The French refer to the end of summer vacation and resumption of normal life in late August as la rentree — a re-entry. Children return to school; stores and restaurants closed for summer break re-open; families come home from summer holidays. America doesn’t experience the same level of summer shutdown that the Europeans do, but here, too, I feel a profound shift come early September. I follow a couple of French creators on Instagram who talked this year about la rentree as both a kind of depression and an opportunity to start over. I witnessed a similar internal whiplash. The hazy looseness of summer mornings and August evenings seemed to evaporate abruptly; in its stead: alarms, uniforms, lunchboxes packed tidily in the fridge the night before. I felt myself torn in two directions, at once longing for the slow starts and ready for the rhythmic routine.
I have been trying, this year, to pull up more regularly after transition moments and ask: “What went well? What didn’t?” These reflections help me better smooth things out at future turning points, or at least emotionally anticipate what might ensue. For example, my children have historically had big reactions to the back-to-school process. There have been uncharacteristic bed-wettings, tantrums, regressions of various kinds, and clinginesses. This year, I purposefully kept their first week back at school as quiet as possible as if to tamp down on any extra stimulation, and was completely unfazed when my son had two accidents (and he rarely has them!) It felt strangely, even satisfyingly, premonitory. I think my children appreciated the designed quiet of our home life bookending the newness of the school year, as we saw little “transitional aftermath” otherwise. Isn’t it interesting to contemplate the design of your home life and family schedule in this way? We can turn down the volume some weeks, and “let ‘er rip” others. I am learning to calibrate according to my children’s needs, reminding myself to really stop and listen to them. So goes the adage: “Wisdom is the reward you get for listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”
As for me? I clipped back into my running regimen and read every night before bed — two habits that always afford me calm and stasis. I was borderline ecstatic on my morning run on Monday: a chilly, damp 62 degrees (I had to layer!), a 9:45 pace, browning leaves underfoot, and Olivia Rodrigo taking me back to my teenage angst. The right kind of autumnal therapy if you ask me.
So, asking you to day —
What made this year’s “rentree” good? What did you learn for the next one?
+ “Fly, be free! I want to say. I want to say, Stay with me forever! Come to think of it, these are the two things I want to say to everyone I love most.” — Catherine Newman. Musings along these lines here.
+The pinches of motherhood.
+Have you tried my “buffer” practice? Really helps me toggle out of work mode into motherhood mode.
+The goal, always: “to live care-ingly.”
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+Shopbop’s 20% off sale ends today! I am going to try to avoid blabbing about these jeans again. I feel like they’ve been in every “What I Loved Wearing” post for weeks on end. There has been a huge shift in denim over the past few years, and I have finally really leaned into the new silhouettes — these feel like a good “gateway drug” to some of the looser/baggier fits and wilder leg shapes. The off-white is perfect for fall!
+I’m dying over Ralph Lauren’s tartan blazer and trousers for holiday 2023. I have a pair of tartan trousers I pull out every year — they are SO fun to re-imagine with trendier shoes/accessories each year. Last year, I paired with a feather-trim blouse (I used the top from this Sleeper set) and Miu Miu black suede platforms for a Christmas event and it felt like the perfect classic-meets-modern moment.
+Speaking of platform sandals, this under-$100 pair is perfect for fall. Imagine with fall dresses and/or wide-legs!
+Cutest mini sherpa vest for a wee one.
+If you’ve been holding out on the Dyson Airwrap like I have, Blue Mercury is offering 20% off with code HAPPY20. (You have to sign up for their rewards program to apply the code — but it’s free to join.) I am deeply, deeply tempted.
+The Naghedi mini crossbody just came out in a great forest green color. Love it for fall! A little more interesting than black/navy/taupe — but will still pair well with fall colors like burgundy, khaki, denim, brown, navy, etc.
+Goop just released a new product: colorblur glow balms. Color me intrigued! I’ve turned into such a fan girl of this line this year. If you are new to the brand, my two favorite products are their peptide serum (I swear this has done wonders for the texture and evenness of my skin, and has even helped tone down discolorations) and their GoopGlow microderm exfoliator. I wrote a full review of the exfoliator here — it’s incredible.
+A REALLY chic under-$150 sweater.
+Fun statement belt.
+Styled carefully, these slouchy cords could be spectacular. Under $40 too.
+Love the silhouette of these suede boots, and such good colors! Especially dig the chocolate brown.
+Speaking of chocolate brown (my fav color this season), I own and adore this ribbed turtleneck from J. McLaughlin. Such a good layering piece.
+Dorsey released their fab cocktail rings. These are investment pieces but WOW – they look heirloom.
+Fun casual sherpa vest for a weekend/dressed-down look.