My ‘Pre-fall’ Picks Because Summer Clothes Are Getting Boring

A jazzy sweatshirt, the best shoes EVER and more...

Aug 1, 2013 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

Here comes the rain again, thank goodness – I almost thought we were going to have a proper summer for a moment there. Despite the fact that it’s been more years than I care to acknowledge since my last school summer holiday, when August comes around I always find myself starting to get a little bit bored of sunny days and hot weather clothes and looking forward to the wools and leathers of the September term/season.

Luckily the fickle fashion industry has an equally short attention span and so the shops will soon be starting to fill with the first bits of the autumn collections. We’re not talking heavy winter coats and leather boots quite yet, but ‘pre-fall’ – the interchangeable pieces that help you transition stylishly from one season to the next.

Being a massive saddo, I always carry a notebook everywhere with me in which I scribble (at the back) lists of: places I’d like to go, Christmas and birthday present ideas for friends and family and clothes I ‘need’. When I fill up the notebook, I patiently transcribe all the lists to the new one.

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The Lists. If I didn't have them my life would have no meaning.

The clothes list gives me focus when it comes to planning my new season wardrobe (yes, I do this) and means I can look at what I already have and work out ways to rejuvenate trusty old faithfuls. Flicking through fashion magazines and browsing my favourite street style blogs, I pick up ideas – a fun new shoe shape or unusual colour combination, another way to wear a plain white shirt – which renew my enthusiasm for getting dressed.

This is infinitely preferably to having to spend a fortune on an entire new wardrobe and looks a lot better too – there’s nothing more try-hard than dressing head to toe in shiny, box-fresh clothes, even if you can afford it. It’s far better to mix old and much-loved stuff with a dash of something new.

A Jazzy Sweatshirt

Call it the Kenzo effect, but fashion folk are obsessed with sweatshirts bearing striking embellishment or decorative motifs. I missed the boat on APC’s leopard print sweatshirts and have been forlornly trawling eBay in the hope that one might turn up ever since. Assuming it won’t, I quite like the look of this one from Acne – I’d wear it over a cotton sun dress with Converse on a sunny-but-chilly summer’s day, then switch to boyfriend jeans or a circle skirt and heels come autumn.

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I love the splashy, delicate watercolour print on Acne's sweatshirt

Nice New Shoes

A new term, sorry, season, calls for shiny new shoes, right? And they don’t come much shinier or shoe-ier than Hobbs’ NW3 platform-brogue-loafer-hybrids. Preppy, oh so preppy. Worn now with tanned legs and a long cotton skirt they’d have a cool-schoolgirl-Margaret-Howell vibe, then add chunky socks and/or tights (Falke, always Falke, worth the spend as they last so much longer, I promise) as the weather gets colder.

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Best shoes ever? Probably.

Navy Cashmere Men’s Jumper

Yes it needs to be a men’s one, because they just have that slouchy fit that you never get with one from any women’s department. I have it on good authority (ie. my friend Verity) that the M&S men’s department does the best cashmere jumpers so this is where I’ll be heading very soon. With skinny indigo jeans (rolled up with sandals in summer, rolled down over Chelsea boots in autumn) and a crisp white shirt, it’s a foolproof, classic look that firmly ticks my garconnes-style-loving box.

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The perfect navy cashmere jumper

A Smart Coat

I don’t buy a new coat every year, or even every two years – most of the time I just take the ones I have to the dry cleaners at the very beginning of autumn and the wash and brush up makes them look as good as new. But this is one of my years for investing in a new coat and though the cost will sting, I only have to look at the quality ones already hanging in my wardrobe and think how pulled-together they make me feel when I’m wearing them to remember that this is an investment well worth making.

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Boden's pink Mia coat and a stunning example at the Margaret Howell AW13/14 show

Coats won’t be appearing in the shops just yet, but in a few weeks they will so I’m doing my research now. I fell in love with the coats on the catwalk at Margaret Howell and Paul Smith – long, in luxurious wool, with a swingy, ‘40s, almost military feel. There are also lots of PINK coats everywhere – I saw them at the Hobbs and Boden press days. That may be a step too far for me, but they are seriously lovely... So which will it be?

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Larking about with coats at the Hobbs press day

A Navy Leather Handbag

Just big enough to hold a paperback, with a nice long shoulder strap and soft, squashy leather – I have been looking for this holy grail of a handbag all year and haven’t found the perfect one yet, but I’m not giving up. If anyone sees a likely contender, please let me know!

There are so many other things I’d like, such as another Equipment shirt (I started with a classic cream one, now I’m ready for something in lime green or fuchsia) and all new tights – I threw out every saggy, bobbly pair in my sock drawer and am starting afresh. Oh and some brown leather knee high boots from J.Crew when it finally opens its Regent Street store.

Are you starting to think about autumn fashion or is it just me? What's on your wishlist?