bundling up for fall

by Sharon Santoni

river in the fall


With the Indian Summer we’ve been enjoying here,   it seems that we are falling into Autumn a little later than normal, but I don’t want to miss out on my usual autumn pleasures.  It’s a season that I adore – not too cold, very colourful, and a moment to enjoy the company of friends, or special outings to Paris to see the fall foliage.

Here in the French countryside, this seems to be the season where we get invited to stay with friends for the weekend quite a lot, and where we invite people over.   After the busy social summer and before the hectic holiday season, it is nice to enjoy some quiet time with good friends.   Weekends where I know we’ll go for a walk, evenings around the fire, enjoy some great meals, maybe take in an exhibition or do a little shopping with a girlfriend.  Autumn pleasures.

chateau in the fall in normandy

It’s also a moment to review the wardrobe.  I try to rework things I already have, but it’s always lovely to buy a couple of new pieces too.

Here are a couple of fall outfits that I put together from the Halsbrook website.  I love buying from them, because it is so easy to visualise how items will work together, and they have some very helpful suggestions too if I’m looking for a shirt of some earrings to complete a look.

When leaving for the weekend, I always try to pack light, but carefully.  I don’t want to arrive with a huge suitcase for just a couple of days!  A mix of country relaxed outfits and always something a little more dressy just in case we go out anywhere special.

Cashmere Sweater CoatScarfClutchJeansEarringsBlouse


Fall outfit with Halsbrook - burgundy cashmere coat sweater- orange paisley shirt- chocolate paints- stud earrings- black handbag

Cashmere Cape JacketPaisley BlouseEarringsHandbagPants

Fall outfit with Halsbrook- blue dress- black clutch- long camel coat- multi colored floral scarf- gold bangle


fall outfit- grey cashmere sweater - white blouse with bead detail- taupe handbag- earrings- tan pants

Cashmere WrapBlouseHandbagEarringsPants

And how about you?  Do you look forward to the change of seasons as a moment when you can dust off your wardrobe and change your colour palette?  Do you have a favourite fall outfit? I’d love to know.

This post was sponsored by Halsbrook. All opinions are of course, as always, my own.


david terry November 9, 2018 - 6:09 pm

Oh, goodness, Sharon…….
As a longtime admirer of your blog, I do hope (while simultaneously understanding many folks’ desire/need to “monetize” their creative endeavors) that there won’t be much more “click on this”, transparent marketing for clothes anyone could find and buy from at least a dozen other venues. It would be understating the matter to say that this has already been “done” on several Francophile blogs…..and participating too fully in this trend (and I know that you must, given your readership, receive many such opportunings) will be good for the sellers in the short run and bad for your very creative and original work in the short run.

There’s a very good reason that I , over twenty years, have politely (if irritatedly) declined the offers of folks who want to put my work on THEIR t-shirts, coffee mugs, and refrigerator magnets. In purely Marxist terms?…..I don’t allow them to use my personal product for their commercial ventures. I would, in the long run, deflate my own prospects.

The charm (and it matters a LOT) and inherent value of your “Brand” (trust me on this one; I was very good at marketing for years) is that MFCH has always made it clear that there are many wonderful and beautiful things that, thank you, money CAN’T buy. Folks sign up for your brocante tours because they’re definitively NOT just a “click and buy” experience”. Lord knows that there are plenty of those already in blog-world, and there’s a good reason that this guy simply stopped reading certain blogs once it became clear that the writer was just shilling other folks’ stuff-for-sale.

Well, enough from this longtime fan of MFCH and your work. Keep it personal and keep it “real”, Sharon. I know…….it’s a fine line to tow……but you, your instinctive tastes, your very immediate and personable “voice” are what made MFCH what it is. Be careful about diluting those.

Having dispensed with my reactionary advice?…..Uncle David (sitting here in this cottage on a remote, 500 acre horse farm in North Carolina, with our first snow coming on) is going to gather up all the garbage and drive it down to the communal/farm- dumpster out behind the tack-barns.

I probably should add that none of those clothes looks “right” for this 58 year old bachelor. I might be gay, but I’m not THAT gay.

Advisedly as ever,
David Terry
Quail Roost Farm
Rougemont, NC

david terry November 9, 2018 - 6:13 pm

P.S…….one can’t edit these comments. I meant to say that overtly “monetizing” would be bad for MFCH in the LONG run (however much it might profit the “sponsors” in the short run).

And, yes, I know…..I’m sounding like a scolding husband or know-it-all boyfriend……..

Best wishes,

David Terry

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:28 pm

HI David, I have always appreciated your comments, and am grateful that you continue to read the blog after all these years, because – goodness knows – we go back a long way! 🙂 Thank you for your honesty today, I accept your criticism in a spirit of friendship and actually am very flattered that you feel strongly enough about the quality of MFCH that you’d leave this message in public. I make no apology for introducing my readers to well designed clothes, from a high end brand whose clothes I happily wear, and neither do I hide the fact that running a blog is an expensive and full time affair and to run a sponsored post may help a little towards running costs. Although I believe I run an average of only one or two sponsored post per year, which doesn’t feel disrespectful towards my readers and I’d surely never recommend a brand that I don’t totally believe in. That said, I take your comments on board and thank you again for your concern …. have a lovely weekend David, speak soon, Sharon x

Downraspberrylane November 10, 2018 - 5:01 am

David, so sorry for calling you by your last name in my previous comment. As you said, these comments are not editable, or I would have changed it as soon as I realized!

Carol Riggs McKee November 9, 2018 - 6:35 pm

Agreeing with David Terry even though I am a sort term follower.

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:34 pm

Hi Carol,

thank you for your comment, as i said above, sponsored posts are rare animals here at MFCH, but now and again we see a brand or products that we are happy to endorse and we make a rare exception

warm wishes

Lin November 9, 2018 - 7:00 pm

I too agree.

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:35 pm

Thank you Lin, … I’m listening 🙂


Downraspberrylane November 9, 2018 - 7:24 pm

I hope you aren’t too discouraged that I too agree with Terry. Add to that the fact that, while I know you do have some (pardon the pun) well-heeled followers, these clothes are way out of the price range of most of us. Maybe a splurge on a piece here or there (if we are very lucky), but not a whole wardrobe. On the encouraging side, I will say that I do enjoy the “inspiration” aspect of these fashion posts. Your look is so great for women of our age…youthful but classic. Terry, I love that you speak your mind with such grace and certainty.

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:30 pm

thank you, I appreciate your message, and as I said to David, I would never recommend something that I don’t really believe in and use myself

Have a great weekend


Ewa Złotowska November 13, 2018 - 9:18 am

@DOWNRASPBERRYLANE You are absolutly reight. I”m in other country – I dont’t know this shop- brand , but Sharon’look is fantastic inspiration for me. I dream about one – toview for the woman ‘in Balzac age’ dressed in these clothes. Shops hate mature woman, market is only for stuped teens. Is very dificult to find good, ‘normal’ clothes.
@ Sharnon,your bouquet of flowers are wonderful concept. . Y’ve the garden and received a lot of inspiration for you. And a few old dishes get a new life 🙂

Susan Sargentini November 9, 2018 - 7:30 pm

Well said David Terry

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:31 pm

Thank you Susan, I’m listening to every person’s point of view here

best wishes


Cathy November 9, 2018 - 7:40 pm

I love your advice about finding beautiful clothing. You have great taste. I’ll take the ideas and shop around to find similar but less expensive pieces. ❤️

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:33 pm

Thank you Cathy, I think we all find our own balance between what suits us best, both physically and to our budget. It’s still fun to put together some ideal outfits for special occasons

warm wishes

Virginia Scanlan November 9, 2018 - 9:22 pm

I appreciate Sharon’s wardrobe suggestions. I have little time to follow fashion or to shop. I know that anything Sharon suggests would be beautiful. Furthermore, while quickly paging through Vogue, I find that fashion today has very little relevance for women of a certain age, especially if they are not 5′ 10” and 120 lbs. Thank you, Sharon, for your wonderful website.

Sharon Santoni November 9, 2018 - 9:31 pm

Thank you Virginia, you are very kind 🙂

Bronwyn Lee-Coward November 10, 2018 - 12:59 am

Sorry to throw a wet blanket on the previous comments, I found the blog to be very helpful and Sharon in her inimitable style and knowledge of knowing what may be of interest to the readers of her blog has in fact captured our interest yet again. If she had not named the clothing we would be none the wiser about where to obtain it, if that is what we wish to do, the choice is left entirely up to us the readers. Get over yourselves. Let Sharon do what she does best and that is to deliver style, grace and inspiration to ALL her readers.

sharon santoni November 10, 2018 - 9:50 am

Thank you Bronwyn, such a generous comment from a long term reader means a great deal to me 🙂




Bronwyn Lee-Coward November 12, 2018 - 12:12 am

Dear Sharon, I feel very humbled that you have taken the time to respond to my post. I hope to come to France and indulge myself with one of your tours, after the renovation of our home is completed (early 2019). I will make the 15 hour trek from Sydney and spend time in France and immerse myself in all that this beautiful blog represents.
Best wishes Bronwyn.

Denise November 10, 2018 - 6:25 pm

I agree with Bronwyn, let Sharon do what she does best. While Halsbrook clothing is not within my means, I enjoy seeing the pieces selected, they are gorgeous. I can then look around for similar pieces that ARE within my price range. This isn’t any different than looking at home décor magazines and re-working your favorites from the magazine into your own home but within your budget. Sharon’s blog is meant to be entertaining and informative. Take the bits that interest you out of the blog and leave the rest. Love your blog Sharon, keep up the great work!

Blanca Martinez November 10, 2018 - 4:27 am

Hi Sharon,
I don’t always comment but I always read your blog
And I love everything you post, including the beautiful clothing that you share with us, I get the idea on what’s in fashion and on how to match the different pieces together. This this blog, it represents you, what you do and what you love. I’m an artist and many different things interest me.
I my opinion is good to extend our wings and fly as far as we want, as long as that makes us happy and it doesn’t offend anybody.
Blessings to you, your family and your business.

Sharon Santoni November 10, 2018 - 12:09 pm

Thank you Blanca, I am very lucky to have readers who show so much love and support, and I’m glad that my post may have given you some wardrobe ideas

have a lovely weekend


Kathleen November 10, 2018 - 5:26 am

I totally agree with you Blanca! Enjoyed the post as always.

Dottie Monta November 10, 2018 - 6:47 am

Dear Sharon, no matter how confident I feel in using my pieces to best advantage (found two new jackets for Fall-into-Winter), these ideas, these combinations you present never fail to inspire! That almost-forgotten skirt gets hooked up in chic new ways; those earrings would be perfect with that outfit, etc.! New boots and a stepped-up eye cream have me prepped for Thanksgiving trip. Now to gather the black velvet and plan several outfits for Christmas. Tell us what your favorite holiday pieces are! Happy, happy Fall over therel

Anne November 10, 2018 - 6:57 am

If a reader does not enjoy the content, why oh why are they here?

Love you Sharon! XOXO

Leah November 10, 2018 - 3:06 pm

Hi Sharon! Just wanted to say “hi” and that I love your blog! And really appreciate every post that you write. 🙂 I’ I’m 26 and a stay at home mom living in Arizona with my husband and 4 little children. Your blog is so inspiring and beautiful, it’s actually one of the only blogs that I make time to read! Thank you so much for all your hard work and love you put into your blog!
God bless you!
Leah S.

Gay McCormick November 10, 2018 - 3:37 pm

Hi and thank you. I live in the Southern Hemisphere where seasons are opposite, and where I am worlds away from your french countryside. For this reason, I love your blog, and the little window it allows me to peer through, into a world so different from mine.
So – because it is so different, I love the clothes. A bit of french country inspiration for me to carry forward to our next fall.

Dianne Estes November 10, 2018 - 3:46 pm

I always read your blog,have met you ,and respect and enjoy everything you post…And I think women today like finding new venues to purchase nice clothing,that last. I am struggling on downsizing my wardrobe,,,these capsules u posted are good to refer to our person wardrobe. And purge,or adding a few select pieces ..keep up he good work

Valarie November 10, 2018 - 4:38 pm

I was intrigued by David’s comment. And I was somewhat amused by it. Sartorial choices by men are so much simpler. Just wander into any high end department store carrying both men’s and women’s apparel. And quality isn’t assured just because an item is expensive. I often feel overwhelmed by too many choices. Sharon, I appreciated your post. It helped me identify some shapes and colors and looks that work for me. I’m fine with the amount of sponsored posts on your blog. It is expensive and time-consuming to produce a blog like yours and I don’t equate them with the term “monetized”. As a girl I spent my allowance buying Vogue and House & Garden. I still read them but more and more I continue to develop taste and style from blogs like yours. I occasionally splurge on an investment piece and I agree that Halsbrook offers unique quality items. I wouldn’t know about them if I hadn’t read your blog. Thank you.

Robert November 10, 2018 - 6:50 pm

As usual, your photography is spectacular!! As a male, I find your ability to project a classic and timeless fashion sense…to be
refreshing and enlightening. As any reader, I have the choice of skipping a particular blog that hold no interest for me…..!!!
J’en fiche!!

Ewa Złotowska November 13, 2018 - 9:22 am

Yes!!!! When?

Sue November 11, 2018 - 8:00 am

I just loved this article and was really pleased to see such a beautiful piece! I love clothes and I love autumn! I have never heard of this brand before and am always on the lookout for a place with the sort of clothes I love so I am more than happy to read a sponsored article, especially one as delightful as this one. The beautiful photos, the delightful outfit ideas, the whole atmosphere was just a feed for the spirit! It made my day and I have looked at it at many times over the weekend. Beautiful! Thank you!

Elizabeth Lelchuk November 11, 2018 - 11:29 am

Hi Sharon,

I’ve been reading your blog for a number of years and must say that I found myself trying to click on the picture of the camel colored pants before I ever saw a link to them. In a perfect world, we would be able to enjoy the labor of others for free and that no one would have to sell a product or to get paid for their time in order to provide their labor. There are some blogs that have lost my attention because they have become nothing but links to products they recommend. I am perfectly fine with a few here and there, especially when they offer chic, classic clothing that we Americans can grab a hold of. Bravo that you have made your blog what it is today without it being overly commercialized. Yet, I hope that you will please keep this lovely balance so that we’re not having to close pop up ads constantly. I write this comment during one of a middle-of-the-night feedings for my five week-old, so please excuse the lack of eloquence. And thank you for bringing the beauty of France to a tired mama at five in the morning.

Christine November 11, 2018 - 9:22 pm

Hello Sharon ,
I adore the fall fashion post – you have exquisite taste in clothing and Halsbrook has some beautiful
pieces . A lot of us can shop in our closets and jewelry chests and create a similar look . A few higher quality , classic items can be added as I build my wardrobe . One does not need to pay exorbitant prices for “each and every” item …
but , the cashmere wrap is worth every penny and will give the wearer years of pleasure !
I appreciate this post and feel confident you chose the ensembles with your readers in mind . Thank you for helping us to be the best we can be .
Coco Chanel would be proud of you !

Laura Wilson November 12, 2018 - 5:43 pm

I quit following Vicki Archer and now the Greige blog because I felt that their advice became insincere in an effort to make money. Same with a few others. However, I often click on side sponsors with other blogs, so that is a thought for you.

Rochelle November 12, 2018 - 10:11 pm

I enjoyed your post. While I may not buy any or all of these things, I enjoyed your suggestions and I might splurge on one of these. I think that people do not realize how expensive running a blog can be. If you can do that with the addition of one or two sponsored suggestions a year, that seems a minimal thing that allows us to enjoy your blog year round.

CJ November 14, 2018 - 12:29 am

I’m a relatively new reader to your blog and I truly enjoy reading it. As others have said, your clothing suggestion give me ideas that I can seek to fulfill at my own budget level and that’s to the good for me. I am so happy to find inspirational reading among the many, many other blogs out there, that the occasional sponsored post does not bother me.
Long may you continue!

Stacy Kirby November 14, 2018 - 8:30 am

I find this fashion post to be very inspiring. I did not even look at the brand it was the style of each component that captured my imagination and I wondered about where I would wear each item. I found it fascinating that even with an ocean between us, style often transcends boundaries. We all have our dreams, careers, hobbies and families to trade information about so why not fashion as well. Your photos looked like they could have been taken in New England where we have also been experiencing a long Indian summer with the winter fast approaching. A chill will be in the air soon and these clothes are a fine fall tribute to the autumn is all her splendor. I enjoyed the post and I thank you.


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