The very real thrill of September dressing

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The internet has declared that anticipation for autumnal fashion is at fever pitch. Frankie Graddon joins in

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By Frankie Graddon on

There is a meme going around the internet that really made me chuckle this morning. It’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz – the one where he’s wearing that giant scarf – with the caption “I can't wait for it to get colder so I can really start dressin'”. In fact, there’s a whole Twitter moment dedicated to the joyous anticipation of autumnal weather and the cosy layers that come with it – jumpers, shearlings, boots and even hats. In the words of Jon Snow, winter is coming, people, let’s get excited. Bring on the tights and the hot chocolate.

OK, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself – it’s only September, after all. But it is true to say that, every year, as August – with all of its rosé-fuelled days of sun – bids us adieu, the appeal of cold-shoulder tops and bikinis begins to lessen and the prospect of snuggling up in cable knit with Bake Off on the telly grows ever more attractive. I mean, I can’t be the only one who’s secretly quite excited that it’s cool enough for leather jackets?

Perhaps it’s because summer was a long one this year, but I’m really ready for the seasonal switch over. May to August was a glorious riot of bare legs and sundresses, and I can’t say that I’ve missed deciding whether or not to risk an open-toe shoe for fear of rain. However, fickle being that I am, I’ve had my annual fill of basket bags and I’m tired of painting my toenails – now it’s all about ankle boots.

As August bids us adieu, the appeal of bikinis begins to lessen and the prospect of snuggling up in cable knit with Bake Off on the telly grows ever more attractive

Of course, it’s not time for puffa jackets quite yet – today is positively mild (and, if weather reports are to be believed, we’re in for a rather pleasant few weeks). I saw a bobble hat on sale the other day, which felt rather premature – dear high street, let’s not get carried away. But there are ways to achieve that September-dressing thrill without going the full cold-weather hog.

I’ve made a pact with myself that I’m not wearing jeans until October. I love jeans, but know that as soon as I put a pair on I’ll be wearing them until next June. Instead, I’m determined to keep wearing my summer midi dresses, with the addition of a T-shirt underneath (I want every single one from Ganni and Kitri) or, if the neckline looks a bit weird with a tee, then a not-too chunky jumper over the top. Today, I’m experimenting with GAP's red hoodie over an old & Other Stories slip dress (a bit like this one). To make sure I don’t look like I’m off to the gym, I’ve added a dangly pair of earrings (when it comes to wearing hoodies, it’s all about the high-low mix).

Similarly, I’ve given my blazer a couple of outings as of late. Thrown over a summery top it provides ample September thrill that can be dialled up to full-blown winter thrill by popping a coat on top when it gets really cold (God, love double jacketing). If you’re not into blazers then the aforementioned leather jacket is a good idea, making wafty skirts and trousers feel suitably Septemberish. Whistles and Hush do the best – they cost an arm and a leg, but will honestly last you a lifetime and look better the more you wear them.

If you want to go full September thrill, then let’s talk about trench coats, which, alongside Strictly, are the best thing to happen to the next few weeks. I’ve already worn my faithful M&S Alexa trench once or twice and have to say, it felt good to be home. Perfect for “not yet cold but a bit grey and damp” weather, have a look at M&S’ new in hooded trench with checked lining.

Finally, shoes. For the first time in months, my beloved Swedish Hasbeens don’t feel quite right – too strappy. We’ve already briefly discussed ankle boots (quick recap: try lace-up, low-heel and brown) and, as we all already know, they are the pinnacle of autumn-dressing joy. But to throw into the mix, I am going to suggest a pair of trainers. Now, the fashion world is currently going crazy for the chunky trainer trend all thanks to Balenciaga’s Triple S Sneakers. However, these are something that I am unwilling to get on board with on account of them being too ugly for words. Instead, I’ve just acquired my first pair of Vans (I know, I know, late to the party) and plan to wear both these and a pair of classic Converse with frocks and skirts. And, while I feel it’s not quite time to crack out the black opaques, a pair of stylish ankle socks from Cos will stop early morning ankle-chill.

Click here for the September-thrill edit


Photo: Getty Images
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