Our favourite chick-lit author Sophie Kinsella tells how to keep a weather eye on your wardrobe

Our literary inspiraton: Sophie Kinsella is the best-selling author of the Shopaholic series as well as four standalone novels, 'Can You Keep a Secret?', 'The Undomestic Goddess', 'Remember Me?' and 'Twenties Girl'.

Staying indoors this weekend snuggled up with an engaging book may be the perfect way to welcome the winter chills.  Exclusively for Benefit’s ‘Hello Gorgeous’, Sophie Kinsella has written a short piece on building her winter wardrobe. She had written this for us back in September, when we hosted a special night to celebrate her latest book launch in our London Spitafield boutique. We thought that this Friday would be the perfect time to publish that special piece on our blog to serve as inspiration for this weekend’s activities.

“Picture the scene. It’s the end of summer, the sun is warm, the air is balmy. My family are heading out for the day, clad in shorts, T shirts, sandals. Everyone’s exclaiming happily at the lovely weather… all except me. I’m the one peering at the sky, saying: ‘But there’s a bit of a wind, isn’t there? Maybe I should bring a coat, what do you think? And some boots, maybe?’ 

Why am I in such weather denial? Why am I actually willing the temperature to plummet? Because upstairs are my new boots, my new winter jacket and my new chunky cardigan and I want to wear them! Now! Yes, I’m jumping ahead of myself. Yes, I bought them while it was still summer and baking hot outside. Yes, I’m less fashion-forward, more fashion-moron. 

But it’s not really my fault – it’s the shops. They pull the same trick every year and I fall for it every time. First of all, they put all the summer clothes on a sales rack, so suddenly they don’t look special any more, just a bit crumpled and sad. Then they wheel in the racks of the New Stuff. The tweed, the fake fur, the cool new denim. Autumn colours. Shiny boots.

And a kind of adrenaline sets in. Even though I know it’s still summer, even though I know there are weeks to go before a full-length leather coat with mongolian fur collar will be appropriate wear (if ever), I find myself reaching for it lustfully. The shop invariably has viciously cold air conditioning, with no windows and images around the store of models striding over windswept moors in thick jumpers. Never mind what’s going on outside: in shop-world, autumn has well and truly begun.

Of course, it makes sense that the shops have to get in ‘autumn’ early. Because after all, Christmas is only round the corner. I usually find it starts in October, lasting till December 24, when the January sales begin. Seasons in shops have nothing to do with dates, nor the temperature outside. I remember one bitterly cold April day going into a shop and asking for children’s gloves. The reason I wanted them was that it was snowing outside and my kids wanted to build a snowman. The assistant gave me a puzzled look and explained that it wasn’t the season for gloves, only summer-wear. (We improvised with socks).

I’m all for being ahead of the game – but hasn’t this living in the future gone a bit far? There’s a school of thought that the key to happiness is living in the moment. Which for me, right now, is warm, muggy Indian summer days. Flip-flop days. T-shirt days. Not fur-lined boot days, no matter how fashion-forward they are. So I’ve made a September resolution: I’m going to put away all my winter clothes and relish the last dregs of sunshine. Life’s too short to be walking down the street, red-faced and sweating in my brand-new shearling jacket, wishing it would start snowing.”

Are you eager as we are to start flexing our literary muscles this weekend? Get your pens ready and why not share with us your most memorable moments…

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