The sun may still be shining (occasionally), the nights may still be long (ish), but there’s the definite sight of September on the horizon. While I’d be the last person in the world to wish summer away, I do get a frisson of Back to School excitement about the delicious shopping possibilities coming up. This year, I’m having to be organised with my eldest son starting school in just a few weeks time (yikes!) although it’s also a good time for ‘grown ups’ to hit the shops as it always pays to get in there early with the first coats/shoes/it-pieces of autumn-winter starting to trickle into stores. While I’m not packing my beloved denim cut-offs away just yet, this is what I have my eye on right now…
We may be heading into autumn, but the coat of the season is most definitely a deliciously spring-like powder blue (which is great considering you’ll be wearing it until the daffodils pop up -and let’s face it, probably quite a while longer). M&S do a beautiful one, which strangely is not currently online, but is most definitely in store (at least in London’s Westfield). If you’re looking for something a little brighter, this one from Great Plains (a brand I’m not overly familiar with) is a good bet – and it has a lovely funnel neck, which I always love. If you’re looking to spend a little more and knock two of this season’s trends on the head, then this faux-fur coat by Shrimps will certainly suffice.
Of course, pale blue just might not appeal, if not, this cocoon coat from M&S intrigues me. It might not be this season’s ‘it coat’, but it’s subdued, classic and very wearable. As is the below coat from Peruvian Connection – a company I first heard of, ooh about a week ago. Made from alpaca wool and wool, it’s classic, but cool with a really gorgeous print lining. And if that doesn’t get me, then this Tribeca jacket probably will. Just love it.
If you’re totally running with the ‘back to school’ theme, then it’s your year as backpacks are big this autumn/winter. If you love it so much, you seriously want to invest then Mulberry’s Cara bag is the one to go for. Although Diane von Furstenberg’s leopard print backpack is so fun that if I wanted to spend on the trend, I’d be seriously tempted. It is however, M&S who comes up with the goods for people who want a backpack, who want it in leather and who don’t want to spend over £100 (just).
So, good news for me, flat shoes are in this winter – not that they’ve ever really been ‘out’ of my wardrobe. As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Boden have a killer pair of embellished, pointy flats that I will most definitely be ordering when they go on sale. Otherwise, make a beeline to Topshop where these red Lion slippers give more than just a nod to Charlotte Olympia‘s far, far more expensive version. Or if you’re looking for something even more relaxed, these leopard-print skaters from Kurt Geiger are perfect for autumnal days.
I never need an excuse to buy stationery. I just love cards, notebooks, pens and paper. TokyoMilk by Margot Elena is a new-to-me brand specialising in candles, perfume and stationery. I love the Curious Things collection of cards, the designs are so beautiful you could frame them. Available online or in store at Liberty. Another rather fab designer is Elena Deshmukh, whose beautiful handmade cards include embroidered florals, jewelled birds and delicate designs.
For the Littlies
I’m afraid I’m pretty practical when it comes to coats – navy all the way for me (which works for school and the weekend). This duffle coat and this waterproof would get my son past the schoolgate check and keep him warm for the park.
And if we’re on the subject of duffles, how about this little girl’s one from Zara Kids? As Natasha says, “I adore a small child in a duffle coat and this is a great price.” And then there’s this quilted jacket from Boden, which with its hood, is very practical for rainy autumnal days.
Let’s face it, school shoes are never going to be top of the list when it comes to pretty things. So, let’s just merrily skip past the plain black clod-hoppers your children will probably be wearing and focus instead on what they can wear on the weekend. I’m a big fan of H&M for kids. Great clothes, great shoes, great price. These basketball boots are just the things my boys would love. There’s also these for tomboyish girls. Just the kind of thing I’d actually like.
From my memory one of the best things about school was buying stationery for a new year (see, I told you I loved it). To be honest, at this stage, I don’t think he’ll actually need much. Crayons? A pencil case? Still, having seen this quite amazing walking Robot pencil sharpener I couldn’t resist. The boys love it (seeing a 2 year old’s robot impression is priceless) and I reckon that when they get bored of it, I can swipe it for my desk.
For girls, I’m a fan of this pink satchel from Sainsbury’s, which ticks all the style boxes and I can almost see Alexa Chung rocking on a walkabout in Williamsburg.
Satchel, £19.99, Sainsbury’s (in-store only)