one. Amy Kaehne wool coat from her current winter collection, two. Burgundy Benah Alex ipad wallet in the new RUSSH, three. comfort food like toad in the hole, four. Isabel Marant Etoile Adibou sweater from MNZ, five. beautiful hand-crafted tea sets from the food life, six. Benah cashmere scarf and new Celine sunglasses, seven. Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy laidback in oversized sweatshirts and wind-swept hair (source unknown), eight. W.H auden poetry and hardback books, that's what autumn is about, nine. Isabel Marant dicker boots and bare legs from MNZ. All photos with no source specified were taken by me.
The first day of Autumn was really hot. Let's discount that. But the second day, oh, now that was something quite marvelous. Rain. Grey skies. A crisp breeze. Not enough to wear a new Amy Kaehne coat - not really - but I just got it and I couldn't wait to give it a first test run. It's like a big cocoon, a salt-and-pepper thing that wraps around you once, twice, three times with a big sash to finish it up. I like coats with pockets big enough to fit a book in. With a beige sweater and some tapered black pants it was the perfect outfit to reign in autumn and welcome it back to the fold. I always miss it, especially when the summer sun is high and the days are long. Sometimes, just sometimes - and even after being away for a while in dreary Northern hemisphere winters - I ache for a slow breeze and falling leaves and clouds in the sky. "Delicious autumn" as George Eliot said, "just the still melancholy that I love."
Autumn always has a feel of earth tones to it. It's all about the beiges, the greens, the ochre-browns. You eat oatmeal for breakfast and you wear it during the day time in the form of distressed sweaters. You can have bare legs and bare arms - it's still warm enough to wear vests and cropped trousers - but you need to give autumn the respect it is owed with suede ankle boots and cashmere scarves. This Benah scarf is one of my favourites, a chunky, mile-long thing is the perfect shade of Khaki green. It goes so well with the sunglasses that I picked up in New York - oversized and with a hint of a cat's eye in the most eye-catching of greens. Autumn also welcomes loose cuts and a general bagginess. While summer and spring have a flirty sensuality to them - short skirts and tight tops and honeyed limbs - the colder months embrace a more cosied sensibility. Sexiness that is found in wearing your boyfriend's rugby jersey, the cuffs pulled right down over your hands the way you used to do with too-big clothes as a kid. Long strands of hair hanging down over your face. Hands shoved deep into pockets. I like the feeling of comfort that autumn imparts. It's in the food that you eat and the drinks that you drink and the clothes that you wear. Autumn never has to try too hard to impress or dance about to grab anyone's attention. Autumn - like the girl who comes to a party late and alone and leaves with everyone watching her - has a quiet self-confidence that is totally bewitching. Guys want to be it and girls want to be with it and all of that nonsense. Autumn is the one voted most likely to succeed. Autumn is the girl whose shoe size is always the one left over in the sale.
And you drink a lot of tea. I had my first autumn cup of tea yesterday and it was nice. After reading this article on the food life I've always tried to use less than boiling water and it does make a difference. Bitter morning tea often leads to bitter days. And you don't want a bitter day when you have books to be read and eggs to be poached and coats to be worn. It's part of the comforting nature of autumn to embrace that early morning ritual of tea with the mug gripped between two hands and your toes curled over the bottom of your pyjamas. I like to stand at my back door and drink a cup of tea in the morning. Still melancholy. That sounds just about right.