In a throwback to school days, I think many people agree that September feels like time for a fresh start. It’s the beginning of Autumn, nights are drawing in, Halloween and bonfire night are within sight and Strictly’s on the telly (I’ve never been an X-factor girl – give me glitter and sequins any day of the week). I always enjoy the feel of this time of year and I’ve found it really quite hard to narrow down my list of favourites but, after much debate, here are my top nine picks from the month of September.
You all know I love a good pair of Ray Bans. Aviators, Wayfarers, Clubman – there’s something very hard to beat about these old-school classics. Recently I’ve noticed the Round Metal style (seriously Rayban could you not think of a better name?) cropping up every which way I turned and it was only a matter of time before I cracked under the pressure! With my birthday cash burning a hole in my ‘mom jeans’ I finally succumbed and bought the folding style (so bloomin convenient – why are all sunglasses not foldable?) in gold (standard). They are a thing of retro beauty and make me feel way cooler than I actually am (never a bad thing in my book). As I am rarely to be found without a pair of shades about my person whatever the season (does anyone else actually find the light stronger when the September sun hits?), these were a total no-brainer and I suspect will be worn to death this autumn.
Book Of The Month
Book of the month has to go Captain Jack’s Woman. If you’ve read all about my guilty pleasure then you will recognise that this is another from my number one author Stephanie Laurens. This is a prequel to the Bastion Club novels that feed into my favourite Cynster books and although I’m only halfway through I just can’t get enough. Smuggling, intrigue and a fair amount of bodice-ripping, this has all my essentials for a cosy, comfy read. Now, I do realise that these are not the most intellectually challenging of reads but I have to say, the web that Stephanie Laurens manages to weave with so many characters all connected by birth or marriage is nothing short of genius – the perfect companion to a glass of red on a cool September evening.
It wouldn’t be a September round-up without mentioning the B word! My birthday is one of two days of the year (the other being Christmas) where I can be guaranteed a glossy black box to call my own and this year I was lucky enough to receive not one but two Net-A-Porter vouchers.Now I’m not gonna lie, I pretty much always have a wish-list on the go with Net-A-Porter – some things like this Burberry knit (Oh my days) are complete pie in the sky but others are ‘do-able’ with a bit of saving and a couple of birthday vouchers! After a great deal of umming and ahhing, I went for the classic black Gucci Loafers and the tan Gucci belt both of which I have worn daily since they arrived – in my book that’s a bloody good start on the old cost-per-wear system!
Pierce Bag (I.e The Purchase That Nearly Made Me Vomit)
Ok, this is where September got spendy. Driven by the sheer exhilaration of spending my birthday vouchers, I started to feel in need of a new bag. With the exception of my beloved Saint Laurant ( a surprise Christmas gift from Mr.R – find similar HERE), I’ve had a little bit of a bag hiatus of late. During my Uni years, having a designer bag ranked highly on my list of desirables and I was forever lusting after (and spending my non existent money on) the latest ‘It’ bag. In recent times, the whole ‘bag culture’ had kind of dropped from my radar but what can I say, the bug has bitten once more and it has bitten hard! The object of my most recent affection? The JW Anderson Pierce bag. The sensible side of my brain tells me that it’s a trend piece…In a few years I’ll have moved on to something else and the Pierce will be left languishing at the back of my newly detoxed closet. My heart, however, well my heart seems to be in control of the purse strings which is in no way ideal. By way of justifying this purchase, I have to say that I did receive a hefty discount by purchasing my bag from the newly discovered Forenzi site. (Seriously, check it out if you’re in the market for a treat – a gorgeous selection of premium and niche designers with spot discounts).
If you read all about my wardrobe detox you’ll know that I’ve completed my autumn/winter switcheroo and pimped up the closet in the process. It is no word of a lie when I say that this closet detox has been a revelation! I love spending time in my wardrobe. Whereas before it would be a quick in and out trying not to fall over the pile of winter boots and shoe boxes gathering dust, I now find myself lingering just to admire my perfume shelf and perfectly edited belt selection – yes I am actually that sad! If your own wardrobe leaves you feeling stressy I highly recommend having a look at my wardrobe detox post and following my five-step process. The clarity that you gain from having a good old fashioned cull is seriously priceless – far and away my biggest achievement of the month.
Flat Lay All Day
So if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my grid starting to change in colour and style. I’ve been consciously working on building and developing my Instagram since around February and although it has been a very slow (and I mean glacially slow) and frustrating exercise, I finally feel as though I’m making a bit of headway. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you won’t have failed to notice the rise of the ‘flat lay’ as a photographic style. A ‘flat lay’ is essentially a birds eye photograph of a collection of objects artfully arranged and styled often with the use of props such as flowers, candles, glasses etc. After a lot of experimentation and trying to conform to the ‘marbled, rose gold, pink peony’ vibe (which I absolutely adore btw), I decided to start from scratch and work out a look of my own. I’ve made a start by choosing a smooth slab of black slate as my flat lay backdrop and have been enjoying playing around with the setup to find my own signature style. I’ve yet to ‘nail’ the aesthetic that just screams ‘Jessica Rhoades’ but, as with everything, its a work in progress and I’m pleased with how it’s developing so far.
So the big story this season is shaping up to be checks! Prince of Wales, heritage, houndstooth, if there’s a square print on it then it’s safe to say you’re onto a winner. The object of my desire is the picture perfect ‘Madeline’ blazer by Anine Bing (yes I’m on the waiting list and have been since the beginning of September). I’ve considered purchasing the Zara dupe but to be honest as much as this is a key trend this season, for me, it’s so true to my own style that I am more than happy to invest as I know it will be a wardrobe staple for years to come. Having said that I did feel like I needed a slice of the pie while I wait patiently for my fantasy blazer to become available. Enter this, I have to say, pretty epic, lightweight coat from Marks and Spencer. For the price of £69, it ticks all my boxes AND has gold hardware – what more could a girl ask for? I’ve been wearing this with jeans (shock) in the day and with tailored trousers in the evening – love it!
When I was at school (and a nail-biter) I distinctly remember thinking to myself that when I had nice nails my life would be perfect! Now clearly that is utter bo**ocks but I suppose I can understand my thinking. It’s a bit like a cream coat (Coats, Crops & Falling Into Autumn), nice nails say to the world, I’m a grown-up, I’ve got my shit together. So, although I am no longer a nail-biter (and haven’t been for twenty odd years I might add) I was beginning to feel a little depressed by the state of my hands and nails since becoming a mum. There’s a nail salon on the corner of our street so there really is no excuse for me not to keep my hands in check, so while the baby was having her regular Friday playdate with Grandma I took myself off for a bit of me time and 30 minutes later emerged with a super shiny gel mani than managed to improve my mood tenfold! One week in and they are still perfect (despite the daily battering ) so I am most definitely going to make this a fortnightly treat!
Building A Wall
Luna can build a wall. Now she’s not going to be on Grand Designs anytime soon but I have to say that when I first saw her methodically start placing the multicoloured blocks one on top of the other I was so proud and had a little cry. I realise that this might not sound particularly groundbreaking but watching a baby grow and develop and learn is truly one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever known. She never fails to amaze me and every day there is something new to discover.
Well, that’s how my September shaped up. What have been your favourites this month? Has Septemeber treated you kindly?