Our Guide to Smart, Effortless Wine Country Style
Throwing the mic over to my stylist and creative director Robyn Roberts to share her style tips for the perfect wine country attire this fall... whether in Napa, Sonoma, Tuscany or even your own local winery. Enjoy! -Sarah
Robyn's Secrets For Effortless Wine Country Style
When Sarah approached me about offering a few styling tips on how to dress when you’re strolling through picturesque vineyards, I said “um, yeah!” faster than you can say “pinot!” Cranberry and buttery hues flooded my vision along with thoughts of soft yet durable textures found in brushed denim, suede, and cotton blended silk. “Chic comfort” is the way to go here. You’ll want to be in breathable clothes that are as comfortable as they are polished, whether lying on a blanket amongst the grapes, hurrying from one tasting to another, or sitting down for an al fresco meal after a long day of tasting.
The autumn sunshine is still ripe for your best cottons, linens and silks but also the perfect time to introduce crushed velvet, suede and heavier denim into your seasonal wardrobe. I chose a dominant dark berry color palette for this jaunt--- mostly because I was inspired by the Fall season and the excitement of switching back to red wine now that summer is over. But spills happen, and it’s always best to be prepared for anything that misses your mouth and winds up on your ivory linen trousers instead. New Yorkers favor a black wardrobe for a reason. Don’t shy away from lighter colors however, just keep a Tide pen handy for any accidents!
What to pack for smart, fun, effortless style:
1. A favorite pair of denim jeans
For those days when you want to get lost within the rows of chardonnay or cab franc, and don’t want to worry about getting dirty in the process. A great pair of jeans are always a chic idea. Dress them up a bit with a flowy off-the-shoulder top, and don’t be afraid of trying new jean styles that flatter your figure. Today, it’s not just about the skinny jean—all styles and cuts are currently trending. Even bootcut is back! To elongate legs, give the vintage look of the bellbottom jean a try. Pick a pair with a high slender waist and trust me—they flatter almost every figure beautifully. Especially with a little lift from a platform or wedge shoe.
2. A great, structural pair of linen palazzo pants
They are super chic and oh-so comfy. Snag a pair with a fitted waistband and wear them with a form-fitting cropped top in a solid neutral color (these pants are usually high waisted so the crop should actually just meet the waistband perfectly).
3. A late-day to evening dress
For slightly more festive lunches and dinners: break out a heeled boot since you’re most likely not to be running or cycling through fields of vines or climbing wine cellar stairs. Even so, leave the stilettos at home for this adventure. Remember, more Merlot, less Zin here. The idea is rustic-chic, not club-chic.
4. A light jacket for cooler temps after sundown
Once again, denim can be dressed up or down. It’s the best all-season go-to and perfect for a vineyard setting. Go with a medium fit. Snug denim is better for the beach.
5. Versatile, functional accessories
Be sure to bring a pair or two of easy-to-walk-in boots for strolling the fields while kicking off dust collected from maturing grapes and the earth’s floor; and a great casual city-sneaker. Sneakers are all the rage in fashion-land today and look equally great with a pair of jeans or a sundress. Win-win for comfortable, cool fashion! You’ll want a felt or straw hat to keep the vineyard sun off your face and also because hats are awesome. Bring a lightweight scarf for times when the breeze is a little overbearing but it’s too soon to break out the jacket. Don’t forget a great camera. Sure, the iPhone takes phenomenal photos these days but nothing still quite compares to a photo captured by pro machinery. Also, you’ll want to keep purses and bags to a minimum—your feet should hurt after a long glorious day amongst the vines, not your shoulders—and a small camera bag is perfect for storing a phone, chapstick and sunscreen. Speaking of sunscreen, don’t forget to apply. A burn is never chic.
As for your beauty routine...
I’d recommend keeping makeup to a minimum. One of the many glorious things about wine country is the free-spirited atmosphere. A little blush or bronzer and some mascara is all you need. Let the sun and surrounding nature take care of the rest. A burgundy stained lip is a gorgeous look for nighttime but I’d suggest a more matte version if you plan on joining any tastings. And forget the perfume: no one wants to mix notes of Pinot with that of factory made patchouli.