Starting Fresh


Talknthreads-September-outfit grid




No matter what stage you’re at in life, there’s something about the start of September that calls for new beginnings, as if a permanent back to school mindset returns year after year. This can mean different things to different people; starting a new exercise regime, focusing on healthy eating, a new hobby, or, a new wardrobe. Over the summer I’ve found myself veering into unknown territories in terms of clothing. I’ve worn colour. I’ve worn print. I’ve even worn a bum bag! I’m blaming it all on Ireland’s uncharacteristically warm summer, and the feeling that we were all in a state of permanent holiday mode regardless of work schedules for much of the summer, thanks to the good weather. A bottle of rosé on a Tuesday? Why not! Fish and chips by the sea when you should be at the gym/yoga/pilates? But of course!  I think this summer we learned that the sun throws all sense of regular functioning out the window in Ireland. We’re generally so sun-deprived as a nation that when it does come – and stay! – we don’t know how else to act other than to celebrate and embrace it to the full. Which is actually a really nice thing when you think about it.

I think my sense of style took on a certain amount of that frivolity too, what with my venture into colour and print. From someone whose wardrobe is made up of 90% white, grey, navy and black it was quite a change. But it was what felt right at the time. I love the pieces I bought (and rooted out from the back of the wardrobe) like a green check handkerchief hem dress from Zara that I got on sale, but I think it’s time for me to go back to basics.

September has arrived and with it a sense of normality. Order has been restored and my wardrobe of neutrals is calling me. I like the idea of being able to change your style with the season, not drastically of course, I still felt like me, but maybe it was my “summer persona”. And while I did pick up a couple of statement summer pieces, I also got a few can’t-live-without basics that I want to share.

First up is the Arket T-shirt. I say “the” but really I should say The because it is The T-shirt everyone needs in their lives. I’ve spent a long time searching for the perfect white tee, and I’m sure some of you reading this have too. It’s the ultimate elusive item on my shopping list. You think you’re close but you never quite reach it. But now I can safely say my search is over. The perfect white T-shirt does exist, and it’s from Arket. I now own it in white, black and navy, I bought two whites as I knew how much I’d want to wear it. It’s 100% cotton, washes really well and is nice and soft. It has a high neck with a thick ribbed collar which I love, and it’s slightly oversized but not too large. You have to order online as there is no shop in Ireland yet, or stock up when you’re in London or another city that has an Arket shop. It may seem like a simple thing, but simple items are often the hardest to find. Arket are also quite forward thinking when it comes to sustainability which is a major plus.

And now for a few basics I’m hoping to purchase soon…

In case you haven’t noticed, I love tailoring. I love wearing a full trouser suit or a blazer with jeans. Paired with runners, boots or loafers and a T-shirt underneath tailored pieces form the basis of my wardrobe all year round. Last year I got a blue wool suit from Cos which I wore probably weekly during the winter, and this winter I want to invest in a corduroy suit.

I’m also going to get a new pair of runners. All my pairs of Stan Smiths have seen better days, and instead of getting a new pair of them I’m going to pick up a pair by Veja in Brown Thomas. Veja is a French brand that focuses on sustainability using eco-friendly materials and processes. I’ll wear these with everything from my black and camel pairs of Acne Studios trousers to midi skirts and dresses.

So those are the purchases I’m planning to make this autumn. Pieces that can be worn over and over with different outfits and made from natural fabrics that will last.