I luuurve autumn!

I know, some of you are still clinging holding on tightly on to the last sunny days but I am a bit warped strange like that. I really look forward to the weather changing and I  am on the look out for beautiful leaves which have fallen to my feet in a range of colours. The sky does amazing things and the best thing of all is, when the mist accompanies me on my way into the city of Berlin to my language learning ladies.

autumnlookbook Source: Dollar Photo Club 


The changing of the seasons is a fabulous excuse reason for many of us to update our working wardrobes, and embrace hug/welcome the cooler days and evenings to come.

For those of us co-working or in an office, this time of year is a  triumph after months of overheated offices or ice-cold blasts of  air conditioning that lull us into a false sense of security for when  we venture outside. With the autumn, you know what to expect;  not too hot but not quite cold enough for scarves and big winter  coats yet. I have to admit though that I often get caught out overheating as I slide into the season with zest.


There’s nothing quite like pulling out your winter scarves and hats and choosing which one to wear is there?

Mist in Berlin, as I drive into work. Photos taken by my son, Finn Wilhelm.

Mist in Berlin, can you spot where it is?


It’s also the time of year to exchange bare legs with tights!  Tights are fabulous, because they cover a multitude of sins and look great with most outfits.  I am one of those people that always has white, often bruised legs at table top height because I am a clumsy crocodile, not a good look right? So tights for me are the grown up version of a security blanket where I get to show off my pins but only the shape, not the glare.

So, are you ready for the cooler weather yet? Getting your smart casual look doesn’t mean that we have to hide those pretty summer tops just yet; there’s always the promise of an Indian summer. I love to wear long sleeved tops underneath them too, I learned that from a teacher friend of mine, who was a fashion diva on a budget.

I learned all there is about keeping warm and keeping your style, when I worked for the former fashion label, Malli Mari in Finland. Layering is THE way to go when dressing for work. Mornings can catch you out, especially in Scandinavia, despite that lure of sun shine, so warm jackets and smart knits can be your saving grace on your way to appointments. Later in the day, you can discard the extra layers if the sun’s rays do get a chance to comfort you.  Find or invest in a smart but larger than life leather bag,  then keep it fairly empty so that you don’t return home looking like a bag lady.

A Teenage girl with her handbag having fun

Rustic colours, boots and a big handbag

Layering does take a little planning, so start your seasonal look book with a review of your current wardrobe; what still works for you? After all, we might feel that something is too tight or too dull, or too short. What can you mix with timeless classics and favourite pieces to create your personalised new autumn look?

shcesey 096_pp

The garments that you treated yourself to in spring might still look great, layered up with a new cosy cardigan, perhaps with a scarf or necklace that blends your favourite colours, I’m seeing a lot of golden tones, muted browns and deep plums and burgundy for instance. Plain dark casual trousers and loose skirts are a winner as they aren’t too hot for a day in the office, and they can be dressed up easily with accessories, for a blast of individuality. My husband was recently shocked when he discovered that one of the ladies in his office keeps a whole selection of shoes to change into depending on her mood and outfit in her office. Apparently my selection of shoes is by comparison, extremely modest. #browniepointtime

Some of this season’s top trends include gorgeous textures – adorable fake fur gilets (warm outer layer, often long without arms) and collared knitwear and devine velvet trims for a little luxury daaarling!  I sense a return of Gothic styling too – as well as the ‘glam geek’ which upgrades ‘bookworm cool’ with cute tops and dresses that wouldn’t look out of place in a 90s film.

But be you!

Cherry pick what suits your personality and lifestyle and if the shops or regular ladies magazines don’t light your fire, perhaps you need something more quirky, in which case, click to social media.


Pinterest is I have to confess, is an integral part of my weekend morning ritual. It is a great place for ‘looking for’ ideas, I’ve been hearing more and more about Polyvore too. Feel free to take a sneak peak at my ‘Byte Smart Casual’ Pinterest board. That’s where I keep tabs of what I like the look of, it’s like a visual reminder of what I could do, make, buy or wear. I love seeing what other professional women have shared, which suits their own style, industry or colouring.

Indulge yourself with some cash free browsing with your feet up. No bags to weigh you down or the heat of the shops to rob your energy, just make yourself a drink and allow yourself to explore and experiment. I love seeing how others have interpreted this season’s autumn looks, perhaps you’ll spot a scarf or bag similar to one you haven’t used for ages, being worn a different way.

When I was a teenager, I used to lay out my outfits out on my bed with friends and see how they looked together – I still do this when I am packing for a holiday or business trip actually. Don’t be shy, instead grab your phone and snap away and share on our “Professional English for Women in Technology” Facebook page – go on, give us a glimpse of your favourite styles, whether new season or much loved classics.

I’d love that!

Turn your downtime into learn time, with whichever device you find most convenient for a regular dose of English language learning.

This week’s audio byte is all about choosing and using that special thing that makes you feel fabulous.