The summer of love is slowly transforming itself into a muted version for Autumn. Whether or not you’ve embraced the 70’s revival, its here to stay for a little while longer. Autumn is the lesser bohemian version of its Summer sister…the colours have become richer and darker and fabrics have naturally become more embellished, heavier and warmer for reasons of practicality and after-dark naughtiness. With Love Story being one of my all-time favourite movies, mainly due to Ali McGraw being a lifetime muse, it was an instinctive task to create a mood board as a starting point for the new season, which then naturally led onto introducing a number of key pieces to invest in, perhaps not to be worn all at once, but most definitely a curation most of us could gradually introduce into our warmer wardrobes to wear over the coming months….
Whether we like it or not, the OTK boot is here to stay. They made their initial appearance last Autumn and have clearly made an impact with us all, because they’re back again with even more choice than before. Personally I love them with a skirt with no more than an inch between the hem and the top of the boots. It’s a risky look, but its my preference, though they can look just as stylish with skinny jeans or a button-down A-line midi denim skirt, perhaps with a few undone buttons for a slice of je ne sais quoi. However you wear them, they’re a sure way of keeping your wardrobe fresh and on trend, not just just for Autumn, but for the foreseeable future. Like a cute puppy, the OTK boot is not just for Christmas.
Above : Polo Neck Sweater from Zara
We may be sick of seeing the eyebrow-pulling-down static-hair-creating polo neck by the time April next year arrives, however its an essential part of any wardrobe at the best of times, never more so than this season. Worn underneath a denim shirt, a loose cashmere jumper with skinny jeans and your OTK boots, its a versatile piece so worth investing a few pennies in. This pick above is from Zara, selected for its tiny buttons along the sleeves however there are hundreds available to us on the high street and online. Personally, navy blue and black are my preferred colours – subtle, flattering and painfully classic but a burnt-orange soft number under a western shirt with a tan suede rope belt tied a couple of times around the waist is a clear winning look for the season.
Above : Ruffle Tie Blouse from Topshop
I’m a shirt lover through and through but this season allows the billowing blouse to have its moment again. Whether or not you choose a Victoriana look, the bohemian pussy bow or you simply add a slinky DIY narrow black scarf a la Chloe to an old faithful, you’re bound to fall head over heels in love with this wardrobe staple again.
Alternative options :
Above : Leather Fringe Jacket from Zara
Fringe can definitely be overdone and I personally feel its a trend on the verge of being high fashion, merely because of the amount we’re seeing it on the high street, however as we all know, fringed jackets have been around for decades, with bikers and cowboys being some of the greatest pioneers. If fringe is going to be something you’d like to integrate into your wardrobe, keeping it simple and subtle is the best starting point with a bag or a pair of boots. Unless you love the flamboyance, ignore all previous advise and don’t hold back one bit.
Alternative options :
Burnt orange has been a predominant colour this summer and it won’t be migrating to warmer climates like our birds – its here to stay for a little while longer. It looks pretty striking with indigo, so wear your jeans cropped and flared and show off your orange beauties with autumnal confidence.
Alternative options :
70’s Block Heel Boots from River Island
Etiwiel Suede Boots from Aldo
Above : Leopard Faux Fur Coat from Mango
Last but not least, its the leopard print coat. No longer considered wear for bar ladies alone, its a staple, a pre-requisite for any wardrobe. They never, ever date, look so chic worn with skin-tight black jeans, pointy black boots and a black fedora, if you feel like going incognito and are therefore an investment worth every penny. This Mango version above is cut a little shorter than many, therefore giving it a slightly mod-rock tomboyish look which means I’m sold, of course, but as you know, thats not difficult.
Its that time of year when those of us who are constantly thinking about what’s next, start thinking about what we’ll we wearing on rotation for the coming Autumn/Winter months. Last year I bought a pair of black flat shoes from Mango which I wore until they literally fell apart. They were leather, a reasonable price, they did their job and they lasted well, though they won’t see another season, which is why I decided I needed to replace them with a similar pair. I’ve been admiring small, sophisticated bows on shoes for sometime now, though was always of the conclusion that they were a little too pretty for my feet. But when I came across these Jimmy Choo Gala flats, with the most perfect sized bow, I knew these were the ones. The texture on the leather is super-chic too, adding more interest and a touch of modern sophistication, than classic smooth leather. And with a grosgrain square ribbon gracing the sharp pointy toe, I can say goodbye to toes that have lived in sand for the last month and hello to the chic Parisienne-esque flat Gala – splendid in all its glory and defiantly practical in all levels of comfort. Well, after I come back from my next trip to Ibiza next week. Promise.
Generally in life, my outlook is we can sleep when we’ve moved on. Which means every day is pretty much packed with some kind of activity/event/engagement. This theory doesn’t stop at general life, it also applies to holidays. I don’t want to travel so far to sit in one place for two weeks? I don’t see the point in travelling to the same place every year, to revisit the same places over and over. Not unless they’re so special, you can’t let them go from your mind. Last year, during our road trip around California, each day was filled with a new activity, something new to see. I’d waited too long to visit the west coast of America not to see something new every day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no dictator of the clock. I don’t make a timetable of what we should be doing every day. I just want to make the most of every moment and see all I can until its time for me to move on. I don’t wish to sound morbid, quite the opposite actually. Life is too short to sit around, waiting. Just keep moving.
After all said and done, our holiday this time around has been very different. Lazy days in our holiday shack, long beach days swimming in the sea until the sun sets, returning to the house for supper with salty hair and sticky skin, beaching ourselves on beach blankets with a book too good to leave alone. Its been a revelation in vacationing and as much as I thought I couldn’t stomach a holiday of such seaside-slobbery, I’ve enjoyed every single second. But, I also have a confession – I am terrible at relaxing. I cannot switch off. So much so, sometimes it affects my health. I still don’t know why, even in my thirties – but what I do know is how important it is to escape every day life to enable ourselves to reset back to default mode. Back to being a child. Being an adult with many responsibilities doesn’t always allow us to switch off, we’re always on duty, we always have someone else relying on us to do ‘something’ for them. Escaping from this means an element of selfishness is allowed, its more acceptable and I most definitely know 100% that I need a little more of this therapy in my life.
Holiday dressing is always reflected by my mood. At home, its often structured, sometimes considered and most definitely a functional uniform. Away from home, it consists of unbuttoned shirts, a lack of underwear, beach hair, the permanence of a bikini or two, some thrown on jewellery for long evenings discussing questions we may normally not have the time to consider, watching lizards scuttle along walls and creep amongst the shadows, seeking their next meal. Whatever the case, adorning myself with gold or silver is always a prerequisite. I’m yet to find a solution for transporting jewellery where unknotting necklaces before I can wear them is avoided, though perhaps I should just wear them all, as a solution, whilst travelling to our destination. I can see that working. This holiday, I brought some new pieces along with me, which I found at Anthropologie and I’m pretty sure they’ll be worn on high rotation. They’re all unique in their own way, which is basically how the Anthropologie brand positions itself – you won’t generally find pieces you find here, anywhere else. I remember the first time I went into an Anthropologie shop in Miami almost ten years ago and never wanting to leave – their shop interior design obviously aims to create this strong desire amongst their customers and I fell for it completely. Now I’m a huge fan, visiting their website at least once a week (its true!) since I can’t always get to their gargantuan store in London, which is probably a good thing as I’m considering moving in on my arrival back in England.
Oh, and if you struggle with plant styling your home, I strongly recommend taking a visit for some inspiration – they have a wall of greenery like you’ve seen in the movies. And I challenge you to leave the shop without a purchase. It won’t happen, but I’d like to see you prove me wrong.
A bientot for now and grand bisous from the South of France.
Denim shorts are a summer staple for alot of people and most definitely me. They’re easy to throw on, pretty much guaranteed to look good (unless your bum cheeks are hanging out which we all know is a big fat no-no) and only get better with age. Frame Denim jeans, a recent discovery, are made with old-school quality denim. They do have a 1% lycra woven into them but they’re in the heavy-weight league – thick, lush denim is the name of their game and I’m a fan. A big fan. They’re the quality of 90’s Levis. These shorts are named ‘Le Cutoff’ for fairly obvious reasons and they’re the perfect blue for blue denim – its named ‘Richland’. A blue thats not too warm, not too cold, not too light and not too dark – maybe they should have been named the Goldilocks Shorts.
I bought mine for my holiday next week. In no more than 6 sleeps, we’ll be cruising over the Channel to St Malo and driving down South for our first stop off on Ile De Re………
I must admit I’d never considered checking out anything Boohoo.com had to offer until last week when I googled ‘tassle playsuit’ – I clicked the link to the site with apprehension (I never liked the whispery adverts on TV) however I liked what I saw. I thought I’d try a few pieces since I had a deal for cheap next day delivery and that we have an imminent trek across France for the summer, yet was still apprehensive. The clothes are very reasonably priced so I expected the quality to be low. Again, I was wrong. I’m not keeping everything, the other playsuits I ordered are covered in pom poms and super pretty, but better suited to 15 year old girls or nightwear, since they’re made of jersey, making them not so wearable outdoors. Well, for me anyway. But these pieces above are keepers, and being a huge fan of similar peasant-style tassle queen Vita Kin but not having a few hundred £££ to throw at one of their dresses at present, I’m pretty happy to be heading to Ile-De-Ré avec mon vélo wearing this pretty high-street version.
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