Wearing Black & Brown Autumn Trend for First Day of Cold + What Would You Do?

Pamela Lutrell Wears Autumn Trends

Made it to Friday everyone…whoo hoo!  Yesterday, we experienced an early visit from morning temperatures in the 30s!  Yes, I had a coat and leather gloves on over this outfit when I left for work, but I went for the black & brown autumn trend style for my first wintery day of the new season.   This was one of the top four coldest Halloween’s San Antonio has ever experienced.  ( Where I live, it could easily go up to 100 tomorrow, so we get excited about cold weather)

Pamela Lutrell wears autumn pieces from JJill collections past

You are looking at two reasons why I love to shop off season sales.  The JJill brown sweater and the Aerosole brown suede booties were purchased in  summer clearance sales.  I remember unwrapping the sweater and thinking it would be a long time before it would be cold enough to wear it…boy, was I wrong.  I love the fit and feel of this sweater, so I am happy I also bought it in red.  The booties are great.  I saw them in a Macy’s clearance sale over the summer and I am very pleased…yesterday is the first day I have worn them.  Summer sales can really pay off…I always say the July sales are my favorites.

Pamela Lutrell in Fall booties


Pamela Lutrell in booties from Macys

I topped the whole outfit off with one of the beautiful necklaces I have from Soft Surroundings.  The whole look went great with my camel coat and brown leather gloves.  This is one I am happy to repeat throughout the cold weather months…it felt great.  Oh yes, the knit vest is an older piece in my wardrobe, Calvin Klein from Macys, and the pants are the heavier ponte knit from JJill.  I also have them in a slate gray.  

Now, I want to ask your opinion on something…………………….


Last week I was in a dressing room, and a woman kept asking sales associates as well as women in the dressing room for advice on a particular garment.  She was about 5’2″ and a pear shaped figure.  She was probably about my age or at least over 60.  The garment was a stunning jacket…beautiful with large flowers and lots of color and shine.  But, it was very long and very oversized.  When you can tell that someone loves a piece of clothing, but it really does not suit them well,  WHAT DO YOU DO…when asked to give an opinion?  I sympathized with the sales associates who I am certain do not want to miss a sale.

So, I said, “it is beautiful but I would recommend if you get it, you always wear it with very thin leggings on the bottom so that it flatters you the most.”  I really wanted her to go look at it in the three way mirror, but I was afraid that might offend her…so I said very little.  

It is difficult…because you hate to see women purchase something that does not suit them well, but you also want to be kind and not offend.

So, ladies…what would you have done if she had asked you for an opinion.  How would you handle it?  Maybe some of you would share if you have a similar body shape what you would want other women to say to you in a similar situation.

Please share your thoughts…and always


Today is November 1…hard to believe, right?  From now on, I will put in every slide show some gift ideas…as well as the fun fashion.  Perhaps it will help some of you with shopping and new ideas you might not have considered.  Enjoy!


  1. First of all, I like the shade of brown that you paired with black. These two colors do look good together and it’s a trend that I can embrace since the pieces can be used separately when this particular combination isn’t trending. That said, I think this is really a classic combination.

    Your dressing room experience was one I’ve encountered myself. Your answer was very good, maybe encouraging her to think beyond just loving the garment to what she has to wear with it. I have asked the person inquiring if they want a yes or no or the reason why I’m answering as I am . Usually they want an honest answer so I’m honest, adding it’s just to my eye so for what it’s worth. .. I am also quick to point out when someone is trying something very flattering, especially if they seem hesitant. I think it’s important to help each other. You have a great platform as a fashion blogger. I’m sure women would appreciate your perspective. When I’m asking, I want honesty and think other women do too.

  2. I’d tell the truth. I could be that woman, and when I ask, I always want honest feedback. If she was totally sure, she wouldn’t ask. You are a kind woman, so I know you would state it well.

  3. What would you do? I would gently, with an emphasis on the gently, tell her as you did how to wear it or that it was beautiful but perhaps not for you. It is tough, but I believe we need to help women in any way we can to be the best that we can be. I am also trying to compliment women when they look wonderful, instead of just thinking it.

  4. I love black and brown together, and the way you have mi ed them totally works! As for the dressing room experience, I would, as kindly as possible, told her what I really thought. She asked, so she knew there was a problem. I’ve been in her place, and thank goodness, the sales lady told me the color was not flattering with my coloring. I was upset, for a moment. Then, taking another look, I knew she was right. I really appreciated her candor. She was honest, even though it probably cost her a sale. As a results, I went back there after, knowing that she would guide me in making purchases that were right for me.

  5. For myself, if I have to ask someone’s opinion- it is because I am I unsure. I remind myself if I am unsure – then it’s usually a no. It may be lovely, or a great deal, but chances are just not right.

  6. The associate would either lose the immediate sale by being honest, or lose it the next week when the item was returned. OR she might lose that particular sale, but have a repeat customer who appreciated her honesty…..as well as other customers who witnessed it and appreciated her honesty. As a bystander I would probably remark on how I could see that she’d be drawn to the item, but perhaps say a gorgeous bold piece like that looks soooo good on tall models, but for me (5’3) I’d be overwhelmed by the print. Then I’d tell her that when I fall in love with a piece like that and am unsure I have the store hold it for a day or so to give me time to really think it thru’. She could even ask to have her picture taken so that she could reflect on how she looked after she was out of the store.
    When being honest the associate should bring an alternate piece that would, indeed, be flattering and say, “I know it’s not quite as eye-catching as the other one, but you might just like it better. Give it a try.”

  7. If, by some happy chance, I was trying on clothes and you were there and I asked for your opinion, I would want you to be honest. You would be truthful but tactful and might prevent me from spending money on something I would end up not wearing.

    When Frosts was the place to shop in San Antonio there was a wonderful sales lady who always knew what looked best. She was worth her weight in gold.

  8. My daughter is my fashion consultant – about 2 years ago when we were looking for my Mother of the Bride outfit for her wedding, she was blunt about what did – and did not – work for me. As we say down here in GA – it was said “With all love and Christian kindness” – and I appreciated it so much! (And she knows I really, really want her honest opinion.) That’s what I always try to remember when I’ve been asked those similar questions in dressing rooms….usually you can tell if the person really wants your advice or is just chatting and is going to buy whatever it is, anyway. I’ve offered to take a picture of the outfit for them from different sides (with their phone so they can really think about it after they see what it looks like); or if they are similar in age/build to me I offer comments like – “Well, that’s a beautiful color, but I don’t think I could pull it off at my age (or size or weight or whatever).” Just remembering to be kind and encouraging is sometimes all is needed. I’m sure you give FABULOUS advice, Pamela!

    1. The phone idea is brilliant, Shirley!! I am going to do that next time! You ladies in Georgia have it together!!

  9. Oh Pamela, Thanks so much for your advice about a maxi dress for my 50th college reunion. I purchased the sari caftan at Soft Surroundings. I had looked at it, but I had never bought anything from them before, and with your advice, I did. I loved wearing it…so your advice was invaluable! I bought a pair of gold flats, gold earrings and some funky bracelets. I know I didn’t look like the model but in my head I did. I was comfortable and felt great. Thanks so much!

    1. Holly! Thank you for coming back to share! I bet you looked amazing!!! Sounds like you styled it just perfect. Soft Surroundings has so many gorgeous pieces for special occasions but I bet the real stunning accessory was your confident smile!

  10. Yes, I am big fan of mixing brown and black and would wear it (and have been) even if it weren’t trending. It’s such a good combo for you, Pam.

    As for the dressing room … I prefer honesty in a sales person rather than someone who wants to make the sale. There is always a way to be kind with criticism.

    I’d probably have said to her that color was great on her (or some other compliment) but that the style overwhelmed her small size. That way it was complimenting both the garment and something about her, instead of sounding too harsh.

  11. I am 5’2″ & curvy as opposed to pear shape, so I could easily say something like “That print is lovely, but I find that large prints are sometimes not the best look for me”, or “I’m not comfortable in something that long because it seems to overwhelm me”. Since she liked it so much, it might not have made any difference what others said. Perhaps when she got it home, a relative or trusted friend might steer her in another direction. BTW, your black & brown combo looks great on you.

  12. Your brown/black combo is very attractive on you. As a fair skinned, blonde I’m much better in camel & black which has always been a fav combo for me.
    I realize I can’t remember ever asking anyone’s opinion of how something looks on me. If anyone should ask me my opinion, I think I would just say if it makes you feel good go for it
    I look at photos of very “in” fashionistas & think good heavens I can’t imagine that combo, style etc. but people rave about what they wear. Hence, what the wearer thinks/feels is what it’s all about…hopefully not 2 sizes too small which seems trendy for some. 🙂

  13. I love pairing black & brown! I have several black/brown combos that I love for fall & winter.
    As for the dressing room situation, I’d want someone to tell me the truth so I tell others the truth as well. But I try to do it in a positive way. So perhaps I’d say that the color is beautiful for her but the cut/length of the garment does not bring out her best qualities. And indicate why – the length cuts her off in an unflattering way, etc.

  14. I’m particularly fond of the black & brown combination; my darling Skippy, a black & tan dachshund, wore it in a very dashing fashion! It always makes me smile and think of him when I wear it.

    As for the dressing room experience, I agree with the others that tactful honesty is the best policy. I work in a consignment store and when customers ask for my input, I try to read them very carefully. Sometimes they have doubts and they want someone to affirm them and sometimes they’re looking for reassurance because they really like it but they lack confidence. I usually ask them how they feel wearing the garment. I always say confidence is the best accessory; it can make any outfit work.

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