Disclaimer 26th June 2020: Due to change and education, I have made a pledge to promote only sustainable brands and garments from now on that both fight for a circular economy in fashion and pay garment workers a fair living wage. I have decided to keep all of the former brands and items listed in this blog post as well as keep the original writing for future readers and portfolio. Enjoy reading, shop sustainably.
It’s September again, the August bank holiday a faint memory. The time for renewal, the gentle cooling winds are just at the end of their soft touch, caressing us as we walk to work. Soon, the winds will bite and tug at our clothes, wrapping around us till we are red in the face. We will arrive at work breathless, beaten and blushed after a battle against the elements.
Of course, many of us dread the chills of winter, especially after the halcyon summer haze of June, July, and August. However autumn and winter is quintessentially the time to enshroud ourselves in hugs upon hugs of scarves, jackets, coats, knitwear, gloves and thick socks. Autumn and winter is also the exhilarating and magical buildup of both Halloween and Christmas – therefore, it is a time of year I always love.
I was going to my standard ‘this is what I like that is currently autumnal’ fashion blog post. However, as I am increasingly becoming aware of environmental concerns, I am learning more and more the extent of which the high street and fast fashion industries are impacting the environment. From the microplastics filling the ocean to the mining of virgin materials, shipping clothes across the world and the amount of slave labor in the fashion industry, writing this blog post in the way I used do just doesn’t seem ethically responsible.
However, I cannot deny that I love shopping, so I decided to encourage ‘slow fashion’, essentially choosing pieces that will stand the test of time, and ones you can wear years and years after purchasing them. This idea has been echoed by many, as shown in this BBC article that states you shouldn’t buy any item of clothing without being able to commit to wearing it at least 30 times. So, without further ado, below are five autumn staples that I am currently vibing with.
An item of clothing that is ubiquitous with a drop in temperature – let me present you the winter coat. An essential that you should wear for years and years after first purchasing it – a solid winter coat should tick all of your sartorial boxes: comfortable, chic, goes with everything but has their own individual personality.
Below are my selection of winter coats that I am currently THIS close to buying:
A staple in your mum’s and grandmother’s wardrobe, the humble cardigan is having somewhat of a revival, and I personally can’t understand why it ever left? The perfect transition piece, for finer knits you can be brave and wear it as a top itself with a lacy bra underneath, but for chunkier pieces sling it over a t-shirt and mum jeans for a casual day look.
I also always have a soft spot for ballet wrap cardigans. A flattering and elegant piece, you can physically wrap yourself within them and for low V-neck styles, they would perfectly complement a turtleneck.
I bloody love turtlenecks, taking me back to my art history student days – turtlenecks just go with everything, they keep you warm, and they are flattering too. You can wear turtlenecks under slip dresses, with jeans, with skirts with virtually, I kid you not everything. I have many a turtleneck in a myriad of colours and shades – and will I buy some more this winter? Probably.
Choose turtlenecks in classic hues like black, white, navy and grey – and it can be a transferrable piece that you will surely wear all year round.
I feel like it would be hypocritical of me to state that you should buy these items sustainably from companies that create them from sustainable fabrics. Simply because all of the turtlenecks I own are from fast fashion companies like ASOS, BOOHOO, and Missguided. However, I can understand the notion that because they are ‘staples’ and they aren’t concerned with being too frivolous – it feels more reasonable to buy them cheaper.
However, of course, you can get perfectly sumptuous, probably better made and eco-friendly turtlenecks. Sustainable fashion brands like Ninety Percent and Komodo Fashion should be your destination.
Chunky, characterful and courageous, combat boots have become an iconic fashion staple since the rise of the Punk era. A rebellious stomping ground, combat boots not only will add a sharp edge to every outfit, but they can also provide a great buffer against the buildup of wet leaves, slippery icy pavements, and chilly ankles.
This autumn, I plan to get my hands on some Doc Martens 1460’s classics. Truthfully a shoe that I never thought I would wear. It is no secret that I have always been very feminine in my general demeanor and my fashion sense and I have always felt that the chunkiness of the shoe wouldn’t suit me, but I tried some on recently and my mind was easily swayed.
Not only do combat boots complement autumnal dresses with thick tights, but they also look great with a pair of mom style jeans and a white shirt. All in all, a year-round investment item you won’t regret.
A Cream Jumper
Slightly specific, and the enemy of hot chocolate stains, a cream jumper feels both luxurious, comfortable and at ease with whatever you wear. Last winter I was lusting after a charcoal grey knit, that since I have worn with pretty much everything. A cream piece is, therefore, my next sartorial desire.
Till next time,