Over the past few weeks I have felt called to sit outside watching the simplicity of the leaves, listening to the songs of the birds and breathing in the crisp mountain air. I have had a range of emotions post-election and I can’t think of a better place to gain peace and clarity than on the side of a mountain, looking out at the assortment of fall colors gracing the tops of trees.

However, forest fires have been raging across our mountains creating Code Red air quality, and being one with nature seems like it could only happen with a pane of glass between us.

I am continuously reminded how badly we and the natural world need each other right now.

Natural design is inherently comforting as it resonates at our deepest levels. We love it because we know it well. We know new life and we know death. We know growth and expansion and we know stillness and silence. We are interconnected with nature at our core and can use that relationship to inspire us in a variety of ways, including our outward expressions.

So now I’m going to relate this back to fashion, because, well, this is a fashion blog.

Last week, I called my husband during his morning commute to ask him what I should wear under a shirt that is open down the back. I was having trouble finding a way to make my plain cream top more interesting.

After letting out a little laugh when he realized I was calling him on his way to work for fashion advice, he honed in on my question, paused and then replied. He stopped to take moment to orient to his surrounding while driving and then said, “Well, something with a pop. If we look at the colors in nature right now, you see bright orange, red and gold.” We immediately decided on a carrot orange tank top I’ve had for years.

Note: I have a never-ending stash of inexpensive, various-colored tank tops in my closet that I use specifically to add a pop of color to any dull or monotone outfit. This is a tip I pass on to all of my clients and friends. And for a local Asheville option, Virtue on Lexington Ave. has a range of colors at affordable prices!

The fact that my husband’s answer was so clear and simple was novel to me. And as I’ll mention in an upcoming blog, I often suffer from S.A.D. in the fall and winter, so the ease with which his decision came was inspiring. It made me begin to explore how I too could have ease in deciding what to wear, even if my inspiration or mood was low.

What if I didn’t have to be so innovative or creative?

What if getting dressed wasn’t a chore?

What if it just came naturally? Like literally, through nature. I could walk outside, take in my surroundings, maybe even meditate on them a bit, and simply mirror what I saw.

So when you’re not sure what direction to head, with a new sense of ease, we can all practice using the beauty of our surroundings as a guide.

And even if you live in a place with a lot of buildings and not a lot of trees (like one of my favorite places to visit, Chicago, IL.), you can find inspiration in those surroundings too! Beauty is all around us. It’s up to us to sense into it.