My First Scottish Summer: An Outfit Retrospective on Autumn Eve
All of my life until now, summer to me has always meant the same things: swimming, ice cream, excessive heat… especially heat. This summer, however, has been different.
Last September, I moved to Scotland to start a new chapter of my life, and since then, summer has come to mean unpredictable weather and endless days, with the Scottish sun not setting until 11pm. Don’t get me wrong – having so much sunlight has been amazing. It almost makes up for the complete lack of light in the winter months. But when your day is your fourteen hours long and temperatures vary far more than you’re used to, you have to pack and dress accordingly. That is why sun-dresses, linen trousers, or fresh cotton tees have not prominently featured in my wardrobe this summer, while sweaters, jeans, and rain-jackets have reigned supreme.
There are a couple of obvious advantages to this. First of all, I feel like I am always dressed in a way that would make Hozier proud: ankle boots, black shirts, and even the occasional flannel-patterned item. This, as you might be able to guess now, is very important to me. Equally important, a cold summer means that maintaining the perpetual autumn in my soul is so much easier.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have a uniform of sorts that starts and ends with jeans. I am a denim-lover and a fanatic. To me, nothing is more practical and versatile. Want to be sporty? Pair your favourite pair of jeans with sneakers and a sweater. Want to be casual-chic? Jeans, moccasins, and a button-down shirt. Ready for an evening out? Jeans, stilettos, and a blouse.
My favourite pair of jeans is definitely coming with me this autumn, along with a few other pieces. Here in the meantime, is a retrospective of my favorite looks from this first Scottish summer.
The “Practical Does Not Have to Mean Basic” Look
What I love the most about this outfit is my sweater: it’s black, it’s oversized, it’s cotton. It’s one of the things I’ve worn the most this summer and that I will keep on wearing in the coming seasons! Personally, I have also really enjoyed pairing it with a snake-inspired scarf and my trusted leopard-patterned sunglasses. This is the kind of look that most expresses who I am. It’s no-nonsense, but it also has those accents that makes it ‘me’. Going for a walk to the beach is often a moment of meditation, and I need this balance between something that is practical and that can withstand sand but that can also cater to a mood of profound self-awareness.
The “Quick! Sunshine!” Look
This is one of my favourite looks of the season because I can swap my sweaters for the floral shirt I never got to wear in the spring because it was still too cold. I love that shirt because the flowers transforms my look into something much more refreshing, while the black background still makes me feel comfortable and put together. With autumn so near, I would probably wear ballet flats instead of sandals, but in that moment, I was so happy to be able to style is that way. It made me feel like summer really had arrived in Scotland. It also made it so much easier to have impromptu walks on the beach: just taking the shoes off and walk in the sea; wait for the sun to dry you up, and just walk home. Bliss!
The “Hozier-and-I-Would-Get-Along” Look
Yes, Take me to Church was the inspiration for this picture, I will not say otherwise. While I love all of Hozier’s songs, “Take Me to Church” has a special place in my heart. Having been raised a Catholic, the song resonates with me: it expresses the sensuality of religious gestures in a way that I think is unprecedented. When I went on a walk to Glasgow’s beautiful, monumental cemetery, I found myself in a blustery world of art and peace. Even more that that, it made me feel like I was in the middle of the song. I started laughing with my friends, and there I was: the giggling girl on a fallen cross – with my trusted Barbour jacket over jeans and a beloved long-sleeved black t-shirt. A simple style, but rarely have I felt more immersed in a mood.
I have to say, I have missed the summer season this year. Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t really left spring. But, whether I want it or not, autumn is almost here and I will finally feel right wearing my sweaters. I will be able to bring back even more scarves into my everyday looks, and soon enough, even coats. I guess, I cannot really complain too much. I have always loved autumn and now I get to keep my witchy vibe all year long.
Rory Mara is Beauty Editor at The Attic of Eighth. She loves the ballet, books, beheadings, and alliteration.