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Ashley Olsen Walked Me Through Elizabeth and James' Fall Collection

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I love all things Olsen twins—their style (the weird blend of kitschy grandparent and proper matriarch), their $39,000 backpacks, and yes, their little sister Lizzie.

But I especially love their contemporary clothing line, Elizabeth and James (for proof, see here). At the label's fall presentation yesterday, I was inadvertently wearing one of their button downs, accidentally becoming "that guy" who wears a band t-shirt to said band's concert. Oops. It's just reflex.

Anyway, back to Ashley—having her personally walk me through the line's fall offerings was a pretty great experience, but not because of her fame or prowess as an avant-garde fashion designer. Instead, I really respect Mary Kate and Ashley’s M.O. for Elizabeth and James: they study what girls want to wear on a daily basis, and they pay attention to what’s actually selling each season.

As I paused to examine an elusively perfect, slouchy gray turtleneck, Ashley (wearing all black and the coolest orange and purple Balenciaga sneakers) said, "They really wanted us to do that again because it did so well last season. So we changed it up a bit and added those leather pockets." Presumably, "they" is the business side of Elizabeth and James. But it's also me, the customer. I'd buy that turtleneck in a heartbeat. 

I'd also buy many of their other fall offerings: brocade peplum tops, pajama-style separates, well-tailored blazers and pants in the prettiest cranberry color. And while I love their higher end line, The Row, too, I can actually buy some of the Elizabeth and James pieces (and do). For fall, prices start at $195.

But what really convinced me that the twins are in touch with what real girls (with limited budgets) want was the fall outerwear.  “We’re doing a lot with vests," Ashley said. "They’re removable, so you can wear the vest inside or on the outside, which we really like. Oh, and those fur collars are removable, too.”

I think she knew that I’d be excited by that, and yeah, I was. As a "real girl," nothing delights me more than buying one piece and getting six options out of it. Beyond any of the white-hot trends from their fall collection (those peplums, those pajama silks) I'd imagine the Elizabeth and James girl will appreciate the versatility more than anything.

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