Late Autumn Essentials

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Around this time last year, Lauren offered a list of essentials for the time between summer and fall when leaves were crisp and new, and autumnal adventures lured us into the potential of a new season. Living in a warmer climate, I have finally reached those lulling, in between moments of our favorite season, between the crisp refreshing chill and the sudden, unannounced cold snap of winter. In case you’re looking to make it through as I am, I thought I’d provide my take, for the things that keep the next few days perfectly cozy and autumnal for me, just before we get into the hurly burly of the true holiday season. Winter doesn’t start until December 21st, after all.

1. A sweater coat. Autumn is prime knitwear season, and while cardigans give the best academic vibes early on and jumpers are a Christmas classic, the sweater coat is perfect for any time. Throw it over any outfit when heading out into an unexpectedly chilly morning (and easily remove when it’s suddenly sweltering mid-afternoon) or enjoy cozily roaming the house over pajamas on the weekends before the landlord agrees to turn on your radiator. Make sure it has pockets for when you catch that terrible cold and need somewhere to stash your tissues. My personal favorites include this thick perfectly grey Old Navy number and ASOS number with detachable faux fur collar. If you’re looking to invest, this J. Crew looks completely sumptuous.

2. A dark floral. Sometimes it’s hard going from all of that eyelet and light florals straight into an all black wardrobe (coming from the girl who bought three black tops last month, hah). A transitional piece or two helps get us into the seasonal mood and anything in the gold, orange, deep red territory brings me to life better than a white dress in the summer. Which is saying something because I completely love a white dress in the summer. Olivia and I got into this further in our Early Fall Fashion piece, but since my love has grown exponentially thanks to this H&M dress. I’m also leaning toward some of these longer Mango styles for layering over leggings or tights later.

3. Hair Care. We’ve all got our transitional skin care routines down, but we can’t forget about our hair. Cold winds, unexpected rain or snow and hot showers can all take a toll on the state of our hair: split ends, static, not to mention the flatness incurred by our cute hats and scarves. I love this light apple cider vinegar shampoo to clean without stripping and follow with an anti frizz heat protectant spray pre blow dry. I’ve also recently discovered scalp toner and it has changed my life, extending my hair’s wash by keeping second day greasiness at bay.

4. A Good Thermos. Lauren mentioned a reusable water bottle last year, and I can’t help but think of the endless coffee cups and lids we all use this time of year. It’s not much compared to the real culprits, but we can all do our part, and the added bonus is that most places will even give you a discount for bringing your own. I’ve dropped this Rtic tumbler more times than I care to admit without spilling, and unlike my forgotten paper cups, any coffee inside is usually still warm three hours later.

5. A Hobby. (Bear with me on this one.) The weeks between Halloween and Christmas are long and cold and grey. If we’re not in misery with cold or flu we’re depressed and going out of our minds stuck inside waiting out whatever winter storm has decided to ruin our lives today. A hobby is something to do that is foolproof. A list of thematic films or shows to get through, books to read, journaling or a new language to learn... if you’re creative explore small scale work; limiting yourself to a sketchbook or teaching yourself how to cook. I’ve been a knitter for years and extol it for its calming abilities when focusing on a book or movie just isn’t possible. Having something to do keeps me from staying in bed, or better yet makes staying in bed (with knitting needles in hand) a completely good idea.

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