We can all agree that summer is officially over, and we can stop holding on to the hope of that random day of blissful sunshine to appear, where we regret all the layers donned that morning before leaving the house and doubt our choice of packing away all our summer clothing.
But as we say our final goodbyes to the sun, we can say hello to our other faves: blankets, hot drinks, and fireplaces. Yes, it’s autumn and perilously close to the pumpkin spice craze returning and taking over our Instagrams!
In the UK the divide between summer and autumn is enormous and obvious; one week you can wear shorts and leave the coat at home, the next you’re cracking out the boots and jumpers, and coats will either be worn or carried. The fear of getting caught outside in the cold without one is real.
Brits complain about whichever season they’re in, it’s either too hot, too cold or too rainy (although, that last one is year-round.) But there are some great things to look forward to in autumn, and some great ways to use some staple summer items in the colder months.
First of all – who doesn’t love a knitted jumper you can drown in? Autumn brings back the art of layering; tops, shirts, jumpers, and jackets, so that you are prepared for everything outside, and the varying temperatures inside different buildings. Jeans are back, and boots are a must-wear. A girl-hack means no more mandatory pedicures just to go to the shop in your sandals, no your toes can be deliciously wrapped up in socks and shoes at all times. Getting the autumn look right can be so effortlessly chic, with the casual draping of knitted clothing, messy buns and oversized bags (to hold the discarded layers.) Add a coffee cup and a warm filter and you’re social media ready!
And let’s not forget socks – the wondrous fluffy things that we constantly think about throwing away every spring. As the evenings get colder, overly-fluffy socks or boot-like slippers are the only options.
Hat, scarves and gloves are another set of knitted wear that everyone loves. And can so easily accessorise. With red the new black this autumn, why not use these statement winter accessories to add a pop of colour to your outfit?
But don’t be hasty packing away the summer gear; this year sees the return of patterned and knitted tights, so hold back on putting the skirts away. Paired with ankle boots and a jumper, who could look cuter? And as for shorts – for those brave enough, designers like Burberry and Saint Laurent are predicting shorts and over-the-knee boots, thighs bared to the elements.
As for summer accessories – remember that floppy hat you bought for your holiday? Well, it could be paired with a layered jumper and leather jacket for a chic biker look. And bright full-length sarongs can double as a light scarf for the warmer days.
Hair & Make-up
With the sun gone, the heavy tan (real or fake) goes with it. Stay nicely bronzed with the help of your trusty bronzer, but maybe tone it down as the month’s progress. Darker tones for eyes and lips are set to be introduced by Vogue, with red lips and darkly lined eyes.
The manicure is due for a revamp as well, with the pedi now longer as important, the attention is on the fingernails. Predicted to be statement pieces with intricate designs – don’t put away the bright coloured polish just yet.
The old idea of lighter hair tones in the summer and darker in the winter has been banished entirely. With balayage and grey-tones flowing in from the summer, hair is staying loud and proud with the loose curls and messy buns that look so easy and natural, but take hours to perfect.
Over the summer you may have spent less time in the house and more time in the garden (back or beer.) But just because it’s starting to get chilly doesn’t mean the end of your green thumb. Cultivating houseplants is a fantastic way to bring colour and freshness into the home. It’s easy to lose colour when the leaves have fallen and turned to mush, so by bringing some winter flowers indoors you can combat it. You can also bring in some clippings of the plants you think might not survive the winter so that you just have to replant the dead plants with the young ones next spring, rather than buy new ones.
You can also plan ahead, and plant winter blooms amongst the summer flowers so that your garden just changes landscape rather than turning into a stick garden. And you can still enjoy all that hard work you put in during the warmer months.
If you have a conservatory, most people shut it up for the winter, but it can be used year round. A conservatory heater can be inexpensive and irreplaceable. Fit in some blinds and pile up the cushions and blankets and it’s the perfect little hidey-hole. When buying or updating your furniture, have the colder months in mind – as you browse for conservatory chairs think about it with the wicker on show and draped in a blanket, for example.
Halloween is nearly upon us! A lot of people don’t decorate for Halloween, but for those who do there are so many ideas of how you can stylishly decorate your home for the autumn holiday. From fallen leaf wreaths to pumpkins using fairy lights and paint. Gear up your Pinterest page and get making!
In the house, autumn decorating may just mean the throws come out of storage, but bring in any garden cushions and any lanterns and fill up the nooks and crannies. A full home always feels warmer, the lanterns or strings of lights look fantastic in the darker evenings, and you’ll be grateful for the extra cushions as the fabric holds the heat longer than a bare room.
Britain is a nation of candle-lovers, we even have a British Candle Federation, and now is the time to switch up the scents. The watermelon and kiwi may have been perfect for the family BBQ, but autumn brings up images of cuddles on the couch, hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and the trickling in of nutmeg and cinnamon ready for Christmas. Try something more earthy, with wood tones and spicy undertones.
Brits are notoriously bad at BBQs, burning all the food and ultimately getting rained on – yet the fun and excitement surrounding the tradition are always there. And, for the lucky few who are BBQ champions, the end of the summer is an even sadder time. But that doesn’t mean the end of the family get-togethers.
It might not be quite the same, but an in-house BBQ can fill the house with family and friends, good food and laughter. While the cold rages outside, have fun inside. There’s an old tradition of a harvest-feast on the 31st of October, so why not invite everyone over on Halloween for movies, sweets and plenty of food? And do the same for bonfire night – everyone round for fireworks, toffee apples and mulled wine (it’s not too early when it’s November.)
Autumn also sees the return of the hot drinks. The summer is full of coffee houses launching new and fabulous cold drinks, like the Unicorn Frappucino, but now it’s time to get back to old classics like hot chocolate and pumpkin spice lattes. The guilt of whipped cream and marshmallows can wait for after Christmas when we worry about of beach-perfect-bodies again because with the colder weather we can indulge a little.
And let’s not forget about baileys in the aforementioned hot chocolate, or a delicious Irish coffee when the evening draws to an end. Cocktails aren’t just for the beach is San Trope, but for the cold nights in too. Esquire have some amazing recipes for winter inspired cocktails.