This is the time of year when women start to rummage around in their wardrobes, digging out their woollier items and sifting out garments that are starting to look a little tatty. It’s a time of seasonal transition, a moment to be enjoyed when the winter ahead hasn’t yet started to bite and exists in the mind only in an abstract way, in its most positive sense – as a fashion opportunity.
The visual embodiment of this sensibility is the Toast catalogue, where women simper around improbably in long velvet robes eating a perpetual breakfast in an artfully decaying Welsh farmhouse.
We know this idealised winter doesn’t actually exist but we’re happy to buy into it because winter as a fashion opportunity allows one to gloss over all the horrid realities of the chilly season, like endless frozen nights and coldness to the marrow of your bones, and instead focus on all the good stuff. It’s ‘good-bye’ to fake tan and razors, and ‘hello’ to layering, Sarah Lund sweaters and a whole new range of accessories: cashmere gloves, as soft as kittens, long sensuous scarves, Olga hats – which we will be seeing a lot of thanks to the new Anna Karenina film (see above) – berets and boots.
Our favourite of these are boots, which alongside the critical, much anticipated, annual purchase of a new winter coat, are the best thing about the nights drawing in. There comes a point, and the female contingent at A Hume have most definitely reached it, when we are happy to slide our pumice stone to the back of the bathroom cabinet, tuck our Kurt Geiger sandals, which are perilously unsuited to country life, under the bed and move on to something seriously sturdy.
Boots are the bedrock of country life, without them we would be confined to an urban world of asphalt, so dig them out, buy some more: wear them with skirts, delve into a world of chunky knit socks, even if you have to nick them – see recent post What Do Your Feet Wear at the Weekend. Tuck a pair of skinny jeans into your boots, team with a little tweed jacket or this season’s essential – the blazer, sling an oversized scarf around your neck and go for a frolic in the autumn leaves.