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Let’s Get Back to School

September 17th, 2013 by baoli

From brain food to brogues why September should be an adventure for your mind and a trip down memory lane for your wardrobe.

September is a bitter sweet month. As John Updike wrote in his ode to the late summer month, the breezes bring with them both smells of sun ripened fruit and crisp new stationery. Because just as we reap the rewards of the year’s harvest, so the school year begins; and hedonistic, humid summer days make way for fresh thinking.

But the back to school vibe isn’t just for the kids; it’s something we should all embrace. Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

And the great thing about learning when you’re a grown-up? The world of knowledge is your oyster – you’re free to follow your own bliss instead of the curriculum’s. So, why not, dip a curious toe into London’s School of Life or the web-based Brain Pickings for some intellectual inspiration?

But going back to school need not be purely cerebral, how about taking a few time-tested tips from the traditional school uniform and adding some of its hardy components to your wardrobe? From the humble duffle coat to the cute kilt, or Alexa Chung’s beloved brogues, the corridors of learning have much to teach the catwalk on creating an ethical collection which will, if treated right, see us through till school’s out.

1. Original Montgomery has been making duffle coats since the 1890s – when it made coats for the British Admiralty. Nowadays their coats are still tailor made in England and come in a variety of colours, with women’s sizes starting at a UK 6, making it a perfect choice for teens too.

2. Cashmere is a luxury, but one, if treated right will serve you for years. Crumpet sources cashmere from small, free-range Asian farms and their clothes are hand-made in England. Crumpet creates small collections with a large nod to current trends as well as classic favourites.

3. Mood By Me has a manifesto, part of which reads “NO to mass-produced clothes, YES to Made to Order … NO to disposable fashion YES to fashion with soul”. In short: they sell classic clothes and shoes, but you can choose the colour way and shoe sizes start from a UK 1.5 making them a tempting teen choice too.

4. The practical satchel has made a real come back over the last few years and can be seen sported on style savvy shoulders in streets across the country. Green Shoes produce a more ethical version, which is made by their UK-based crafts people from either leather or vegan lorica; and is available in two sizes and a choice of colours – making it the bag of choice for kids and adults alike.

5. Vintage stores are a great source of plaid and pleated skirts because they never go out of style. Rokit’s website has recently been relaunched with a fresh new look making it easier to navigate and grab yourself the perfect pre-loved piece for your present look.

6. Selina Scott is perhaps best known for presenting the BBC’s Clothes Show, back in the day; but now, she’s herding goats and making socks – not all on her own, I don’t think! Made and hand-linked in England these mohair socks – which is silky, not itchy – help feet stay clean and odour free, as well as keeping tootsies toasty; and according to Selina – “they last forever”… well a really long time, anyway.

About Helen Davis

Helen is a writer and Holistic Colour and Style consultant with a passion for the wellbeing of women and the planet. Her aim is to lead you on a journey of self-discovery: creating an image which reflects the authentic beautiful you inside and out. Combining wardrobe wisdom, goddess-based myth, tales from inspiring women, with ecological and ethical principles, and spirituality she’ll show you how to shine, Adventuress style. To find out more see:

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