Growing up, I was very much a girly girl.

Growing up, I was very much a girly girl. I loved wearing frilly pink and purple dresses and picking out the most beautiful pair of patent leather ballet flats. I loved wearing my hair in bows and ribbons and putting on my mom’s lip gloss. I loved choosing my outfits for school, always making sure everything matched perfectly, even down to my socks. I loved playing with dolls and playing house and pretending I owned a boutique, right in my own bedroom. I just loved all things girly. I’ve really never changed. OK, maybe in playing house and pretending I own a boutique, but I have always been and still remain that girly girl woman. And sure enough, fashion became my passion as I grew up, eventually making it necessary for me to move to NYC after college to find my way into that world.

When I became pregnant with my first child, everyone who knew me personally said, “Oh, Audrey, you’re definitely having a girl! I just can’t see you with a boy. What would you do?”

William, my first son, was born on September 25, 2004.

Alexander, my second son, was born on September 28, 2005.

Benjamin, my third son, was born on April 4, 2007.

And Henry, my forth son, was born on June 17, 2008.

Four sons. No daughters.

It’s funny. When I first found out William was a boy, everything within me made sense. I had a feeling he was a boy, even when everyone else (and their mothers) told me “it” just had to be a girl. It was an instinct, I think. I even started buying blue-toned maternity clothing in my second trimester because that’s how much I had a feeling he was a boy. Even the girly girl fashion sense in me was preparing for the difference in clothing color tones. And then he was here, and my life immediately became about dressing him in blues, greens, and browns, and playing with dinosaurs and cars, and building blocks. The girly girl in me was branching out, and at a pretty quick rate.

Here I am today: Still a true girly girl mother of four boys, age 4 and under. I have adapted to the noise of boys. For all moms of boys, you know what I mean when I say the “noise of boys.” Boys “do” have their distinct noises. Girls just don’t play that way. I have come to understand the need for playing rough and tough with each other, throwing a football back and forth in the front yard, and more often in the living room, and the need to constantly play the game, “You’re it.” I often get from people, of all ages, “Wow…four boys. How do you like it?” Well, I love it. In fact, I beyond love it. This is my normal, my understanding of what it is to be a mother. This is all I know, and I love every single second of it. I run after them in heels. I wear my designer jeans while we’re building castles in the sandbox. I toss on some quick makeup before heading to the ice cream shop. I haven’t changed one bit, and what I love the most about being a girly girl raising four boys is seeing the look in their eyes when I hit a baseball farther than Daddy…in a Charlotte Ronson silk dress.

Yep. Oh, “boy”!

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We’ve started to spot some falling leaves on our walk to preschool

That can only mean one thing: Autumn is here. For parents like me, that means it’s time to take stock of what still fits from last year and map out a shopping list for the kids.

I’ve been to plenty of children’s fashion shows and publicity events to scope out the trends for the season. So when you’re ready to go shopping, I’ve put together a list of key items for the fall:

Boys

College Preppy: For little men, I’m excited about the return to classics. Plaid shirts are everywhere and look great on little boys. Rugbies and sweaters look coolest when jazzed up by vintage touches, such as varsity letters and vintage sports logos and numbers. If you are feeling especially trendy, add a pop of argyle to your son’s sweater drawer.

Urban Cool: My favorite tops for the season have bold graphics. I adore all the bicycles and vintage cars. It’s nice to take a break from the skulls and crossbones of past seasons.

Key colors: grey, navy, and touches of purple.

Girls

1980s: Swingy dresses and skirts in bright modern colors look great for fall. Leggings are key. Sure, you’ll want a few pairs of basic solid colors, but your little diva will be craving stripes and prints, too. It’s fine to mix prints; the preschool set should have fun with their fashions.

Mod prints: Pucci-inspired swirls and dots are everywhere.

Ruffles: Take a break from glitter and sparkle and opt for the flirty, ruffled hems on skirts and dresses—even leggings and scarves.

Key colors: raspberry, chocolate, and (not to be forgotten) orange.

Denim

Denim never goes out of fashion—that goes for boys and girls. Heavily embellished jeans seem very “last year,” so instead opt for dark hues (that hide dirt) in slim cuts. These jeans can be worn again and again and go with practically everything.

Footwear

Little feet will look great in moccasins, the season’s most comfortable option. Suede is a great look for fall, too. Why not try a suede sneaker that can go to school or the playground!