Today seems to be the ideal time to start talking about autumn. There’s a bit of a chill in the air and over the weekend I spotted that the trees have started shedding their leaves. Have you noticed that the nights are already drawing in? I’m so easily affected by the weather and daylight that it makes me want to go to bed earlier each day! I’m sure it won’t be long until I put my heating on and start snuggling up under blankets on the sofa. In fact, we are only about a month away from the end of daylight saving – the clocks go back on the 26th October – and that’s when I really start feeling the cold from the impending winter. So before I start talking about Christmas again (!) it’s time to appreciate autumn for all it has to offer and I’ve come up with a list – a swatch – of textures, colours, feelings and activities that only autumn brings.
- The vivid oranges of pumpkins and squashes. My mind conjures up an image of a traditional harvest festival with straw bales, and it is the colours of these bright fruits along with the strong greens of marrows and courgettes are that form the starting point for my autumn swatch.
- The colours of autumn leaves as they turn trees into a flaming skyline. The dry crunchiness of leaves on the ground before the rain comes leads to the inevitable trip to the park to kick-up the leaves with my nephew while it’s still warm enough to play outside.
- The rich brown leather of autumn boots, which are a staple part of any wardrobe at this time of year. It’s not yet knee-high snow-boot weather, but I certainly can’t get away with summer shoes or pumps either. A little extra warmth and protection is needed and soles with a good grip ensure that slippery wet leaves underfoot are not a problem. I love warm brown leather and enjoy buffing it to a conker-like shine.
- And that conveniently brings us on to childhood; so many aspects of autumn remind me of childhood, such as conkers, new term school satchels and piles of leaves. This weekend I taught my nephew about sycamore seed ‘helicopters’ and he was mesmerised by them twirling to the ground. We’ve been collecting conkers and I’m thinking about trying to grow his first conker into a tree.
Rust – what an excellent representation of autumn colour. It describes all of the shades that autumn leaves progress through throughout the fall and it represents decay.
- Woolly blankets, jumpers and tweed jackets are essential at this time of year. Just a thin extra layer helps to keep you warm and even though the itchy fabric irritates your skin, you don’t mind because you’re feel snuggly and cosy beneath the wool.
- Plums, damsons, blackberries and sloes are ripe for the picking and this is the season of jam-making and preserving for me. These purple shades coordinate well with the browns and oranges of autumn, and at Halloween it seems to be the witches’ preferred shade, as fancy dress shops are packed with purple cloaks.
- Burning sunsets of pink, red and gold are so bright and warm that you want to stay out in the fields until the sun goes down. The colours make the sky appear to be on fire, and the burning skies reflect all the fireplaces around the country that are being lit again for the first time this season.
Each of these autumnal elements reminds me of feeling warm but with a chilly nose, wearing gloves and sunglasses at the same time, and laughing with friends and family. This time of year brings the excitement of back-to-school (that I mentioned last week) and I love shopping for this seasons essentials, such as my ankle boots from Pavers which you may have spotted in the photos above. This rich chocolate shade is one of the top colour trends for A/W14 along with ox-blood and navy so I’m delighted to find an affordable – but most importantly, comfortable – ankle boot in this colourway.
Adding these boots to my autumn wardrobe means that I can go stomping through piles leaves and splashing in puddles without worrying about getting wet, cold or slipping over, because they have soles with excellent grip and are lined with a cosy faux-fur. Plus the buckles, straps and zips are key elements for this season’s footwear collections. I’m so pleased to have found a pair of boots that combine form with function; they are totally on-trend yet are completely practical with a cute low heel that doesn’t make you feel unsteady and are super comfortable – I can wear them all day, go for long walks and kick up the leaves yet my feet still feel fine when I slip them off at the end of the day.
I hope that my seasonal swatch list has made you feel a little more autumnal and please get in touch if you have anything that you’d like to add to it. Do you have an interesting memory about autumn from childhood or can you think of any particular colours or textures that always put you in mind of this season? Please leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy – chat soon!