3 fall must-haves

Last week, the New York Times did a profile on the "Christian girl autumn" woman, and I found her to be equally fascinating and relatable. Then again, I am one of those people who unapologetically loves fall. It has the best weather, the best food, and the best clothes. I like to be covered up—we can unpack the psychology behind that another day—and fall means you can layer turtlenecks and sweaters and blazers  and all those other cozy pieces all on top of each other. (Note: I know you can do that in winter too, but I feel like winter adds an element of needing more protective gear, which I'm not into.) This fall feels extra important to me because the last two have been marred by pandemic uncertainty, but this year feels like we're all ready to embrace capital-F Fashion once again. I've stopped doing trend reports—trends are something I don't exactly follow anymore—but there are a few things I'm particularly excited for this season. Here are my top three must-haves for fall 2022. 

The 5 best fall candles

Confession: I am a candle lady. I almost constantly have one burning in my apartment, and I use them like aromatherapy, to enhance or boost my mood. As with perfume, there's a subtle seasonality to candles: in warmer weather, I go for lighter, more citrusy or floral fragrances, whereas in cooler weather, I want something more spicy and warm. To be honest, fall is my favorite season for many reasons—not for the pumpkin-spice clich├ęs, but I do love more substantial clothing (like sweaters and boots), food (give me a bowl of pasta, please), and, yes, scents—the warmer the better. I tend to gravitate toward anything rich and woody, and bonus points if it smells like a wood-burning fireplace, which, in my opinion, is one of the most cozy, comforting things ever. Now that it looks like we've had our last hot day of the year (knock on wood), here are my five favorite fall candles. 

An honest review of Gucci Brixton loafers

If you've seen House of Gucci, you know that the Italian luxury house has certainly had its ups and downs over the years. Its most recent resurgence, which is still going strong, has been led by Alessandro Michele, who's been Gucci's head designer since 2015. In a stark contrast to the sleek, sexy Tom Ford years (which, to be honest, did appeal to me in my early 20s), the current era is more of a maximalist, geek-chic vibe with a healthy dose of streetwear influence. While the more over-the-top pieces don't always speak to me, I do appreciate Michele's reinterpretation of many Gucci classics. Several years ago, I had my heart set on the Princetown mule, which I discovered did not fit my foot (more on that later). Thankfully, I found the Brixton horsebit loafer and treated myself to a pair for my birthday back in 2019. To this day, they remain one of my favorite pairs of shoes, and I've featured them frequently here on Cheryl Shops. But if you're thinking about buying a pair, there are some important things you should know. Here's my honest and unfiltered opinion of the Gucci Brixton leather horsebit loafer. 

What I wore in Croatia

In case you missed my Croatia travel diary last week, we spent 12 days in Croatia in September, starting with two nights in Split, then a week on a chartered boat, and finally three nights in Dubrovnik. (And I actually started the trip with four nights in Vienna, but that's another post for another day!) My challenge was twofold: first, packing clothes that worked for both land and sea, and second, fitting them all into a carry-on, because I had a connecting flight in Frankfurt and had heard horror stories about lost luggage. So, yes, I managed to pack enough clothes for two and a half weeks in a carry-on—it's all about packing cubes, but I also made sure that everything I brought could be worn at least two different ways (you'll see several items get repeated here). This isn't everything I packed (swimsuits and cover-ups, for example), but these were definitely my go-to pieces. Here's what I wore on vacation in Croatia.