The arrival of September has always made me more than a little giddy. The suggestion of fall carried by the morning’s breeze, an early bronze leaf aflutter, changing light patterns, and the mere sound of the big yellow school bus continue to work their magic on me. As a child, September meant the return of academic discipline – which I loved – new teachers, classes, books, friends, flirtations, and clothes! As a child, new clothes meant a pair of sturdy, school-worthy shoes, two dresses, a few pairs of panties and socks. If I was really lucky, our next door neighbor would pack up her daughter’s outgrown clothes and pass them along to me. It was one benefit of being a smaller-sized girl! That box was more longingly-awaited than Christmas morning because it meant more outfits, more possibilities.

For Right Now

Like the merry month of May, September is a transitional month that embodies the possibilities of the season ahead. We don’t leap headlong into pumpkin lattes or evenings by the fire; we don’t clear out the garden in one mad rush. Instead, we ease into these rituals. As you transition your mind, your heart, and your style this month, consider these strategies:

  1. Think transition, not transformation. If you wear your white shorts and jeans beyond Labor Day, as I choose to do, swap out a light-colored top in favor of a darker hue. Paint your toenails a darker shade, and let them be your September statement while still wearing your sandals.
  2. Embrace evolution, not revolution. There is no need to cast all of your lightweight clothes to the far reaches of your closet or storage area. Do a quick scan and focus more on color options that suggest the coming season while ensuring that they are the right weight for still-balmy days. Choose patterned sleeveless tops and tunics in colors that broadcast fall. Wear red instead of pink, pumpkin instead of peach, slate instead of light blue.
  3. Consider your scent. You may want to reconsider your floral or citrus-based scent. For me, September means wearing FlowerBomb Midnight instead of Flowerbomb. For you, that might mean foregoing a floral altogether and choosing something with a woody, spicy, or oriental vibe.

On the homefront:

*Discard summer magazines and retire summer recipes

*Gather fall magazines and seasonal recipes

*Retire your pool gear for the season

*Plan your indoor and outdoor flower and pumpkin strategy. If you don’t have one, start now!

Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve made a few subtle September shifts, focus on planning for a fuller embrace of fall in the weeks ahead:

  1. Scan your favorite style sites, magazines, and stores to identify looks, colors, and pieces you will want to include in your fall wardrobe.
  2. Go through your closet (by yourself or with help!) to identify gaps and needed replacements.
  3. Make a specific list of items you need or want to acquire to ensure a pulled-together fall wardrobe. This is not about buying a whole new wardrobe; it is about building from your base in a way that suits your style, your body, and your budget.

Finally, identify one to three actions you will take to feed your soul this month. Here’s one of mine: I will pick a beautiful Saturday afternoon to settle into the large armchair in the sun room and read Magnolia Journal’s “In Pursuit of Wholeness” issue from cover to cover.

For now… celebrating Labor Day!

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