And the “can’t live without” items you’ll want for the chilly season ahead.
I’m sure you’ve seen them many times around – especially if you take on a habit of frequenting blogs and YouTube channels alike – but I figured, let’s add another to the blogosphere, shall we? I wanted to run through my list of autumn favourites that I’ve really been enjoying – from fashion and skincare, down to the simplistic gadgets and thought-provoking reads. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Yes, the time of year where we’re breaking out the wool socks, cozy knitwear and thick scarves is on. I broke out the gloves for the first time two days ago, and I’m officially taking my knee-length coats out of retirement for the season.
Can anyone else believe that it’s already November next week? I certainly can’t.
Anyways – since we’re chatting about all things cozy, let’s get started with knitwear. I love knitwear – from high street to high-end, no matter the price tag. I definitely can’t afford to take it all home with me, but that’s beside the point. One cozy knitwear piece that’s made my autumn favourites list is from the high street, and it may make the list of top five purchases for the year. Dolman sleeve details, cable knit design, and thick enough for a thermal underneath – SIGN ME UP. Not to mention, under $30 too.
GO-TO DENIM PICKS
Everyone has their preferred shade, style, length, brand and cut. If you asked ten people, the answers would all likely differ.
I once had a teacher – he was a Christian Brother, known for his complete disdain for popular culture – that every time we had an “Out of Uniform Day”, would famously say, “If you’re all wearing blue jeans, do you really think you’re that unique?” Yes, Brother David. We do.
My point is, jeans are like the “uniform” of the modern-day person. I don’t think I could name you a single person that I know that goes without jeans in their wardrobe. This season, I’ve gravitated toward Levi’s. A brand that many know and love. I slipped into a pair of the 721 High-Rise Skinny Fit denim a few months ago, and I was sold.
If there’s one thing that you should consider picking up from this autumn favourites list, it’s a thermal. Especially if you live somewhere with a cold climate. I had frost on my car that needed scraping this morning – I’ve never run back inside so quickly for a thermal in my life.
I’ve gone on about my love for thermals in the past – but if you want the gist, here it is. They keep you warm, add an extra layer of protection against the icy wind, regulate your body temperature and are JUST SO COZY. My favourites, as always, are from Marks and Spencers or Cuddl Duds.
THE TRANSITIONAL BOOT
This wouldn’t be an autumn favourites list without a pair of boots. I live in them – no matter the season. Black leather, tan suede, mock-croc – I love them. Especially if they come with a pointed toe. This season though, I’m mixing it up just a touch. Whilst the black leather boot is still very much a staple in my wardrobe, I’ve gone for a bit of a twist. This season, my boot of choice is a combat-inspired boot, but in true Gretchen fashion, has a bit (read: a lot) of a heel as well. Under $50, this boot is a great way to try the combat boot trend without throwing your savings at a premium or designer version. Test it out and see if the trend makes waves in your autumn/winter wardrobe. You may even find yourself with a keeper for next season too.
HOLY GRAIL SKINCARE
As the seasons change, the air (and our skin) gets drier. Not ideal for those of us with temperamental, sensitive or already-dry skin – am I right?
I’ve been testing out a few products in prep for the autumn season – I’ve been traveling a lot, and recently began using a retinol, so my skin was dry and in need of a few good hydrating products. You could go high-end or drug store here – really, whichever suits your budget and tickles your fancy. I chose the drug-store route, because I don’t want to be throwing a ton of money around if I don’t know whether or not it’s likely to work with my skin.
A few of my favourite brands here are Renee Rouleau, Differin, Simple Skincare and No7. Accessible price points and products that do the trick. I’ve popped my favourite products all in one place – a complete regimen with a moisturizer, hyaluronic acid serum, vitamin C serum, retinol, eye cream and a spot treatment. My tried and trues for sensitive, dry skin. They’re miracle workers.
AN ICONIC FRAGRANCE
As Coco Chanel used to say, “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” A beautiful fragrance can curate world of memories – it can remind you of your favourite day, your first date with your love, your favourite family member or your most treasured emotion.
If I had to pick one, my favourite fragrance would be Woman – Eau de Parfum by Ralph Lauren. It, in my opinion, is absolutely exquisite. Powerful yet subtle, feminine yet empowering, delicate yet incredibly sexy. It’s great for date night or to wear during the day – creating the most beautiful signature fragrance.
Now, if I had to pick three. Of course, Woman takes the top spot. But closely behind would be Joy by Dior and the new Libre by YSL. Each reminding me of a similar scent profile, each bold and alluring yet delicately feminine.
DAPHNE DU MAURIER
Without a doubt – Daphne Du Maurier is my favourite author of the year. She’s been the first author that I’ve read continuously since the Erin Hunter days of the Warriors series. Oh, how times have changed.
In all seriousness though – I love a good tale that involves a bit of scandal, a little bit of romance, and a lot of intrigue. Du Maurier’s books have it all, and they’re all told in this eerily captivating way that will have you on the edge of your seat from page one to the very end.
This month’s book of choice, following the likes of Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel is Jamaica Inn. If you want to read a story that illustrates just how tantalizing charm can be, and how strong the ties of love are – even when it pushes you to the limits of endangering yourself for a complete stranger, you’ll like this one.
THE RE-CHARGABLE CASE
If you work online – then my guess is that you may be running out of tech battery more frequently than you’d like to admit. I’ve been using a Mophe case for nearly a year now – it’s like being able to take your portable phone battery with you, without the battery and without the extra cord. It comes with an additional four full charges – and with your full phone battery, it’s like having the lives of five phones in one.
Even with being on email, WhatsApp, social profiles and LinkedIn – I find that I’ve never run out of battery since switching to a Mophe. And if I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ll ever switch back.
SEASONAL HAND WARMERS
Or, in other words – a good coffee. My tried and true will always be Nespresso. I’ve been a lover of their coffee blends for years, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Personally, I use the Ensenza Mini machine – which not only is a staple item in my own kitchen, but it works fantastically for a long holiday too. Probably if you’re going on holiday in which your transport is driving, but still, it’s small enough to take with you. Beautiful destination and insanely good coffee? Yep, I’m in.
A CHEEKY COCKTAIL (OR TWO)
Hopefully by now, you all know that I’m a gin lover. I’ve been a proclaimed “gin-lady” for nearly four years, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Just in time for the holidays, I think it’s fully well important that if you’re planning on hosting a party or are in need of a gift to bring for your host/hostess – something for the bar cart is always a good idea, if you’re 21+, that is.
For example, if you’re unsure as to what type of wine or spirit your host might enjoy, a sweet little bar cart accessory like a stirring spoon may be the perfect idea.
However, if you’d rather stock your bar cart at home – there are two gins and a scotch whiskey that, in my opinion, are a must-have for this autumn season. Topping my autumn favourites list, Monkey 47 and Gin Mare. Both are absolutely exquisite – each with a different botanical base that made stem incredibly unique.
Feel like giving them a try? Let me know how you get on – I’m always one that loves to add to my gin collection, so if you even have a few other favourites, don’t be shy. Drop them in the comment section below!
Overall, I love to round up seasonal favourites, and the autumn favourites may be my favourite list to curate. And yes, it is because I can add boots, sweaters and gin into the same list. Hey, what can you do? Do you have any autumn favourites that didn’t make this list? What are they? I’d love to know.
Until next, xoxo.
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