According to the latest Starbucks promotion, their new Spice Pumpkin Latte is ‘worth leaving summer for’. Well I don’t know about that (although I highly doubt it, pumpkins are for putting in your window at Hallowe’en, not putting in your coffee) but there are a spooky number of wintery offers on our high street at the moment. In a desperate attempt to lure us out of this wonderful neverending summer and into the shops full of warm and snuggly pieces intended for far more miserable weather, there are discounts and ‘mid-season’ sales at every turn. Which season are we talking about now? It’s October and I am sitting in the sun outside Starbucks dressed like Megan from Mad Men during a balmy New York summer. Nothing could be further from my mind than pulling on a uniform of black and charcoal.
However, it struck me when watching the recent coverage of the Spring Summer 2015 shows, that there was an awful lot of black for what is usually a time of floral fabrics and sorbet shades. Collection after collection featured head to toe black and in some cases there was very little else. I’m sure it’s not the first time this has happened and there are stranger things than black in the summer, but I found it a little depressing, especially as in this country we have been teetering on the brink of Autumn for a few weeks now with it simply refusing to arrive. The suspense is killing me. Will it be cold enough for boots? Should I give up on the fake tanning and buy some new tights? Can I justify jeans and a jumper on the school run? The mornings may be darker but where I live they’re not cold yet and it’s certainly not coat weather even at 7.30am. On Saturday night I actually went out in shorts it was so mild (my boyfriend said they looked like french knickers but that’s a whole other subject) and the atmosphere on the streets of Clapham was more Spring Break than Back to School.
I’m all for keeping sandals and t-shirts out for as long as possible because here in the UK the winters can seem awfully long if you embrace it too early. However this year we have had an unusually long and warm summer and so the pretty dresses and city shorts have had a decent amount of wear. Dare I say I felt slightly bored with my summer wardrobe when I looked at it this morning? Imagine what it must be like to live in L.A. where vest tops and flip flops are de rigeur 365 days a year. Personally, I’d hate it – when would you do your bi-annual change of season clear out for goodness sake?
Back in the UK we’re a bit funny about colour. We tend to feel secure, smart and slim in black and shy away from the paler, lighter hues – even if they are more flattering to our complexions. Well for winter 2014 (if it ever materialises), there’s good news and there’s bad news.
I’ll give you the bad news first:
Pastels are everywhere and on everything. If you’ve noticed the beautiful Ralph Lauren adverts in the current glossies, you’ll have seen that knits, skirts, evening wear, coats and boots are all gentle, soft shades of cream, grey, blue and pink. It isn’t practical for getting caught in the rain or getting squished on the tube on the way to work. And it most definitely is not ideal playground or kitchen garb. And yet, and yet…
Here’s the good news:
Everyone looks good in at least one pastel shade. Yes, baby pinks and blues can be gorgeous on the fair haired but an icy pastel shade can be stunning on a brunette, not to mention the off-whites and soft greys. Don’t limit yourself by thinking wearing pastels means you have to look like a Battenberg cake. The cashmeres, silks and suedes out there are sumptuous so have a look and be comforted that you’ve got at least four months to go back to black.
The delicious pastels shown on the catwalk look luxurious and elegant and I defy you not to be tempted. And when you are, here are some high street pieces you can get your mitts on now – perfect for this not quite one season or the other period we are in at the moment. Black coats and boots just aren’t right in this muggy weather. Layer on the pastels and if you can’t get away from the sugary image, then think ever youthful Iced Gems, not old lady Battenberg.
It’s a long time ’til next summer so this autumn lighten up a bit – put spring in your step and some summer in your wardrobe. Bring on the pastels!