Mamatoga Style: Back to the School Run at Piper Boutique

Well readers, it looks as if any chance of some Indian Summer days has been officially washed out, and all of a sudden I'm breaking out boots and cardigans and scarves. I know some of you are going to strongly disagree with me, but I love this time of year. As much as I soak up the summer sunshine, there is something so cozy and welcoming about fall. The first fire in the fireplace, the tiny little chill in the air, throwing an extra blanket on the bed, it just makes you want to snuggle up. I also like fall because I feel that my fall wardrobe is far superior to my summer wardrobe, partially because it involves a lot of my summer wardrobe already plus some of my favorite pieces added to keep warm as the leaves change. I love putting on a summer dress over tights or leggings with a blazer over and even a scarf, so I still have the feel of the easy summer weather but I'm not freezing my butt off. And that way, when the inevitable random warm up comes I can simply un-layer and be comfortable again! This is all fun and games until the arctic chill blasts through the region and all my cutesy "I lov e layering!!!" hoo ha goes out the window in favor of not getting frost bite, but for now, let me revel in my favorite time of year for clothes. The other appealing thing about fall is that it brings to mind fond memories of Back to School shopping. New shoes, new clothes, new accessories, all holding the promise of a fresh new school year. It's a shame that once you graduate you no longer have the back to school excuse, which is why I think we should start a new "Back to the School Run" shopping season, to coincide with the kids shopping. After all, even if you're not dropping them off or waiting at the bus stop you're inevitably going to be at that school for something at some point, right? And you might as well be there in a nice new fall outfit, correct? So with this made up shopping necessity in my mind Lev and I headed downtown to one of my favorite shops, Piper Boutique. Located on Broadway just a few doors down from Putnam Market, we escaped the downpour to see what new stuff they had to offer for fall, and they had plenty. The first look we saw was a black and white giraffe print dress, sleeveless, which we paired with leggings and a cream three quarter length sleeve blazer and simple black flats. It's an outfit you can wear to work, lunch or dinner with the girls, out for date night, or just to do the preschool run if you want to feel a little polished. If the sun breaks out you can always take the short blazer off and enjoy some of the last rays of the season. Another great look was a simple dress/leggings/sweater combo, but because each piece is so polished and sophisticated without being fussy it comes across as anything but simple. We tried out a dressier work or date night look next, an eye catching patterned shirt paired with a stretchy jersey skirt that brings a nice pop of color to your wardrobe. Besides being easy to throw on and look instantly pulled together, this outfit is incredibly comfortable and could take you from the morning through a workday still looking fabulous for drinks after work with friends. The beauty of all of these outfits is not only the layering aspect that will keep you feeling comfortable all day no matter how they weather twists and turns, but also the versatility of all these pieces. The giraffe print dress can be worn with flats and leggings for a more casual look, or dressed up with jewelry and heels for a night out, the same with the simple dress with pockets. The sweater can be worn with jeans for a casual weekend look, or with leggings or a skirt, the possibilities for cardigans are endless. The printed blouse can be dressed down with jeans or leggings as well, and since the skirt is a great stand alone piece itself in a solid color it can be paired with any number of tops, including a tank with a blazer or cardigan. The best part about Piper might just be the prices though! The giraffe print dress is an absolute steal at $36 and the blazer we paired with it is just $67. I of course couldn't help myself and had to try something on, and found a great dress that not only works as a transitional fall piece but also works as a transitional maternity piece! A pretty three quarter length sleeve dress with a subtle but fun print, it can go from pre-pregnancy in the summer with heels or flats, pregnancy as a dress, late pregnancy as a tunic top, then post-pregnancy as a fun pretty dress with a forgiving yet flattering silhouette! And you can have all those options in one dress for just $48.50! Piper also carries a fun range of jewelry, with quirky pieces like a binocular pendant and statement necklaces to add flair to any outfit, all reasonably priced as well. I was sad to leave my favorite piece there though, an absolutely gorgeous military inspired coat in a beautiful white shade, alas, with two labradors, two kids under 5 and one on the way a white jacket wouldn't last long in my household, but one of you must go snap it up because I was shocked that it was only $71! So stop in Piper today, you are guaranteed to find something that makes you feel polished and pulled together on these busy fall mornings. Piper Boutique is located at 441 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, and can be reached at 450-1152. Their hours are Monday through Sunday, 10am to 9pm.