Learning to love fashion again after a year of dressing down

September sees transitional fashion come into its own. Too cool for shorts and summer dresses, but still too warm for chunky knits and layering.

I’m an autumn lover through and through. I’ll pick cosy blankets and pumpkin candles any day of the week, so it’s no surprise that fall fashion is my favourite, from the rich warm auburns and maroons to the playfulness of textures.

But working from home for the last 18 months, with an empty social calendar and clothes that don’t fit, I totally lost my confidence to dress myself. The pandemic punctured a part of my identity and left me feeling flat and deflated. Until now.

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During a trip to Lula, in Leek – where I took half the shop into the changing room with me – I ran excitedly up the stairs to Emma wearing this look. It was the first time in months I’d put on an outfit and felt like myself, kickstarting my love of getting dolled up again after the monotony of lockdown loungewear and working from home.

The figure-hugging knit top cost £16, with a high neck and low underarm. Stretchy and comfortable, I’ve ended up with similar tops in three different colours, with the total intention of living in these for the foreseeable. It’s the most gorgeous caramel orange – they sort of shade I’d love to dye my hair if I were bold enough – and it’s an ideal length for tucking into jeans and skirts. It’s neither too thin, nor too chunky, and looks fab under a half-unbuttoned white shirt, or peeking from beneath a crew neck sweatshirt without feeling bulky.

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I styled these with the Ghospell faux leather trousers in a deep burnt amber, which I’d had my eye on for months. When I found out they were in the sale for £35, down from £70, I nearly ripped Emma’s arm off for them. They’re super soft to touch, and lined inside so you won’t end up doing a Ross Geller trying to get them on (or off). I bought the size small, which I would say are an 8 – but they’ve got a surprising amount of stretch to them. They sit so flatteringly, and the cut is simply stunning, with a split hem at the bottom to show off your shoes, be it a killer heel or a casual white trainer.

If you’re lusting for these leather look babes, you can still bag them in a size 12 for £30 here.

For this look, I wore tan heeled sandals which mum bought from Lula last year. They’re a cute peep toe with a tie and the ankle and zip at the back, and happen to be the most comfortable pair of heels to ever grace my feet.

To accessories this 70s Velma-esque look, I went with a cream crossbody bag which appears to go with practically any outfit. It’s tortoise shell detailing tied in nicely with my Nasty Gal sunglasses, dramatically oversized and worn with a Primark glasses chain, which is set to be the accessory of the season. You heard it here first.

Dressed head to toe in Lula Boutique, I felt thoughtfully put together for the first time in a long time, and boy does it feel good to be back.

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