Today I’m sharing things that I’ve been using and loving this season. Once we hit the end of Daylight Savings, there was no question that fall had arrived. I’ve been enjoying the gorgeous golden light in the early afternoons and the changing colors in the park by my office. I’ve been loving the clear skies and the crisp air that zings you right awake the moment you step outside. But with these good things, the temperatures have dropped significantly, and we’re flirting with our first frost here in NYC.
If you think about it, you’ll notice how colder weather changes so many aspects of your life. What you eat and drink, what you wear, how you feel - it truly permeates your day to day. Below are new finds, recent rediscoveries, and old favorites for this time of year.
Waterproof boots camouflaged as a day-to-night classic
These Cole Haan waterproof leather boots are my dream rain boot because they aren’t rain boots. I’ve tried rubber wellies in my time and I just don’t like them at all. I hate how clunky and heavy they are, and how they look just ridiculous if you’re wearing them expecting rain and the forecast ends up changing.
I like that they look like normal footwear, are great for work, and transition well to after work. They have not-too-prominent contrasting stitching, a cute little toe cap, an easy back zip, and a solid, manageable heel.
Word of warning: they unfortunately do need a bit of breaking in. They really hurt my pinky toes for the first ten or so wears but are starting to soften now. I stuck with them because I’m so pleased with their design, and am glad I put the time into breaking them in. These were a great find which met a need that I’ve had for a while now.
No Nonsense Yoga Top Tights
In fall and winter I wear black tights almost every weekday since much of my work wardrobe consists of dresses and skirts. I go through many pairs every year as they inevitably snag and tear - I’ve accepted this fact of life. But what I’d hoped to find was an alternative for the super tight waist openings that cut into my ribs and legitimately give me mild indigestion by putting such stress on my guts. There had to be another way!
These yoga top tights are it. They feature a wide waistband that has been a dream of a difference. They come in a respectably opaque opaque and a sheer black, and I own both. Best of all, they’re only $6 a pair.
New Yorker Canvas Tote
These totes are ubiquitous in New York City; I encounter at least one a day. You get them with a subscription to the magazine, and I’ve been using mine as a daily bag recently along with a small cross body leather purse that I sometimes throw right into the canvas bag almost like a pouch for my wallet, keys, and other important stuff.
This tote is a favorite for its dimensions. It’s a bit deeper than your typical canvas tote but not so deep that you lose sense of time and space when searching for your chapstick. I like that I can throw it in the wash when necessary and that the more worn it is the more street cred (as far as deeply researched, long form news street cred goes) it imparts.
I guess any tote would do - I would particularly recommend the Baggu Duck Bag which is even deeper, has two handle/strap options, and can stand up straight with the right packing approach - but let me take this opportunity to profess my love for the New Yorker. This publication makes me smarter. It hooks me on topics I have zero initial interest in, teaches me new words, features gorgeously composed writing, brings poetry to my commute, and I love it forever.
Uniqlo Blocktech Parka
I wear this parka all the time. It’s lightweight, waterproof, sack-like in a simple and minimal way, and has sleeves wide enough to easily layer over blazers and other fall jackets or an insulated liner in cooler weather. It also has a hood that actually does a decent job shielding me from rain and deep zip pockets for all the crap I carry around.
I like that it's no-fuss and utilitarian, and going umbrella-free gives me more hands to wrangle all the bags, cups, and pottery that I commute with. I also pack this jacket on most vacations as a layering piece.
Here, I'm wearing the parka in Osaka, Japan. I'd layer it over a leather jacket or a bulky sweater. When I was warm from walking around, it was lightweight enough to carry around draped over my arm without being a nuisance.
Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater
One more thing from Uniqlo that I've loved for a couple of years now is their line of merino sweaters. You can pick from a turtleneck, crew neck, v-neck, cardigan, and even a short sleeved style. My favorite is the crew neck version. I have it in five colors.
They're polished enough for work but feel like a t-shirt on. They're 100% wool and amazingly, machine washable. In short, they are easy to wear and easy to love.
I’ve been using this app to learn beginner French for the past week and have enjoyed it so far. The lessons are delivered in highly manageable, bite-sized chunks, and the pace is forgiving, lingering on basics and repeating vocabulary quite often. I like the repetitive approach, and the varied methods used to present the same content: translating back and forth using multiple choice, aural and oral quizzes, constructing simple clauses in free text fields, and fill in the blank questions.
Ito En Matcha Tea with Chamomile
I discovered this tea when shopping at H-Mart, a Korean supermarket we have here in NYC, though of course it’s also available on Amazon. I was picking up snacks for Kev while I would be away for my weekend in Boston. Already a lover of chamomile and green teas, I appreciate the mashup, with matcha to boot. These will aid in my continued effort to reduce my coffee intake while satisfying my love of hot beverages, consumed all day everyday.
In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
What better way to cozy up when it’s cold outside than with a book? As a maker, this book has been incredibly inspiring. Full of women who did the damn thing, and despite their fears and doubts and daily challenges, are each living a life they’ve made for themselves. So many voices here, such good lessons, and a sense of comfort and motivation that if they did it, maybe I can do it too.