Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Colours and Autumnal Melancholy

Hat: Goorin Brothers; Shirt: Nick & Mo; Blazer, brooch, and coloured ring: vintage; Diamond ring: Effy; Earrings: I can't remember; Pants: Reitmans; Boots: Ecco
It is unmistakably autumn now. Since I was a child, the return of autumn colours in clothes has excited me. They're certainly my colours. In August, I would pour over the Sears catalogue and savour the rich burgundies, the forest greens, the oranges, the browns and practically hold my breath till I got to wear them again. 

It still feels like falling into a soft, downy bed: just right.

I've always loved autumn in general. One of my very earliest memories is of listening to the roar of the autumn wind in the maple trees. This was when I still lived in New England. We don't have maple trees here unless they've been deliberately planted. I admit that fall is not as spectacular here as it is back east. We don't have whole mountainsides turn red like you folks in New York do. It's the only time I get a little homesick for the home of my very early childhood.

Still, even here, I love the smells, the colours, the leaves, the light. I even love that weird, melancholy feeling one always gets in the fall. You know what I mean: that feeling of the tenuousness of beauty and of life itself, the feeling that one must grasp at all this loveliness before it passes into lifeless winter. 

Poets have spent lifetimes trying to capture that feeling in words and I just spent quite a while writing that last sentence. We writers will always fail because it's a feeling beyond words. You know it when you smell the fallen leaves and breathe the golden air. But you just can't put it into words

Of course, fall is far less melancholy where I live. We don't really have winter here. Really, we just have a short summer, a very long autumn, and a very long spring. I can look forward to the crocus shoots poking up in January here.

I can also look forward to a LOT of rain, but I don't really mind that so much, not if it means more clement weather and foliage thriving right through the winter season.

But, you know, I can't quite believe it is fall yet. The older I get, the faster the seasons come and go. 


Time feels different now, doesn't it? It's not endless. Things can pass me by so quickly, I miss them.

That's part of why I like writing my blog. It forces me to slow down and look at the small details, including the changing seasons.

For instance, I only seem to notice this weird tree's fall flowers (or are they fruit?) when I'm wearing something that matches them.


What the heck is this tree? I have no idea. Do tell me if you know. It's furry! What tree is furry?

And, like all life on this rainy west coast, it itself fosters further life. I assume this is some sort of lichen? Yes? No?

And it seems to me that the texture of the lichen is echoed in the Brutalist style brooch I chose to go with my highly textured, richly coloured, wool tweed blazer. I like to slow down to notice things like that.

Some might say this blazer is a little over the top, and even more so with the hat and flaming orange shirt. I say, "Whatever!" It's my body and I'll adorn it if I want to. And I want to adorn it with tweed. I love tweed.

As usual, wearing fun and interesting clothing helps me cope with my chronic pain and PTSD. This is a blurry photo of me hauling myself up a set of stairs: not an easy task for me.

In this photo, I look as I generally feel these days: wan, tired, depleted, in pain...

... but, for some reason I really can't even understand myself, tenacious and stubborn too.

You may have noticed that this image -- my stylishly clad feed astride the "keep out" lightning bolts -- has become a sort of visual trademark for me. For the sexually abused, the power to say "keep out," even if only years after the fact of the abuse, is a powerful and wonderful feeling.

Like autumn, it's a melancholy, bittersweet feeling, but it's somehow good, useful, helpful.

And so, in my funky brown cords, caramel coloured boots (with matching satchel purse, natch), and over the top tweed, I found some beauty in yet another day, despite the coming winter.

I'm linking this up to Hat Attack at the Style Crone, and Visible Mondays at Not Dead Yet, because I want the whole world to see this tweed. 


  1. Charlotte, You are truly a beautiful writer, I was captured after your first sentence. I so love your way of looking for the simple beauty which lies at your footsteps and then capturing them with words and photos. Your love of tweed is splendid. Thanks so much for dropping by today, I look forward to following your inspiring blog.

    1. Thanks so much! Do read some of my other posts because, honestly, I don't think this is my best writing. The blazer, though, it's simply fabulous, if I do say so myself.

  2. What a wonderful post, Charlotte. You have expressed so eloquently what I also feel with the change of seasons. Time seems to race past! Thanks for sharing your writing and great outfit with Visible Monday.

  3. Fall; when the world exhales and throws scarlet and gold sighs into the wind.
    I love Fall for many of the same reasons you do. I also love that you've found your power and are no longer hesitant to express it. Your outfit mirrors your powerful attitude. It's pulled together and interesting with just a touch of sass - very you! ;-)


  4. Charlotte, love your name btw - your writing is wonderful i love how you put in words how ones feels about fall - That tree is a juniper i think - My grand-maman had them in her garden -

    Ariane xo

  5. I adore the combination of tweed with your equally stunning fedora and I am always impressed with your writing. You describe perfectly your feelings, as we transition to autumn.

    Thank you for linking up with Hat Attack!

  6. Yup ... they do suit you! You look very fallish and very pretty in your cozier items!
    I love getting back to wintery fabrics and colors ... they're my favorites too, and a break from overwhelming summer shades. I'm tired of loud primaries ... here's to the tertiary season!

    1. You're funny. I like people who like to play with words. You're going to be disappointed by my next post though: it's all primary colours to combat the rainy day blahs.

  7. Charlotte, thank you so much for all your wonderful kind words on my blog. I am glad you found me! :) You are right - we have similar coloring, and I absolutely adore fall colors, all these rich reds, orange, and green in every possible hue... Fall and spring are my favorite seasons. I also, of course, agree with you about melancholy of the autumn. It is bittersweet, but it also is a very creative season, at least it is how it feels to me!

    I too see the similarity (echoing) of your brooch with the lichen texture. It's beautiful! I adore the way hat suits your face and your curls too!

    You are a very talented writer, very powerful, I've read a few of your posts. Have you read Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren? One of my favorite books ever - genius in fact. Remember how Pippi was able to lift up a horse? That's a great symbolism I think. A little girl who is stronger than a grown man.

    I am so happy that you have Beau in your life, and he has you in his life. Love changes everything. And you guys have true love.

    Lots of love and Hugs,