People are shivering. Cardies are being pulled from wardrobes again. There's a sense of having been cheated out of a long Indian Summer. Of having missed out on any Summer at all.
Mornings are started by standing in a confused, blank faced huddle in front of an open wardrobe that seems to be parading racer back vests and denim shorts. And cardies. They stayed all season long.
But what did we wear when it wasn't quite Summer? What did we wear last Autumn? Are sandals still okay to wear or can we give in and reach for the beloved ankle boots, first with bare legs and then with leggings, opaques, long socks?
When, is the real question, when is it time to give up and admit Summer is done and it's now time for the 'T' word?
I personally love the 'T' word. The transitional wardrobe is more fun, more creative and more forgiving. A look is so much more inspiring when you can add different layers, textures, accessories and colour ways. That's not to say a Summer vibe is less gorgeous, just simpler in its manifestation (if it's sunny anyway). And let's face it, it's a look that always looks better on young, evenly toned, golden skin.
As a devotee of the jacket I am in raptures at being able to reach for this season's smart but easy boy blazer, for the leather jacket I will live and love in until it softens, cracks and tells our story, for the gilet that is light as a cloud and yet styled with real catwalk knowhow.
I long for the varied splendour of sleeves and necklines again. For batwings and rubber collars, for draped and elbow cosseting. For peeping out below and above knitwear.
And hemlines. Oh my, how excited is a person allowed to be at the thought of not only a mini and a maxi but now a midi too? How lucky is this generation where we can and do demand it all. And it all works. All lengths. All occasions. But my favourite for Autumn is most definitely the midi. It looks wonderfully fresh and unexpected yet so perfectly in tune. And so perfect for transitional legs. For the pause between tan and tights.
(Ada Zanditon AW11)
And see through. Transparent, gauzy, semi sheer. For most of us this look works (or we are only brave enough for it to work) if we layer it. Again, the transitional wardrobe allows us to do just that. Sheer skirts with leggings, sheer tops beneath jackets or lightest knits. Sheer vests over maxi dresses.
(Gallery 4 AW11)
Legwear becomes a real possibility again. Jeans no longer feel too heavy, trousers are ankle grazing, achingly cool worn with new season heels. A proper trouser suit feels like a done deal.
Transitional dressing is good. Transitional dressing is all about being allowed to start playing at being dressed up again.
I'm starting tomorrow.*
(*Terms and conditions apply: not if the sun shines)