I love summer, but I love autumn more – sartorially, at least.
After a couple of months of dressing for warm weather I am always ready to wrap up. There’s something incredibly freeing about no longer needing to worry about fake tanning my pasty legs/arms/feet, but mostly it’s because dressing for cooler weather is so much easier. Probably because I go by one very simple formula: jeans + a jumper.
I know, I know, it’s not exactly rocket science, but getting dressed shouldn’t be.
I was scrolling (and scrolling and scrolling…) through Instagram one evening a few weeks ago when I came across the expression ‘Nora Ephron Season’, accompanied by a still from When Harry Met Sally, Harry wearing an epic cream cable knit and stonewash denim, and Sally in a similarly chunky red cable knit turtleneck. It was the first time I’d heard of it, though of course familiar with Ephron’s work (yes, I’m a Millennial!) I quickly gathered what it was about: that idyllic autumnal aesthetic that seems to permeate many of Ephron’s rom-coms; chunky knitwear, (the original) mom jeans, earthy autumnal hues, golden leaf-strewn Sunday walks through Central Park. It’s a nostalgic, cosy feeling from a Hollywood iteration of a pre-internet world, neatly packaged up into a social media-friendly fashion box.
A few minutes more of mindless scrolling (let’s call it research…) and I stumbled upon #MegRyanFall, a subchapter of Nora Ephron Season. As the female protagonist in some of Ephron’s most-beloved works – the aforementioned When Harry Met Sally, as well as Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail – Ryan, or more specifically the autumnal outfits of her character in each film, has become the protagonist of Nora Ephron Season. People love it – the hashtag has hundreds of millions of views on TikTok. And as much as I hate a social media trend, I get it. There’s something so alluring about autumn and the way it allows you to lean in to comfort; summer can feel so exposing at times.
This is where my jeans + a jumper equation comes into play. It’s not groundbreaking but it’s comfortable and it works, and it works for everyone.
When it comes to the jeans part, this is simply about knowing or finding which style of jeans work best for you – we’ve put a guide together here – and running with it. It could be a wide leg, a cropped bootcut, a straight leg. It really doesn’t matter, what does matter is that you are comfortable in them and feel good. If you find a great pair, invest in the same style in a few washes.
It’s the jumper part where it gets a bit more fun. As an avid knitwear enthusiast, I’m pretty well versed in where to shop for the best (if I do say so myself), and I always suggest you go for as high a wool content as possible – it will last much longer than pieces made up of a lot of synthetics.
Personally, I’m really enjoying a statement, or ‘trophy’ jumper at the moment. Something colourful, maybe a little embellishment too. In my dreams (I spend a lot of time there, I’m a Pisces), I’m wearing Loewe’s rainbow-striped, balloon sleeve mohair number…
In reality, I have Albaray’s joyfully colourful Fairisle, £69, in my basket (I’ve sized up two sizes for maximum slouch), as well as COS’s gorgeous fuchsia mohair jumper, £125, which I have been coveting for a couple of months now.
There’s also a strong argument for a Breton-esque striped knit, a la Toteme’s now-iconic striped roll neck, and a classic cable knit. Both will become valuable members of your wardrobe and you’ll wear them for years. So, get cosy and revel in the simplicity of jeans and a really good jumper.