This week I’m participating in {BLOGtober Fest} hosted by Arkansas Women Bloggers. Each day this week we’ve been given a different topic, and we’ll all be posting on that topic but with our own take on that topic. Visit BLOGtober Fest and see what all these remarkable Arkansas women are talking about today.

Tossing fall fashion vanities into a big ol’ fire

The current issues of Vogue and Vanity Fair are full of fabulous wool jackets, cashmere sweaters, and leather boots. The beautiful layouts momentarily make me covet the luxurious fabrics and the rich colors typically associated with fall wardrobes. The part of me that dreams of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue with abandon loves these layouts and the feel of an expensive wool suit. Those are fleeting moments, however. What “fall” and “fashion” actually mean to me are quite different than those beautiful layouts in fashion magazines.

Fall is my favorite season, and as a child of the Midwest fall has always meant hooded sweatshirts, my favorite Merrill hiking shoes or a good pair of Nikes, Smart Wool socks, jeans, and sweaters. I do so love the bright lights of the big cities, but my very favorite moments in life are those spent around a fire with good friends, which means jeans, hoodies, and warm socks.

 

Bonfire of the Vanities Iowa and Arkansas Style

 

I feel most at home in this sort of bonfire fashion and amongst my fellow fire lovers. Fire is beautiful (no worries, I’m not a pyro). It shines warm light on the faces surrounding it, and on a chilly night, it pulls people together. People kind of naturally cuddle up for the warmth when around a fire and are reluctant to pull away because it’s cold outside of that warm circle.

In high school the best parties were those with a bonfire, and when I was little our high school held a large bonfire every year during homecoming week that signaled the beginning of fall for me. It was during those years that we learned to dress for bonfires and football games. One year after a neighboring school’s homecoming game, I got myself invited to their big bonfire party.I remember falling into my bed that night still wearing David Saye’s yellow hooded sweatshirt that smelled of fire and smoke. (My mother found this odd. How could I explain to her that I wasn’t dating David but he gave me his sweatshirt and he had great hair and was really nice to me and I felt liked that night?)

These days I have a dear friend who built his own native stone fire pit in his backyard and invites to the fire are my favorite social events of the year. I have another dear friend (it’s Jody over at Mindless Wanderings!) who has a great fire pit on probably the coolest deck I’ve ever seen that her husband built himself. A recent gathering around that fire warms me even now when I think about all the people I love who were sitting around that fire.

I will always love the fall issues of fashion magazines, but I will always love my bonfire fashion even more. I’d be happy to model these fine fashions at the next fire you build. I’ll even bring the marshmallows!

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