ross, and the like. With little money as it is, I just don't go to boutiques to scope out indie designer stuff, knowing they are expensive and my time there would be completely useless. But when I started going to sample sales, I slowly began to explore the works of different designers--fabrics, constructions, the look, etc. One thing about these designers is that they are often ahead of the fashion curve, which means if you can score a good deal and choose wisely, you'll be the proud owner of a piece with staying power. Of course, that takes a little bit of an intuition on your part to see if something is just going to be a fad, or to make sure that it's not too fashion-forward that the world can't handle it yet..."sensible" is such a subjective criterion.

Big stripes usually isn't my thing. I like pinstripe pants, but other than that, the only stipped pieces I own are a 5-dollar striped shell from BR and a $15 diagonal-stripped skirt from Nordstrom. However, the Ella Moss take on stripes has won me over. I like this long sleeve cotton-blend cowl neck top for $18, only xs available. The cream color and subtle shadow stripes, along with the cowl neck and bell sleeves, look graceful together.

If we're going to be bundled up in wooly sweaters for the next few months, the sweaters may has well look fun. This one fits the bill. The only one left is large and in pink instead of brown. Even though pink is not the "it" color, I prefer pink over brown because I don't believe in being restricted to dreary colors, especially when it's gray outside. In addition, the stripes and the colorful trim punches things up a bit. V-neck is also good; I always complain about the wool being too scratchy for my neck. For 20 bucks, it's a pretty good deal.

Here's another wool-blend sweater, topping off at $25. I draw the line here because until I make real money, that's all I'm willing to pay for a sweater. The black stripes are a bit glaring and pirate-like, but they don't have any black ones left anyways, just "raffia" and "carbon" (which I'm assuming to be a dark gray). The tie-neck style is really hot right now too, especially with all those secretary blouses. Personally, I'm not too fond of those, but this is a nice funky variation.

Moving away from stripes, here's yet another wool-blend sweater. Even though this picture shows a top with a floral pattern, the only ones left for sale are solid pink. That's good, since I don't like the floral pattern anyways. What I do like is the wrap styling and the fact that it's cropped, which keeps even a floral pattern from looking dated. You can see that the pink goes really nicely with a purple skirt, another "it" color this Fall for anyone who cares about that sort of thing. Looks good for work or play. Not bad for $20.

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