Now, the connection between outfits and recipes may seem tenuous at best, but when you really think about it, they’re both things that we think about every single day. Putting together something that works, both in the kitchen and in one’s closet, requires an understanding of the need for variety. In clothes, that often means colors, in food, flavors. But what they share is texture. Every outfit is better with some variety in texture. It’s nicer to look at and fun to touch. Similarly, every dish is improved with multiple textural elements. The mouth is delighted and surprised with every chew. Here are my four favorite outfits and recipes of the season.
Color-wise, this pairing may not make much sense. But I’ve been loving wearing cardigans as tops since early this year, and this blue one is a great dupe for the all-over-Instagram one from Musier. For me, fall is about getting cozy, so I paired the top with a classic plaid skirt, tights, and the perfect black boots. On the food side, getting cozy means less chopping fresh vegetables and more simmering on the stove, so I made this shakshuka recipe, which was delicious and so easy.
In this pairing, the recipe came first. After getting this gorgeous Le Creuset dutch oven as a gift this summer, I couldn’t wait for the colder months to start braising everything I possibly could. It took me four hours, but this red wine-braised short rib dish was absolutely worth it. And look at that color! The gradient lines on the edge from the rich sauce reducing in its two hours in the oven! The burgundy pants are an ode to that deep, rich red color, and I topped it with a high-neck, ruched-but-puffy white top I got a few seasons ago from Zara. I never wear this top— I never know how to wear it without looking like a Shakespearean extra, but with this perfect plaid blazer, it’s not too bad! Loafers to finish, to show I’m a serious business-woman, as well as a serious home cook.
I will never understand why this silly rule about not wearing white after Labor Day exists. White, especially once it starts snowing, looks so good. It’s luxe, it’s clean, it’s I-smell-good-and-I-know-it. This cream ensemble was a surprise favorite outfit. The top is just the right length to wear with these Everlane pants, which might be my favorite non-denim pants in my closet. They go with everything. And so do these shoes! For food, these surprisingly flavor-complex smashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to almost anything. I made it for my housewarming dinner party last month (hence the poor quality iPhone picture), and it was so delicious, I’ve already made it again.
The constant stream of apple picking pictures awakened a deep longing in me for apple pie. And now that I have a kitchen with more than 2 square feet of counter space, I thought it was time. We picked a peck of apples and came home to dough I’d prepped the night before, and the apple pie saga began. To be honest, it was a lot of work, since this recipe also calls for a cider reduction along with the rest of its pie-making steps, but it was the best apple pie I have ever had in my entire life. Make this pie. Enjoy your life. I’m not even going to pretend that this outfit has anything to do with it. It’s just a cute pistachio sweater with a long skirt and boots. But back to this pie! Eating it feels like you have all the time in the world. It makes you slow down and really taste every bite. I had a slice while staring out my window, watching each leaf as it fell. And that’s how the fall should be.