I write this sitting in an air-conditioned office. My legs are bare, I have single-soled closed toe sandals on, my nails painted Chanel ‘May’, the very most perfect shade. I am wearing a cashmere jumper, soft as they come, the cuffs gently pushed up to expose bare wrists. There’s no sign of the white broderie anglaise shirt I have underneath, for it is sleeveless. Only the collar shows.
Why am I telling you this? Because it’s August. Ordinarily August expects shorts and camis, in our dreams. Looking around the room I spy jeans and ankle boots, some bare legs and a couple of exposed shoulders. It’s a Victoria sponge cake mix of different variations on ‘summer’. For that is what this country dictates.
I am not here to bemoan summer. No, ‘tis the season for transitional dressing. It may be a few weeks shy of student loan day but I am in the market for some ‘right now’ pieces. I don’t want to wait another month, I want them now! This week I found inspiration in my regular haunt, Folk on Lamb’s Conduit Street. It is a terribly, terribly dangerous place. Stocking Carven (eeee!) and Acne amongst their own sweet and chic line of playful pieces, Folk is ideal for a mooch any time of year.
Whether you’re feeling flush or not, there’s always something to be gained from a little window shopping. Or as I like to think of it, touch-and-feel-but-don’t-buy shopping. It’s browsing, dressed up for the Met Ball. Falling in love in Folk is easy: a Carven jumper caught me unexpectedly off-guard, as reason nearly overcame the debit card nestled in my bag. But resist I did, and no accounts under Miss E Doughty were harmed in the writing of this column.
But it is still, French adoration aside, time to think about next season. You can’t avoid the snuggly comfort of autumn forever. I for one am ready. Ready to wear jeans again – it’s still too warm in the mornings for me – and ready for coats. Not heavy, scarf-requiring coats, but a light coat and jumper would be nice. And no bare legs: mine have been out since May and it’s tiring.
For right now, I offer some trans-seasonal options. A check shirt – faded is nice, boyfriend is even better – is extremely Dries, the creator of dreams and global delights. The checks circumvent months and trends: always wearable, always there. Good for a day off-duty or dressed up in silk. Mmm, silk. A pair of mannish trousers makes the August list too – Topshop has a cracking pair in store, tailored and great for right now. But the coat is crucial: as the weather winds down, the ideal coat suddenly becomes necessary. Zara has, unsurprisingly, come up trumps with a coat for every whim. The hooded overcoat is on my list, it’s just on the right side of dressing gown chic.
Let your appetites be whet, for this is just the beginning. Live and let shop!