My favourite moment in the whole school year is turning up in a new pair of shoes for the start of September term. Forget celebrating a rare sports day win, passing a hard exam or finding out there’s a substitute teacher covering the next lesson – it’s all about stepping into a new school year in a pair of perfectly polished, patent black shoes. (For me.)

I strut or stomp (depending on if it’s the year of heels or flats) down the corridor, embracing the ubiquitous sense of change, inspiration and challenge that autumn brings. It might mark the end of summer holidays, suntans and ice lollies; but it also kickstarts a new chapter of learning, laughs and pumpkin spice lattes.

Yep, autumn is the best season. Whether you agree with me or think I need to seriously reconsider my life, take a look at my argument for why…

New term stationery

One day, you’re probably going to be the world’s most successful rocket scientist, writer, chef, car mechanic or whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-be. You will look back at where it all started: in the classroom, writing out a chemical formula, penning a short story or drawing a masterpiece.

You’ll realise that you wouldn’t ever have been able to do it all without your trusty pencil case, overflowing with pens, highlighters, pencils, rubbers, spare hair bobbles and folded notes from your bff. The stationery set and pencil case are probably the most important annual investment you make (maybe even more so than the shoes), so choose wisely.

Halloween

What’s not to love about Halloween? Fancy dress parties, unlimited supplies of sweets, scary film fests, the Monster Mash – it’s the social event of the year. The weirdest but also perhaps most wonderful part, is that it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to wrap yourself in toilet roll, knock on your neighbours’ doors and demand a windfall of chocolates, sweets and even money (yep, I received 50p once) just for shouting ‘TRICK OR TREAT’. You can’t do that at Christmas, can you?!

Fooooooood

Hearty soup, creamy hot chocolate, pear and blackberry crumble, toffee apples, bonfire toffee, homemade stew, chilli con carne, jacket potatoes, mash potato with everything, pumpkin pie (with a huge dollop of thick cream) – we could literally go on all day, but the main reason we love the new season? We can bid a fond farewell to skimpy summer salads! (Apologies for the drool that is no doubt falling from the sides of your mouth RN.)

Wonderful weekend walks

Whether you’re walking the dog, meeting up with a pal or simply going for a stroll while plugged into your favourite podcast, nothing beats the sun shining on you as you crunch over crisp leaves on an autumn walk. Breathing in the cold air gives you a revitalising energy akin to being in a screaming crowd at a Justin Bieber concert. And you get to trial your new bobble hat and gloves combo for the first time – win!

Cosy nights in

Yeah, yeah – summer BBQs, Christmas parties and spring flings are all nice ways of spending an evening. But secretly, we all prefer an excuse to just go home on a rainy Friday night, turn up the central heating, get into a pair of freshly washed PJs, order a huge pizza and watch Harry Potter with the fam. If it was socially acceptable, human hibernation would definitely be a thing.

It’s also the ideal situation if you’re on your period – who wants to sit in the sweltering summer sun, or battle through Christmas parties, with the worst cramps ever? Thank autumn for its cold, dark nights, and let it wrap you in its arms with carbs and the comfort of the sofa.

@hlouiser89

 

Winter is coming! In the nice way, not the Game of Thrones way. And along with all the usual wintry excitements – Starbucks red cups, ice skating, wearing two pairs of tights under your jeans – this year we have a new obsession. Hygge.

What?

Hygge!

Are you just making noises?

No! Hygge is everywhere, trust us.

It’s pronounced ‘hoo-ga’ – or ‘hewwguuah’ if you want to attempt a Scandi accent – and it’s the Danish/Norwegian word for… well, there’s no direct translation but the closest is ‘cosiness’. Or ‘simple, homely pleasures’. Or the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re bundled up in a blanket next to a fire with a good book and a hot chocolate and maybe Bing Crosby playing soft jazz in the background.

That sounds like effort.

Ahh, but it doesn’t have to be. While the shops might try to flog you snuggly blankets and rustic slippers and candles that smell like pine trees in the name of this trend (and we want them, we won’t lie), the true meaning of hygge is something much simpler that everyone can embrace.

Here are five ways to find your inner ‘hygge’ for free…

cold-cats

1. Go outside so you can appreciate being inside again

You know how playing hockey or football or netball or doing cross-country or any outdoor physical exercise at school is basically hideous between October and March – because you’re frozen solid, your nose and eyes are streaming like fountains, your hands have become mangled claws and your PE kit was designed by someone with no respect for weather? Well, that amazing feeling when the final whistle goes and you can all race back into the feety-smelling warmth of the changing room and throw your jumper back on and sit against a radiator whimpering until the feeling comes back into your fingers? Hygge!

Of course, in Scandinavia you might go for long walks in a forest followed by a woodland sauna. But it’s basically the same.

Scrubs reading cosy gif

2. Reread a childhood classic

Sure, grappling with Tess of the D’Urbervilles is going to look ace on your personal statement when the time comes. But to really stir up those feelings of inner cosiness and contentment, park yourself on the sofa under a blanket with a classic book you have known and loved for years. It’s the literary equivalent of buttery mashed potato or custard. Which, come to think of it, are also very good ideas.

May we recommend: Ballet Shoes, Winnie the Pooh, Matilda, Angus, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, any Harry Potter.

Smore gif

3. Toast something

Toastiness is central to the whole hygge situation – whether that’s a marshmallow, bread or just your own feet.

Sure, you might not have an open roaring fire to warm yourself in front of, Scandi-style… but you probably have a candle (try the messy drawer in the kitchen if all else fails – they are basically legally obliged to contain at least one old candle, as well as eight thousand rubber bands and five takeaway menus), a grill or a gas hob, right? Indulge all those campfire fantasies you picked up from American movies by making s’mores, or go for a stack of hot buttery toast and breath in its exquisite scent. Hygggggggeeee.

Cosy hamster

4. Get dressed under the covers

Remember this old gem from your childhood? Go on, we won’t tell anyone.

Or if your desire to shower outweighs your desire to start the day off cosy, you can always wear your duvet to the bathroom and back – a manoeuvre we like to call ‘the walking sausage roll’. Genius.

Friends group hug

5. Surround yourself with love

Much as we love the shopping possibilities, the true meaning of hygge isn’t chic minimalist homewares or amazing food or even just being cosy and warm – it’s really about surrounding yourself with good spirits. Which could mean filling your bedroom with eight shrieking friends on Friday night, or enforcing a family board game tournament on a rainy Sunday afternoon, or even just draping your cat around you like a furry scarf while you watch seven episodes of Gilmore Girls. Whatever works.

And if anyone asks why they have to play board games for five hours or sleep on your floor or stay still long enough to become a living accessory, you just yell ‘hygge! HYGGE!’ until they give in.

See? Cosy.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Getty

Oh hey there, autumn ol’ pal! Where did you sneak up from?

Considering it happens every single year, cold weather shouldn’t really be a surprise. But there we are, happily getting the last bit of wear out of our floaty things and strappy things and sandals, when WHAM! Arctic conditions. Goosebumps. Pointy nips. The full Mr Frosty. You need woolly layers, and fast. Soon you will be half human, half sheep.

But hey, it’s not all bleak! In fact, cold weather brings with it plenty of perks, and not just the ones in your bra – so warm your cockles* and take inspiration from some of these cosy buys. Here are all the style reasons to be glad it’s cold now…

 

1. Giant scarves!

Colour block scarf

Colour block scarf, River Island, £20

tartan scarf

Tartan scarf, H&M, £7.99

 

Herringbone scarf

New Look Herringbone scarf, ASOS, £14.99

2. Ankle boots!

Black glitter ankle boots, Tu, £25

Brogue boots

Brogue boots, H&M, £29.99

copper ankle boots

Kobra boots, Topshop, £39

3. Cosy jumpers!

oversized jumper

Annie Jumper, Boo Hoo, £15

Coatigan

Navy coatigan (yes, coatigan), £22, Tu at Sainsbury’s

jumper

Burgundy ribbed jumper, £14.99, New Look

shearling jumper

Oversized jumper with shearling and tassels, ASOS, £28

4. Furry things!

Fur collar

Faux fur collar, New Look, £3

Faux fur gilet

Curly faux fur gilet, ASOS, £18

faux fur keyring

Faux fur keyring, Primark, £2

5. Fleecy things!

Grey jacket

Faux shearling jacket, Mango, £49.99

fleece leggings

Aviator jacket

Fleece-lined leggings (YES), New Look, £9.99

shearling boots

Tan faux shearling ankle boots, New Look, £24.99

6. Velvet things!

velvet swing dress

Velvet swing dress, ASOS, £20

Velvet top

Velvet top, Zara, £15.99

velvet shorts

Velvet high-waisted shorts, Topshop, £40

velvet dress

Lilac velvet swing dress, ASOS, £27

*Nah, nobody knows where your cockles are.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

It’s autumn! Technically!

Fine, it’s still mysteriously boiling and we’re all still necking Calippos, sleeping with the window open and dragging the same three crumpled summer dresses out from the bottom of the laundry basket.

But: crunchy leaves, scarves and custard are just around the corner. So let’s warm up to the new season with some cold weather swag that you can totally start wearing now.

Patch it up

Monki iron-on patches

The fastest, easiest way to fall back in love with the jeans/jacket/bag you’ve been wearing all year is to add patches. Monki has the kitschiest, cutest selections around, and all you have to do is a little casual ironing. Or parent-bribery.

Iron-on patches, Monki, £5

Teenage hero turtleneck

Floral sleeveless dress

Could this be the perfect summer-to-autumn dress? Yes, yes it could. Work it with bare legs and trainers now, with tights, boots and an oversized knit once things get chilly.

Sleeveless dress, H&M, £9.99

Forest queen

Gold leaf headband

You probably lost your flower crown in a mud puddle sometime back in July, so upgrade to this elegant piece of hair foliage instead. It’ll keep those festival vibes going long into pumpkin spice season.

Gold leaf headband, ASOS, £8

Give it the slip

Sateen cami top

Favourite of Suki Waterhouse, this silky cami is the colour of autumn leaves BUT breezy enough to keep you cool until the weather gets its arse in gear – and when it does, you can wear it over a poloneck for maximum 90s revival points. Rad.

Sateen cami, New Look, £9.99

That’s a wrap

Paisely scarf on model

It’s autumn and therefore law that we must all have a GIANT SCARF. But unlike your usual woolly numbers, this GIANT SCARF will helpfully double up as a picnic blanket or beach sarong until you actually need to wrap up from the cold. Plus, look at it.

Paisley print scarf, ASOS, £15

Twinkle toes

Gold Mary Jane shoes

Metallic shoes are going nowhere fast – but you will be in these beauties, running into rooms to shout “EVERYBODY LOOK AT MY SHOES”. Wear with rolled-up jeans now, tights next month and ridiculous party dress at Christmas.

See Mum, they’re an ‘investment’.

Gold Mary Jane shoes, River Island, £30

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.