I’m in full September dressing mode.
There’s no sartorial summer hangover for me. Last weekend, I boxed up my open-toe shoes, folded away my summer layers and now I’m itching to throw on my oversized parka, which can only be likened to one big bear hug. My white jeans have been pushed to the back of the dresser, black and indigo to the fore, while the wardrobe that houses my beloved collection of coats (military and masculine mostly), has had the cobwebs dusted from it (it felt like a long summer, didn’t it?) and is ready for active duty.
Of course, I’m an extreme case. I’ve been known to come down with a bout of S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) in summer; the heat makes me feel heavy, the sun irritates my skin and summer dressing requires more energy than last month’s heatwave allowed for. But come September 1, everything gets easier. My energy increases as does my enthusiasm, not just for getting dressed, but for long walks in brain-freezing weather (I can’t walk in the heat), the autumn TV schedule (Strictly, Bake Off and Graham Norton), red wine and roast dinners, leather gloves and cashmere scarves.
But September dressing is the most fun of all. Today I wore my first polo neck of this season, yesterday I layered up a sweater and sweatshirt, and tomorrow I’ll wear my brand new boots, bought last weekend but deliberated over for months. It’s as if I spent the summer dressing a part and now I’m back to simply looking like myself. It’s a relief. No more toe nail painting, or tanning moisturiser, just sweaters that stretch to my chin and scarves that drape round my knees.
It’s the cocooning effect of autumn clothes that I love so much. I adore feeling swaddled by sumptuous textures and oversized silhouettes. I’m an introvert by nature, so the exposure of summer clothes goes against the grain. But I think the thrill of September dressing has a lot to do with childhood memories of brand new back-to-school coats, shiny patent shoes and yet to be dog-eared copybooks. That nostalgic feeling of excitement and newness never disappears.
This September is especially ripe with rich berry hues and warm earthy shades, cradling shapes and protective silhouettes. It’s everything my inner child, introverted nature and style-conscious self could want.
Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.