There is one reason above all others to love the approach of autumn, and it’s nothing to do with leaves, rain, or the fact that the newspapers stop reporting on dancing squirrels and go back to sensible subjects.
It’s purely and simply autumn fashions. For the labels and the shops, September is the biggest month of the year, and for the rest of us, it’s the time when we can finally stop pretending to enjoy wearing flimsy fabrics that cling to every lump and bump, stop getting our pale arms out in spaghetti strap vests less supportive than a cheating husband, and chuck the useless, painful flip-flops to the back of the wardrobe. Because suddenly, the shops are filled with wonderful warm coats in glorious proper colours instead of mimsy summer pastels, stylish jumpers made from cashmere and merino, forgiving trousers in houndstooth checks and fine wool instead of merciless shorts, and best of all, to me at least, an ocean of boots and handbags made from proper, polished leather, rather than bits of canvas and wicker with flowers tacked on ‘for the beach.’ Fashion-wise, the beach is a disaster if you’re not Jerry Hall in 1973. And who is?
But come autumn, is doesn’t matter what your thighs look like underneath the layers, or how much stodge-eating you’ve been doing to cope with the weather – everyone suddenly looks great, because proper tailoring, great colours and garments that reach to knees and ankles are available at last, along with opaque tights that render your colleague’s perfect tan pointless.
And let’s not forget men here. Regardless of your opinion on David Cameron’s politics, there’s no arguing over the fact that he looks a whole lot better in a suit than in his favourite holiday-wear of limp polo shirt and dad-shorts. In fact, all men, no matter what shape and size, look better in a well-made shirt, jeans and boots than they do in (I can hardly write the words) a colourful vest, Bermudas and pool sliders.
If I could, I would spend the entire year in jewel-coloured hats, fake-fur coats, high- heel polished leather boots and long, forgiving wool dresses. I would look like a coughed-up leftover from the Biba closing down sale, admittedly, but I don’t care. I would banish flippy, flimsy, unflattering summer clothes to the outer darkness and swelter to work in wool trouser suits and stylish trench coats.
All this is why I’m so delighted that our September issue features six packed pages of gorgeous autumn fashions, from cosy wraps to stylish jumpers and dresses and some handbags I cant stop thinking about. There’s a green shiny box-bag from House of Fraser that’s so nice I would sleep with it on my pillow. In fact, I might just buy it and start my new wardrobe right now. Even if it is still technically summer.