Hi there mom, aunts and design lovers!
Last weekend I read an essay about feeling like yourself, and how for some the beginning of fall is a portal into this state of mind. It is beautifully written and it filled me with a sense of nostalgia that I often reserve for birthdays. It brought back memories of winters past and how they’ve changed me.
I was 24 years old the first time I saw snow. I had impulsively bought a plane ticket to NYC in late January to visit an intriguing redhead I met at a party back home. I had packed my warmest clothes: a thin cardigan, multi-colored tights, jeans and what I believed at the moment were boots—they were high-top sneakers. As soon as I crossed the airplane door I could feel the smack of something that life had most definitely not primed me for: an East Coast winter. Neither my mind nor my suitcase were prepared for such a shock. Thankfully that redhead, my prince in shining high-tech heat gear, was expecting me with a warm kiss and a duffel bag packed to the brim with a sweater, coat, gloves and some of those hand warmer things that I find miraculous during winter walks. Not sure if it was that kiss or the coat, but this past weekend we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary!
Maracaibo, where I was born and raised, is right on the Equator. Temperatures oscillate between 85 and 90 degrees year round. There’s nothing resembling seasons, but some days it rains because the city sits by a lake and some days because a cool breeze is a matter of human survival.
Maracaibo is one of the largest cities in Venezuela. Growing up, trends were generally slow to arrive and flourish—yet there were a good number of malls, stylish restaurants and clothing stores that were only one or two seasons behind schedule. To my delight, the occasional Vogue reared its judging head. I, a design-obsessed teen, would run to the neighborhood bookstore the first weekend of every month to snag the latest issue of whatever fashion magazine I managed to find. These publications were insightful in terms of the latest fads, but I could never connect the dots of why half the year they insisted on pushing sweaters in every single editorial. Where were the mini skirts and sandals I so needed to emulate for all the December festivities? And why so many damn sweaters? I found them itchy and frumpy and senseless at best. Always suffocating. I didn’t understand them.
Yet life tends to teach us what it must, and the lesson for me—it seems—was the beauty of a perfect cardigan. After that first shocking winter, crying in the cold from lack of appropriate attire and the impending misery that accompanied 4pm sunsets, I learned to crave the sense of cozy familiarity that a sweater inspires. Every fall since, I’ve added a couple of items to my collection. When packing my NYC closet in the quest for more space as the news of a second baby rolled in, I was shocked to find I have collected over 30 sweaters (all which I love and need)!
This year especially, as I head into my third trimester of pregnancy, sweaters have the sensibility to make my body feel somewhat normal. Nothing against pregnant women who enjoy a carefree pregnancy with a belly out to tan in the peak of summer, but I just want to hibernate and be awakened when there’s an infant to hold. This is why I believe a sweater is the most empathetic sartorial item, gentle and accommodating in all its knitted glory. This fall and winter season you will find me snuggling inside a cozy jumper till the tenant in my belly decides to evacuate the building. After all the hate I spewed for them as teen, it turns out a good sweater is a lifeline to be cherished.
This year, aside from my own personal sweater shopping spree (sorry in advance to my husband who reads this newsletter), I’ll be shopping for my little one. There are so many wonderful, cuddly options. I can’t wait to style my daughter in her autumn best!
Check out this selection of tiny sweaters I wish came in my size.
1. Patchwork Sweater / 2. Rainbow Sweater / 3. Ribbed Wrap Over Cardigan Charcoal Grey / 4. Oversized Knit Cardigan / 5. Elephant Jumper / 6. Nununu Smile Knit / 7. Striped Mohair Jumper Pink / 8. Doggie All Over Knitted Jumper / 9. Blabbermouth Sweater / 10. Panda Knitted Wool Sweater
What’s your favorite thing to wear during fall? I’d love to know!