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  • Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion Writer, MR PORTER

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's the time of year when summer starts to draw to an end, and the nights begin to get longer and the days cooler. But don't despair, it isn't all downhill from here - sartorially speaking, at least. As the heat begins to subside, you can reintroduce outerwear into your dressing, and before you know it, knits, hats and scarves will have their seasonal renaissance, too. At this time of year, though, lightweight jackets and coats are best: they'll keep you warm on days when the weather feels more autumnal, but aren't cumbersome to remove and carry if the sun appears. Click through the gallery, above, to see six of our favourite pieces of lightweight outerwear, or continue reading, below, to discover five ideas for retaining your summer cheer.


Glow on

Keep your summer glow - literally - with a bit of chemical intervention. Sisley's Soleil sans Soleil self-tanning gel isn't cheap, but it's the best product on the market: with a minimum amount of fuss and no mess, it delivers an amazingly natural-looking tan, with none of the undesirable side-effects (odd smell, streaky finish) associated with cheaper products.

Get fit

For you, was 2013 the year of the ripped beach body? No? Well it's never too early to start shooting for 2014, and what's more, exercise helps you feel better inside as well as looking better on the outside. With a rigorous training regime, the endorphins will be flowing and the winter months will fly by. At least, that's what you can tell yourself after a gruelling 6am CrossFit session in January. A programme used by athletes and the armed forces to develop elite fitness levels, this is not for the fainthearted.

Give back

Nobody's asking you to quit your job and spend your life "saving the trees, dude", but on a purely selfish note, offering some of your time and skills to good causes (and expecting nothing in return) can do wonders for your sense of purpose and wellbeing. Your employer may well offer volunteering opportunities (what, you ignore those corporate responsibility group emails?), or you could check out a new generation of crowd-sourcing websites such as, and, which help to match volunteers to causes.

Chill out

Stress is more than just panicking about your to-do list every now and then. If it's left unmanaged for lengthy periods, serious health problems can occur. To get through autumn and winter with a spring in your step, it's time to dedicate some time to exercise (see above), meditation, breathing and other stress-busting techniques. New Harbinger's Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook is a results-focused resource that was recently updated to include a chapter on "unplugging" from electronic devices.

Go down under

If all else fails, head south of the equator and enjoy a second summer in the midst of winter. Combining impeccable standards of Far-Eastern service with warm Australian hospitality, the Shangri-La hotel in Sydney takes some beating. Be sure to choose a Horizon Club room or suite, as these offer panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House.