Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

“I want people to feel their absolute best in my clothes, with little effort. There are so many things we have to deal with in our daily life, dressing should be easy.” – Franne Golde

Outfit Details:

Camel Jacket 1, Camel Jacket 2, Camel Jacket 3, Camel Jacket 4, Blouse, Ribbed Sweater, Snake Skin Bootie 1, Snake Skin Bootie 2, Sunnies, Fedora 1, Fedora 2, Franne Gold, Beltini

Changing seasons means freshening up your current wardrobe with a few key pieces! I’ve found a jacket that’s classic and timeless and can be worn year after year. It’s also a super affordable find that looks deceptively expensive. One of the greatest tricks I’ve learned over my many decades honing my discount shopping skills is finding luxury looks on a budget. My father always used to say you have champagne tastes on a beer budget. I suppose that holds true today! Fortunately, with all the wonderful options available, any woman can look like a million bucks and indulge her champagne tastes while maintaining a limited budget!

When it comes to curating a fall wardrobe, creating your own capsule collection around a few key pieces is always a brilliant plan. Last week, I shared a beautiful yet affordable jacket that’s ideal to build a wardrobe around it for fall. Let’s look at another versatile coat as a foundation piece. It’s a great way to begin. I found this belted wool camel jacket at one of my tried and true discount stores, H&M. It could easily pass for a jacket found at J Crew (40% off for Labor Day!) or Banana Republic (Yep, 40% off for Labor Day!) for a higher price point. It’s beautifully cut and lined for comfort. It just sold out but I’ve linked a few similar and fabulous styles for fall. It may be back in stock soon, so definitely check back at H and M. Fortunately for me, I have a couple of my Fierce sisters that inspired me to create a special look combining their unique pieces. I highly encourage you to consider supporting your Fierce sisters by incorporating their fabulous designs into your wardrobe. They definitely up the FIERCE FACTOR!

Franne Golde is the Founder of FranneGolde.com. She’s a powerful inspiration to women at Midlife and Beyond. She’s also the definition of Fierce having launched her online business in the midst of dealing with her husband’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at the age of 51. She is now not only the head of Franne Golde and all the responsibilities that go along with an online business, she’s also her husband’s primary caretaker! It’s why I love to celebrate women at Midlife & Beyond as the Perfect Storm. We can, and sometimes have to, do it all!

Franne’s business exploded early on with a dream come true being profiled by Oprah Magazine. She’s developed a reputation for her “Magic Pants” that fit like a dream and move along with you. They’re comfy with a healthy dose of spandex. Her website is a Midlife woman’s playground with a variety of unique fashion finds, classics with a bit of a twist. Franne’s become a legend in the Midlife space and has amassed some of my favorite Fierce sisters as models and designers, including Janet Gunn, Melissa Meyers, and Michelle Gillette. Franne is also joining the Labor Day Party with a sitewide discount! Use code “FG35” from now until midnight on Monday.

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I’m wearing her black pants and I can see why they’re called “Magic!” I ordered a size 2. They do run a tiny bit big. I would consider going down one size unless you’re ordering the skinnies. They’re the perfect pair of black pants every woman needs in her curated capsule collection. To add a bit more “Fierce” to the look, I decided to add a belt and a cross body that doubles as a belt bag by my friend and Fierce Sister, Tani Issacs, founder and owner of Beltini Santa Monica. I’m fortunate that Tani lives in the area so I had the opportunity to shop in her private home studio. It’s definitely a treat for the senses. It’s brimming with colorful scarves, distinctive belt buckles and an endless array of belts to choose from. She’s developed her very own “belt bag” that’s basically a purse that’s easily converted to a side body, a belt bag and a regular purse or clutch. It’s super easy to change up the look with a variety of straps and bags in delicious and lively colors and patterns. She even has a beautiful selection of sparkly pave jewelry to complete any look.

What’s better than a new jacket for fall? Well, a new jacket that’s finished off with the perfect accessories by Tani! I’ll admit, one of my weaknesses is making decisions. I had a hard time choosing so Tani chose for me. Two of her favorites are this leopard print belt combined with a turquoise buckle and the side body in black with silver print. I was surprised at how well it all came together. The belt is sassy and fierce! It quickly transformed a classic camel jacket into a stunning look. The belt bag worn as a side body was the ultimate piece de resistance. Both pieces are definitely joining yours truly at NYFW! I would say they are swoon worthy.

I found these booties by Stuart Weitzman on sale over a year ago. I had coveted a pair of snakeskin boots and waited for these to go on major clearance. Fortunately, there’s a wide selection available today and I’ve picked out some of my favorites just for you! I highly recommend taking advantage of the Labor Day sales as prices are substantially reduced this weekend.

I always travel with a hat and a pair of sunnies. They definitely up the style quotient. It also happened to be a super sunny and blustery day. I was delighted to have a hat to keep my fine locks in place. I’m wearing a bit more makeup than usual having had my makeup done professionally by Jessica deBen of Jess Does My Makeup. Jess is the makeup artist to the stars in Hollywood. I’ll be sharing her greatest professional secrets very soon. If you’re joining us at FierceCon, you’ll have a chance to work with Jess up close and personal. She’s truly a master. I’m always amazed at the tools and tricks available when you actually know what you’re doing! Hint hint. That’s not me! If there was a “Makeup for Dummies” course, I would say to sign me up! Fortunately, now I’ve got Jess and I’m sticking close to her!

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When it comes to fall fashion, the first rule is to have fun! The second rule is to begin building a wardrobe around a few key, foundational pieces. I love to begin with a great jacket, one that’s classic yet easily transformed with some fun accessories. Every woman needs a pair of great black pants and Franne Golde definitely has you covered with a well curated collection. And, of course, I would zip on over to Tani’s website, Beltini Santa Monica, and scoop up a few extra special accessories guaranteed to capture some attention. If you’re in the LA area, I would highly recommend scheduling time to visit her studio. Even better, bring along some girlfriends and make it a special event. 

Cheers Beauties. Here’s to fall in Modern Midlife Style. What’s on your shopping list for fall?

8 comments

Reply

Love the look, Catherine! My skinny jeans don’t look that neat with ankle boots. What am I doing wrong?

Reply

You’re not doing anything wrong sister! These pants are a bit cropped. That makes it easier to wear a boot underneath. When I wear skinny jeans with boots, I always wear the jeans inside of the boots. I think it makes the leg look longer and leaner and thats a good thing!

Reply

Dear Catherine
I have started to follow you only recently on Instagram and I absolutely love your writing style and your honesty about real life topics. Very refreshing and motivating!
And I LOVE the looks with the camel blazer. Stunning combinations and very inspirational to start the new autumn season.
If one day you would come to visit Paris, France, let me know 😊.
Have a great day
Diana

Reply

How lovely are you? Thank you for your kind words and I’m so grateful you have found my blog and platform. Have you joined the Forever Fierce Revolution Group on Facebook yet? I would love for you to meet the amazing women there! We have women from all over the world. I used to be fluent in French. Pas rien!!! I would love to come visit. One day for sure. I happened to see you on Linked In. Let’s find time to chat. We could do a Zoom call. I’m still traveling having just left NYFW. I look forward to connecting with you! Also, my email is Catherine@catherinegraceo.com.

Reply

What a gorgeous look – all of it! I just love the look of blazers worn with belts and this belt is a stunner! Those pants are just wonderful and I know I need some snake print boots too! I think it’s wonderful that you’re highlighting some great talent in your post!

Ruth
VogueFauxReal

Reply

Thank you Ruth! You made me smile. Aren’t they lovely pieces? And, they’re all super affordable. Tani has great taste with accessories you don’t see very often. And, Franne is a love. Once you read her inspirational story, you’ll want to wear her Magic pants!!!

Reply

Oh my stars! I love it all! Catherine you look amazing! I am going to check out her page! How cool that so many ladies across so many industries are in Forever Fierce supporting one another! Fantastic post!

Reply

Isn’t it awesome sister! I loved this combo for so many reasons. Tani might bring some things to FierceCon!

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