Summer’s Ending, but New England Style Isn’t

By Ashley Amman

Ever since I was a young child, I grew up spending my summers in New England. Surrounded by blooming hydrangeas, charming sailboats, and narrow seashell paths, I quickly fell in love with the quaint serenity of Cape Cod. While my siblings begged my parents to visit the mom-and-pop candy shop for some fresh fudge or to spend the day kayaking on Nantucket Sound, I was content sitting on a bench on Main Street

I enjoyed watching people make their way through town as I analyzed their outfits. I plopped myself down on one of the wooden benches that lined the street, and grinned as I saw scarves blow in the swift wind and heard the sound of espadrilles clapping against the concrete sidewalks. I found excitement in observing the pre-dinner shopping crowds flood the streets, as they popped in and out of the endless array of charming boutiques. I was impressed by the overwhelming presence of white linen, blue stripes, floppy straw hats, and floral prints. I noted the popularity of loose button-downs, bermuda shorts, and seemingly luxurious handbags.

As a self-proclaimed professional people-watcher and Cape Cod enthusiast, I have created a New England-style starter kit. While many people refer to New England fashion during the summer months, the all-American style remains year round. As we transition from bathing suits to boots, I have created a guide to help you curate your New England inspired autumn wardrobe. 


Button-Down Blouses

No New England ensemble is complete without a polished button-down shirt. Whether the blouse is white, cream, or striped, a button-down top is a staple piece in the wardrobe of Cape Cod veterans. It can be styled down with a pair of jeans, or dressed up with a skirt and loafers. 

Left: Muse @Serenakerrigan in a perfect button down shirt. Right:  Muse @libelulajewellery showing us how to style it with a classic black skirt


From the closet of @mack_fitzgerald

Simone Rocha

From the closet of @irene_kf

Ralph Lauren

From the closet of @lmcshops

Lots of Knots

Knots are a fun way to add an element of texture to a previously simple look. The classic detail can help contour an outfit and create a flattering silhouette, adding much visual interest to a look. 

Left: Muse @paulinaapadilla Top right: Muse @deavarga & Bottom right Muse @libelulajewellery

Lele Sadoughi

From the closet of @ashleighbstone

Misha Nonoo

From the closet of @tinawells


From the closet of @heymrssolomon

Something to Keep Warm

Any New Englander is prepared for the unexpected chilly evenings. When the sun goes down on the East Coast, the temperature can drop rapidly. Being prepared with a sweater, pashmina, or light jacket is crucial to staying comfortable during outdoor affairs throughout the early fall months.

Left: Muse @sam.moooves  Right: Muse @janiepierrepont

Recreational Habits

From the closet of @kellyaugustine

The Row

From the closet of @natty_style

Thom Browne

From the curated closet of @styledespresso

Stripes on Stripes

What’s more New England than stripes? Stripes are a subtle way of introducing pattern and color into an outfit, while still remaining simple and clean. Striped clothing is back and more trendy than ever!

Left: Muse @sharlingross  Right: Muse @nikkikule Bottom: Muse @dadouchic 

Tory Burch

From the closet of @hannahmck20


From the closet of @natty_style


From the closet of @laurenmburgin

The Perfect Bag

A timeless, luxurious bag is the best way to top off a look. If you’re looking for a going-out bag that fits your phone and wallet, a small shoulder bag may be the way to go; however a larger tote is perfect for a work day at your local coffee shop. 


From the closet of @jessicateves


From the closet of @jessicateves


From the closet of @serenakerrigan

I could continue to list the nuanced trends that I have observed over the years sitting on the wooden Main Street bench, but you can take my word that these five elements embody the culture of New England and can be incorporated into your fall wardrobe. As the years go by, I learn more about the ethos of the small town atmosphere. While the destination is recognizable through its fashion and accessories, I realize that it’s even more recognizable by its tight-knit community. The strong camaraderie, sense of adventure, and down-to-earth nature of the region demonstrates the true style of New England, which cannot be seen by the clothing on people’s backs.