Autumn leaves

Tree leaves layering themselves upon each other is nature’s way of suggesting we start doing the same. Each time the mercury levels drop, my internal thermometer sends out ripples of goose-bumps, random shakes and relentless teeth-chattering. I’m not a fan of the cold. I don’t find it romantic nor cozy albeit a good excuse to tuck into Ouma Rusks and cocoa. 

That said, cold weather does bring with it endless fashion and styling opportunities. Colours, textures, prints and fabrics become more luxurious and decadent.

Rich aristocratic crimsons hold their own across the plethora of dominating greens from mossy nature-inspired tones to the noble emerald green. Slate, putty, rust, Acai berry purple and effervescent pink form part of the vibrant palette. Colours are happier this season. They are a lot more robust and punchy. Of course there are a myriad of shades and hues in between so don’t feel restricted to the few I have mentioned.

Fabrics include the constant cousin tweed, wool twill, velour velvet, knits and felt which is beautifully juxtaposed with satin. So in other words, fabric is vital in contributing to the opulent Autumn months ahead.

From outer to innerwear, Autumn trends do not discriminate. When I was younger, I would brave the cold in favour of wearing pretty underwear…lingerie didn’t feature at that stage.

But the older I get, the more reliant I am on luxurious thermal wear. I never go without it. However,  I do forego the thermals of yesteryear and don the silky cashmere feel of advanced synthetics like the thermal ‘intelligent’ body heat regulating vests and leggings which Woolworths stocks in various styles and colours. They double up as sleepwear too…or at least, under my actual sleepwear.

Secondary to the above, ‘layering leaves’ is translated as multiple layers of clothing – from foundation to accessories. Create visual interest by layering subtle hue changes with each layer and end off with a vibrant contrasting print or colour as a focus point.

Focus points consolidate all the elements into a cohesive and well-thought out overall look. Too many random colours, textures, prints and proportions is similar to entering a haphazardly styled lounge. ‘You’ want to make sense.

A focus point could come in the form of a single priority item such as a basic, classically styled tailored winter coat. One which doesn’t overwhelm your frame nor height and complements your colouring, is a firm favourite and ‘must have’ of mine. A barrier from the elements, coats come in a vast variety of styles so choose one that you absolutely love.

When you’re simply not in the mood to get creative, keep this is mind…monochromatics are HOT this season! A white shirt and fitted black pants will do the trick. Don’t tuck the shirt in and throw a skinny black belt around the waist and voila! Use accessories to diversify a basic outfit for your less energetic days.

Choose accessories like an oversized satchel in yellow or sea-green. Even if all you’re stashing inside it are mints, lipgloss and a credit card. Hats are still vying for centre-stage. Wear a cloche hat with feminine dresses, 1920’s A-line silhouette skirts and trench coats. A soft leather or suede pair of gloves will finish your look. Or wear a fedora with your crisp white shirt and pants. A slouchy – but not oversized – knitted beanie can add for a relaxed but still trendy look.

All in all, life is what we make of it. We can’t always control what happens but we can decide to take pleasure in non-sensical and frivolous ideals such as fashion. Let what you wear be an inspiration to others like you did when you were two years old. Life seamed easier back then when we had fun playing dress-up. I think it is time to revisit those days from time to time.

Here’s to enjoying the journey and making the most out of each season.

Written by Petra Laranjo